Alumni Intern Jenna has been working hard since the end of her Internship with us. She was a member of Season One (1). Although there is something to be said about quality over quantity – the fact is that most beginning photographers simply do not shoot nearly enough. A good amount of ‘learning’ does take place during the three months – however even more takes place after the internship – but only if the intern continues to work on their craft. Honestly – many interns take a break that turns into months at a time where they haven’t picked up their cameras. Like the rest of us here at LeahAndMark.com – Jenna’s been hustling for work and she knows that often times, at this stage in the game, experience is worth much more than money.
– Posted by Contributor Jenna
I’ve worked with Mark for over a year now and after countless photo shoots, daily g-chats, and over 60 hours together last weekend (not to mention that we are cousins!), I feel like I know him pretty well. I hate to admit it, but he might have actually been right about a few things… or at least just one 🙂
If you have ever been an intern with Leah and Mark, you’ve probably heard (and been frustrated by) “Shoot More”. I’ve heard this advice since my very first intern experience with Mark at an event at Eyedrum. After I posted the photos (by my 3 AM deadline Mark set!), I was so nervous about what he was going to tell me to work on and all he said was, “shoot more.” Considering my insecurity with my photography skills at the time, that was something I felt like I could do. Regardless of my lack of talent, I could work hard and shoot every opportunity I got… so I did. I literally photographed every single one of my friends (and their friends and families and pets and businesses) and I never missed an opportunity to take photographs – no. matter. what. To me, there was everything to gain but nothing to lose from any experience with a camera in my hands.
The jump into the world of photography was scary though – especially coming in as a beginner. I had the opportunity to meet David DuChemin while he was in town and he reminded us that “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” I had a lot of fear even applying for the internship (although I faked quite a bit of confidence in my work), but the possibility of having the experience made it worth the shot. Once I got the internship, I was scared of not being good enough, not knowing enough, not having enough equipment but something else was more important than that fear – getting the most out of that experience. The only way I could get the most out of it was to shoot and shoot more (no matter how scared I was of how the photos would come out). That gave me the opportunity to make mistakes and shoot it again until I could make it work.
David Murray was a guest speaker in one my photography classes the other day and he mentioned that his first mentor told him 35 years ago to “just shoot 3 rolls of film a day.” He encouraged David to find different lighting situations, challenge himself, get comfortable, and make discoveries. I decided to do the same thing and give myself the opportunity to just play. I bought a fun new camera bag (which I convinced myself was completely necessary) and it allowed me to take my camera with my everywhere so I could take pictures all the time. The photos were often not profound but having my camera with me constantly and taking photographs daily made a huge difference in my ability to use my camera to the best of its ability.
There is truly no substitute for shooting and shooting some more. Every time the camera is in my hands, I am learning something new. As frustrating as it can sometimes seem to be told “just shoot more” and as much as you can sometimes feel like you will never get “there” (wherever that is), shoot more, learn more, and enjoy the journey.
– Posted by Contributor Jenna
Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Jenna. Mobley. LeahAndMark.com