– Posted by Mark
As much as I would like to believe that I’m an old ‘pro’ at this whole ‘working while traveling’ or ‘telecommuting’ (does anyone even use that term anymore?) – I haven’t really had to do it that often. Sure, back at home in Atlanta I spend a lot of time in coffee shops, or big empty restaurants with free wifi – but that doesn’t mean that I do a lot of work there (I try anyways).
The fact is – most of my work is still done at home, at my desk, with my desktop. Not only that, but I do most of it between the hours of 9pm-2am. If you’ve ever seen my facebook updates (HERE!) – you may have noticed a spike in my posts every night as it gets later and later, mostly because I’m in between procrastinating doing stuff, and/or waiting for files to process so I can move on to the next thing. But yes – my fancy lifestyle of a full time photographer still includes a ridiculous amount of time spent in front of my computer at home, long into the night – and almost every night because it’s more than just editing photos. We do a lot of marketing, planning, and then there’s that whole thing we call the internship. And they often receive emails from me at all hours of the day – usually when the idea strikes and that’s either at 2am or 4am.
We’re in California for a week – and there’s no way that it’s a full on ‘vacation’.
And there’s a lot of work that actually has to get done. Even packages that need to be mailed out because we didn’t get a chance to send them before we left Atlanta. And some photo editing. And some coordinating of meetings (we actually met with a potential wedding client yesterday here in San Francisco a few hours after we landed.) And eating some food. And meeting with some cool people that we’ve been working with for a while (long distance like) – oh yeah – and then we have a wedding to photograph somewhere in there.
Of course – there is no complaining about any of this. It’s just… different, and not as easy as I thought it would be for me. Part of the reason why so much of my work is still done at home, late at night – is because that’s really one of the few places I can actually focus on work. Actual work process is such a big thing to me (as I have discovered) – and just like many writers write in the same place, same time everyday – I like to work in the same spot, same time everyday. Doing whatever. It’s like ‘going to work’. Except from 9pm-2am. Ya know?
Of course – hey – waking up in Berkeley, California in a boutique hotel isn’t so bad. Especially with Leah in tow. This is actually her first full week of no more day job, and full time LeahAndMark.com photography business. I think that’s a pretty awesome first week for anyone.
Last week was the beginning of Season SiX of our Internship – and we took on Nine (9) new Interns. We won’t be having a winter internship this year so this is the last one until February – and I wanted it to be pretty badass. Even with me being out of town almost every weekend. So we started the internship a week earlier than usual – and I met with each intern individually and shot a little, before the official start. We’ve already done a couple of photoshoots as a group, and they have their assignments for the next week while we’re away.
During Season Three I was gone for about five weeks. More than 1/3 of the Internship (Phoenix for 11 days and then Nepal for 3 weeks). Even though I’m traveling all over the country these next few months for weddings (California, New York, Michigan, Maine, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, New Jersey) I didn’t want to repeat how I handled my absence during Season Three. So this time – I’m ON IT. Working harder on the Internship than I’ve ever worked on it. Pushing the Interns harder than I have in the past.
Different from Seasons 1 or 2 where I was kind of pulling everyone along to finish – we’re now at the point where the value of the Internship is there – and anyone who can’t hack it, won’t be there at the end. During Season Five we started with Eight Interns and finished with Five. I’m not worried about Season SiX. The ones who’ll finish will have gotten everything I can give. Because Season SiX isn’t going to be like any of the previous seasons. Not just because of them - but more so because of Me. And Leah.
Honestly – I’m better now – and I say that without too much obnoxious pride – it’s just the truth. The mistakes that I’ve made over the past five Intern ‘Seasons’ have led up to Season SiX and I intend on going all out. Because come November, Baby RoX will have arrived and then we’ll be in the cold winter months – with no Interns until February. And I want to end this year’s Intern program on a great note.
Let’s get to work.