River Business & The Internship

River Business & The Internship

– Posted by Mark

Apparently it’s that time of year where we spend a good chunk of time in the Chattahoochee river with some models.

First! Second! Third!

(this clip is from last year) –

We’re currently in Season Eight of our Photography Internship – and it’s shaping up to be the best one so far. That’s not just hype – it’s truth. Partly because all of the Interns are awesome – but also because we’re just getting better at selecting interns and providing a better intern experience.

For example – we’re currently testing/tweaking/working on a photo commenting system – like they have on flickr and on Youtube! In the past we’ve done casual critiques in conversation with the Interns, or we had a full on critique session (or none at all). Now we’ll be able to give a little bit more commentary on each photo that they post (and like all opinions – they’re free to ignore any of mine πŸ˜‰

Check it out on Intern Kristi’s blog post here! (Scroll over each photo to see the comment boxes appear)

Of you can just scroll over some of the photos down below!

Now you may have noticed that we here at LeahAndMark.com have just kind of been chugging along this past year so far. At least that’s how I’d describe it. It’s beginning to feel like we’ve lost some of the newness – and fresh feeling of this whole enterprise. Mostly because we’re now past that initial stage and we’re no longer the upstart that we once were. Sure we’ve got a long way to go but the fact is – we’re in a pretty comfortable position.

And knowing that we’re in a comfortable position – it’s easy for us to just… chug along. Steady pace ahead. Keeping everything on schedule. Making sure we’re surviving… comfortably…

And as much fun as that is – we have much loftier goals – for everything. Obviously since last November we’ve been a little distracted since BabyRoX was born (happily!) – but that just gives us more incentive to be all out awesome – and more.  Because we never went into this thinking that if we could just make enough to survive and continue doing photography, we would be happy. NO. There is no point in doing this if we can’t live the life we want – which includes travel, and hanging out and spending time with the BabyRoX – while also paying all of our bills and living a somewhat entertaining life. (Notice I didn’t exciting, just entertaining πŸ˜‰

The climb up is relatively easy compared to all of the effort it takes to stay up and avoiding the fall back down. In fact – we haven’t been able to do this all of our by ourselves. I’m sure you’ve noticed.

One of the main reasons that we are at this point in our business – is because of everyone that’s worked with us – our associate (+) photographers, our Interns, and of course our clients. I probably say this every few months (or weeks!) but we’re making a substantial number of changes this summer and the growth in our business won’t just be a linear progression, it’ll be exponential.

Whether or not you’ve seen it, our marketing has always been at the forefront of our business efforts (and you probably have which is the reason you’re reading this now.) When we break it down for our Interns during our business/marketing workshop – it’s all deceptively simple.

1. Be different.
2. Do things that matter.
3. Show everyone.

You may have noticed that we now offer something we call ‘Wedding Home Movies‘. Basically a more casual and personal form of the now common ‘wedding film’ that videographers produce. It’s an interesting project that’s continually evolving and improving. It’s definitely… not for everyone… but absolutely unique to us. How valuable is that to any business?

Not only that but we also have our Photobooths! I think we have almost as many photobooths booked for weddings that aren’t one where we’re the wedding photographer – and that’s just totally awesome. Amazingly awesome. Because sure there are other photobooth companies in town – but people seem to be happy having our team at their wedding instead – and that just makes all of us happy.

Our photography Internship continues to evolve. I can honestly say that the Intern Experience now is amazingly better than it was when we started. Not that it was horrible until this point – but we’ve learned a lot over 8 Seasons and 60 past Interns.

Have you seen our Season [Eight] Intern Facebook group? It’s open for everyone to read – but only S8 Interns and our associates can post. It creates a nice little outside-looking-in effect on our whole team.

I’ll admit – there are some areas of the business where we just decide to move slowly. Changes with the Internship – and workshops – or rather, the decision to not offer workshops to the general paying public. We actually provide quite a large number of workshops for our Interns:

– Wedding (Overview, Photography, Management)
– Family Portraits
– Business/Marketing
– Lighting 101 (off camera flash)/ Gear
– Editing

And if you ever find yourself on a roadtrip with me or even a decent length car ride – it’s a free for all with the questions. I’ll answer any questions about photography or business or marketing or Chinese food.

But the idea of offering workshops to the general public for pay… for some reason we’re just not as interested. Besides – there are many photographers out there that do that and do it very well (some are even our Alumni Interns.)

We actually have a break in our weddings coming up – and we’ll be heading to the beach.

As for the 2nd half of 2012? Ha. We’re very excited about – mostly because it’s going to be ridiculously kickass, and we’re still going all out. We have about 16 brand new promotions and project we’re rolling out and they’re just… well, awesome.

Check back here on Friday.

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographers. Videos. Videography. Photography Internship. River. Models. LeahAndMark.com

 

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