– Posted by Mark
It’s August. That means it’s been one year since I left my day job (Computer IT Stuff!) and two years since I picked up my Nikon D40 and started shooting. August is kind of a big deal around here – not only because it’s the anniversary of our business, but also because it’s Leah’s birthday month! I can’t say how old she’s turning because I stopped counting how old I was getting once I hit my 38th birthday – and that was 4 years ago apparently. Hey. Time flies when you’re doing stuff.
Last Thursday night we said goodbye to Season Five of our Internship and Hello to Season SiX!
This Thursday Leah and I are flying to Berkeley, California to photograph a wedding! And then of course we’re going out and about into San Francisco (Leah’s first time) and then down to Carmel, and then over to Fresno (to visit my grandparents – AND bonus! My parents will also be there!)
August is packed. After our week in California, I’m flying to photograph a wedding in Maine, and then an event in New York, and then another event in Dallas, Texas.
And somewhere in there – I’m shooting with the Interns. Since this is our last season before winter break (and the BabyRoX), we’re really going to be pushing everything as hard as we can. More shoots. More workshops. More bossing people around. (There will be no winter Intern Season this year.) We’re also working on a few new projects (what else would you expect) – including a full on photography workshop partly led by +Raven, more commercial work, more video work, more weddings, and just all around MOAR – including something REALLY BIG in the spring. It’s like ridiculously, gigantic, and huge big. That’s what she said.
One thing most people don’t realize though – is that all of these things we’re doing, come with a certain amount of risk and uncertainty. It’s a lot of commitment on our part, and a lot of work up front. More than the risk of losing money, is the risk of failure. And failure at this point, is not only hard, it’s… difficult. Leah’s on board full time now - so that means we’re both going at this full speed with nothing holding us back, and no real safety net to speak of (like a day job bringing in regular income.)
August seems to bring lots of change for us every year.
Last week I wrote about the forced change we go through every three months. There’s a lot of fear that comes with uncertainty – especially when it’s related to being able to pay the bills, pay for food, etc. One of the biggest things I’ve had to learn is to simply control those thoughts – to not be as afraid as I could easily let myself be – to not let my mind race with the worries of no money, no future work, no more LeahAndMark.com
Sure it might sound silly if you’re on the outside looking in – but I know that just as easily as all of this was created, it can come crashing down. At least that’s the fear. It’s a lot of self doubt that can easily start to creep into everything if you don’t pay attention and face it head on. Or work through it. Or let it go.
The anxiety starts to creep in when I worry about the outcome. Instead of just doing everything I can.
If you’ve followed us for a little bit – you might have heard me talk about my ‘work process’ – and how on a photoshoot I always fall back on my ‘work process’ because it frees me up from worrying about being inspired. If I work my process then I am free to just do what I do, and open up that head space instead of filling it with self doubt.
I forget that this applies to everything else.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the past year of working for myself full time – is that controlling your own self doubt is more important than almost anything else. When you look at your calendar and it’s completely empty for the next month – it’s easy to freak out and start spiraling down that worry-filled rabbit hole.
There’s usually about five minutes there were I remember what it’s like to worry about this stuff, and then I punch myself in the throat and get back to work.
– Posted by Mark