What I’ve Learned From My Interns
And What I Want Them To Learn
While writing this post, the final week of my second intern has started. Just 3 months ago I wrote a post about my first intern Kirby and now it’s time to say goodbye to Nienke… They are not the only one who are learning during these days, I can learn a lot from our collaboration too!
Always work together > Involve the intern in my work proces
As a freelance photographer I’m used to work on my own during the days when I’m behind my computer organizing shoots, sending emails to clients, writing post for my blog and more. But with an intern I feel it’s really important to involve her in my projects so she knows what is going on and what we are working on. I give her an update about the projects and tell her what she need to know about the business. Personally I think it’s good for her to see the good and fun side of the job, but also the less fun parts of working as a freelancer. I have to work hard to achieve what I want with my photography and I make sure to show this to my intern. Asking my interns about their opinions or ideas is something I really enjoy. It gives us a conversation that leads to new plans. I love to hear their suggestions and I definitely learn from this.
Give the intern photography related jobs > Discover how they see and grow within a few weeks
Kirby did a lot of product photography for this blog and I let her play with composition and daylight. I gave her and Nienke the assignment to make a behind the scenes story of every shoot we did. This was something I also did during my own internship a few years ago and it was something I really liked to do. It will get the intern more involved during a shoot and she has to make contact with the team members. My interns are studying photography, so it’s good for them to play around on location and in the studio with light and composition. They also have to create a story with these photos, and that is something that you have to learn. I love to see how my interns grown! And by seeing the photos in the end, I can see how they experienced a shoot.
Ask the intern what see whats to learn or to do > Work on this!
For example, Nienke wanted to do more with writing and had a special interest in Social Media and Youtube. For me Social Media is important to get noticed by clients so she could see how I did this and how it works in this industry. After a very busy month in June, we decided to start a Youtube channel where I can post photography related videos and vlogs. We are both vlog-lovers and it was time to create a vlog ourselves! Nienke helped me with the first ideas and together we created a few videos. She filmed most of them with my Olympus PEN camera and we edited them together. We had fun while filming and learned a lot from the process. Other learning points I hear very often is: how to work with models, how to work together with a team, how to organize a shoot, how to work in the studio, how is it like to be a full time photographer and the one I hear the most during the first meeting with new interns: they want to feel more confident about their own work.
Know when it’s time to talk and make fun, and know when to work with full focus.
I like to share and hear stories about fun weekends, but it’s important to know when we just have to work with full focus. A good balance is needed for a good work experience.
Dream big, work hard, stay focussed and surround yourself with good people!
How to survive a photography internship? Click here to read Nienke’s tips for all photography interns!
Thanks Nienke! I will definitely miss our daily conversations about our shared love for makeup and Los Angeles :)
My next intern Klaudia will start in September and I’m looking forward to this new collaboration!
Black and White photography by Nienke Monster