SvenlerFeatured By OwnerJan 17, 2013Professional Photographer
I get requests all the time from people who want to intern with me. There are a few things I look at when I get an application. Each successive step is an exclusion argument, meaning if it's missing or lacking, I won't go to the next step.
1) Am I properly addressed? I.e. does the email start with addressing me personally or is it a generic email. 2) Is the email written in proper English? I don't deal with people who can't form coherent sentences or use idiot talk such as "u" instead of "you". 3) Does the email clearly state the intent? I received an email a few weeks ago, where the person asked me if I was looking for fresh meat. If I want fresh meat, I go to the butcher. 4) Is there a link to a portfolio and if not, is there an explanation why not. 5) Is the portfolio any good? Does the person know about light placement, exposure, composition, etc.
I’ve done second-shooter duty a couple of times for weddings. Hated it both times, and I’d never do it again, but that’s more to do with my aversion to being a wedding photographer than a backup photographer. I find that browsing Craigslist will often turn up a few potential opportunities a month, but most of them ask to see a portfolio – they want to know that you have at least some experience doing this before they trust you to fly on your own. You may be better off approaching a photographer to be an assistant instead. The expectations on you will be much lower (after all, most of what you’ll be doing as an assistant is just lugging gear around) and you’ll still get to learn a few things while getting paid.
Well...they told me I would need to talk to my store portrait manager. They didn't give me any information to get in touch with him/her so I guess I have to look all of that up. As of right now I'm not even sure if mine offers internships
A lot depends on your skill level and what type of photographer you are interested in interning with.
A photojournalism student is expected to have a different skill set than a wedding photographer or a commercial photographer.
Photojournalism interns are expected to be able to handle simple assignments and to be able to function as an autonomous photographer.
In a commercial environment, you might be expected to move backgrounds, adjust lights, set-up snacks and drinks, but less likely to actually take a photo.
For Wedding photographers, it is often a mix of both - a lot of coordinating and wrangling people with a little bit of 2nd shooting.
Photography is so competitive, that in most cases you will be expected to show a portfolio as part of the interview process. In general, that portfolio should be tailored towards the genre you are trying to get an internship in.