Just like an aspiring journalist intern with publication houses, budding photographers also need to intern with the big names in the industry to better understand their craft. It’s a tough world out there in this specific field. Considering the amount of competition that grows every year, doing a photography internship can get you on the right track.
This article is for amateur photographers who want a front-row seat into the process of making a career in photography. Here’s how you can land an internship with the bigwigs in the photography industry.
#1. Create a great portfolio
If you want to show your employer that you are serious about landing the internship, you need to create a great portfolio which will be a mix of digital and print.
If you have a website, upload your pictures in the best resolution. Make sure to have an ‘About Me’ page where you can include a little story about yourself and your photography. In case you don’t have one, you can upload photos on your Facebook or Instagram page.
When going for an interview, print your best photos (around 20-25 is enough) and present them in a book. Your employer wants to see how creative you can get. If you can showcase this to them, you will have a higher chance of getting hired. For instance, if you spend some time to make a custom portfolio and lookbook geared toward the position you are applying for, you will create a greater impression on your employer. You can take a look at some of the best online photography portfolios here.
You can either create your portfolio on your own website or you can create one on platforms like Instagram, 500px, Behance etc. If you’re on Windows, something such as Frontpage or Dreamweaver could be suitable. On a Mac, software such as RapidWeaver is great for putting together a good looking portfolio.
#2. Show the eagerness to learn
While shooting an email to your potential employer, make sure you go beyond –
‘Hi, I’m looking for a photography internship for 6 months from Monday to Friday. Can I work for you?’
Your passion for photography and willingness to learn needs to be conveyed to your employer. To put it simply, you need to give him/her a reason to choose you over the hundred other applications that he/she will receive.
Make sure your email covers –
- Who you are
- Where you study
- What you would like to learn
- Where can your employer find your work
- Why should he/she choose you
- Showcase your technical expertise and know-how, let them know what you’re capable of.
Your employer would like to see your passion for photography both in your email as well as in the personal interview. Check out these 10 email templates every photographer must have.
#3. Complete small photography projects
If you haven’t done this already, start looking for small projects that you can complete in 1 or 2 months. It is preferable to pick projects in your area of interest.
For instance, if you are keen to pursue wedding photography, try to get work at weddings and other events. Make sure you see the projects through to the end. These projects will prove your commitment and passion towards your craft. Also, these projects will give you references that you can add to your resume.
A good word from even one of your references will help you get your desired photography internship sooner than you think.
#4. Search for photography internships on job search sites
Several clients and employers make use of job search sites like Internshala, LinkedIn, and Monster to post available positions in different fields. The same goes for photography jobs and internships too.
Search for positions like ‘assistant photographer’, ‘portrait photographer’, ‘freelance photographer’, and ‘photography internship’. You can even look for jobs in online and offline newspapers and magazines.
#5. Attend networking events
Is your college organizing an event for its alumni? Attend it.
Did you receive a suggestion on Facebook about a photography event near you? Make sure you go.
Attend as many events as you can to get your name and work out. Print a few business cards and hand them out to people you make connections with.
You can call or email your connections 3 to 5 days after the event. Invite them individually to lunch or after-work drinks and discuss your career goals and prospects with them. You can find out about these events through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social sites.
If you play your cards right and look in the right places, getting a photography internship will be easier than you think.
Found this article interesting? Then check out our ultimate guide on building a successful career in photography.