10 Interns

Last week we posted on here that we wanted two (2) interns. We presented a long list of reasons why people should want to be our intern, and then we presented a long list of reasons why they shouldn’t be our intern. Because we didn’t want just anyone. We wanted hungry photographers. Of course not a I-need-food type of hungry. No. We wanted a Rocky in Rocky II Eye of the Tiger type of hungry! (you know – when Apollo Creed convinces Rocky to train in Apollo’s old gym – where he’s like – ‘look Rocky – you see that? that’s what you’ve lost – you’ve lost the Eye of the Tiger’) – cue song by Survivor!

So we posted some initial demands:

Here’s what we’re asking from our Interns:

  • You own a DSLR camera
  • You have at least a rudimentary understanding of shutter speed and aperture
  • You have your own artistic ideas – even if you’re still working on them
  • You aren’t afraid to try everything
  • You don’t say ‘we can’t do that’
  • You are willing to photograph everything during your time with us – even if it’s not your style
  • You will actually read any materials we give you to read
  • You will be available for at least two (2) five hour photo shoots a month (and possibly more permitting your schedule)
  • You have a portfolio to show us – and you’re proud of your current work – no matter what
  • You are nice
  • You are stubborn
  • You want to learn
  • You can commit to working with us for 3 months (roughly)
  • Possibly accompany us on photo shoots/weddings out of town (on our tab)

The response we received was considerably overwhelming. We received ‘applications’ from students at SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design), AIA (Art Institute of Atlanta) – and lots of other schools with photography programs. Not only did many college students/graduates apply – we even got some responses from relatively seasoned photographers who primarily shoot in styles different from ours. So we had to do some cutting. What better way to cut people than to just let them take themselves out of the running. So we sent more requirements to the applicants who made the first cut:

Everything below is based on the idea that as our intern – You represent Us, and We represent You. In fact, to some degree you represent our Art. So just by being our intern, you’re very closely tied to how people perceive one of the most personal things we have – our photography. As an artist yourself, you understand what that means. For us, it means that we better make sure that you actually learn something from this experience. We’d like to ensure that you grow as a photographer. Trust me – that’s a lot of pressure – and so much of it is beyond our control. So we’re going to try as hard as we can, and that means that we’re going to push you to work pretty hard – probably much harder than you thought you would, and in more areas that just taking pictures. Here’s the bullet point list:

  • 3 month commitment (with few exceptions)
  • 4 photoshoots a month – minimum of 2 with us, and then 2 on your own if not all 4 with us
  • You will be blogging the entire time
  • At least 2 posts per week, talking about the photoshoot and any other thoughts
  • If asked, you will help set up photoshoots/find models/find trampolines
  • You will edit your photos, and a small set of our photos from shoots
  • You will post to facebook, twitter, and your blog
  • You must have your own reliable transportation
  • You will not speak ill of any clients, and definitely not in print – anywhere, ever.
  • You will… trust us
  • We will earn your trust

Taking on interns is a big responsibility for us – and we take it seriously – so what if we’re a bit idealistic.

As we went through applications we realized that there aren’t too many opportunities like the one we were offering. Since Leah and I never went through any formal training – we don’t know what they have you doing in photography programs. We do get the impression that students don’t photograph nearly enough while they’re in photography school.

That’s why one of the core requirements for being our intern was that you had to do a photo shoot EVERY Week. Four a month. At least two with us and then two on your own if you couldn’t attend ones we set up or we weren’t able to find one that’s a good fit for you.

Photographers need to be photographing – otherwise they’re just people that own cameras.

We’re taking on 10 interns for a reason – we’re that busy with work – and we want more.

We started with wanting only two interns. Then we decided on six. Then we got to eight. Finally we stopped at ten – and even selecting those ten and cutting 11-15 was much more difficult than we thought it would be. And if you’re wondering how we could provide so many photo shoots for 10 interns – we wondered that too. Because you can’t bring 10 interns to a maternity session, or a newborn session – heck, you can’t even bring 3 or 4.

The logistics of first having so many photo shoots and then trying to schedule 10 interns so that they can fulfill the requirements that we set – that’s a pretty daunting task. No – it’s ridiculous. But think of everything we can do now. Just thinking about how much more we can do with 10 interns is really, really exciting. Not just 10 interns – but 10 very capable and motivated people who bring different skills to the team – skills that we need to accomplish things that we otherwise could not on our own. We selected a diverse group – photography program graduates, graphic designers, working professionals (8-5 day job!), a full time mother, a high school student, and even someone who practically lives in Tennessee (okay, more like Cumming, Georgia).

We notified everyone last Sunday that they were chosen. Since then we’ve had every intern complete various tasks already, and scheduled them for enough photo shoots to fill up May – and we’re still in April. Almost all of these shoots are paying gigs – and we’ll get more. Having 10 interns has already saved us about 30 hours of time this week since last Sunday. With something like this you need to hit the ground running. Fast. There’s a momentum that we have to keep up and we want everyone engaged.

So yes. We have 10 interns. It’s insane, and crazy, and we’re really going to push them to work hard – because we all just want to be better photographers – and believe me, if you have 10 photographers looking to you to teach them a few things over 3 months, the pressure’s on. You can’t suck. We can’t suck. After photographing at such a furious pace over the past year – we need these interns as much as they need us. It’s a huge compliment that these 10 are willing to do much more than what is normally asked during an internship. They could be doing so many other things over the next three months – but they’ll be photographing with us and that’s awesome.

If you know anything about Leah and me – we work hard at photography. We didn’t take on 10 interns because we wanted to work less – we took them on board because we wanted to work a whole lot more. We’re going to formally introduce all 10 interns and their blogs on Wednesday morning at 9am – the morning after our trampoline photo shoot on Tuesday night.

They’ll be blogging for the next three months – so there’s no hiding for them, but more importantly, there’s no hiding for us. You’re right. We’re naive and we have no idea what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Except that’s been the case all along. Hey it’s just three months right? It’s going to go very fast.

Finally – congratulations to my wife, Leah for graduating today with her Master of Social Work degree from Georgia State University. She’s a MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE! errr… Social Work!

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  • ETK 29 Apr ’10 at 1:00 pm


  • Nikita 30 Apr ’10 at 2:37 am

    You will do great! Leah is SO excited! She talks about those interns ALL of the time!

    • leah 2 May ’10 at 10:00 am

      Haha, thanks Nikita! I love interns.

  • Megan V 2 May ’10 at 5:47 pm

    Oh my gosh. Wow. This is just seriously amazing and awesome. It makes me really wish I lived in Georgia!!! I'm pretty sure you'd have to cut out the intern applying from Ohio! Ha. It sounds like an incredible experience for them and also for you!!! I am SO EXCITED to keep reading your blog and hear from the 10 interns themselves!!!!!