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Photographer Intern | Tina Case Photography

August 20, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I received an email from a local high school student this past January.  Derek, a sophomore at the time, wrote about receiving a DSLR as a gift and how that sparked his passion with photography.  While he was browsing the internet checking photo portfolios he stumbled upon my site. He took a chance and asked if I would consider taking him on as an intern. His initiative was impressive. We exchanged several emails figuring how to make it happen.

Summer Intern DerekSummer Intern Derek

Two years back I had an intern in the summer of 2013. Jocelyn was a college student from Cornell.  We connected over a portrait I took of a mutual friend.  Jocelyn was coming back to town that summer and wondered if she could intern with me. Like Derek she has a strong passion and amazing eye for photography.  During that summer she worked with me on a number of sessions.  Today Jocelyn has settled back east and has worked as a photo assistant and before that as a photographer for the Cornelian year book.  

Actor portrait by DerekActor portrait by Derek This year Derek accompanied me on a variety of performing art productions.  One of my regular gigs is as the principle photographer for the City of Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  I take PR (Public Relation) photos, actor head shots, dress tech and archival photos for their productions. Derek had the opportunity to try his hand at each of these aspects.  

He proved to have a great eye for composition and detail.  His classmates have taken note of his skills and frequently hire him to take memorable photos throughout the school year.  He also takes photos for his friend's T-Shirt company called Pocket Tims.

Performing Arts Photo by DerekPerforming Arts Photo by Derek

Derek’s initiative made me wonder: when was the last time you took a risk and asked someone to be your mentor?  Whether you are an aspiring photographer, actor, painter, writer or whatever your passion is, have you sought someone who is an expert in their field?  

When we act as a mentor we are sharing our knowledge and have the opportunity to give back.  In turn we can always be mentored by someone more experienced in our field to continue improving.  My two mentors are Jeff Cable and Chris Shum.  Jeff is a world class sports photographer (U.S. Olympics and globe trotting photography teacher) and happens to live just a few blocks from me.  I’ve learned so much from Jeff and will be participating in one of his photography workshops in a few months.  Chris is an award winning wedding photographer, a practice so different from Jeff’s.  I learn, stretch and grow from working with both of them.

Photo by DerekPhoto by Derek

The bottom line is no matter what you do for a living seek a mentor who can broaden your network, introduce you to a new way of doing things, improve your workflow and widen your scope.  Each of us has the ability to take the baton from one teammate and likewise pass it to the next teammate.  I like to think of this not so much as race since we’re on the same team sharing information and supporting one another in our independent journeys.  

So remember, - Take Risks!  You never know where it might lead.

Portrait by DerekPortrait by Derek

Photo for Pocket Tims by DerekPhoto for Pocket Tims by Derek


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