Lights On - Magazine Intern Stories (part two)

by - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

currently: listening to Kimbra - Two Way Street.

In the world of media - it's unlikely you'll have two days that are exactly the same.
And that's what it was like during my two week internship.

For my third day, I asked if I was allowed to tag along to one of their photo shoots. Having spent so many years studying photography and taking my photos for assessments, I was more than curious to see how a magazine shoot went down.

Now, for those who immediately thought that I was going to some big fashion shoot set up with lights, make up artists, hairstylists etc - stop. It wasn't that sort of photo shoot.

Where I did go was to a restaurant in Ponsonby where me and the two editors drove there and took photos of food. And while you may have thought I would have learnt heaps in some big fancy photography set up, you still learn quite a bit where you're needed to be more hands on.


Again, I'm not gonna say where this took place (at least not till the magazine is released) but this restaurant was awesome looking. And smelt fantastic. You know how when you walk into a place and the smell of delicious food lures you in and relaxes you completely? It was like that.

One of the editors, who was also playing photographer, gave me the job of managing the flash umbrella (it's like a detached camera flash attachment that diffuses light). Basically, as the flash umbrella person, all I had to do was hold it up like a human tripod, but I still enjoyed it. In the past I've been a camera-person, a boom operator, set up studio lights and etc, but never actually holding the lights. So it was new. And a bit heavy after holding it above your head after a while.

I clearly need to work out.

Anyway, watching the editors talk to the owner, or watching them photograph the chefs or compose the shots of the food was quite fascinating. Some people have this perception that the media is just cold and unfriendly at times. That people just walk in, take what they need, and walk out again. But no, it's not like that at all. You always need to build relationships, listen to their stories, ask to hear more of the details.

And it's a bit of the same with photography too. Specially with people. When you're photographing someone, it's the relationship the subject has with the camera. Like they say, 'a picture paints a thousand words', and the way you present someone will determine what sort of words it will give. You need to know how to make them appear strong, or relaxed, or focused - and that always requires building the relationship.

You don't need a big set up to take a good photo.

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