Last night was unreal, all thanks to my fiance. Originally, he bought us tickets to go together but unfortunately he had school so I invited my darling Sareida to come with me. We made sure we looked like rich prostitutes and we succeeded. We had the time of our lives and truly the universe played it's part last night for certain things that fell into place that could not be explained. I definitely want to add more to our list of events we've shared together. She is such an amazing person to be around, so funny and with the most outgoing and sarcastic personality. I was so excited to see Zedd and Calvin Harris, definitely my two favorite DJ's. I enjoyed that they didn't just play their own music but remixes they've made of other songs that were currently out. It was nice to dance and sing along to the loud music while the constant confetti sprinkled all over us. Cheers to an unforgettable night!
I know this post is a bit different from my others but this is to show a little of my experience with my photography internship I had over the summer with Howl Magazine.
My objectives for this internship were:
- Getting firsthand knowledge of a current local media outlet across multiple platforms.
- Find ways to improve Howl’s Social Media (i.e.: Instagram).
- Personal and professional development
- What I still need to learn after this experience.
First off, I want to mention how I was able to get this incredible opportunity. Before the summer started, I was extremely fortunate to be asked to photograph an event hosted by a friend of mine called the "Spoken Word Olympics". When arriving at Mill No.5, where the event was taking place, the fiance and I roamed around the empty halls for a bit to admire the design and all. There was one store open that was filled with vinyls and it was amazing. Sitting behind the desk was a woman by the name of Tory who started to converse with Brian about how lovely it is that Lowell is vamping itself up and making a difference with its streets and stores. While still talking, she mentions she once was a photographer for the Lowell Sun and currently a photographer for Howl Magazine which made me instantly stop what I was doing to ask her how it was possible to get a position like that and with that, she referred me to down the hall to actually speak with Rita the editor of the magazine about the internship available and from there ... this all started.
I wasn't exactly sure of what to expect with from this internship, but after I was done I've been able to kind of reminisce about my experience and with everything that I've been through, I'm so pleased with it all.
I started back in May and the first meeting I had with Rita she went over the details of what I would be doing:
- Updated Social Media (i.e. Facebook)
- Take photos of events, festivals, etc.
- Make albums for Facebook so viewers are able to share
- Edit and provide photos in Google drive for the print issue
Although I'm kind of jumping ahead a bit about this, I thought I should mention it before I start my whole journey. About a month or so into my work with Howl I mentioned to Rita that I should start handling the instagram account, seeing as I am currently taking photos of everything for Howl I should share some simple photos of mine and what is around me with our viewers. Rita thought it was a great idea to start a daily post called "What today feels like..." and post whatever I feel like would suit the day, allowing the viewer to interpret the photo however they want. I thought this was an amazing idea because although I may look at a photo and see one thing, another person who views it can see the complete opposite. I was happy to start this series and I started it off with a photo of my fiance running on a path in a forest. Definitely one of my favorites and I hope others saw the beauty the way I did when I captured that moment. - First Instagram Post
Now starting from the beginning:
A day after my official meeting with Rita, she contacted me to do my first assignment. I needed to head over to Cobblestone to take a picture of their popular dish as well as a photo of the owner and chef. I was extremely nervous because I wasn't exactly sure if what I captured would meet any of her requirements. I just took what I felt was right. What I loved most about this moment was the conversation I had with the owner and the writer of the article. We spoke for quite some time about business and the workings of it all, how much work he has put into what he loves most. It was so inspiring and it allowed me to kind of open my eyes to how business owners handle and care for what they consider their work of art. I continued to see Scott the owner over the summer and he always made sure my belly was taken care of, which I thought was very kind of him and I'm grateful to have met someone who truly loves what they to do.
Instead of speaking about each experience I'm simply going to go over the more important events and things that impacted me as a photographer and as a person.
So for the first few weeks, every Friday I would head out to the bars/clubs in the downtown area, anywhere there was live music, I was there to capture the performances and crowds and create an album on Howl's Facebook called "Sound and Scene". This allowed me to be able to see the different scenes that were happening in this beautiful city of ours. I attended shows where people played instruments and just made simple sounds as another artist would make art on a canvas. I've been able to capture those who sing with all their heart and sway to the instruments that played behind them. Although there were times where I wasn't a fan of what I heard, I would turn around to see those who are listening along side me and they're dancing and singing along, which made me realize that although it may not be my cup of tea it definitely is for someone else.
I also attended a handful of festivals which I enjoyed very much. I didn't just attend music festivals but also cultural and food festivals which was a great experience. I was able to meet a lot of new faces and enjoy the laughter of the crowds and feel the warmth and happiness of everyone around me. I learned that there is a lot of work put into these events, whether it being a field full of strawberries for others to pick or a line up of food trucks for people to satisfy their cravings. Right down the set up and entertainment, a lot needs to be organized and put into specific places for it all to work together as one. I definitely will take that and make sure to understand that whatever I do as a photographer or as a worker in general need to understand that I must do my part if I'm working with others in a team to work together and not just an individual. This applies to my work with the magazine as well, the photos I've taken are just bits and pieces that fit a bigger puzzle.
So a couple weeks before the August food issue was to go to print, I had a whole week to schedule and meet up with over 15 different restaurants and get photos of their most popular dish. This was the most difficult assignment I had to do compared to the others because I had to set and schedule dates and times to go to each location and make sure everything worked perfectly for them and as well as for me. I was able to go to each place and take the photos that I needed and I got so much generosity from everyone, they gave me the dish that they made to take home and I thought "Wow, how kind are they to give me this expensive meal" and I always felt so guilty but they seemed to always insist. From that entire week of chaos, in the end I realized it was definitely worth it and not because of the free food but for the experience of meeting such amazing owners and chefs and also to have been able to say that I took that shot of their delicious meal.
Two opportunities where I was fortunate to be asked to take photos for Howl was for MCC's Celebrity Forum and UML's Author Speaks with Piper Kerman. Now these two experiences were unforgettable and as a photographer, to have been able to capture these photos was definitely a great moment. I was able to learn about how to work when it comes to events like these, for example, for the forum the photographers were only allowed fifteen minutes in front of the stage in the beginning to capture what you needed and that was definitely difficult because I felt like I was on some time limit to capture the perfect photo. Compared to the Author Speaks event, I had the entire lecture to take as many photos as I wanted but I definitely understand that sometimes, some things are just limited. Although I was lucky enough to even be in the room as media, I was lucky enough to be a listener to their stories and their wise words. I definitely learned so much from each speaker and the work that they've done.
What I've learned and what I still need to learn:
Now there was so much more that I've done over the summer that is not posted on here but I just wanted to go over the important things I've done that impacted me most. I would definitely have to say that this summer was amazing and I wouldn't have spent it any other way. I used to be extremely insecure with my work, I was afraid no one would enjoy it or it didn't meet the standards of others but after this summer, I've gotten a lot of feedback on my work. I have so much to work on and I know this, I don't want to settle for perfect, I want to go beyond that and find myself as a photographer and as a person. I've been able to see the workings of other photographer who share the same love as me and it helps push me forward to work my hardest and to continue to see the beauty through my lens the way I do. I'm extremely fortunate because my editor saw that in me and asked me to be a staff photographer for Howl and continue to work for them. I am so grateful for all that Rita has done for me not only as an editor but also as a mentor in all of this. She has helped me understand that although you may wear many hats at one time, you keep working to get what you want done and in the end, it'll be worth all of it.
Mill No.5, a beautiful hidden gem that is making it's way up and it's honestly an amazing place to come and relax. Grab a coffee at Coffee and Cotton or watch a film at the Luna Theater or even head into the little stores along the walkway. I'm so happy I worked for Howl because I wouldn't have been able to know so much about this magnificent place that I've come to love so much. I wanted to take Stephanie here and take some photos with the dim lighting and shadows because I thought it would be a nice change from our brighter photos we've come accustomed too. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone a little since I spoil myself with a lot of the natural lighting and sometimes don't feel comfortable working without it but I thought, why not go the distance in a place I feel most comfortable.