Can you remember your first work experience placement? For those of you who live here in the UK, you would probably have been about 15 years old and it was something you either enjoyed or you simply want to forget about! For me, I was placed in an insurance brokers office in my local town and had to spend the whole week sticking labels on envelopes, inserting letters and then licking the disgusting adhesive strip to seal the envelope shut, I hated it!! I’m sure not all placements were like that but I really don’t have good memories about the whole experience.
Some months ago now, I agreed to have my youngest son, Adam, complete his work placement with me as a working photographer for 2 weeks. His placement starts on Monday next week and I’m determined to make sure his experience is better than the one I had. For starters, my envelopes have self adhesive strips!!! Only joking, I’m hoping he’ll enjoy the next couple of weeks and get a better understanding of what it’s like to make a living out of this work. Actually, I’m really looking forward to it and I’ve decided to issue him with 3 specific tasks which I think will help him gain a better understanding of working as a full-time photographer.
So here they are:
1) A Picture a Day – I’m going to ask him to choose one of the shots he’s taken within the day and post it onto his Facebook account.
People are posting photos on Facebook all the time so in theory this shouldn’t be too difficult, however, the process of choosing a photo which is deemed to be good enough for public viewing is an interesting process. It’s that process which will teach him to have a more critical eye over the images he takes. So, for those of you who are a friend of Adam’s on Facebook, look out for these photos each day over the next couple of weeks.
2) A Wayne Rowe Photography Blog Posting – at the end of the 2 week placement I want him to post a blog on this website, in fact, the next blog entry you see here will hopefully be his.
As part of the blog I’m going to ask him to include some of the best ‘Picture a Day’ shots he’s taken from the time he’s been working with me. This task is probably harder than the last one, I personally find blogging very difficult, it doesn’t come easy to me and I’m not particularly good at it, but it’s becoming a fundamental part of a photographers business. In fact, large corporations are now realising how necessary it is to be a part of the social media phenomena which is sweeping the world.
There’s also going to be a little more pressure on Adam because there will be people looking at his post that he doesn’t know, some are located in countries on the other side of the world and some are professional photographers who have done work for National Geographic, Time magazine, Nike etc. Having said that, these people have only ever offered support to me and my work so he doesn’t need to worry. But again, this process will make him think more about the photos he takes and what he’s prepared to let others view.
3) Take a Photo of Me (that I think is okay) – now, this definitely isn’t me being vain! Anyone who knows me is fully aware of how much I loathe having my photo taken, the whole reason for me taking an interest in photography when I was a young boy was so that I didn’t have to be in front of a camera. This really is the hardest of the tasks I’ve set him, mainly due to the fact that there are very few photos of me out there that I think are okay, so he’s got his work cut out!
One aspect of a photographer’s work is that the client likes what he/she produces for them. The photographer may think their images are amazing but if the client doesn’t agree then they won’t continue making a living out of it for long. I personally don’t like photos of me so it’s maybe a little unfair on Adam but we’ll see how he gets on.
On top of all this he will be assisting me on two lifestyle shoots and a studio session.
So that’s it! Easy! Well actually, no it’s not easy, but then that is the experience of most working photographers so he’ll get a glimpse of what it’s like doing this job. Having said that, I think it’s one of the best jobs in the world and he’ll have the opportunity to see if it’s what he’d like to do in the future.
Hopefully he’ll have a great time but you might hear him screaming “I wanna be a photographer…..but get me out of here!!!”
Wish him all the best!!