The College of DuPage Photography Program is proud to announce that Robin Tryloff and Chris Foss were chosen to receive a Bronze Award and an Honorable Mention respectively in the 2009 Striving For Excellence Internship Program.
The Striving for Excellence Award program evaluates internships based on the students’ advancement of their employment skills, and professional and personal development. Gold, Silver, and Bronze, are the first, second, and third prizes, which include cash awards and recognition plaques. Honorable mentions also are awarded.
Tryloff was recognized for her internship with Miles Boone Photography. http://www.milesboonephotography.com/
“Robin is a great intern”, says Boone, “COD taught her so well that she was able to jump right in during a shoot or back at the studio with Photoshop.”
“In addition,” he adds, “her professionalism and experience make her a great resource when dealing with clients.”
Tryloff helps Boone with daily operations in his office, as well as with location shoots. She assists with processing, editing, and retouching images as well as scanning and storing published photos. She also arranges for equipment repair, handles some client communications, and does photo shoot pre-production by attending client meetings, and scouting locations. “I also manage the shot list, do some on-site trouble-shooting and assisting with logistics. This includes equipment set-up, adjustments, and breakdown”, she says.
“Having an intern has helped my business tremendously,” says Boone. “Robin has helped with some of the work that I never seem to get around to doing, such as backing up files.”
He says that Tryloff has also reinforced some of his photographic practices and made him realize that some tasks could be eliminated or done differently.
“Having an intern forced me to rethink why and how I do everything. Since an internship is designed as a learning experience, questions are very important. It forced me to have better answers to, “Why did you do that?”
Tryloff says the internship helps her grow as a photographer because it “is an exceptional opportunity to gain insight into how a sole proprietor photography business is run. I learned assignment preparation; equipment operations and logistics; photo shoot management; advanced training in lighting and posing; client relations, and post-production digital asset management.”
She added, “ It also gave me my first opportunity to shoot professional projects, and led my first paid work. This real-world experience furthered my equipment knowledge, advanced my professional practices, and generally boosted my confidence in my abilities in this profession.”
To prepare for an internship, Boone recommends that students “learn as much as you can about photography in general. This is obvious, but I don’t want it to be understated. Pay special attention to workflow issues and Photoshop. These are two areas that can be troublesome to working photographers. You can make an impression by helping them with these things.”
He also advises, “be sure that you are as professional as possible. Show up on time and be ready to work.”
Tryloff’s advice for students who want to pursue a photography internship are “to learn everything you can in the classroom, and find the right mentor.
“I used every single thing I learned in class at COD. I was fortunate to find Miles and get an internship with him. With 20 years of professional experience, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and shares it generously. Miles always explained what he was doing and why, and encouraged me to ask questions. When I was not familiar with something, he gave me a tutorial on the task/technique, and was always patient with me. I feel very privileged that, after two semesters of internship, he has kept me on as an assistant.”
Greg DeKing owner of Insync Photography in Montgomery, Illinois, says he was very happy to have had Chris Foss work as his intern for the last two years.
“Chris is very self-motivated and inventive in his work,” says DeKing.
“He developed new systems to facilitate our work in the studio from beginning to end. Chris assisted on wedding shoots, did Photoshop retouching, digital asset management, and created multi-page custom wedding albums. The wedding albums are assembled digitally, so brides can now get them a week after their final prints are chosen.”
“Unfortunately,” DeKing added, only ten percent of the wedding business is shooting, Very little time is spent behind the camera.”
Foss describes his experience at Insync Photography as “giving me a way to bridge the gap between school and the business world. It has allowed me to see how much hard work it takes to run your own studio.”
DeKing says, “I gave him a key to the studio and he came and went as he pleased. It was a good experience. I think he learned quite a bit as he looked at my photos and asked what techniques I used. He quickly got the feel of the system. It was good because it took some of the pressure off me so I could be more creative.”
“It takes a great deal of time, dedication and effort to run your own business,” he explains. “The most important thing that I have learned about running a studio is how to be responsible. You have to be responsible to your customers by meeting all their expectations. You have to be responsible to your studio and yourself by showing up every day, no matter what, even if you feel horrible. As a photographer and studio owner it is your responsibility to get all the supplies and do all the paperwork in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly.”
“The internship was good for my business because it took some of the load off of me.” says DeKing. “Chris noted my photographic style and decided to emulate and build on it. If a studio is looking for help, internships are a great idea.”
Foss says, “I would advise other students to get as much from an internship as they can. My experience is over because my boss has retired and is no longer in the wedding business. Take advantage of every opportunity!”
(To read about the wide variety of internships COD students are doing, go to http://www.cod.edu/ratemyinternship/