I was able to sit down with my supervisor and ask him how did he get his start in the industry and he explained to me his first big break was working as princes photographer for several years. At first, I was amazed. I couldn’t believe it just because how much my aunt loved him. He told me a few stories of the shoots he did and some funny moments with the singer. I was particularly interested in how he would travel the world as it is something that I want to eventually do. If I get to do that through work that would be amazing. I’m very happy living in New York and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, to be honest, but I understand the importance of traveling to see other cultures and ways of life. I feel like it generally makes you a better person if you do.
As my internship comes to an end I realize I learned so much about the industry that I simply had no way of finding out about before. Common business practices, and personnel roles all where a mystery to me somewhat as I did not know who did what or what titles were in much of the field. With gaining knowledge in this, I now know other many job titles I can potentially apply for once graduating. I will definitely be on the lookout for similar workspaces as I felt extremely comfortable and at peace while working. I understand sometimes this isn’t the case but it just seemed like a very active but calm and productive space in which I felt I could get a lot of work done in peace. Sometimes people would come by to chat for a bit for a quick casual chat but overall everyone was very invested in their work.
When it comes to managing websites, I have some experience. I’ve done it in several classes, from Web design 1 to Web Traffic and analytics. The skills I learned in those as well as others helped me when I was given the keys to two websites owned by my supervisor. I didn’t create the site of course, so I had to basically mess around with the interfaces, check the code and find out about the server hosting. Once I got familiar with the sites it wasn’t hard to apply what I learned in school and I got right to work and fixed a lot of minor things with the site upon request. Gradually it moved to a change in the design of several pages which I did at the office, checking after every few changes with my supervisor to ensure it lined up with his vision. After a few of these engagements, we got the site exactly how he wanted it to look with a new font scheme and edits to the content and how it was arranged.
Over the weekend, I completed what I felt was the most tedious task of my internship yet. As time-consuming as it was I did gain a bit of appreciation for people who are in charge of maintaining databases and files of studios. There’s so much. I didn’t realize just how much photos I was given to, edit and upload but the number ended up being far into the hundreds. I made a promise beforehand that I’d get it done in a day so I kind of put myself in a hole. Luckily I didn’t have anything to do that Saturday in the morning and I finished it in about four hours. The funniest thing about this was that I wasn’t given a hard deadline. I created my own deadline and felt I had to stick to it to maintain trust and show that if I said I was going to do something I did. Because I did, I could sense and I felt trust was at an all-time high.
During the week, I put together a presentation for a business proposal that my supervisor was working on. Someone had worked on it prior but it was lacking a designer’s touch so it was my job to organize the information in a way that flowed organically to the eye. A lot of sections I noticed had too much going on and sometimes bombarded the reader with a wall of tiny text. I made it so it would be much easier to follow the details by sometimes changing the text into bullet points.
I noticed also, there was no consistency in the type. I altered the text on every slide to apply only two font variants throughout the document. I felt it was as important as the information in the document for the presentation to be consistent. There are many ways to appear professional, and each part is to be valued equally and I was encouraged by my supervisor to make sure the designs were representative of the time and research put in to developing the plan. Not to mention, the person who did the research did not speak English as their first language. They did a decent job but there were grammar errors that I had to change.
This past week I had a challenge outside of typical graphic design work to complete. It was a bit funny looking back at it but it involved getting images associated with the company removed from Google. When building a brand it is important to manage your brand’s image when you can. A lot of SEO(search engine optimization) is to monitor what information and products people see when searching your brand. Imagine if you ran a bakery but when you put your store’s name in a Google search you saw a few images of car parts mixed in pictures of your baked goods. It would confuse potential clients and would come off frankly as unprofessional. We had this problem, but on a smaller scale that involved photos not taken by the agency appearing under the company in search.
The problem is fixed now but even afterwards it causes me to think about the little things that go into running a business and a brand. Everything counts.
It is interesting how I almost felt out of place working in spring place at first but now that is pretty much an afterthought. It just seems so normal to me now and what I’ve gained from this experience so far is confidence. Not that I was particularly worried, but confidence but it gives me proof that I can work and feel comfortable in a professional environment. Everyone seems really nice and thus far I haven’t run into any problems.
As for work, the latest thing I’ve worked on is collages to display the work of several fashion and advertising photographers. It was my responsibility to go through catalogs of photos and determine what would be the best to fit the aesthetic they were looking to showcase. Generally, I would pair up portraits or full body shots with scenery but a few times I’ve been asked to mix up a few for diversity. It was cool to know that the work I was doing was being sent and shown to actual clients who wanted to see samples of photography in bulk.
This semester I will be working oin the Spring Studios building in soho. Initially, when I arrived for my interview I felt impressed by the environment and how structured the work area appeared to be. In general, the interior of the lobby and building was well-designed and having a random set of model’s walk past me when I entered caught me off guard. It kind of let me on to what sort of work and clients they deal with.
The environment was very professional, and though this may not seem important, I was satisfied with my choice of clothing. My attire was to standard and I did not feel underdressed.
Initially, I felt somewhat nervous but when I went up the elevator to finally meet my supervisor Scott, I quickly cast those worries aside. Talking to him for a while, I got a pretty decent feel for who he was as a person and he gave me the impression that this would be an interesting place to work at.