Morgan C.

January 6th – January 27th (8.75 hours) – The past several times I have gone in to my internship site Tracy has brought up the topic of the new website she is developing for Silhouette Photography. Her goal is to make the website more accessible and appealing to teenagers who are looking to schedule senior or yearbook photo sessions. Because her main objective is to appeal to teenagers she has asked me and Aryanna for input on the website because we can give the perspective of teenagers. I haven’t had a chance to look at the new website yet but I have been able to talk through some thoughts about the website with Tracy. One of the insights I was able to give is that for the most part I, and most other teenagers, will be viewing their website on our phones. This has a major impact on the design and structure of the website because it looks different on a phone than it does on a computer. This was something Tracy had not thought about and she expressed that to me. It was cool that I was able to provide helpful thoughts on the website even though I don’t have much experience in that area. I learned that even though there are going to be things that I don’t really know much about or how to do, it doesn’t mean that I can’t be helpful and make contributions.

One technical skill I have learned at my internship is how to set up and take down the equipment used for portrait photography. This equipment includes backdrops (if there is going to be one), and lighting. I developed this skill by paying attention and observing when Brandon was handling the equipment and by offering to help and learn where I can. At the very beginning Tracy and Brandon demonstrated how to take care of all the equipment and not they occasionally give me tips on how to make it easier and more efficient. It didn’t take a ton of practice to learn how to do it but I’m really careful whenever I do it because the equipment is delicate and expensive. As I continue to perform this skill I will become better at it and more confident in my abilities, but I will still be careful because of the delicate nature of the task.

Having this skill will benefit me if I ever decide to pursue employment in a photography studio because I will already know how to do it. However, as this is unlikely, there is another way in which this skill can help me. I will also benefit from this skill because it helped me to practice careful and exact following of procedures. This will help me a lot in the future because I want to be a virologist and study viruses in important scientific labs. In labs like that and in general it is important to be able to carefully and precisely follow procedures set in place to ensure both my safety and the authenticity and credibility of any discoveries made in the lab. I am glad that even though I probably won’t need to know how to handle photography equipment after this internship, I will definitely still need to be able to carefully handle many other types of equipment and this has allowed me to practice and prepare for that.

One industry specific word that I have learned recently is balance in reference to team photos. I learned this term when I went with my mentor to help photograph the Tucson Country Day School soccer teams and we were taking about how to pose the kids for the team photo. Balance is when you line the team in lines of equal numbers of people so that they form a solid block in the photo. However, if you have a number of team members that cannot be divided into even-sized groups, you always put the extra person in the middle to preserve the balance of the team in the photo. 

November 12th – January 5th (5.75 hours) – During winter break I was able to go with Tracy and Brandon to help photograph an office holiday party at a fancy resort. This was an interesting experience because it showed me a side of the business that I have not seen a lot of in the past. For the most part in the last semester I only worked at the studio and didn’t really travel at all with the business. Through this experience I was able to observe the tools and materials necessary to bring to a job like that and how to set them up. I was also able to observe the rhythm with which Tracy and Brandon have developed for working in somewhat stressful situations and producing high-volume photography, functioning as a photo booth for everyone at the party. This experience was meaningful because it allowed me to observe the business and its processes in an entirely different environment and to further develop my relationship with my mentor.

When I very first started working at Silhouette Photography it was a very stressful and busy time for them and for me. This was because in August when I started a few months after that are when every TUSD senior has to come and get their yearbook photo taken. This results in days with at least a hundred senior scheduled to come in with appointments back to back for hours. While I was learning how to use the operating system and what my role was at the studio it was definitely a trial by fire. At the very beginning Tracy explained the steps and processes I would need to use. However, it is a long and complicated process and I knew that if I messed it up it would cause a lot of problems because of the high volume of people we were photographing. Because of this I was extra careful and would ask her daughter whenever I forgot or didn’t know what to do so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. In this case my additional resource was my coworkers who had been working there longer and knew the processes better than me.

From talking to and working with my coworkers whenever I had additional questions or forgot specific processes I was able to get a firm grasp on them and no longer need to ask questions about it because I know it so well now. I do still ask Tracy questions when other people aren’t available to answer them because my internship site is relatively informal and everyone who works there are friends and we all ask each other about things we forget or don’t know about. With this new knowledge I have been able to work quickly and efficiently at my tasks. This was especially helpful when so many people were coming in each day because we needed to make each appointment as fast as possible without sacrificing quality so that we could get everything done. Now that things have slowed down at my site it’s not as stressful but I still use the knowledge I have gained. This knowledge has also helped me at my job, increasing its value by a lot.

One word that I have learned at my internship is framing. Framing is the designs that can be purchased or requested the border and image to accent it. I heard this term when I was at my internship site to get my mentor forms signed at the end of the semester and my mentor and my other coworker were trying to decide what color to make the framing for a specific image. Framing is a nice addition to photos where you want to add a little something extra the photo and make it a little more special.

October 29th – November 11th (7.25 hours) – It didn’t take long after starting my internship for me to realize that I did not want to pursue that career. This frustrated me because I felt at times like me being there was a waste of time. However, as I have spent more time there, I have realized that it has been a good and worthwhile experience for me regardless. I have developed several skills from interning at my site that I didn’t have before and that will be helpful for me in the professional world. I have learned how to work with customers and provide good customer service. I have learned how to email and talk to customers on the phone. And last but not least I have learned how to become friends with my coworkers without compromising the professionalism of my workplace. These are valuable skills and I am glad to have learned them. So even though I don’t want to work in a photography studio, this experience has still been a really good one so far.

I have been pretty good and scheduling this semester so far. It’s a little harder at my internship site because I don’t come in at the same time every week, the days and times I come in change every week. My mentor and I would usually make my schedule every two weeks, sometimes just every week, so my schedule was never consistent. For the most part I was able to stick to that schedule. There were a couple of times when something important came up that conflicted with when I was supposed to go in. In those instances I emailed my mentor as soon as I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it and we would work out a new schedule for the week so that I could still get the hours that I needed. This didn’t happen often but when it did my mentor and i were able to easily communicate and work out something else that still worked for both of us.

I feel like I balanced all of my responsibilities fairly well this semester. For the first quarter I was ahead of schedule in the hours I was getting so I planned on getting extra this semester and got permission to do so. However, during fall break I started working part-time at Home Depot and that limited the amounts and days that I could spend at my internship site. It has been a little ore challenging to balance everything now that I have a job. My schoolwork has not suffered and I am still getting everything done that needs to but my taxing schedule is starting to wear me out. Even though I did balance everything this semester, I still need to work something different out for next semester so that I don’t wear myself down as much. All of my responsibilities are important and I will still have them all next semester but I need to find a better way to balance them so that I am getting more sleep and some time to relax every once in a while so that I can keep going. I was able to balance everything this semester because I kept an incredibly-detailed accurate planner that I referred to several times a day to make sure I was on track with everything that I needed to do, but I also stayed up really late and got up really early to get everything done and my mental and physical health has suffered somewhat because of this so I will be changing things up next semester and request fewer hours at my job t o make this possible.

Super Wallets is a new term at my internship site that my mentor just barely started using. This term is in reference to when customers purchase several sheets of wallets and request separate images for each sheet. This costs more and previously we had not been charging more money for it, resulting int he business losing money. My mentor realized this and has put a new plan in place to charge an additional fee for selecting different images for different sheets of wallets to cover this extra cost. I learned about this the last time I went into my site when she asked if she could bounce some ideas off me about some new policies.

October 15th – October 28th (5.25 hours) – Instead of just going to my site like I usually do, for one the times I came in I went with them to the Udall pool and we took the swim team photos for Sahuaro High School. This was an interesting experience for me because I got to see how the business functions when they travel to other locations. It was also interesting to see how they structures the photo shoot. Their main goal in this shoot was to get everyone in and out as fast as they could and then move on the group photo. It was really hot outside and we were in the direct sunlight so Brandon, the photographer, was having a really hard time near the end because it was so hot. Even though photography does not seem like a physically taxing profession, there are some aspects of it that can be, such as scrimming or high-volume photography in an uncomfortable environment. I also got to see how they posed everyone for the group shot which was interesting because Sahuaro’s swim team is really big so it was hard to squeeze everyone in close enough for them all to be in the photo.

I communicate with Kristy on a regular basis for professional reasons. I work with her the most when I am working at filing and organizing in the back, though I do communicate with her occasionally when I am working as a cashier out front as well. If I am in the front this communication usually happens when someone wants to schedule another appointment for a longer session or to get retakes; Kristy schedules appointments so I go into the back and ask for her help in scheduling a new appointment for the customers. If I am working in the back I interact with Kristy for multiple reasons. This can include asking her to email someone whose prints are ready to be picked up if their listed phone number doesn’t work. I can also ask her if there are parts of an order missing or the meaning of markings or special notes or situations that I haven’t learned about yet. Whenever I communicate with Kristy it is always a face-to-face conversation.

Sometimes there are short periods of time at my internship when we don’t have anyone scheduled to take photos so Brandon, the photographer, comes back out of the studio and talks with the people working there. Often when conversing with Brandon for social reasons we talk about old music and movies from the 1980’s and 1990’s. Brandon always has music playing in the studio and for the most part it is old music from the 90’s which leads naturally to conversation about it. I listen to a lot of old music so I don’t struggle to converse with him about it. I am pretty comfortable talking to Brandon, although not as comfortable as I am conversing with my mentor Tracy and our processor, Satrina. This is because for most of the time I am there he is typically back in the studio and there are not as many opportunities to converse with him as there is with everyone else. I do regularly interact with my coworkers on a social level. There are so few of us there that it is easy to become friends with all of them.

One term that I learned in these past two weeks is “flashback”. In photography this term refers to the light reflected back at the camera from light-colored objects in the background of the camera. These objects can include snow, pool deck, light walls, etc. I heard this term when we were photographing the Sahuaro swim team because Brandon was talking about how much flashback there was from the pool deck and how it made the photos rally overexposed.

October 1st – October 14th (4.67 hours) – Last week while I was at my internship site I was helping someone choose their yearbook photo. They had also booked a longer session so they had other photos to look through and buy prints of. Their parents weren’t with them, they were coming back the next day so the kid who was there was just looking through to decide which ones he liked before he came back the next day to actually buy some. When he saw the prices of prints he complained very loudly about how expensive they were and how ridiculously priced he thought they were. It was awkward because there were other people there looking at photos too and he was making quite the commotion. I tried to explain to him that because Silhouette Photography is a business, they have to set their prices at a certain rate so they can actually make a profit. He refused to understand and left the site frustrated. This was a meaningful experience for me because it showed me how sometimes people fail to think of how their actions affect other people and sometimes even their livelihoods and reminded me that it’s important to always be understanding of other people’s situations.

I first heard the term digital image when I was talking to a client about the different print deals we were offering at the time. One of the deals we have is for the digital image and the rights to the image for $89 plus tax. What this means is that we send the customer an email with the full resolution photo and they have the copywrite of the photo so they can do whatever they want with it and print their own.

September 17th – September 30th (8.42 hours) – I have been working at my site for a while now. In that time I have been doing a lot of the same things because I have learned for the most part how to do everything that they need me to do there. One of the main things they have me do while I’m there is to carry out transactions and make records of the photos and prints that people want to send to the yearbook or buy prints of. I do this almost every time I go in to my site. I just started a new job as a cashier at Home Depot and I didn’t realize how similar the work I will be doing at Home Depot is to the work I do at my internship site. The company and some of the processes may be different but a lot of it is the same. Working at my internship site has taught me how to be more comfortable talking to customers, learning the procedures that I need to follow, and maintaining professional friendliness and these things help me a lot at my new job.

The method I use most at my internship site in in-person conversation. I do occasionally email my mentor about scheduling but most of the time I do that while I am at my site. This method is appropriate because there are several other interns at my site so there isn’t usually times when they specifically need me to come in so I can just tell them my availability while I am there. The site itself is also pretty small so if I need to speak to one of my coworkers or my mentor I can just walk into whatever room they are in to talk to them. My site being so small also facilitates a lot of conversations between my coworkers and I, allowing us to become friends and build relationships. I don’t typically need to use any other forms of communication such as talking on the phone or texting.

I am very comfortable at my internship site and that includes choosing methods of communication. I have a good relationship with my mentor and am very comfortable with asking her any questions that I might have. I do put some thought into my questions before I ask them. I do this to make sure that I don’t already know the answer and to make sure I am asking in a clear manner. If I have a question and am not sure if I have already asked it before or if it is something small or easy to explain I will often ask one of my other coworkers so that I don’t have to bother my mentor. If I think of questions that need answers quickly when I am not at my internship site I will email my mentor to ask but for the most part I will just ask in person.

I learned the term invoice on either my first or second day at my internship site. I had heard the word before and knew what it meant but I at my site I learned what specifically invoices were at my site and what they are used for. Invoices at my site are used as a record of what, if anything, a customer purchased and also what photo they chose to send to the yearbook. We use invoices to make sure that the correct photos are sent to yearbooks and we also refer to invoices when we are ordering prints and retouch on images.

September 3rd – September 16th (9 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program is when I was just having a simple friendly conversation with a couple of the people that I work with. We were just talking about different foods we liked and other general simple things similar to that. Looking back on that conversation I can see that I have become friends with the other people that I work with. One of the advantages of working in a small business like my internship site is that there isn’t a lot of people that work there. This gives me the opportunity to form closer relationships to the people that I work with, relationships that can potentially last much farther into the future.

When people come in to get their photo taken they often decide to pay an extra fee to get the photo retouched. This means that pay extra money to a retouch company and they can edit the photo to remove things like acne, flyaways, eye-bags, whiten the teeth, smooth the skin tone, etc. A lot of people pay for this to go the extra mile to make their photo turn out well.

August 20th – September 2nd (7.88 hours) – My internship site is Silhouette Photography and they have a partnership with TUSD so they take all seniors’ yearbook photos for free. For the first two years of high school I attended University High School in TUSD. Because of this I see someone that I knew from my old school at least once every time I go to my site. This can make it a little bit awkward because sometimes I am busy doing other things and can take a break and say hello to my old friends but most of the time I can spare a few minutes to catch up with them. The other day, one of my best friends from sophomore year came in to take her photos. I was able to work with her to select what photo she wanted to use for the yearbook and while I was working with her she asked me lots of questions about why I was working there and what I did. When she was done and on her way out she told me it was nice to catch up and that she was really impressed with my internship and how well I was doing. This was meaningful because it was nice to see someone I hadn’t seen in so long and also because it was nice to be recognized by my peer for the work that I do.

My site is pretty small and relatively informal. There are typically only three or four other people there while I am there. Also on a typical day we have a few periods when we are very busy and the rest of the time it is more relaxed. Because of these two things, there is plenty of opportunity for friendly conversation between my coworkers and bosses and I and between customers and me. It is very normal for my boss Tracy, a customer, and me to casually converse while they are looking at their photos. I must remain some level of professionalism and still be doing my job while doing so but it is easy to do both at the same time. It is important to be friendly and welcoming to customers so that they are more likely to come back for a longer photography session later in the year. I need to dress professionally and practice good judgement when it comes to conversation topics but overall the expectations and fairly relaxed.

For the most part it is natural for me to fit into these requirements. Sometimes I have a hard time conversing with strangers and thinking of things to talk about with them. This is something I struggle with at work, at school, and in my social life. Since I have started this internship I have gotten better at it though, and this change can be seen in my interactions in the other areas of my life as well. Other than that one small struggle it is very natural for me to behave at the level of professionalism required at my internship site. There are not a lot of rules and the environment is very comfortable to be in.

I heard the term scrimming on my first day at my internship when Tracy asked me to “scrim” for Brandon, the photographer, while he was taking photographs outside. Scrimming means holding a large flexible shade to block direct sunlight from shining on the subject of the photograph. This is important because direct sunlight is harsh light that tends to look bad in portraits, and shade in the best lighting to photograph in.

August 6th – August 19th (11.77 hours) – One meaningful experience I had recently in the internship program is when I went in one time last week for three hours and for that whole time I was just filing and organizing the photo prints that had been shipped to us. This involved opening a package of prints, finding the correct invoices for the prints included, and sorting the prints by order. After the prints were sorted I would package them nicely. Then I would call the number listed for the prints and let them know that we had received them and that they could come to pick them up and then filed the packages so we could easily find them when the customer came to pick them up. This was a meaningful experience for me because it was tedious and I left feeling exhausted but I also felt satisfied with what I had accomplished. Not all parts of running a business are going to be fun and exciting like taking photos or working with customers. Some parts, like filing, are boring and not fun to do but they are necessary and once you get them done it is very satisfying to look at the evidence of all the work you have completed.

July 18th – August 5th (8.25 hours)-One meaningful experience I’ve had this past week is that on my very first day, I was observing one of my mentors as he took yearbook photos for someone and he asked me if I wanted to try and take a couple of photos myself. I accepted the offer and took three to four pictures then handed the camera back. Later when I saw the person looking through their photos one of the photos that I took was one that they really liked. They ended up choosing that picture that I took to be their picture in their senior yearbook. I was really excited to see that they chose to use my photo and I learned that you don’t have to study for years and years to be a good photographer, you just have to be patient and try your best and because everyone’s perspective is different there will be someone who likes your pictures.

One thing I hope to learn from Mrs. Wahl during the internship program is how to be confident when going into professional situations whether it’s an interview, meeting, presentation, etc. I think this would be a very valuable skill to learn that would help me a lot as I get older and enter the professional world. I sometimes have pretty bad performance anxiety and so I really want to work to overcome that so I can walk into important situations where I have to “perform” with the confidence that I need to succeed. One thing I hope to learn from my mentor is specific photography techniques such as lighting, posing, editing, etc. I love photography and would love to have a career in it and so learning those skills would be very valuable and would help me on my way to potentially becoming a photographer. I have already learned some about lighting and composition and I look forward to learning even more.

Something that I have learned about myself as a professional during this program so far is that I’m not afraid to ask questions, even if I’ve already asked them before to make sure that I am doing everything correctly. I was nervous going into my internship that I would struggle to learn and remember everything that I needed to. On my first day I realized that my mentors want me to succeed so they don’t mind me asking a lot of questions until I’m comfortable doing everything on my own. This knowledge has allowed me to get comfortable asking questions and to get over my nerves about my internship. Something I’ve learned about myself as a student is that I need complex processes to be taught or shown to me several times for me to really learn it. This allows me to really cement the knowledge in my head and to remember it easily. Once I can easily remember what I’ve learned then I have no problem completing those complex tasks on my own. This will help me a lot in my internship because right now it is very busy and there is a lot of stuff to do all the time and it’s important for me to really know what I’m doing.