"I played baseball at a serious level since I was five all the way until my first year of college. I also grew up an Orioles fan and spent my summers watching and going to their games. Photography is my passion and I hope to make it my career in the future"
Program of Study: Communications
Internship: Baltimore Orioles
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities as an intern:
I was the Photography Intern for the Baltimore Orioles for the entirety of the 2009 Major League Baseball season. My primary responsibility was to photograph game action during Orioles home games as well as various Orioles events and community programs. I also scanned, edited, and keyworded thousands of photographs from the Orioles archives. Some of the photos date back to 1954. The collection, which is comprised of over 500,000 photographs, is being converted to digital format and stored in an easily searchable database.
How did you find your internship?
I workout with Tim Bishop, who’s was the Head Trainer for the Orioles for a number of years. He knew Todd Olszewski, their team photographer, and he gave me his email. I had also met several professional photographers in the Baltimore area who knew Todd. Once I heard back from him, I had to submit a portfolio. He liked my work, I had a good interview, and I was lucky enough to be offered the position.
What resources did you find particularly helpful in your internship search?
The Career Development office was very helpful. They answered any questions I had about the application process, as well as the questions that arose during the internship itself. This was an unpaid internship, so I was also extremely thankful to have been granted a Summer Internship Award, which helped cover most of my expenses for the internship.
Why did you choose your internship? What factored into your search and applying?
This internship was ideal for me. I played baseball at a serious level since I was five all the way until my first year of college. I also grew up an Orioles fan and spent my summers watching and going to their games. Photography is my passion and I hope to make it my career in the future. Needless to say, the opportunity to combine two of my biggest loves was incredible.
What were you most apprehensive about going into your internship?
I was most apprehensive about whether my photography skills were good enough to shoot baseball at its highest level. I take photos every day, but I had never shot anything at the professional level or shot any sporting events that moved so fast. The first few weeks were pretty frustrating. I’d upload my photos after each game or event, only to find that the majority of them were blurry, overexposed, or compositionally incorrect. Once I got into a rhythm and shot more and more, however, I was able to produce some of the best work I have in my portfolio.
What did you hope to gain from your internship experience?
Primarily, I hoped to improve as a photographer. Taking photographs nearly every day, as well as looking at thousands of excellent photographs from the archives helped me do so. Secondly, I hoped to see what it was like being a professional photographer, working long hours and regularly being surrounded by famous people. During games, I sat in the photo pits on the field next to professional photographers whose work I grew up studying and admiring. I was very lucky to learn from them and feed off their enthusiasm.
How did your internship experience influence your academic and career interests/goals/plans?
Before this internship, I had taken lots of photography classes. I’m also the Photo Editor for Goucher’s student newspaper, The Quindecim, so I’d taken photos at lots of events on campus. Yet gaining experience working in a professional environment, having my photos featured in professional publications, and being surrounded by the best in the business on a daily basis solidified my desire to pursue the field.
What were the most challenging aspects of your internship?
One of the challenges that I had to adjust to very quickly was staying calm and producing high quality work in the presence of extremely famous people, many of whom I idolized growing up. I had never been so close to such star power before, and I’m the first to admit that I was a bit star struck during the first few days. Also, some days required extremely long hours. During homestands, I’d work on the archives from 9 until 5, change, eat, then shoot a baseball game and get home around midnight every day for 5 or 6 days straight.
What were most rewarding aspects of your internship?
Learning from the best. My boss was the team photographer, and he’s one of the most talented people I know. Being able to learn his techniques, listen to his suggestions, and receive criticism from him was incredible. Every day I learned something new, and I came out a much better photographer by the end of the internship.
How do you feel your internship prepared you for the real world?
I realized what it takes to work at the top level: long hours, dedication, learning from mistakes, and making friends with those who can help you succeed.
What advice would you give to students to help them make the most of their internship experience?
I can honestly tell people I lived my dream job, which many people can’t say. I advise students to look for an internship that will let them gain experience at something they’re extremely passionate about. Internships can provide opportunities that you may never have again. Have fun, enjoy every second of it, and talk to and get to know as many people as you can while you’re there.
How do you utilize the skills you developed in your internship experience in your job now?
I use the skills I learned at the Orioles every day. I feel much more comfortable photographing events and the quality of my work has increased. I’m looking forward to using what I learned there to help guide me this summer, as I’ve accepted the Multimedia Internship for The Baltimore Sun.