Megan Breukelman
Photographer, Editor, Blogger

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Career advice for photographers and creatives. Find out how to advance in your photography career and move from beginner to beyond with Megan Breukelman.

How to Get a Photography Internship

If you’re looking for tips on how to get a photography internship, you’ve come to the right place. The photography industry hosts a lot of different kinds of careers, and gives you lots of options when you’re looking to test them out with internships. Internships are a valuable educational experience that give you a chance to dip your toe into a competitive industry and make it easier to navigate. They are a great way to build connections and gain experience. Let’s take a look at some of the different paths, and how to get photography internships.

Kinds of Photography Internships

Photography Studios

Photography studios often offer internships for students and young photographers to learn the ins and outs of studio management. Interning in a photography studio is a great way to make connections if you are interested in working or shooting in a professional studio environment. These kinds of internships also tend to offer both administrative and technical experience that becomes very valuable to you and your career. 

Equipment Rental Houses

Get a Photography Internship

If you are really passionate about photography gear, a photography equipment rental house internship may be in the right type for you. These photography internships often deal with a lot of equipment, physical work and lots of learning. These are great learning experiences for up-and-coming photography professionals who have a true passion for camera equipment. 

Photography Agencies

Learning the ins and outs of the photography business from within an agency is an invaluable experience. Working alongside agents and producers who book major photo shoots for photographers will teach you a lot about the photography industry from a business standpoint. A photo agency internship is a perfect first step into the photography industry if you’re less interested in shooting, and more interested in production and artist management.

Related: Essential Sites for Finding Creative Job Listings & Internships

Production Houses

Similar to working in an agency environment, production houses deal solely with the production of photo shoots. If your aspirations are more geared towards photo production, a production agency internship might be the right fit for you. Learn how commercial photo shoots and editorials are created from the ground up with photo production internships.

Magazine Photo Internships

Interested in learning about how a magazine operates? Want to know how your favorite magazine puts together its cover shoot? Magazine photo internships are a great place to start. Learn about how magazine editorials and cover shoots get created, gain photo research experience, administrative experience, and perhaps even help a little with production. If you think that you want to become a magazine photo editor, magazine photo internships are the place to start.

Intern with Photographers

Trying to get right in on the action with working photographers? Research and try to contact photographers you admire for an internship directly with them and their studio. Many photographers working in commercial environments have internship opportunities with their studio managers to learn the ins and outs of the profession directly.

Media Companies, Brands

Larger websites, blogs, brands and media companies are often looking for creative and photography interns. Many of these companies have in-house production teams, photographers and creative directors who can always use a helping hand. One thing to be wary of is how much actual photography they may ask you to do. An internship is not an excuse for companies to get free photography work out of up-and-coming photographers. Pay attention to reviews of companies who may just be looking for free photography work.

Related: Beyond the BFA: Career Options in the Photo Industry

Art Buying Internships

If you’re more interested in the fashion industry on the photo production side, many large fashion brands offer arts buying internships. These are essentially production internships for brands where you will typically assist castings, help with mood boards, do administrative work, photo research and and more. 

How to Get a Photography Internship

  • Put together a resumé and cover letter that really show your passion for the area that you are applying for. Explain, in short, what attracts you to this particular type of photography internship.

  • Tip: Don’t make your cover letter and resumé overly detailed–– you’ll want to have something to talk about in your interview!

    Related: 6 Tips to Nail Your Job Interview

  • Many photography internships require a portfolio. Put together a small portfolio of your best work. Don’t make it too long–– the people you are sending this to don’t have a lot of time to review.

  • Use creative job listing sites to make your search easier. Check out my list of essential sites for creative job listings & internships to help navigate the photo internship market.

  • If the name of the person you are sending the application to is provided, ensure that you address them in your cover letter.

  • Be brief in your email that contains your cover letter and resume. They will read your cover letter and you don’t want it to sound exactly the same as what they just read. Also ensure that you do write a small note in the email–– don’t just send a blank email.

  • Make sure that you follow any application instructions that are provided to you. Many internship applications do have a set of instructions to help you through the process. Don’t skip out on these!

  • Be patient and persistent. These things take time. Even if you don’t hear back immediately, there’s a chance that they may review your resume in the future for the same or a similar opportunity. You may not be the right fit right now, but that doesn’t mean you’re not the right fit down the line.

Find a Photography Internship Near You

Ready to start hunting for a photography internship? Try my Essential Sites for Finding Creative Job Listings & Internships to get started.