By Amanda Alexander
To those without much photography experience, taking a photo may seem pretty easy: just point and click. But for one LHU student, photography is an art, and he got to spend the summer perfecting this art as well as many other aspects of photography that people may not think about.
Nathan Fought, senior, worked as an intern this summer at Becker’s Photography in Williamsport, PA. Becker’s takes senior portraits and family portraits, as well as a series of “age portraits,” which they take every year from infancy (until the person wants to stop having them taken). His position consisted of many different jobs including photographer, lighting assistant, modeling assistant, digital editing, and studio maintenance.
Fought is a Fine Arts in 2-D Art with a concentration in photography and Health Sciences Pre-Professional dual major, and plans to own his own portrait studio someday. Working at Becker’s gave Fought plenty of experience to gain an edge in the field.
The internship ran from May to August. As the only intern Fought worked about 90 hours total, with the time fluctuating between eight and 16 hours a week depending on the number of clients and photo sessions scheduled. He chose Becker’s because he had his own senior portraits taken there and was impressed with the quality.
“It taught me a lot, especially what I need to do in order to run a photography studio as a business and run it smoothly in a timely fashion without wasting too much time doing the same thing over and over,” Fought said of his internship.
Fought experienced the various aspects of owning a portrait studio by working in all the different areas. Some of his duties included cleaning the studio before clients arrived, assisting in the choice of positioning for photos and outfits worn, and assisting in lighting as well as downloading the digital camera cards and editing the photos for the photographers.
One lesson Fought’s internship taught him was how much work goes into make the perfect photo. “I really learned that it’s more then just pointing and shooting a camera when it comes to portraits; you need to pay attention to detail and lighting and things like that,” he said.
His favorite part of the internship was “learning all the digital editing aspects of portraits, and also meeting all the different clients and their families and how to be able to relate to them to make them feel comfortable for the photo shoot.” He also had the opportunity to take photos sometimes at the end of shoots, with the permission of the clients.
Fought said the experience was everything he had hoped. “It was more then I expected; it was great and I loved it,” he said.
However, there were some times that Fought was bored with the job. On days that clients cancelled, or days that were just slow, he spent most of his time in front of a computer editing photos. “I liked being able to do a variety of things during the day instead of just one thing constantly,” he said.
But the overall experience of the internship outweighed the few complaints. He said he would recommend it to anyone: “The experience is great and you can’t beat free education like that,” he said.
One unexpected benefit Fought received from his internship was getting to know two great professional photographers. “I think the most valuable thing that I got from my internship was the mentoring of two very good respectable photographers, Dave and Lynn Becker,” he said.
The experience affirmed his career choice and made him even more eager to own his own studio someday.