The Park In Vienna

The best blog you'll ever read about being an intern

chapter 9: publication August 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — acerook @ 7:39 pm

Just found this floating around on the desk…

look ma, I'm famous!

look ma, I'm famous!

That pic of the driver and ball on the left is mine!

The Web Communications intern, Shay, and I spent about a half hour trying to get that picture.  You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a good patch of grass in which to take a picture.


chapter 8: the downside

Filed under: Uncategorized — acerook @ 5:54 pm

It’s almost the end… oh boy.

It’s been a great summer.  I’ve learned a lot, about photography, about the politics of working inter-departmentally and about the ego and human nature.  It’s been a learning experience, but to be honest, being the photography intern here has been far more difficult than it really should have been.

Last Friday, all of this came to an unfortunate culmination.

I was set to photograph the opera (La Boheme) from up on the balcony at the explicit request of the Opera staff.  The angle was interesting and provided a good sense of the overall space.  However, when I stood near the bottom row of seats, I blocked the people in the second tier.  So, I sat down to shoot.

Unfortunately, after about 10 minutes, an usher came to tell me that per the higher ups, I was not allowed to sit and had to stand back an additional five or so feet.  This led to one huge problem – I now had people’s heads in all of my shots.

I would like to stop right now and ask what the point of having a photographer if their shots are not useable?

And it’s not like this was the first opera these folks had ever done, and it’s not like I am the first photography intern.  These people have been doing this for years, and one would think that they would have realized that the audience’s heads will be there and therefore, a great big waste of the photographer’s time.

Okay, so I’m standing getting crap shots.  And then lo and behold, I have the unfortunate bad luck to have the CEO of the company sitting in the box in front of me.  He tells one of the ushers to tell me no more photos.

Obviously, when the CEO says something, you do it.  But I figured he meant just stop taking pictures from there.  So, I moved down away from him and continued taking pictures because I was still there to take pictures for the Opera folks’ wishes.

But no more than five minutes later, he comes over to tell me face-to-face to stop taking pictures.

It’s been about three days, but the utter ridiculousness of this situation will not leave me.  Not only is it absurd for someone to tell me to stop doing my job, but it’s really humiliating to be talked to in that manner.

I went back to find my contact with the Opera who told me to take pictures and told her everything that happened.  She was very kind, but nothing she said really remedied the situation.

When it comes down to it, this experience has really solidified how this company doesn’t know how to communicate.  The opera wants one thing, the production folks want another, the patrons want something else, the photography intern wants a different something.  You can’t make everyone happy, and if you try, you just make everyone only a little satisfied and no one fully.  Wolf Trap needs to work out their priorities.

Oh well, Friday is my last day.  And then I’ll be back to working for The Eagle, who, at the very least, can get me pit access to photograph.


chapter seven: the perks August 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — acerook @ 3:52 pm

This internship has been extremely fabulous in the perks of the job.  I imagine most other internships you put in 40 hours a week and all you see is a credit on your resume.  Not so, here at Wolf Trap!  They’re very careful to give us exciting, fun opportunities as a reward for all of our hard work.

Here are a few of the coolest benefits of being a WT intern:

**We get complimentary lawn tickets to about 80% of the season’s shows.  Getting to see fantastic shows for free makes it all the more enticing to try brand new genres that you might not normally want to spend money on.  For instance, I’m not a huge dance person, but since we had comp tickets for Riverdance, I was more than willing to give it a go.  And when it’s a show you’re actually excited to see (like, ahem, Matt Nathanson) it makes it that much more exciting.

Also, when it rains (which it has done a LOT this season), if there’s room under the pavilion, they’re generally willing to upgrade our tickets so we don’t get soaked.

**Picnics!  Our second or so week, they had a staff barbeque that let us get out of the office for an hour or so and let us enjoy a seriously tasty meal free of charge.  Any time we don’t have to expend money is always a good time.  I think we’ve had three picnics/parties so far, and today we’re actually having one final picnic for the department interns… and Friday it’s an ice cream social for all of the interns!

**Access to industry-standard software.  I’m lucky to have not only a Mac to do all my photo editing on, but down the hallway is another Mac which has Final Cut Pro on it.  I used that yesterday to make my slideshow of season highlights – and let me tell you, it was so much better than having to use iPhoto.

And two other perks that are unique to being the photo intern…

**I get to go backstage every once in a blue moon and see how that side of things operates.  It’s pretty rare since they’re VERY particular about who is there, but a few weeks ago I shadowed one of the production interns and photographed her going about her duties.  It was really neat – not only did I get some awesome pictures, I also got to meet Chris Isaak!

**If I’m working, I often don’t have to worry about getting tickets for shows, and once I’m done shooting, I get to find a spot and sit and watch the remainder of the show if I so choose!  Granted, I don’t do this too often because I’m usually pretty exhausted by the end of the evening, but I have gotten to see The Donnas, Blondie and the Wizard of Oz (as accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra) via this method.

Well, time for me to go the yummiest perk… time for a picnic!