The Park In Vienna

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

chapter 8: the downside August 10, 2009

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.


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