What should a portfolio for an internship consist of?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nickXedge, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. nickXedge macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    Long Island
    Okay, so basically the title is the question. I only very recently got into photography and haven't had too much practice, but I absolutely adore it. I decided to apply for an internship because I still have a little over a year left of college. It's not likely that I'll be accepted, but I figure why not give it a shot and who knows what could happen.

    They list on the requirements that they want a portfolio which should be "...a collection of images..." and that's all it says. It does't describe what kinds of photos, or how many. The internship is for a photojournalist, so as far as I know this could mean pictures of literally anything.

    Any advice on how many images I should include? What the photos should be of? I have until November to submit my application, so I have way more than enough time to take plenty of new photos and meet whatever guidelines you guys can fill me in on. Thanks for all the help. If you need any other info to help guide me, please ask and I will be happy to provide.

    I have a Canon 1000D (XS) with the kit 18-55 IS and the 55-250 IS lenses.
  2. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Photojournalism = people, basically... interacting with each other, with their environment, living their lives, fighting their battles, etc...
  3. nickXedge thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    Long Island
    Thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind when I'm shooting!
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    If you haven't spent a lot of time at strobist.blogspot.com, David Hobby is a working newspaper photographer- many of the setups he illustrates are from shoots for the Baltimore Sun. If you want to stand out, figure out how to set up flash and emulate his results with your friends, parents, neighbors, etc. You've got about enough time to acquire a couple of cheap flashes, modifiers and triggers and learn to use them- that should give you an edge on the competition. Personally, I'd include lighting diagrams if they'll allow it because it'll set you out from the competition. Approach folks working and ask them if you can shoot them- musicians, firefighters at the station, waitresses, whomever- if you want to pursue photojournalism, then do mini-interviews too- target the copy for the sorts of things the place you want to intern publishes- try to get that into your package as well-- if they'll accept it all, you'll stand out more than someone submitting fifteen flower pictures and twelve of their dog. In either case, you'll learn a lot about the field, and that can be fun in and of itself.

  5. nickXedge thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    Long Island
    Wow. Thank you so much for all the great advice! I sincerely appreciate the insight you just gave me!
  6. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Newspaper internships

    Give us a better idea of what the internship is, newspaper, magazine, website? (Feel free to send me a private message if you don't want to share the exact publication online here and I might be able to give you more specific advice.)

    Since you mentioned it is photojournalism make sure you start here:



    In photojournalism your ethics and reputation are the most valuable asset you have. One lapse in judgement of "fixing" a photograph in the computer and your career as a photojournalist will be over.

    If you're interested in photojournalism I'd start by getting a job at the campus newspaper. It is a great place to learn the ins and outs of working for a newspaper and on deadline. Most newspapers expect their interns to hit the ground running as a full staff member. While interns aren't expected to know everything, there won't be much hand-holding, you'll show up on your first day and be given 2 or 3 assignments to go shoot on your own, on deadline for publication.

    Here is a great article about applying for photojournalism internships:

    It is also doubtful you'll be going up against portfolios of "someone submitting fifteen flower pictures and twelve of their dog." Here are some samples of what the competition will probably be like:

    If you want to read the experiences of past interns just search for "Intern Diaries" in the search box at the top of http://www.sportsshooter.com

    Traditionally you would want a diverse portfolio of around 20 images with examples of breaking news, features, portraits and sports as well as one or two photo stories. However as the article mentioned don't include a photo just for the sake of filling a quota. You want to show your personal vision and if you are a great feature and portrait shooter don't include 5 crappy sports action photos "just because."

    Feel free to let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to help (just forgive me if it takes a couple days to reply).

  7. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    As Flash SWT already mentioned, an idea of what sort of publication you would be shooting for would be good. Then we might be able to help you focus (no pun intended) on the type of photos you might be expecting to take.

    If it is very generalized (a local paper) you might consider going to some local sports events (even just at the college) to get some more action orientated ones, having a party? get some (respectable) photos for the social pages (but still have fun). Maybe have a friend do a simple model shoot. Or even a family photo. Got some wild weather coming? Perfect time for photos but keep yourself safe.

    Remember, when it comes to photography, you will not always be in a position where you get the perfect light with the perfect weather with the perfect equipment etc etc, use what you have to the best of your ability and know how to make the most of it. Pretty much anyone can take a good photo in perfect conditions using the default settings.

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