Andrea Valdivia

Advice from a former Photography Intern

Knowledge page

Dear photography intern,

As a former intern myself, I have made this article for you to know what are the main tasks that you will be responsible for, and some advices I would give you based on my personal experience. You will find that the needs of Mediamatic usually change depending on the events and workshops that will be developed, but this is a good thing for you to keep in mind and be flexible towards these changes.


Flowers -

As you already may know, you will be responsible for different tasks:

  • Take pictures during our events and workshops
  • Edit the pictures to use on our website, our social media channels and our graphic design staff
  • Help with distribution of PR material
  • Maintain our online photo archive
  • Assist the communications and graphic design staff where necessary

My recommendations for you are the following:

  • Try to plan ahead: For me, it was really helpful to plan the photo sessions. Some useful online tools that can help you to visually brainstorm are Miro and Pinterest. You can also use the images from Flickr done by previous interns as inspiration for your next photos.


Planning Serres Separées -

  • Make sure to upload the photos in all archives: These include: (1) Flickr, (2) Website, (3) Social media (if requested by the Communications manager to post). This takes time, so dedicate a good time to this by scheduling it in your Google Calendar.
  • Work in collaboration with the artist/intern that is in charge of the project: It is true that you will be photographing, but their input will always be valuable for you to take into account, and get fresher ideas. If you get stuck, always feel free to communicate it to the Communications Manager, since they will be there for you.
  • Make trial photos: To see the right lightning, composition, angles, and other basic photography aspects, it was really helpful for me to take several photos, and see which worked best.
  • Stage workshops for your photos: For promotional purposes, you will be asked to stage some of the workshops so that Mediamatic has social media content for their accounts and website. Staging them needs preparation so you can ask your supervisor and the workshop lecturer to help you to come up with materials and resources to convey the workshop as expected by Mediamatic. Thus, staging these events will help you to make better compositions in your photos, as the real ones are usually more messy and people are not.
  • Ask other interns or Mediamatic members to appear in your photos: If you need more people to appear in your photos or work with you on the staged ones, feel free to ask them. You can send them an email (a day or two before works as it gives you time to plan ahead) or a message on Signal. Try to do this with time anticipation, or see if someone is available at the moment. 
  • Ask a lot of questions during the photo/video meeting: Every Thursday, you will hold a photo/video meeting, where you will review and receive feedback of all the photos and present them to Jans and Willem, as well as the Communications manager, Communications intern and Graphic Design intern. For this, ask as many questions as you can and for their input to apply it in your photos. You will be in charge of photographing all the events happening at Mediamatic, and for this, you will need to be in line with what the Mediamatic management expects to see in your photos.
  • Make an overview of your process: To take a photo involves different stages: (1) Planning, (2) Photo session, (3) Editing, (4) Reviewing and getting feedback (5) Approval/not approval, (6) Uploading. For me, using online tools like Trello were really helpful to track in which staged was each project. 


Overview of Photography stages in Trello -

With that, I wish you the best, and don't be too hard on yourself. Photographing involves a lot of responsibility considering that you have to plan, brainstorm, photograph, edit, review and upload photos in a specific period of time. Be gentle with yourself and always remember to enjoy photography for what it is: a means of expression.

All best,