My name is Dana Chang and I’m a sophomore Photography major. Over the summer of 2012, I returned to Noel Barnhurst Photographer’s studio in San Francisco. Noel is a prominent food photographer is the San Francisco area. Although I was based in the same studio from the previous year, my responsibilities had tripled within even my first day back. I found the internship through simple research while doing my senior project about food photography for high school. I cold called Noel one afternoon, and he agreed to be my mentor for the project. After commuting up to San Francisco a few times to use the studio for my project and sit in on a few photo shoots, I was hired within the month.
This year, I worked directly underneath Noel on set. Although my main title was First Photo Assistant, I had many other responsibilities that were not tied to the standard title. I was also in charge of Noel’s public image, specifically by representing his image on social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and even his portfolio website’s blog.
I also had the responsibility of creating a new capabilities presentation, a keynote presentation that is sent to all of Noel’s inquiring prospective clients. The presentation tells a story about how the studio is run, introduces the studio crew, and depicts examples of past and current clients. In addition to working on set, I was essentially in charge of photographing around the studio, San Francisco, and creating clever ways to attract potential clients.
Working at the studio this summer was much more rewarding than the previous year. Being on set for the entire day allowed me to interact with clients as well as learn more about the equipment being used on set. Although I did not get to shoot any food photography for clients, I was able to use the studio and equipment/props after work for my own personal photography projects. This opportunity, in addition to experience in the business I plan on pursuing, is almost priceless.