Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Africa Media


My name is Akanksha Patel and I am a Sophomore Photography major. During the Summer of 2013, I was a Wildlife and Adventure Photography intern for Africa Media, a company based in Mossel Bay, South Africa.

I had always wanted to do photograph wildlife in Africa. It was a dream from my childhood when I used to watch wildlife shows on television. This summer I got the time and opportunity to make it happen.

Shortly after my Christmas break when I returned back to college, just out of the blue one day I typed “Wildlife Photography Internships” into the search engine and voila! And that is how it was the beginning of my adventurous summer in South Africa. Quite a few links popped up and after researching thoroughly, the Africa Media program was not only the most interesting but close to what I had been dreaming of.

Taking this instantly as an opportunity to pursue further, I contacted them immediately to give me more information on how I could apply for the summer course. Africa Media sent me an overnight response, asking for my resume, portfolio and an essay describing myself and the reasons of my interest in photography.

After exchanging a few emails back and forth and giving them all the information and paperwork needed, I finally got my letter of acceptance from them. I just could not believe that my dream was going to be a reality.

I was accepted to be an intern for Africa Media at Oceans Campus for a month, I was chosen to be one of the six photography interns.

During the month long internship at Africa Media, our course included lots of adventurous learning. During the daytime we were going on shoots at various different locations and comeback at the end of the day to edit the pictures for clients.

Our shoots included Wildlife game drives, Landscapes, Underwater and Action Photography. All the locations that we visited, we got the opportunity to take pictures of the wildlife in action for our clients or probable clients of the locations. Everyday was a new and exciting experience that I will savor for a long time. While we were taking pictures, editing and designing for Africa media we also built our own portfolio.

The various locations included game drives, aquariums, animal shelters/rescues, bird sanctuary, pool shoots, cage diving with the sharks and walking with the lions, cheetahs and elephants.

I am happy that I visited a new country on my own and was around people who share the same interests as I do. Working with Africa Media gave me an insight to how the photography world works. It’s all about networking and getting your work out into the public. I learnt a lot about the field and how it works. This internship gave me a good jump-start for what I want to do in my field not necessarily wildlife or adventure photography. I am happy that I planned to go before my sophomore year before I startedfocusing on my major. I am now clear as to what my goals are and what I should focus on.I would say, for me, this was the most enjoyable summer experience and a learning one at that, to enhance my photography studies at MICA. 

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