I’m Taking on a Travel Photographer/Writer Intern!

This year has been busy, maybe a bit too busy. I’m very very grateful for all the work, but sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  In reality, to keep living this life, I need some help.

And, I thought, well, maybe we could help each other.

I get emailed on a daily basis asking about the potential to learn from me, or from people looking for insight into the industry.  I’ve had a number of people ask if they could intern or assist me at some point.  And for a while now I’ve wanted to make that happen.  Well, it’s happening.  I’m bringing on an intern travel photographer.

Please, read the info below. And, once you have, download the application here.

travel-photography-internship

When?

The plan right now is for the intern to join me on the road for 4 weeks starting in mid-March.

I know it’s early, then, to be posting this. But, I’m so busy that I’m going to need time to read applications and chat with potential candidates.  My time frame is looking like this:

  • Applications Open (and will remain open until the day I select someone) Today.
  • I’ll be chatting with about 20 people on a long list starting around November 23rd.
  • I’ll be chatting more in depth with 5 people on a short list starting mid-December.
  • I should have an intern selected by January 10th.
  • January and February will be spent planning the project.

Where?

The where is still to be determined.  Even though I’m freelance and open to go where I want, I have a set of clients who I confer with on a regular basis. I need to know their needs and if they have a preference on where I shoot.  I also need to pitch new clients ideas for potential projects.

As of now, it’s looking like it will be either the Philippines or Indonesia.  But, it could end up being Brazil. You never know.

Who?

Before I get into who my ideal candidate is, I should first let you know who is not.

  • Looking for a holiday:  If you’re just looking for a holiday well doing some work. I want people who are serious about trying to make a career out of travel photography or writing.
  • Married with Children: I don’t mind if you’re married and you’re SO is OK with your being gone. But, I know the strain being away so long can put on a family.  So, I’d rather avoid that. I can be swayed for the right person. But, I have my fears.
  • Tough Visa Country: Citizens of some countries have a hard time getting visas. As I’m potentially looking for someone who stays on long term, or keeps coming back, I want to have as few complications as possible.

In my mind I have 2 types of ideal candidates:

  • Already Established: Someone who is already a photographer or writer that is just trying to take the next step. Someone who is already very talented and has the base set up to turn their passion into a full-time career.
  • Fresh Meat: Someone straight out of school, or a career that didn’t work, that’s dreaming of becoming a travel photographer or writer and has already started making the steps towards this career.  Someone with a passion for it, and willing to take a shot at the career path.

Some of the personal traits I’m looking for:

  • Hard working: Should be obvious, but I need someone who is serious about trying to make a real effort at turning this into a career.
  • Patient: Travel can wear you down, especially when you’re working. If you’re not patient, it will just cause stress.
  • Compassionate: I know that’s a strange thing to look for. But, I need my intern to be compassionate and loving to the world around them. You’ll be representing me, and I need you to show that to the world.
  • Fitness/Health: I am always on the move, and I need someone who can keep up, if not push me.  Moreover, shooting travel photography often involves a lot of hiking, walking, climbing, and adventure sport. You need to be able to keep up, if not lead the way.

Some skills that would be a bonus:

  • Video Editing: One of the areas I need the most help is video editing. I spend too much of my day video editing. If you have proficiency doing this, it’ll be a big advantage.
  • Photo Editing: If you have photo editing experience, that’s great. It’s not a big deal, because my workflow is simple, but definitely helpful.
  • Camera Skills: If you have experience handling a camera shooting video, that’s a bonus.
  • In Front of the Camera: If you’re good in front of the camera that’s a bonus too. There are times you’ll be in the vlog. There’s also times you’ll be modeling certain shots. You have to feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Job Duties?

A travel photographer’s intern has the most random duties. In fact, it’s basically just the same duties as the photographer has.  You’ll spend each day completely different.  Some days you might be organizing travel. Other days, you might be video editing or photo editing. Some days, you might be stood on cliff edges modeling.  Most days, you’ll be doing a combination of all of the above.  Essentially, your job is to make my job easier.

What Do You Get?

It needs to be noted that this is an unpaid internship.

However, basically all your expenses will be covered:

  • Flights to/from destination.
  • Travel/transport within the destination.
  • Visas
  • Food and Drink
  • Accommodation – mostly private, the occasional dorm when necessary

Of course, the biggest thing you’ll gain from this is the lessons and experience you’ll get from spending 4 weeks in the field with me.  I don’t want you to look at this like an assistant’s program, but rather one of a mentor/mentee.  Each day, I’ll be setting aside time to teach.  I’ll be guiding you through everything from my process getting photos, to the business side of things.  By the end of the 4 weeks, you’ll find with a wealth of insight into how this business works, and what it takes to make a career of it.

Long Term Potential

For me, these 4 weeks are a trial period.  I want to see if it’s beneficial to me. I want to see how much I can teach, and how beneficial it will be to the intern.  From there, I’m going to make some decisions.  Some, or none, of the following may happen:

  • Intern continues to work in internship capacity with me beyond the 4 weeks.
  • I decide to turn this into a revolving door internship to spread the wealth around a bit.  I may bring on 5-6 different interns each year.

Apply

If you haven’t applied yet, you can do so by downloading the application form here, following the instructions, and sending it to me.

Even if this job isn’t for you, I’d also really appreciate you sharing the article around for others to check out.  Help me find the best travel photography intern!




Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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12 Comments

  1. Man, this is such a great opportunity. Thanks for sharing the detailed info. Looking forward to seeing where this leads.

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  2. This has “Dream Job” written all over it! Finished setting up on a photo portfolio online – look forward to yet another application coming your way soon! Cheers, Anika

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    • looking forward to receiving it!

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  3. Filled out the Application, thanks for this opportunity!

    Have a nice day

    Steve

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  4. will we hear from you even if we are unsuccessful? This is like my dream job so i’m forever checking my emails at the moment

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    • Haha. I’m going to try to give people a message regardless. There’s over 300 applications so far, so I’m going to do my best.

      Post a Reply
  5. Brendan, this is an amazing opportunity. Is it still possible to apply (till the 23rd)? Are you open for non-native english speaking applicants? thanks you so much! x, isabelle

    Post a Reply
    • Isabelle, it’s still open. I decided to close applications on the 25th. Non-English speakers are totally welcome to apply. I speak Spanish and French as well.

      Post a Reply

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