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How to Prepare for Your First Intern

As I’m getting ready for my next internship opening announcement, I thought I’d share some tips about finding an intern and making the most of having them learn while working in your business. This is the first of two posts. (The following image is from an intern.)

How to Prepare for Your Intern:

  1. Review the United States Department of Labor Guidelines on Internships to make sure that you are creating an experience that qualifies.
  2. Identify three of your closest photography schools and/or high schools that offer photography classes. Contact the teachers or intern coordinators to learn about their student internship requirements and expectations.
  3. Decide exactly what the intern will be learning during their internship and what tasks will help them learn while they work with you.
  4. Outline the basic qualifications they need in order to work at a level that doesn’t require extensive remediation.
  5. Create an office procedure manual of any tasks that you prefer to have done a specific way, such as how you name & organize digital files, how to print a custom disk, what settings to use for blog images versus portfolio images, etc. This manual is something an intern might contribute to as well in order to create a more complete reference document.
  6. Set up an intern workstation that will be comfortable and allow you to easily and quickly help them if they are sharing a physical space with you.
  7. Create your announcement that itemizes:
    What will be learned during the internship
    – What qualifications are needed to apply
    – What days/hours will be required each week
    – Start and end dates of the internship
    – Deadline to receive applications
    – Link to your website and work
    – Contact information
  8. Send your announcement to the coordinators at nearby schools and post to your blog or newsletter.
  9. Based on the applications received, select your top three candidates and schedule in-person interviews.
  10. Once you’ve decided on your intern, let everyone who applied know that their application was appreciated but another candidate was selected.

If you’d like to read some of the thoughts and reflections from my interns, as well as my announcements for internships, head over to my blog.


About the Author
photographer anne ruthmann

Anne Ruthmann is a philanthropist and visionary, who makes a living as an international award-winning wedding & lifestyle photographer. She geeks out about business strategy and finding ways for artists to make a living doing what they love, which is why she feels strongly about developing community and sharing information on PhotoLovecat. She also recently started offering the Smarter Business Workshop in order to provide hands-on help to photographers in several different cities around the US. When she isn’t working or helping others, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband and trying foods she can’t pronounce.

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!