Internship in Holland
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
I love to share stories about an internship in Holland. It is and has been very important through times who you know and how you know them. Its apparent necessity in every business and photography is business also if you do it as a professional. Thing is when we start out photography we want to work with top of the world professionals - learn from them, pick their brains and imitate them to develop our own style. Still, there are many "WHY"-s. One BIG one is why should professional high-end photographer take his/her time to teach you and put in effort in your development? I think it is the biggest one - don't wanna seem snarky or cocky with that statement. The high-end photographer has a schedule full of work and also top-dollar paying clients - there is no place or time for guy or gal on set asking questions and slow down work at shooting day. Some of us are lucky and find a professional who needs an assistant or somebody on set to help out with.
HOW DO FIND A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?
Here is the catch - you find a professional photographer from your network - your classmates, collabs, courses, internships, clients, models. Yup, they are not world famous or high-end ... YET! It takes time and effort - if you develop your skills, challenge yourself and take new opportunities it carries your forward. Finding people with the same mindset in your field of work is easiest from your classes, courses and collabs. And that's why I wanna talk about internships in aboard. Please bear in mind I don´t wanna suggest at all that don´t try to work with big and famous photographers - you gotta try, but just in case....
Tallinn Polytechnic School is the school where I obtained my photography skills and degree. I consider myself very lucky that in our country education is free and we are a member of the European Union which opens so many doors education-wise. In order to gain access to final exams, we had to do about 500 hours internship in our specialty related business. Our school is related to many international student programs and of them is Erasmus+. Its an EU supported exchange program that sends students to aboard in Europe to gain experience, develop and build solid networks. All finances are taken care of by the program - accommodation, travel, insurance and food - what more you want? If you smart enough and manage your funds wisely, you can have a good allowance for yourself.
To our luck, I and my classmate Erki applied for Holland. It is a highly valued location and our school has the longest cooperation program with this country.
I think I can say that he is my friend and a valued photographer. He currently works for newsagency and provides the photos and some occasional videos. We chat from time to time and ask opinions of photos we have made. He has traveled and has adventures soul. When we were in Belgium we liked to go out at night on the streets and just roam around with our cameras until we got lost. When we got lost we didn't take our mobile phones and use GPS... no no, we had a paper map with us and tried to locate us on the map and find way back that way. I highly appreciate it and I think he was the best match from our class to take this internship in Holland. Please be kind and check out his work on his Instagram.
YOUNG MEDIA PROFS
ROC Rivor school has a graduate student program which helps newly finished student to build their portfolio and get good experience in this field of work. They take in talented graduates and help them to get a good start in business - copywriters, illustrators, animators, photographers and videographers. I think the concept is so brilliant and yet so simple - school finds clients, negotiate project price, takes care of contracts and students work out schedule, workload and assignments. They have many clients from Hollands top bank to countryside farmers and small local businesses. Every week they have a meeting with teachers and mentors to go through week goals, achievements and assignments. Mentors and teachers check their work quality and general outcome.
We (I and Erki) were there to assist and help with photography and videography. We started out as "behind the scenes" crew but demonstrating our skill in good light we were also included to projects themselves - doing B-roll and helping out with sound. Our services were used also for the school administrative section. For the school anniversary event, they brought in guest speaker Holland astronaut André Kuipers.
Young Media Profs was pretty much brainchild of one great teacher - Hilco Van De Kraats. What an amazing person and teacher he is. He is a man of passion and makes sure he gives his best in teaching others. He was nominated teacher of the year award and came out in Top 3. The winner had a chance to dine with the Dutch Royal Family.
We had a nice riverside roof apartment in a local city hotel. Every morning we took a ferry across the river and cycled to work. On weekends the ferry didn't work, so if we wanted to go to the city we had to cycle about 15 km. Weekends we usually filled with traveling around the country. Trains go almost anywhere from Utrecht, it's the central hub for train connections. I was most impressed with Rotterdam city, what astonishing architecture. We did the same thing there as we did in Belgium - getting lost in the city and get back in track with a paper map.
Young Media Profs family took us in very well. Some of the members of the team took us to local attractions from which my absolute favorites were Efteling amusement park and local pancake restaurant. That pancake restaurant was so busy that you had to book the table and one thing I love in this walk life is pancakes.
NETWORKING AND FRIENDS
Now we are getting the most important part of what I was rambling about before. I still interact with some of the members of Young Media Profs (teachers/mentors included) - we discuss music, what we have achieved in time, share our opinions of our work, etc. And I have one very close friend whom I have visited and hanged out with. And I can say in confidence that when I visit Holland I have a place to stay.
I think it's so important to find good people to surround you - people who can give advice, people who call you out on your bu**s*it, share their vision and help achieve yours and take you to the airport in 0340 in the morning to catch a plane to Australia. And to keep things in balance it should work vise versa also.
On paper, it added for me many needed internship hours, got an English OLS language test from B2 to C1 and an original group photo for my graduation portfolio. As a person, I met many good people and made a new friend or two. Jane if you are reading this - "Hi". Also, I saw this beautiful country and got to enjoy a pretty relaxed work culture.
Our international internship coordinator and project manager expressed concern that so many students are afraid to take this kind of chance. I kinda understand students' fears but same time I know that nothing impressive doesn't come from the comfort zone.