by PR Interns

Friday, April 21st, 2017


PR Photography Intern

by Lewis McDonald

DOOR to door sales is where I’ve spent most of my time since leaving school. Traipsing around housing developments around Scotland selling kitchens and windows to people who would much rather be getting on with their daytime TV habits. However, photography and video is where my heart has always been and I’ve never had much of an opportunity to pursue this as a career, until now.

I arrived at Holyrood PR not really knowing what to expect, I was presented with a last minute opportunity to join the team for a short period so I didn’t have much time to even think about what I should expect.

YouTube Learning

My learning started from the very point I walked through the door. I had been given advice by Craig to watch a number of tutorial videos and take some practice shots before coming in. I had barely stepped past the threshold and Craig and I were discussing the videos and what I’d learnt from them. Turns out that YouTube can indeed teach you almost anything, even photography.

On the way in, I wondered what I’d be doing. I imagined I’d be doing a lot of shadowing, maybe some admin work and a lot of listening. This wasn’t the case. Things started as they went on. Craig told me that now I’d watched those tutorial videos, it was time to work on my first solo shoot. Daunting wasn’t the word.

Shot lists, Leith and pounding the pavements

I’m a hobbyist when it comes to photography and video and I have taken a whole lot of photos and video shots since I got my first camera. However, I’d never approached it from a professional angle. Craig taught me about planning for success by building a shot-list. This is essentially a list of all the shots you believe you may need to meet the specifications of a job. After trawling my location, Leith, for a bit on Google Maps I managed to build a list of shots to capture and was sent packing, camera and tripod in hand into the streets of Leith to start putting my YouTube lessons to work.  Pounding the pavements with a purpose, this time it wasn’t selling kitchens.

All in all, it was quite a successful shoot that involved walking almost ten miles around Leith. From Leith Walk to the Royal Yacht Britannia, I got about. After I’d captured these, it was time to turn them into something worthwhile. On the second day of my internship, I was editing video for the first time ever. Feet first, that seems to be Craig’s style.  This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing however. It allowed me to put learning into action and there was a real sense of achievement when I seen my research, turned shot list, turned video turn into an actual finished product.

Glamorous Glasgow Video Shoots

Photo of Craig at Science Centre taken by PR Photography Intern

It wasn’t all Leith and YouTube however. On day 3 I was whisked away to the Glasgow Science Centre to take part in my first client shoot with Craig. This was an experience I’m extremely grateful for. From taking photos, learning how to set up a video interview and learning how to hold a mic out of shot, it was all beneficial.

After my first career of wearing out the soles of my shoes in an effort to sell kitchen worktops from Galashiels to Glasgow it took me a while to get used to working in an office environment for the first time. Once I had settled in though, it was a great experience. I managed to pick up all sorts of insights from the team at Holyrood whether it be what a client expects of a photoshoot or how to ease someone’s nerves when taking a photo.

Towards the end of my week, once I was a little more confident, it almost felt normal, just coming in getting my work done and pulling together, with Craig, to create some nice productions.

I’m gutted my internship is coming to an end, but now it’s time to use the skills I’ve gained and the experiences to use and to get myself out there.

Grab the opportunity when it presents itself

Photography and video is definitely something I am going to 100% keep pursuing, this week has been a massive eye opener for me. It turns out that yes, you can actually turn a hobby into a career.

If you’re thinking of working for a PR agency, take advantage of the excellent opportunities that Holyrood provide. It’s been one of the most career shaping experiences of my life, not an exaggeration.  From the small things such as how to approach someone in regards to taking a photo to the more complicated stuff like lighting and sound, everything I’ve worked on has helped me develop – and that’s in a week.

So, what’s the lesson here? If you are given an opportunity, no matter how short notice, drop what you’re doing and grab it with both hands. If the opportunity is there, TAKE IT.

Looking to grab opportunity with both hands? Apply for more information on our internship scheme today.

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PR Interns

Scottish public relations agency Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland, runs a rolling programme of placements for PR interns, working alongside our team of PR experts. Many of the most successful PR interns go on to land full time PR jobs with our award-winning Scottish public relations agency.

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