Assist on Shoots and Learn About Professional Commercial Photography
Update: Until further notice, there are no open internships, and we have not decided if or when the program will begin again. Please kindly wait to apply if and when the program is again offered. Thank you.
There is a both a "weekday" (Monday through Friday) and a "weekend" (Saturday and Sunday) internship / apprenticeship position available.
The weekday photography internship requires a twelve month commitment, and is a paid position. The current internship term has been unexpectadly extended, and there is now no set date for when the next internship will start, or when we will be considering applications for that position. You can watch this page for information about when it will open, and send in your application at that time. We regret that we don't have any more specific information for you. Please don't send in applications now.
The next weekend photography internship is projected to begin in January of 2011, and we will begin considering candidates in September of 2010. Please get in touch with us at that time.
There is only one opening for each of the internships. Please note that for various reasons these dates may unexpectedly change.
Please also consider taking one of the workshops we offer.
Please read this all the way through before contacting Mark.
On smaller shoots you will often be working directly with the photographer, and on larger shoots you will be part of a crew.
You may also be asked to help out around the studio with various office duties when necessary (this will never be more than one third of your time, and is generally less than that).
Your photography skills should be at least at an intermediate level, but even more essential is your ability to learn by observation, think for yourself, and problem solve. You are the kind of person who gets things done. You have at least enough hands on experience with professional lighting to be comfortable with the equipment, and ideally are at a more advanced level for the weekday position. For the weekday position, you also need to be capable of physical labor, such as loading a car full of heavy lighting equipment for location shoots.
You will be given as much responsibility as you can handle.
The schedule will usually be about 8-15 days per month for the regular internship (depending on what projects come in). You must have very high availability, as projects often come up on a last minute basis and working hours are very inconsistent. Think of it as a semester abroad in Los Angeles, California, without the cost of classes and with substantial compensation. Being Mark's apprentice is a very large commitment.
The weekend apprentice is generally about 3-5 days per month, and has a more limited scope (weekend jobs are usually smaller scale, and often involve Halper Fine Art). The weekend apprentice is also a woman, the reason being that many of the shoots are studio shoots of a single subject and it is important to have both a man and a woman present to make the subject feel as comfortable as possible.
It is not uncommon for the weekend intern to use their financial compensation to take a workshop from Mark.
Mark will be available to give you assignments,
critique your work, and provide general advice and guidance. Like most
things in life, you will get out of it in proportion to what you put
into it. You will be encouraged to shoot on your own as much as possible,
and apply what you have learned.
If you are interested in the photography internship, please email Mark directly. Include a phone number, and remember that your first impression will be your email. You must be able to meet with Mark in person to be considered. Please avoid sending attachments. Please include information about your experience in photography, and with professional lighting in your introductory email, and confirm that you have read through the schedule requirements.
MARK'S INTERNS / APPRENTICES HAVE TO SAY:
as an intern with Mark's program was one of the best decisions I have
made for myself. The fast pace atmosphere was stressful at times, but
it provided vast opportunity for growth and development. Before working
for Mark I had been working towards a major in photography from a four
year university. I learned more from Mark within a few months then I
did during four years of school. Mark is tough and demands the best
from everyone around him, but it was his manor of working and teaching
that allowed me the opportunity to gain an abundance of knowledge in
a small amount of time. I am very grateful for the opportunity I was
given to work with Mark. Without his influence and guidance I would
not be continuing my development in the field of photography.
is simply one of the best teachers and mentors
I have ever come across. His eye for light, detail, composition, his
technical and business savvy, client relations and marketing expertise
are second to none and I learned much of what has made me able to make
it as a pro shooter from him. He is kind, caring and considerate, and
has forever created a little voice in my head that I like to call “WWMD”
(What Would Mark Do) when I am shooting now on jobs of my own. Interning
with him was a little like training in the Marine Corp, kinda hard every
so often and some very early starts, but it was very rewarding. It set
me up very well for the tough business of professional photography!
an assistant to Mark is hard work. Like most everything else in life
you get out of it what you put into it. Don't even think about applying
unless you have a sense of humor, don't mind lifting heavy things, stay
cool under pressure, are generally prompt and really, really want to
learn what it takes to make it in the competitive field of commercial
photography. I have no regrets!
I first met Mark on a college field trip to Los Angeles, after our short Q&A I knew this man had a wealth of information and zeal. Mark is not only a great photographer, but a exceptional teach and a great mentor. My experience with Mark was priceless. Mark demands perfection in his work, that perfection is directly linked to his assistants. If you're not hard working, driven and passionate about photography and about this internship, then don't apply. Being someone's right-hand man takes a lot of patience and hard work. The skills, knowledge, and experience I took from Mark have shaped me as a photographer, and have given me a great jump.
with Mark is demanding but rewarding. You will learn the right way to
do things and be able to take those skills and apply them to all other
jobs in the future. It is definitely a worthwhile experience. Mark is
a great teacher, as long as you are willing to learn.
internship functions as a great next step from college - an extension
of your education and a real life photographic experience.
weekend internship with Mark has helped me immensely in my photography
career. He has an incredible eye and skill as a photographer and a great
business sense. He is also more than generous with his time and advice
regardless of what genre of photography you decide to pursue. Being
given the opportunity to assist for him has inspired me to take my photography
to the next level. I was able to acquire valuable experiences out of
this internship that I could never learn in any sort of classroom.
decided to work with Mark because he works independently. He showed
me that the day to day life of a "real" photographer was like.
Having an inside view from both a creative and business perspective
was incredibly valuable in shaping my decision to pursue photography
Working with Mark was like a growth spurt in my young career. Mark's
ability to problem solve lighting situations on location shoots really
inspired me. He taught me how to create possibilities even in the most
visually boring locations. Mark's standards are high and it shows in
his photography, crew, and business. He pushes himself and everyone
to be the best they can be. His tough love pushed me to be a faster
and better photo assistant. His influence also helped me become a stronger
photographer. I am very happy he took me under his wing.
internship is a big commitment. If you are willing to give up your personal
life on weekends and take your career to the next level, this is the
right internship for you. You definitely get out what you put in. So
work hard, ask questions, be open to learn, and remember to have fun!
I just want to thank you for the internship experience again. I've
been able to utilize a lot of what I learned from working with you and
been trying to apply it to my work. My teacher really likes the stuff
that I'm doing. But yeah, it's funny because I use to always over light
all my stuff. My setups would be kind of crazy, but working with you
I've learned how to keep my setups simple and still get a really great
shot. Not to mention working fast but diligent. So I just wanted to
say thank you for bestowing your knowledge onto me. (from an email dated
ready to work hard, be on time, and have fun. You'll get out of the
internship as much as you put in - and the possibility is endless. The
gain is greater than the sacrifice, yet the sacrifice is still significant.
internship with Mark put me on the right track in my career. Not only
did I get the proper training to work as a photographer's assistant,
but I also learned a lot about other aspects of the photography business.
pricing and client relations amongst other things were frequent topics
during the internship. I feel I emerged from the four months I spent
with Mark with a more focused vision of how I will reach my career goals.
Interning for Mark was a great experience. He loves to share his
knowledge and wants his interns to grow. Mark encouraged and inspired
me to start my own business. He has been there for me many times in
the years after as well.
Los Angeles, California
Photography Internships for Aspiring Photographers
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