Intern Spotlight: Kelsey Welke

Kelsey Welke

Kelsey Welke, Senior (December 2013)
Major: International Journalism
Minor: Public Relations
Internship: Assistant Photographer/Personal Assistant with Andrejka Photography

How did you find out about this internship? What interested you in the opportunity?

I found out about this internship through a friend of mine who works on Mackinac Island during the summer season. He mentioned to me that Andrejka was looking for an intern to help her out and I contacted her. I’ve been interested in photography for a few years now, so having a photography internship seemed too good to be true! I was going to be waitressing on Mackinac Island during the summer, but I knew I could handle a job and an internship. Andrejka and I met up for lunch a couple of days after I got settled on the island. We instantly clicked and I started working soon after.

Describe your internship experience.

I helped Andrejka take photos of weddings on the island. I shot about 6 weddings with her during the summer. These weddings would be 6-10 hours long and were usually on Saturdays. These would be really long days, because there are so many individual, important events during a wedding, such as the first look, group photos, the ceremony, the reception, the first dance, cake cutting, and more. Between her and I, there would be thousands of photos from a single wedding! I helped Andrejka download the images, sort them, make albums online, and prepare the cameras for our next photo shoot.

In a way, I was also her personal assistant. I would run errands for her and help her plan out her weekly schedule. I had so much fun shooting weddings with Andrejka! It gave me so much experience if I ever want to become a wedding photographer someday.

The one thing that I loved most about this internship was working the SnapThis! Photo Booth that Andrejka owned. We set this up at weddings and I was the photo booth attendant. The picture above is me working my first photo booth event. Everyone loved the photo booth – it was always a big hit! Some of the props included top hats, funky sunglasses, feather boas, chalkboards and red clown noses.

What did you learn during your internship experience? How did this opportunity relate to your career goals?

I have been interested in photography ever since I graduated high school and I’ve been taking photos of my friends, couples, and of nature since then. This internship was an absolutely amazing opportunity and I learned more than I ever thought I could! Andrejka was a great teacher and was very patient with me when I wasn’t sure what to do or how to capture an image.

One thing that I learned from this internship is that owning a photography business is a lot harder than it looks, especially if you are as successful and busy as Andrejka is. There is so much involved with being a professional photographer. You can’t just take photos, edit them and burn them to a CD for the happy couple in less than a week. You need to prep the cameras and batteries, make sure you have all of your lenses, write out an agenda for the day, meet the bride and groom a couple of days prior to the wedding to go over everything, and then get ready to take photos all day! After the weddings, Andrejka had a special editing program that we worked with. We sorted out all the good photos, mailed them to a professional photo-editing company who then edited her photos, and then we would put those photos on a CD to mail to the couple, as well as on a slideshow and on an online gallery. Sometimes Andrejka would make a nice hardcover book with the best photos of the wedding, much like SnapFish books, except her wedding books would be much thicker. It was definitely a lot of work, but we could tell that the bride and groom and their families really appreciated the work.

What advice would you give other students about internships?

My internship was paid, but one piece of advice I would give to students would be to not shy away from unpaid internships. I think the experience you’ll get from an internship is worth way more than any amount of money.

What did Kelsey’s supervisor have to say?

Kelsey demonstrated a variety of strengths over the period of her internship. She showed strong computer and organizational skills as well as [an] ability to relate to a variety of people. She is also a strong artist with a beautiful eye. There are two aspects that impressed me most with Kelsey: her ability to take initiative and her ability to relate to people.

Kelsey was an incredible intern. I was proud to have her represent my company.

Congratulations Kelsey on being selected as UW-Whitewater Intern of the Month for February 2013!

Are you having or have you had an outstanding internship experience like Kelsey? Tell employers, faculty, and, of course, fellow UW-Whitewater students what makes/made your internship experience so great! Be featured in the Intern Spotlight! To learn more, visit the UWW Intern of the Month Program page.

Be sure to check out past featured students’ stories as well!