When Joe and the gang asked me to write about my experience as the “intern” for the blog, I was pretty damn close to having a panic attack. Exactly how do I sum up one of the best experiences of my life in a few paragraphs.. especially for all of his followers to see? Pretty nerve racking, huh? After countless failed attempts to start my post, all of which sounded like I was about to give a speech at a high-school graduation, I decided to revert back to why I do what I do.. why I became a photographer in the first place.
This feeling of loving what you do is displayed from each and every person that takes a step through Joe’s door each day. I can honestly say that I have never met a group of individuals who care about their “job” as much as those with whom I work beside. We all bring everything we have to the table to make what we love possible.. beautiful imagery with meaning.
I must say; however, that they did have their fair share of “fun” with me. For those of you who desire that internship opportunity with Joe.. you better have a strong head. If I wasn’t such a tough and manly dude, I would have shed a few tears throughout my stay (thankfully I am, though). From spending some time in a heavy-duty plastic bin, to being a carrier mule for gear, it was almost like going through a boot-camp of photography. They tried to break me, but I think I’ve managed to come out in one piece
In all seriousness, words could not possibly describe my experience with Joe and his crew. How many interns can say that they spent their very first assisting job on Jay Maisel’s rooftop photographing a ballerina? Or had the chance to spend an entire month helping with lighting workshops? Or got to personally know the photographer who made them love what they do in the first place? I am proud to be one of those rare individuals that can say that they fall into that category. The relationship that I am walking away from this whole experience with is something that is more valuable to me than anything on this earth (aside from my family.. and my friends.. and my dogs.. and.. just kidding Joe).
All in all, it has been an honor and a privilege to work beside such a great group of people for the summer. It was tough saying goodbye to the big guy and his assistants, but more opportunities opened up to me through my time spent at the studio. Aside from the intern hazing rituals, they treated me like family, and that’s what made the whole experience for me–a boss and coworkers who you can call family. How I managed to find someone like Joe, who is always willing to put you before himself, is beyond me, and that is a quality I will carry with me until I die.
I know this is blog post about my experience as a summer intern for Joe McNally, but it is also a huge thank you to him and his team for giving me an education and an experience that I could not have received otherwise, and for that, I am grateful. I wish him the best in everything that he does, and I look forward to the day that we work along side each other again.
I am now off to continue working as an assistant in Newport, RI, as well as pursue my passion as a wedding photographer. Thanks to Joe, I will be ready for anything that happens to come way. Although my wedding site is currently being redesigned, you can check out my personal work in the mean time (www.mcaliphoto.com).
Way to go Cali…..nice job, even when we put you in that box in the garage…more tk….