Build a great portfolio while contributing to important grassroots causes in Cape Town
Join the award winning photography internship program in Cape Town, South Africa! It’s a great opportunity to improve your skills through tutoring by a professional photographer, to build a diverse portfolio, and to contribute to nonprofit work through your photography.
You’ll start your photography internship by joining a week-long workshop by humanitarian photographer Anna Lusty. During this workshop, Anna will teach you the best and most effective ways of documenting the work of nonprofit projects through your lens, and she’ll introduce you to cultural nuances that are important to take into account. The workshop is partly theory and partly practical, as you’ll be visiting and photographing some social development projects.
After this initial week, you’ll be placed with one or more nonprofit(s), and you’ll be documenting their work with your camera. Depending on your skills and interests, the projects can be focused on environmental, social development, human rights, or animal welfare. You’ll learn about the organisation’s mission and projects, and create a portfolio of images that the nonprofit can use for communication and fundraising purposes. It’s a great way to gain practical photography experience and help raise awareness of important development programs. You’ll have the option of getting continued tutoring by Anna, if you’d like mentorship throughout your internship.
During this photography internship, you’ll be working with one – or several – nonprofit(s) based in Cape Town, South Africa. Your exact projects depend on when you join, the needs of our partner organisations, and your personal passion and interests. Either way, you’ll be working with nonprofit initiatives that are doing incredibly important work in Africa in areas such as human rights, gender equality, animal welfare, climate change, health, and education. Throughout your internship you will have the opportunity to better these causes through your photography. Given the intimate size of our organizations, you will be able to see evident change to the communities you will be helping.
TASKS & REQUIreMENTS
Your photography internship will start with a five-day workshop by professional photographer Anna Lusty. Anna will help you improve your technical photography and post production skills, and introduce you to nonprofit photography. She’ll give you a solid understanding of the nonprofit sector in Cape Town, the way photography can contribute, and how to approach it in the most effective and culturally sensitive way.
After the workshop, when you’re placed with individual NGOs, you’ll be guided by designated supervisors at the charities you’ll be photographing, and if you opt for it, by Anna on a continuous basis. That will allow you to learn further, reflect on your experiences, and asses your work. Please note there is an additional fee involved in this – please enquire to find out more.
As a photography intern on this program, your exact work will be customised to your skills and interests, and to the needs of the nonprofits you’ll be joining. Your tasks can include the following;
- Photograph nonprofit projects on the ground, with the aim of equipping these organisations with strong visual material that will help them raise awareness for their work
- Assist the nonprofits with using your – and other – images in an effective way through digital communications channels
- Assist with setting up exhibitions or online campaigns to highlight photography of important causes
- Depending on your interests, you might also get involved in other areas, such as fundraising, website management, communications, or impact assessment
- You need to be an intermediate / advanced photographer. (You don’t have to be a seasoned pro, but you do need to have a decent camera, good technical skills, and some experience.) We will adapt your projects to your photography level.
- An ability to work fairly independently.
- A passion for using photography as a tool for positive change.
- You’ll need to bring your own laptop with editing software.
- You’ll need to bring your own DSLR or mirror-less camera. Nice to have: range of lenses (but not a must).
WHERE YOU’LL STAY
You’ll be staying at The Lenox, a comfortable guesthouse in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, The Lenox is characterful and historic. It has multiple balconies, a large dining room, and many other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms include 2 twin beds, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from many shops, cafes, restaurants, and some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well.
Safety & Support
Be sure to prioritize hydration in the summer to avoid heatstroke. South Africa does have high crime rates, so it’s important to be aware and use common sense to stay safe. Some safety guidelines are to always walk in groups, take a taxi/Uber in the evenings, know safe/dangerous areas, secure your belongings, don’t walk around with large sums of cash (you can pay everything with a card), minimize wearing flashy accessories, and be cautious of overly friendly strangers.
The accommodation offers free Wi-Fi to keep family and friends up to date via WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. Cafes/restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi. You can also consider getting a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked, or setting your phone’s status to roaming, depending on your provider’s rates.
A simple breakfast, lunch and a delicious cooked dinner (vegetarian & vegan options available) from Monday to Friday are included in your fee. Indulge in local dishes, like bobotie and South African Braai! For desserts, don’t miss out on milk tarts and malva pudding. There is a diverse food scene in Cape Town, so no matter your cuisine preference or dietary restrictions you’ll have plenty of options. Let us know in advance if you have any allergies/dietary needs.
Discover Cape Town’s attractions: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, city tours, historical sites, and the Cape Point Peninsula. There are also opportunities to surf, kayak, paraglide, cage dive with sharks, and more! Cape Town has a mediterranean climate with cool winters and hot summers so be sure to check what the temperature will be like during your stay.
DATES & RATES
You can join us for 3 to 8 weeks starting on May 14, July 17th, or October 16th. Alternative start dates are possible pending availability of the photographer to facilitate the workshop. Additional fees apply.
What you’ll pay (2023 rates)
3 WEEKS USD 2,600
4 WEEKS USD 2,900
5 WEEKS USD 3,200
6 WEEKS USD 3,500
7 WEEKS USD 3,900
8 WEEKS USD 4,100
NB. If you are interested in combining Cape Town with f.e. Livingstone (Zambia) or Nkhata Bay (Malawi), please contact us to discuss options and fees.
- Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
- Accommodation based on a dorm room (4-8 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices
- Two meals (breakfast and dinner) a day from Monday to Friday
- Workshop by Anna Lusty including transport to the projects that week
- Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
- On the ground support during your stay
- Free WiFi
- Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
- Supervision during your internship by the host organization
- Optional: one or more check-ins with the humanitarian photographer during your internship (USD 85 per session).
- Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
- Your own account on a career development platform that offers content and courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
- Reference letter at the end of your internship
- A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns
- Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
- Lunch, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
- Meals during the weekend
- Transport to the project(s) after the workshop week
- Costs for additional excursions or activities
Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in South Africa.
During your internship in South Africa you can expect to meet people from around the world, as well as indulging yourself into the culture of this beautiful country! If you want to know more about what to expect, make sure to check out our top 7 reasons for an internship in Cape Town.
Yes! We partner with various activity organizers that can offer discounts exclusive to Roots Interns, for example, a road trip through the Garden Route and bungee jumping off the world’s largest natural bungee. You may also explore the country on your own and we are happy to give recommendations.
Yes! You are able to do a part-time internship with certain organizations so that you can continue your studies, while also gaining valuable work experience.
Unfortunately, no. When working with a nonprofit organization, your internship will be unpaid, but there are many ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth that are invaluable!
- Get practical experience in nonprofit photography
- Contribute to a social enterprise organizing photo tours but also using photography as a tool to support important conservation and community projects in developing countries
- Gain insight in the daily operations of a nonprofit programme
- Possibility to also get involved in communications, fundraising, and project management
- Live and work in Cape Town, arguably one of the most stunning cities in the world.
- Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off
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