Tips from a Photo Intern – by Christian K. Lee

Christian K LeeBorn in Chicago, IL, Christian K. Lee is currently interning at The Washington Post. Prior to that he interned with The Associated Press and The Belleville News Democrat. He also attended the Mountain Photo Workshop, the 3rd annual New York Times Portfolio Review, and in the Fall he will be attending The Missouri Photo Workshop in Cuba, Missouri. Follow Christian on Instagram.
Antonio Brown, 24, watches over children as they ride their bikes and hang out at the "Beat the Streets" community event Wednesday, June 29, 2016. The event is part of  DC's summer crime initiative to promote non-violence in communities. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

This summer I have done a couple things that I believe have really helped me during my internship at The Washington Post and I wanted to share some of them:

Go early, Stay Late
There’s an old saying that goes: “If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re early, you’re on time.” This has been extremely true for the assignments I have documented this summer. For some of these assignments the most important images were made before the event even started or after it ended. So I really try my hardest to show up early and stay late.

Members of the Breathing Fire Poetry Slam team of Rochester, New York is seen in a silhouetted portrait as they each recite one of their original pieces Thursday, July 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. The poets are part of a weeklong poetry slam festival. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

The remains of Tuskegee Airman and three-time Olympic medalist Malvin Preston Whitfield are carried outside of the National Cathedral on Wednesday, June 8 2016 in Washington DC. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Activist Phillip Parnell, 65, is seen in a portrait surrounded by many of the panels he has created in efforts to highlight the city's failure to solve homicides east of the Anacostia River, an area of the city that is predominantly African American Wednesday, June 22, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Take the Initiative
Many of the images that I made this summer came about because I did things that were outside of my comfort level. Asking for access into places that would be off limits if I were not a photographer. For example, I made an image this summer where I had to go outside of my comfort zone. I can’t swim and I don’t like deep water, however I made one of my favorite images of the summer by way of boat that involved deep water. The assignment was to photograph a blind competitive row boater as he trained. Was I scared the entire time? Yes, but I have been in far worse positions.

Ibrahim Onafeko and his training partner rushes through the water while training Monday June 27, 2016 in Washington D.C. on the Anacostia River.  Onafeko, is a blind competitive row boater who hopes to represent Nigeria in the Paralympics. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Photojournalism Is Not a Job, a Photojournalist Is Who I Am
One of my goals this summer was never to stay idle. I always want to be working on something. Even if I don’t have an assignment at the time I would seek one. Sometimes I photograph events and features on my days off, because like most of us photography is not only our job, it’s our hobby as well. So what I do is send images in even when it’s not for an assignment. I made another of my favorite images just wandering the city meeting new people and I stumbled upon an older gentleman and a younger kid playing basketball. I was able to make a nice frame out of that.

A couple of tourists takes a ride in the Tidal Basin in a Swan Boat Wednesday, July 6, 2016 in Washington D.C. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Protestors rally towards The White House on Sunday, July 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. The demonstration was held in response to the officer involved shooting deaths' of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Try Something Different
Fortunately for me the editors here really welcome creativity, no matter how different or weird it is. I found that as long as I make the image pretty and it told the story, they were happy. I like this because it really has allowed me to try new things and shoot from new angles that I wouldn’t have dared to try in the past.

The reflection of DC native John Taylor, 52, left, and a neighborhood youngster is seen during a one-on-one basketball game at a Parkview neighborhood basketball court Tuesday, July 5, 206 in Washington D.C.  (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Arykah Bradford, 33, speaks to protestors as they joins hands during a demonstration in front of the White House on Friday, July 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. The demonstration was held in response to the officer involved shooting deaths' of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

Maintenance man Jorge Blanco, is seen in a portrait at his training facility Friday, June 24, 2016 in Chevy Chase, MD. Blanco won the "Maintenance Mania" national championship this year, where contestants compete for the fastest time in scenarios that replicate what they would encounter as a maintenance man. Surrounding him are some of the props he would be expected to fix during the competition. (Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post)

Photo by Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post

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