Kai-Photo Hawaii Internship Program

Our internship program will provide you with all of the experience needed to photograph weddings, photo sessions, and events to put you in the top 10% of the industry.  That means that if you look at 10 random photographers, you'll be equal to or better than 9 of them.  

You'll learn basic and advanced camera techniques, posing, lighting, be able to network with other top wedding professionals, and represent one of Hawaii's top wedding photography companies. At the end of the internship, you will be able to freelance with us starting at $50 per hour. Weddings are usually within Honolulu and photo sessions are usually in East Oahu.  If you reside in or near East Oahu, that is a plus since it will be easier to meet up.

FACT: Hawaii is second in the nation for the number of weddings per year (after Las Vegas).  As a photographer living in Hawaii, weddings are simply the best market to be in.

Who is this for?  Our internship program is best suited for college students or recent graduates who have a passion for photography but do not want to be burdened with running a business. 

What is the cost?  The program is free to qualified individuals.  It will involve a serious commitment of time and effort from both parties.  We do ask for a non-compete agreement to protect industry trade secrets. See below.


Here's what you can expect:

Internships are unpaid and normally last between 1- 12 months depending on your availability and progress.  I can almost guarantee that this will be the best investment/education you'll make for yourself as a photographer.   You'll be invited to tag along for weddings and photo sessions to shoot along with the main photographer(s).  Each photographer on our team has personally photographed more than 1,000 weddings. This will provide first-hand experience with lighting, composition, exposure, location scouting, posing, etc.   You are welcome to keep the images for your personal portfolio/education however they should NOT be put online or made publicly viewable (including printing) since we typically do not distribute your images to the client. We will regularly critique your images and performance to help you improve. 


We require the following:

GE license - this is available from the state of Hawaii and allows you to do business as an individual (get paid).

Liability insurance - You'll need your own liability insurance if you don't already have it.  This is a good thing to have even if you are not working with us.  We are insured by Business Insurance Hawaii which covers all of the company's equipment.  But when I was self-employed I used state farm and it was between $50-100 per year. 

Equipment -  It is ideal to have the equipment you need from the beginning so you can learn how to work with them in different situations.  Freelance photographers must have a minimum of 2 full-frame camera bodies,  5 lenses with a fixed aperture (2.8 or larger recommended), and 2 flashes.  We also recommend insuring your equipment in case of loss or damage, but it is not required. 

Non-compete agreement - After a 1 month trial period, you'll be asked to sign a non-compete agreement if you would like to continue with the internship. The non-compete agreement prohibits you from advertising "wedding" or "couples" photography" or freelancing with other companies outside of Kai-Photo Hawaii for 30 months after working with us.  You are welcome to advertise other types of photography outside of weddings & couples within the 30 months. Why do we have this?  There is no monetary cost for this experience, however, we are looking for dedicated individuals who are passionate about photography and not just looking for free training. 


So, is this for you?

Let me end with this.  I've done almost every type of photography there is, from landscape, sports, product, fashion, journalism, architecture, etc.  In my opinion, weddings are by far the most difficult, most interesting, and most rewarding type of photography because it involves every other genre of photography out there.  You need to see and compose as a landscape photographer to do outdoor portrait sessions, a sports photographer for action shots like a bouquet toss or flower shower, product photographer for the bride's details of the rings, dress, flowers, jewelry, etc., a fashion photographer to pose the couple and wedding party, a journalism photographer to capture candid moments of the day, and an architecture photographer for indoor locations like churches and hotels, etc.   In order to do weddings well, you need to be proficient in all other areas of photography.  Turning this around, if you can do weddings within the top 10% of the industry, you can do everything else outside of weddings too.

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Let's connect.