Interns have been a part of my business from the very beginning. Mentors were instrumental in my education and I will be forever grateful to those who took the time to share their knowledge with me. That is why I feel so strongly about being a mentor myself. Two of my past senior portrait clients, Katie and Kara, have become interns and then became photographers themselves. I have been able to work with each of them professionally since then and I am so proud of them. I had the opportunity this past year to mentor interns from Big Picture High School and from Animas High School. My intern, Jen, from Big Picture, spent time with me last fall and Tara, my Animas intern, spent time with me this spring. I learn so much from my experiences mentoring that I sometimes feel like I am the intern. I so appreciate these opportunities to learn and grow as a person, as a teacher, as a business owner, and as a photographer. You have to really know a lot about something to be able to teach it well; so I’ve discovered strengths in my photography skills through mentoring. The reason for this seemingly random blog post is my intern from Big Picture, Jen. She stopped by the studio yesterday afternoon, to drop off a mentor appreciation gift. She gave me a handwritten note, a coffee mug (and I do love coffee), a flashlight, and a framed certificate. It was so nice to see her and I really appreciated her taking the time to hand deliver these items. While Jen is not planning on becoming a photographer, she does want to own her own business, and I hope that her time with me – even just a little bit - helps her achieve her dreams. Tara, on the other hand, does want to become a photographer, and she will be continuing to intern with me over the summer. I have 2 other interns from Durango High School, Tori and Jessica, who will be working with me this summer and coming fall. I am so excited to see what we can do together.