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Lessons Learned in Communications

I am more than halfway through my Communications and Outreach internship at the Henry’s Fork Foundation. During this time, I have improved my skills in photography, videography, graphic design, and more. I would like to share the five biggest takeaways I have learned so far:

1. When working with Adobe products, don’t fear Google!

I don’t think a day has gone by in the past few weeks where I haven’t used Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, or Photoshop. While I know the software well enough to accomplish my vision most of the time, every once and awhile I have been at a loss of what buttons I need to push. Luckily, a quick Google search has led me to any answer I need. There is an abundance of resources on YouTube and various blogs, both made by Adobe and by other knowledgeable professionals, that are super helpful when tackling complicated designing and editing software!

I photographed this inquisitive cow while exploring sites from HFF’s South Fork Initiative and edited it with Adobe Lightroom.

2. You probably aren’t taking enough video!

Over the past week and a half, I have taken lots of video of different scenes across the Henry’s Fork. I feel very comfortable with photography and taking photos, and when beginning to shoot video I made the mistake of assuming videography has the same process! Videos are harder to get immediate feedback from while out in the field, as playing back a video to check the framing and light is much more time intensive than simply scrolling through a camera’s log of photos. A few times, I thought I had captured a perfect shot and realized it was shaky or out of focus when I played it back later. The solution to this? I had to take way more footage than I thought I needed! It usually takes more than one attempt to capture a moment the way you envision, so have lots of patience and don’t be afraid to roll the camera three or four times.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a smile!

One of my favorite things to do is go with staff and other interns to take photos of the fieldwork they are doing. HFF can use these images on social media to highlight important day-to-day work that builds into great science. When I go out, the photos I take range from wide-angle river shots, images of equipment, and candids of the field team in action! Some of my favorite images have come from portraits of my coworkers where they are focused on their task with a big grin on their face. The secret to this? Ask for a smile. This is a great way to turn a decent photo into an awesome photo, without disrupting the field work task at hand.

This photograph of Marlia was taken while doing water quality sampling!

4. Canva is life!

Whether I created posts destined for Instagram or posters to be hung around town, the online website Canva has been my go-to software for putting together these graphics. Canva is very user friendly, and even the free version of it has tons of templates and “clip-art” style design elements that make it easy to make a professional image.

5. Every idea is worthy of consideration!

I don’t think I would be a successful communications intern if I didn’t utilize my creativity! I have made a habit of writing down every idea I have related to communications or outreach events, no matter how far-fetched. Lots of times, one idea has led to a dozen others, some of which can actually be implemented!

I am certain that throughout the rest of my internship, I’ll continue to practice the communications skills that I am learning. It is hard to believe that I have less than a month left to spend in Idaho!

The beauty of the Henry’s Fork makes my job as a communications intern very fun and rewarding.

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