MINSKI collaboration, image courtesy of Fotonow

MINSKI collaboration, image courtesy of Fotonow

There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that your work is having a positive impact on those around you. The University of Plymouth offers a range of internships, including with some locally based social enterprises, that will allow you to boost your CV and benefit the community. 

Creative projects that make a difference

Fotonow, based in the Royal William Yard, is a diverse team of filmmakers, photographers, media practitioners and educators specialising in socially motivated creative projects. 
“There are two arms to the company, really,” says Dan Carter, Fotonow’s Marketing and Engagement Officer. “There's the commercial work, which is mainly film and photography. We do that as a service and the profits from that go back into the other arm of the company, which is our community focused side of things.” 
Dan Carter, Fotonow’s Marketing and Engagement Officer, Image courtesy of Josh Greet
Dan, Marketing and Engagement Officer (image courtesy of Josh Greet)

Empowering communities through creative practice

“On the community side, we create and deliver participatory media projects with different communities,” Dan explains. “Participatory creative media opportunities involve things like teaching photography, teaching filmmaking, going into community settings or schools, and giving participants an opportunity to use some fairly fancy digital media equipment, but then also talking about the craft and the how and why you would use something. Typically, what we're trying to do there is give them access to those tools, empower them in terms of being able to and learning how to use the equipment, and then also thinking about what they want to say, what their story is, and using that digital media to tell their story.” 
It's this encouraging and inspiring nature that makes Fotonow such a great and fulfilling place to complete your internship. 
“We like to look at what issues are affecting people in society and how we can try and help a little bit in our own way using creative media,” Dan says. “Because it's so easy to do – anybody can pick up a camera and with 5 minutes of instruction can be out taking photographs. So, it’s easy to get yourself started from a technical point of view, and then it’s a nice tool for people to express themselves.” 

We empower underrepresented communities, help them tell their stories. We're trying to educate people in a reflective and participatory way. We don't come in as experts, we come in as facilitators and friendly faces people that can help skill you up. We empower people to tell their stories.

The ability to tell your own story is important, and one that Fotonow strongly believes in.
Image courtesy of Fotonow

Image courtesy of Fotonow


Fotonow has a range of ongoing projects within the community. 
“Right now, we've got a women's+ photography group – that's a regular ongoing programme called Crescent, and that's run by Emma Booth, our community photographer,” Dan says. “They meet weekly and it's quite relaxed. There are different themes that they will work on for a given number of weeks, like identity portraiture etc. There'll be days where they’re discussing more theoretical things, there’ll be days where they’re shooting, days where they’re doing a visit somewhere, days where we collab with other organisations – so they've been to The Box and things like that. They've worked with MINSKI, a slow fashion designer down here, and done a photo shoot for MINSKI.” 


These projects help achieve Fotonow’s aim of spreading a love for creative media and discovering new ways to express yourself. 
“We've got a converted RV camper that acts as a camera obscurer, where you've got a lens and it can project an image from outside on the inside,” Dan continues. “We just try to entertain and create memorable experiences that stick with people and then shape them, leaving a genuine interest and passion for creative media.” 
Fotonow HQ - 3 women using a mac computer
Images courtesy of Fotonow
Fotonow obscura camper van

Rewarding and dynamic internships

As a welcoming and friendly organisation, Fotonow has seen interns from the University of Plymouth take part in a variety of roles, from helping to deliver quality media workshops and working on audio edits for video projects, all the way through to copywriting and podcasting.  
Because of the rewarding and dynamic nature of the work, all of our interns have gone to their internships with a sense of excitement. 
“It gives a bit of momentum to have people come in that are chomping at the bit to work and to have an impact and play a part,” Dan says. “They've not been afraid to ask questions and to take a little bit of ownership of the work that they're doing in, in whatever capacity. That’s been great because we're a very collaborative team in terms of how we work. Nobody really works solo.” 
Image courtesy of Fotonow

Image courtesy of Fotonow

Work experience that gives back to the community

And of course, part of what makes Fotonow such an exciting place to complete your internship is the enthusiasm and passion of the team for their work. 
“I really enjoy connecting with people and sharing something that I'm passionate about with them,” Dan says. “It makes me feel like I'm giving something back to Plymouth, like I'm giving something back to the community. It feels like a good use of time.” 
Fotonow is just one of the many partners that the University of Plymouth works with to provide quality and enjoyable internships to our students. Completing an internship with Fotonow can be personally rewarding and provide you with valuable work experience.
This article was written by Aimee Whittle, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing student as part of her internship with the School of Society and Culture.