Cactus TV Cozumel , Mexico
how it all began
I can barely enumerate everything that I’ve lived to see because it has happened just so much.
As Tati’s and Chris’ first student I didn’t know what to expect from the internship abroad in photography and México as a completely foreign country for me.
I could understand a bit of Spanish, ok. Photography has been a big passion for several years but actually I didn’t know anything about functions, settings, composition rules, and who knows what else!
And I definitely wanted to travel after school to get some international experience.
Thanks to two dear friends, I meet Tati and Chris once In Germany at the beginning of the year, and it didn’t take long until it was all set: I would go to México for at least half a year.
Until then I’ve never imagined being able to combine one of my favourite activities with my biggest wish which was traveling. It seemed like a dream, too good to be true…
…but not once I’ve been disappointed. Since I had more than a fragmentary knowledge of photography, film, and web design, I learned new tricks, techniques and rules every day and I still do.
Tati is an excellent teacher, demanding but patient, accurate in all her work but never lets fun come up short.
Eventually, it depended on me how much I wanted to study and work because you learn the most if you’re proactive and self-contained.
And I wanted to learn as much as possible.
As a photographer, camerawoman and designer, Tati does a lot of real estate and wedding, portrait and wildlife photography, and furthermore gives photography classes with her Photo Tour or private lessons.
Since I told her I liked to write and work as a journalist at times, she got the idea to let me write interesting photo stories. In this way, I went for example three weeks with the Sea Turtle Salvation Program detecting turtle nests at night, watching the turtles and releasing the babies, which was one of the most awesome experiences of my life.
When I don’t accompany Tati on her work, she gives me challenging exercises – one of my favourite one was, “take a creative picture of that vodka-cranberry bottle!”
And with every task I feel more comfortable with my camera, more confident with taking photos and am more satisfied with the results I get.
(Actually this is only partly true because now that I know how it should look like in terms of composition, colours etc, I got really fastidious with the pictures I take!)
What I love the most about the internship is first of all the “learning-by-doing” effect of the jobs and those tasks.
Tati always checks the results afterwards, thus making sure I get the right idea. Secondly, it is just incredible what photography opportunities the island offers: taking photos of a jaguar, the wildlife in freshwater lagoons, fire shows, a motocross race, just to name a few – the island itself just makes this internship incredibly stunning and memorable.
Living in Cozumel
Cozumel is the home for more than 80,000 inhabitants and thousands of animals. When I am asked, “don’t you get bored on this tiny island?”, the only possible answer is no. It is what you make out of your life in Cozumel so that you not get bored or even feel restrained.
Of course life is different in México. At first, my equipment was covered with moisture, I got bitten by what felt like millions of mosquitoes, the Mexican mentality is different and the spoken language seemed quite difficult in the beginning even though I studied Spanish for two years in school. But still, I felt at home immediately. You get used to the temperature and humidity pretty fast, I’ve never been delicate with foreign food (which is awesome!), and the people from Cozumel have always been open-minded, helpful and friendly to me. I found a lot of new dear friends, from Cozumel and other countries, and just never dared to be shy about practicing my Spanish on the street. Swimming with the whale sharks, diving trips, my first Olympic Triathlon and many more are also experiences I’ll never forget and make life adventurous and astonishing.
I cannot say that this internship is perfect for a specific age group or a certain kind of character.
I’ve just been so fortunate to exactly fit into this life, I enjoy every moment of it and would recommend it to everyone.
So, if you are interested in photography and other cultures, you already have the best qualification to do this internship with success and a lot of fun.
For my part, it has already become an experience which has changed me, my point of view regarding cultural, political and environmental issues, and which I would never want to have missed.