Hi everyone! My name is Holly and I’m the owner of Coastal Roots Photography! I had the honor and privilege to be Costola’s 2019 spring intern and my experience was nothing short of amazing. In fact, I feel as though there isn’t one particular word that accurately sums up how I feel about my experience in general. The Costola Internship isn’t just a typical internship where you’d show up, work, learn a photography thing or two, then leave for the day; it’s much, much more than that.
On my first day, Andie and Tony, Vincent, and DaVinci welcomed me into their home with open arms (and paws) and instantly made me feel as though I’ve been a part of their family for years. Which for someone like me, who gets a little anxious around unfamiliar people and environments, was comforting beyond belief! My first official day as their intern was spent helping them coordinate their Wine & Workshop. Andie asked me to introduce myself on Costola’s Instagram Story and I almost had a heart attack because I am TERRIFIED of all forms of public speaking and this was certainly something I’d never done before. On my very first day Andie and Tony had me leaping outside of my comfort zone all day long and it. was. exhilarating. They gave me the confidence and the little push I needed to overcome some of my biggest fears.
In the weeks following, I’d arrive to the Costola Cottage every Thursday morning where Andie would bring me up to speed on the day’s agenda. She showed me the ins-and-outs of how to effectively prep for a wedding day, how she keeps her tasks and busy schedule on track, methods and tools to say organized, amongst many other things. Each task I was given was completely new to me so naturally I was nervous about messing something up or creating disasters that she’d have to clean up behind me, but I quickly learned that wouldn’t be the case. Andie was patient, kind, and took the time to make sure that I not only understood how to complete the task at hand, but also took the time to explain the WHY behind her methods, and how they benefit her business and her clients. This is something I really appreciated because I was learning things that I didn’t know I needed to learn that could ultimately help me grow within my own business! At the end of our work day, Andie and I would shift focus to teaching me something from my “Things I Want to Learn” list. She was an open book and thoroughly answered any and ALL questions that I had.
Andie helped me bring my own personal ideas, goals, and plans for my business to fruition. She helped me help myself so to speak. By this I mean that she challenged me, asked me questions, got the wheels in my brain turning, and really helped me dig deep into my own purpose, thoughts, ideas, and goals. I mean REALLY thinking about these things. At one point she asked me what my 2 and 5 year plan/goals were which was something I hadn’t REALLY thought about before, nor had I ever been asked. My eyes were opened y’all.
Aside from the in-office learning, Andie and Tony provided many learning opportunities outside of the office. I was able to shadow them at all the weddings and portrait sessions that I wanted which was extremely helpful for me. I got to see first hand how Andie and Tony tag team their wedding day and how they interact with and guide their clients. They let me ask as many questions as I wanted and would stop to answer them and elaborate on why this is done this way instead of that way. Again, the WHY. It’s so important, people!
One of the (many) things I really admire about the two of them is the manner in which they serve their clients. They have the ability to make complete strangers feel comfortable, at ease, and like family, which makes their wedding or portrait session so much fun for both them and their clients. Their willingness to go above and beyond to make sure their clients know and feel that they are valued is truly incredible. Their clients aren’t just investing in beautiful portraits; they’re also investing in an incredible, one of a kind experience from start to finish with two of the most authentic, kind-hearted, and talented people I’ve ever met. This is what I want for my business and for my clients. Andie, Tony, and this internship opportunity have put me on the path to achieve this.
Life After My Costola Internship
I could go on and on about every last highlight from my internship experience but then I’d be writing a book at that point LOL! In the few short months after my internship ended I’ve seen quite a few positive changes within myself as both a professional and as a person, and my business. My motivation is at a record high, I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone more times than I can count, I’m more confident in myself and my work, I’ve restructured the way I do things to better serve my clients, and it’s making a big difference.
Although my internship ended a couple months ago, Andie and Tony’s continued support, advice, and friendship have not. I could cry just thinking about how blessed I am to have had this opportunity but even more so, for the people who gave it to me. From this experience I’ve gained an immense amount of knowledge and as an added bonus, a friendship that I cherish with every ounce of my being. There’s absolutely no way possible to put into words how thankful and appreciative I am for A&T and all that they’ve taught me, and because of them and this experience I am undoubtedly a better person.