Tess Kongkeattikul – Class of 2015

What is your job title and what are your job duties?
My title is Studio Photographer. My duties at ItemMaster are to photograph products for marketing and planograms. The marketing images are used for companies, such as Giant, to use on their website and advertisements. The planogram images are used for floor sets and digital storefronts. Each day I have a set number of products I’m expected to shoot and submit.

What are some of the things you like best about this job?
I love working with the products. I’ve photographed everything from a pack of tic-tacs to an air conditioner. There’s always something new and exciting. It’s so neat seeing products that have yet to be in stores. We get a sneak peek as to what is yet to come, and it’s so amazing. My team is also wonderful. Even though we each have our individual work, we have a great network that is there to support us every step of the way. It’s like a big family.

How did your education at AMP prepare you for this job?
It’s funny because we talked about this in a meeting this morning. As our company is looking to expand we were talking about finding quality photographers. They mentioned how most colleges don’t really prepare you for actual photography jobs and it’s common for a graduate to apply without any knowledge of strobe lighting, lightroom workflow, etc. They said how students, like myself, who have gotten hands on technical education really stand out. Without AMP I wouldn’t have known how to light products correctly. I wouldn’t know what it was like to have outside experience with products. Those things are priceless. Without what I learned at AMP, I would have never landed this job.

How do you see yourself using your photography skills in the future?
Whether this job is what I stay with for my career or a stepping stone into something in the future, I plan to always be learning and growing in my photography skills. I want to do what I love, and I really love product. I hope my skills and hard work will either take me up the company ladder or take me somewhere even bigger and better.

What is your fondest memory of AMP?
I have two fond memories from AMP, and I can’t seem to choose between them. They are priceless, albeit simple. My first was when I was sitting in class and I went to toss Keith’s flash drive back to him after submitting my work. I tossed it right into his coffee. It was a known fact in the class that I was a bad throw. I felt so bad about it, but it was a funny moment the entire class had a laugh about. My second fondest memory was when I had an app on my phone that reminded me every hour to drink water. I used it to keep hydrated throughout the day.  Every time the notification would go off the entire class would take a consecutive drink of water.

What advice would you give to a student who is considering pursuing the photography field?
Don’t give up. I struggled with finding my place in the photography world, and at times I wanted to walk away. It was hard seeing others moving forward with great determination and having these huge accomplishments. Instead of using their success to motivate me, it made me feel discouraged. Keep your eyes on your own path and keep moving forward. Even if you’re moving slow, don’t stop. If this is what you really want, just push through your doubts. If there was something that drew you to this field, hold onto that, you’ll be glad you didn’t let it go. I could’ve easily let go. If I did I wouldn’t be where I am right now, doing what I love, working with people I love. I’m happier doing what I’m doing now than I have been at any job I’ve ever had.

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