Oh Snap: My Summer Photographing Hershey (plus free wallpapers)
I can’t pinpoint the moment I fell in love with photography. But I do know that when I immersed myself in the art, I fell hard.
My name is Erin, and I am a junior at Penn State University Park, double majoring in applied statistics and advertising. I am a photographer for Penn State’s daily newspaper, The Daily Collegian and a horseback rider for my college team. I started a small business photographing seniors and families and my favorite interview question is, “what is your spirit animal?” These past three months, I completed an internship with the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) marketing department.
As the creative services intern for HE&R, I spent my summer running around Hersheypark capturing social media and app content, and visiting our breathtaking properties to photograph. I worked with designers, directors, marketing specialists, social media gurus, and entertainment coordinators. I shadowed our creative and art director in the production of a promotional video shoot, and provided still photography. I filled in as HE&R’s house photographer for a 5 Seconds of Summer concert. I photographed the big reveal of the 2017 Triple Tower. I also assisted with concerts and broadcasts.
I shared a copy room with four other interns – Rachel, Ashleigh, Will and Collin – who I can now call some of the coolest people and friends I know. I consumed my body weight in chocolate and have no regrets.
Who else can say they spent their summer doing that?
I am so grateful for this opportunity and the priceless knowledge I have gained. Though not possible without the support and guidance by the incredibly talented people with whom I have had the pleasure of working, on the second floor of the Hershey Press Building each day.
You may have seen my photos in social media posts, blog articles or in the Hersheypark app. But I wanted to share a few that maybe you haven’t seen – and in a new light.
You can download them for your computer or phone wallpaper. It seems the first thing we see in the morning is a screen, so I think it is important to look at something that is motivating and inspiring.
Hopefully you enjoy them as well.
“But first, coffee.”
My favorite thing about the Cocoa Beanery is not the variety of tastes and smells, nor the much-needed caffeine jolt, but rather the experience. The typography on the menu, the friendly staff and the way coffee brings people together. I worked on this project with Ashley, a designer on the creative team. We ordered different drinks, and arranged them to photograph for a promotional e-mail, advertising reasons to stay at one of the Official Resorts of Hersheypark midweek. The drink pictured in this photo is a blended chai topped with sweet whipped cream and cinnamon. It was worth every sip and brain-freeze.
I wasn’t always a fan of rollercoasters or thrill rides. It wasn’t until my two younger brothers forced me onto Lightning Racer itself that I learned to love the adrenaline rush.
I think there is a lot of truth in this quote too. I could’ve stayed in my comfort zone and worked at a local business in my hometown of York, PA. But instead, I submitted an application to HE&R, and soon was commuting 45 minutes Monday through Friday to work. In a lot of ways, this internship has been a thrill ride. Lows and highs (definitely more of the latter), the fast pace, enjoying every minute and sitting next to people who at the beginning were strangers, but now are friends.
“Life is short, eat dessert first.”
The day I shot these photos ranks in top best days of work. A few communications team members were reviewing ice cream throughout the destination for a future story about National Ice Cream Day. So we spent the morning traveling to The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, and Hersheypark to photograph and taste test our ice cream options. Honestly, I don’t know which I enjoyed more, taste testing, or photographing the ice cream (that is, before it melted on the sweltering 90-degree day).
Pro tip: Eating ice cream at 10am is never a mistake.
“Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.”
When I first stepped foot into the atrium, I was blown away. There were butterflies of all shapes, sizes and colors. I saw butterflies nibbling on watermelon, gliding above my head, grazing the water from a small stream, and delicately landing on the plants, which filled the room from wall to wall, to ceiling. I lost track of time, always seeing a new color fly into the camera frame, and through my lens, I snapped as many photos as I could. It was incredible.
I guess they say all good things must come to an end, right? My heart leaps, simply looking back at my projects and seeing how a folder empty on May 23 now contains over 1,000 photos. Each has a purpose, a goal and a story.
Thanks Hershey, for a summer I will never forget.