The following was written by Aleesa de Castro, who is on the UGA Women’s Track & Field team. She is studying Entertainment & Media Studies through the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and had the opportunity to intern with Jim Jordan Photography & White Cross Talent Management in Los Angeles, CA.
This summer, I lived and worked in the heart of the film industry in Los Angeles, CA. Through lots of networking, I was able to secure an internship with fashion and celebrity photographer Jim Jordan. Jim has an impressive resume, which I learned a lot from. He shoots for international magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Gamro, L’Officiel, Elle, Modeliste, and many others. He’s photographed clients such as Zendaya, Rita Wilson, Cary Elwes, Jeremy Meeks, and discovered supermodels such as Taylor Hill and Gig Hadid. I worked out of his Calabasas home, where he has his offices and studio. As an entrepreneur, Jim relies heavily on his interns, and within my first few days of work I completed a vast array of tasks. I assisted Jim with his calls and texts, helped with data management, and served as production assistant on set.
After about a month of living in Los Angeles, I finally felt like I was getting the hang of it. I not only had a better sense of direction, but also of the culture. There was never a shortage of things to do in LA. In my time there, I really tried to make the most of the movie going culture. I went to the opening night screenings of films like Jurassic Park Dominion, Black Phone, Marcel the Shell with Shoes on, Elvis, and Thor: Love and Thunder. I was even fortunate enough to make into the premiere of Minions: The Rise of Gru. They laid out the minion’s yellow carpet and decked out the theater in minion’s merchandise. At the screening we met Steve Carrell, Michelle Yeoh, Danny Tre Jo, and other members of the film’s extensive cast and crew. After the screening we were invited to attend the film’s after party where we eat many chocolate covered bananas and danced with Bob, Stewart, and Kevin. It was incredible to say the least.
I was also able to attend a test screening for an unreleased action fantasy film. I signed an NDA so unfortunately, I can’t say much about the film, but we got an early screening and then completed a survey letting the crew know our thoughts on the film as it is. Outside of film, I loved adventuring over to the near by beaches. Malibu in particular is a magical place, with the ocean and the mountains. It is a nice place to go and escape the craziness of the city.
At work, the most exciting days were when we are on set. We often shoot in the studio in Calabasas, but also have gone on boats and the beaches of Malibu. I learned a lot from Jim on set, and it was special getting to see him in his element. He is a powerful communicator and good director. He has a clear vision for what he wants and works closely with the talent to style and model. He is like a coach in a lot of ways, and I think my background in sports helped me to better understand this relationship. He also taught me a lot about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and has been really eye opening for my production company: de Castro Productions. He also helped me to improve my photography, negotiation, communication, and organization skills. I can’t wait to bring all this knowledge back to grow my own business.