June 08, 2009
It never hurts to ask. Tricia Richert proved the truth of that advice, when she came right out and asked famed photographer Annie Liebovitz for an internship. "I met her at a book signing at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago," Richert says. A capacity crowd meant that Richert couldn't get into the lecture hall, so she hung around afterward. "I got her autograph and asked if she offered internships. She was very down to earth, and told me to send in my portfolio."
Richert's portfolio yielded an interview with Liebovitz's colleague Jessie Blatt, and Richert was accepted for one of just 12 internships working with Blatt in Leibovitz's studio for two months this summer. "Jessie Blatt does fashion photography for Vogue," Richert says.
In addition to typical intern duties -- errands, pick-ups, deliveries -- Richert says she expects to gain experience working with photo processing, and in page layout and design.
"Tricia submitted a very strong photographic portfolio," said Michael Godsil, instructor in art at Knox, who teaches courses in photography. "Tricia and I have discussed the possibility that if she can take photos during the internship, she could combine the images with a personal written journal."
Richert says she likes all the "artsy" things -- she has worked as an artist's assistant, helped build a giant mural in her home town of Oak Park, Illinois, and has studied drawing, photography and creative writing.
Even Richert's approach to psychology, another of her many academic interests, focuses on the creative "flow state, where your activity is one with your thought."
A graduate of Oak Park River Forest High School, Richert says she chose Knox for its strong writing program. "I've been working in non-fiction, and that's played a big role in the photos I've done. I like taking close-ups."
Richert is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and has participated in the women's rugby club at Knox.
Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.