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By Katie Bell
Go behind the lens with Missouri Life photographer Katie Bell. This summer she shares her adventures as she travels around the state.
Most stories you hear about internships are wrought with errands, impatient bosses, and little-to-no pay. Although I am unpaid, I must say there’s a lot of value in this internship, and there are plenty of perks.
At Missouri Life, our main priority is the magazine, obviously, but we also work on special publications, such as books, calendars, and visitors guides. I shot photos for the last two in Lebanon, Missouri, about two hours south of Columbia.
My main job was to meander around, see the sights, and take photos of people enjoying Lebanon. That was easy enough, aside from getting turned around and maybe breaking a few traffic laws.
But I didn’t realize I would be practically vacationing as well.
What drew me to Lebanon this time of the year was the Brumley Gospel Festival. This was the very festival that booked every room in town and forced me to shack up in Osage Beach instead, which is about thirty minutes from Lebanon.
After Missouri Life did some wheeling and dealing, I ended up at The Inn at Harbour Ridge, a quality bed and breakfast (or as I kept calling it, a bread and breakfast).
To say I was getting the royal treatment would be a cliché, but it would be fairly accurate. We arrived and one of the owners immediately showed us around and described all of the freebies and amenities we were receiving. Then we rested in the room titled “Love’s Nest,” ate dinner there, and returned to Lebanon, Missouri, to cover the festival that had put me at this lovely B&B. When we returned the bed was freshly remade, the lights were dimmed, and our trash had been cleared away. We had only been gone two hours. I felt almost guilty because I wasn't technically paying for the room, but they treated us like any other guest.
Did I mention there were cookies and chocolate already in the room? Fresh, too.
Even if I hadn't gotten to stay at such a fine establishment, I would have enjoyed the trip nonetheless. I enjoy traveling, especially if my gas is reimbursed, and I’m taking photos of new things.
In my twenty one years I had only been to Lebanon once before when I was rather young. And it’s only two hours away from my hometown. It’s an antiquing and thrifting haven. How could I have missed that?
Another cliché, but often true: if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. Now I may have been walking around in the sun, crouching in corners, standing on chairs, and doing just about everything else to get the shot, but I can truly say that I didn't feel like I was working that much.
“Take photos,” they say.
“But of course!” I respond.
It’s what I do, and I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it, perks or not.