Nonprofit Photography Internship, South Africa

Build a great portfolio while contributing to important grassroots causes in Cape Town

Join the award winning photography internship program in Cape Town, South Africa! It’s a great opportunity to improve your skills through tutoring by a professional photographer, to build a diverse portfolio, and to contribute to nonprofit work through your photography.

You’ll start your photography internship by joining a week-long workshop by humanitarian photographer Anna Lusty. During this workshop, Anna will teach you the best and most effective ways of documenting the work of nonprofit projects through your lens, and she’ll introduce you to cultural nuances that are important to take into account. The workshop is partly theory and partly practical, as you’ll be visiting and photographing some social development projects.

After this initial week, you’ll be placed with one or more nonprofit(s), and you’ll be documenting their work with your camera. Depending on your skills and interests, the projects can be focused on environmental, social development, human rights, or animal welfare. You’ll learn about the organisation’s mission and projects, and create a portfolio of images that the nonprofit can use for communication and fundraising purposes. It’s a great way to gain practical photography experience and help raise awareness of important development programs. You’ll have the option of getting continued tutoring by Anna, if you’d like mentorship throughout your internship.

Cape Town, South Africa
Various Nonprofits
4-12 Weeks
Fees vary

During this photography internship, you’ll be working with one – or several – nonprofit(s) based in Cape Town, South Africa. Your exact projects depend on when you join, the needs of our partner organisations, and your personal passion and interests. Either way, you’ll be working with nonprofit initiatives that are doing incredibly important work in Africa in areas such as human rights, gender equality, animal welfare, climate change, health, and education. Throughout your internship you will have the opportunity to better these causes through your photography. Given the intimate size of our organizations, you will be able to see evident change to the communities you will be helping.


Your photography internship will start with a five-day workshop by professional photographer Anna Lusty. Anna will help you improve your technical photography and post production skills, and introduce you to nonprofit photography. She’ll give you a solid understanding of the nonprofit sector in Cape Town, the way photography can contribute, and how to approach it in the most effective and culturally sensitive way.

After the workshop, when you’re placed with individual NGOs, you’ll be guided by designated supervisors at the charities you’ll be photographing, and if you opt for it, by Anna on a continuous basis. That will allow you to learn further, reflect on your experiences, and asses your work. Please note there is an additional fee involved in this – please enquire to find out more.

What you’ll do

As a photography intern on this program, your exact work will be customised to your skills and interests, and to the needs of the nonprofits you’ll be joining. Your tasks can include the following;

  • Photograph nonprofit projects on the ground, with the aim of equipping these organisations with strong visual material that will help them raise awareness for their work
  • Assist the nonprofits with using your – and other – images in an effective way through digital communications channels
  • Assist with setting up exhibitions or online campaigns to highlight photography of important causes
  • Depending on your interests, you might also get involved in other areas, such as fundraising, website management, communications, or impact assessment
  • You need to be an intermediate / advanced photographer. (You don’t have to be a seasoned pro, but you do need to have a decent camera, good technical skills, and some experience.) We will adapt your projects to your photography level.
  • An ability to work fairly independently.
  • A passion for using photography as a tool for positive change.
  • You’ll need to bring  your own laptop with editing software.
  • You’ll need to bring your own DSLR or mirror-less camera. Nice to have: range of lenses (but not a must).

We’ll organise a place to stay for you! Your accommodation will depend on the organization(s) you’ll be working with, but either way, we’ll make sure you hook you up with a comfortable and safe place to stay that’s in a convenient location. It might be in the vibrant city center, near the ocean, or on Cape Town’s more rural Southern Peninsula. We have a selection of single and shared rooms in apartments, shared houses, and guest houses. Get in touch to find out more!


You can join us for 4 to 12 weeks. Ideally you’ll arrive on a Sunday, so that you can start your program on the Monday. There’s a level of flexibility, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your preferred dates. We can take up to three interns at a time on this program.

2022 Rates

Rates vary, according to the nonprofit organisations you’ll be part of during your internship, and where they are located. 

  • Accommodation during the first week, in a shared room in a house on the Southern Peninsula, surrounded by beaches and mountains
  • Assistance with booking accommodation for the remaining part of your internship
  • Daily breakfast and dinner during first week
  • Airport transfers
  • A 5-day workshop by professional photographer Anna Lusty
  • Continued mentorship by Anna Lusty (optional at an extra cost)
  • Logistical support on the ground by Roots Interns
  • Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns
  • Flights to Cape Town
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing).
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities

Optional extra:

Personal Development Sessions
To help you optimise your personal and professional development during your internship, we offer individual monthly sessions with a professional consultant. These 1,5-hour sessions offer opportunities to set goals, reflect on your experience, and ensure your internship will benefit your career as much as possible.
Monthly fee: USD 65
Workshop: Exploring the Nonprofit Landscape
To give you a full understanding of the nonprofit sector in Africa, we offer one-off individual online workshops by a South African digital marketing and fundraising specialist. You’ll learn about the needs of the nonprofit sector, best practices in nonprofit management, and sustainability of fundraising initiatives. You’ll also be given a large amount of useful resources.
Workshop fee: USD 65
Cape Town, South Africa
Various Nonprofits
4-12 Weeks
Fees vary

Penda inspired me, because of the great mission of this organization. Development can be promoted in many different ways. But, storytelling – especially photography – touches upon humans at a different and deeper level. Visual literacy is much more common than alphabetic literacy. For anybody lucky enough to see, there is the chance to talk, inspire and tell stories by capturing a moment.

Gaia, ItalyMarketing and Fundraising Internship, Cape Town
  • Get practical experience in nonprofit photography
  • Contribute to a social enterprise organizing photo tours but also using photography as a tool to support important conservation and community projects in developing countries
  • Gain insight in the daily operations of a nonprofit programme
  • Possibility to also get involved in communications, fundraising, and project management
  • Live and work in Cape Town, arguably one of the most stunning cities in the world.
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off
Fees vary

See Detailed Rates

Other internships with this organization
How to apply?

If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:

  1. Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) and send your CV and a portfolio of your images to
  2. We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.
  3. If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.
  4. If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, get started with a detailed booking form, and we’ll give you all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming adventure.
  5. Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.

Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form on the right. We’ll be happy to assist!


    nonprofit photography internship

    Open for applications

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