Festival Volunteer Program:

Volunteering at the Palm Springs Photo Festival is a fun and educational experience! The festival counts on the talent and dedication of our volunteer staff to assist Management in almost every aspect of the event. The paragraphs below provide a general summary of the volunteer program and describe the various volunteer positions available at the festival.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION to be a Festival Volunteer (opens in new window).

General Info:

We strive to place volunteers into job categories based on volunteer preference, experience, and skill. Please note that these categories have been created to provide a general outline of the various volunteer tasks available at the festival – they should not be interpreted as a job description. Volunteers should be prepared to perform a variety of tasks outside their “assigned” position as needed. We do not want any volunteer to perform a task with which he/she is not completely comfortable. Concerns with any task assigned can be addressed at the festival with the Staff & Volunteer Coordinator, who will be available to discuss volunteer concerns and/or reassign area of responsibility.

Volunteers are provided with a daily meal stipend on the day(s) of their assignments

Transportation to and from the festival is each volunteer’s responsibility. There will be free parking available for volunteer vehicles. Festival Management encourages volunteers to carpool where possible and will provide an online resource to selected applicants to help facilitate rides. While lodging is not provided, we have a system to allow volunteers to arrange to share rooms at our staff / volunteer hotel. This brings the cost to between $180 and $320 for the 5 nights of the festival. In exchange, we offer free access (outside of your assigned volunteer roles) to our evening presentation and our opening reception) and waive our daily registration fees. We endeavor to place you in roles that reflect your interests.

Volunteer Categories:

Workshop program general assistance. General assistance with gear, transportation and hospitality. Familiarity with photo software is an asset.

Volunteer Captains:

We are looking for a few people that want to take on a little more responsibility. Several of our Volunteer categories need Captains – a leader that Festival Management can rely on to learn the systems, manage the other volunteers in their crew, and make real-time decisions on the fly during the festival. Please write-in your request to be a Festival Volunteer Captain on your volunteer application.

The ideal candidate is:

  • Comfortable leading a team
  • Experienced and skilled with all aspects of the volunteer category they wish to lead (see descriptions below)
  • Computer savvy (Mac)
  • Fully available the week of the festival (October 9-13)
  • Available to for a training session and meet-and-greet with Festival Staff and other Captains at West Hollywood office 1-2 weeks prior to festival dates

Festival Intern:

Festival Interns will work directly with Festival Management in our West Hollywood production office in the months leading up to the event. Responsibilities vary from assisting the Festival Producers with key production planning, to basic graphic design / layout, travel accommodations, printing, research and customer support. During the festival week, Interns will work primarily in a critical leadership role. Strong preference will be given to applicants that are available for the entire festival week.

The ideal candidate is:

  • Located within 40 minutes of the West Hollywood office
  • Available one – three days per week starting in late August
  • Fully available during the Festival week (October 9-13)
  • Willing to help wherever needed and fill a variety of roles on a day to day basis
  • Comfortable speaking with customers on the phone and in person
  • Computer savvy (Mac), including experience with Word and Excel
  • Proficient in design and design programs ((Familiarity with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Final Cut or Adobe Premiere are helpful but not required)
  • Interested in special event / photo production as a career or hobby
  • Note: We provide shared lodging at the festival for Interns


Equipment Crew:

Working mainly with the Workshop Program, but touching every aspect of the festival, Volunteers in Equipment Crew assist Festival Management to distribute and track all Workshop and production equipment across all four festival venues. Tasks will include prepping gear for Workshops, equipment check in / check out, and equipment setup for various events.

The ideal candidate is:

  • An experienced Photo/Production Assistant or similar
  • Experienced working with basic photo and production equipment
  • Comfortable working in an environment with heavy equipment and machinery
  • Comfortable lifting and moving photo and production equipment
  • Comfortable working mostly outside.
  • Fully available the week of the festival (May 5-10, 2019)
  • Mainly interested in attending Festival Symposiums and Evening Presentations

Events Crew:

Various festival events take place each evening during the festival week. The Events Crew will work closely with the Events Manager to set up and remove event equipment and decorations, run the festival bar, manage guest lists and generally be on hand to ensure these events run smoothly.

The ideal candidate is:

  • Friendly and comfortable interacting with event guests and VIPs
  • Comfortable working late nights
  • Fully available during the Festival week (May 5-10, 2019)
  • Comfortable lifting and moving event equipment (tables, chairs, work lights, etc).
  • Experienced with catering companies, concessions operations and/or bar-tending
  • ABC certified (preferred, not required)

Transportation Crew:

Festival attendees and the classes are always on the move – constant traveling between festival venues as well as depending on our shuttle services to get to and from downtown Palm Springs. Volunteers in this category work closely with the Transportation Manager to make pickups and deliveries, shuttle festival guests among venues and move festival personnel and equipment as needed. There are two transportation shifts – morning and evening.

The ideal candidate is:

  • Friendly and comfortable interacting with festival guests
  • 25 years of age or older with valid Driver’s License (required to operate rental vehicle)
  • Comfortable driving various vehicles including cargo vans, 15 passenger vans and cube / box trucks
  • Comfortable working early mornings (morning shift) or late nights (evening shift)
  • Mainly interested in attending Symposiums, Evening Presentations or Seminars

Festival Floaters:

Festival Floaters will work closely with the Staff & Volunteer Coordinator relieving other volunteers for breaks and filling in wherever Festival Management needs some extra help. Volunteers will get to experience many different aspects of the festival each day.

The ideal candidate is:

  • Friendly and comfortable interacting with customers
  • Computer Savvy (Mac)
  • Local to Palm Springs
  • Looking to participate in the festival for only a day or two, not the whole week
  • Mainly interested in attending Symposiums and Evening Presentations