Informational Interview at REFINERY29

An informational interview… what’s that?

Refinery29… what’s that? Okay, we can’t be friends.

I get very anxious before every important social interaction. But if your dreams depend on it - CHILL OUT! Nothing is thaaat scary. There’s nothing to worry about. I keep having to remind myself of that.

For a homework assignment I had to contact someone I would like to work with and set up an informational interview. So, I chose a place that I would die to work at - Refinery29.

Well lets back up, what is an informational interview?

Findspark defines an informational interview as a way to meet ambitious, creative professionals. If you have questions, or want to have a conversation with someone you look up to, set up an informational interview! Prepare your questions and dress nicely. Try not to stress! (even though I definitely did).

Refinery29 is a digital media and entertainment company focused on young women. After discovering Refinery29 on social media a few years back, I fell in love with their message. All of their content from articles, photos, illustrations, etc. are so empowering, fun, and colorful. Their website states that their audience is “compromised of determined dreamers who are smart and passionate, always seeking out the full potential in every aspect of their lives.”

“We celebrate imperfections, banish taboos, and always strive to be real and relatable  walking the walk in all that we do.” - Refinery29


I met with Erin Yamagata, Refinery29’s Associate Photo Editor!

Erin is a New York based photo producer and photographer. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for Photography, as I currently am. And we both share a love for photography and Refinery29! In her free time she likes to shoot portraits of her friends, work in the studio, and test out different types of film. Check out her website!

She first started working with Refinery29 as an intern in college, and was later hired as a photo assistant. She is currently the associate photo editor.

Fun fact: When she first started working at Refinery29 she had the opportunity to go to Tokyo Fashion week!

As an associate photo editor, Erin is on the creative team but works closely with the writers. She plans the creative content to go along with the articles: deciding how things should look, planning photoshoots, finding locations, getting props, hiring models, etc.

Her favorite shoot was recently done at The Flower Shop! …. (coming soon on Refinery29)

Fun photos from Refinery29’s Instagram


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