On the 18th of October we had an Alumni session where some past students came in to talk to us about the things they’ve been up to since finishing the course.
· Independent photographer, London
· Graduated in 2008
Tim graduated in 2008 and went home for one month, but felt like you couldn’t go back to Guernsey so he soon moved to London. The majority of his work at University was documentary, however when he finished he found it really hard to decide what he wanted to do. He went on to do an internship in a commercial gallery and at a contemporary gallery and became an assist curator. However, he was still quite confused and started to assist a few editorial photographers.
He ended up being part of a project called Roof Unit. Him, Chris Littlewood and Tony Smith set up a pool of 7 or 8 photographers looking for an assistant. He explained this was the best decision he’s ever made. Through this project he gained lots of contacts and had to juggle a lot of things at the same time.
He went on to talk a little bit about his website. He doesn’t have any of his commercial work on there, or any Uni work (natural progression). He get the majority of his work through other photographers or clients passing his name on to other clients. He also talked about his experience assisting photographers, and explained it was really good experience anyone should have. Now he doesn’t do any assisting anymore, unless he could travel for it.
· Aspex Gallery Participation programme manager
· Graduated in 2010
Aspex is a contemporary art gallery which features a lot of new and upcoming artists. She works with toddlers to adults and helps get people more involved with art. She gets young kids to interact with artists and feel comfortable about and around art.
While still studying, Vicky applied to volunteer at Aspex gallery in order to get some experience. She was asked to go along as a photographer for educational trips. After working there for a while, asked for a part time job.
She also managed to get an internship full time and paid – but she was already working at aspex part time. She accepted the internship and explained she had to do a lot of juggling. It was really valuable experience.
She is still working at Aspex now, and is busy with all sorts of events – including New Creatives.
· Director of The Photography Lounge in Chichester
· Graduated in 2004
Chris did a prediploma where he had to do a different type of art every couple of weeks (sculpture, graphics etc) but in the end he decided he wanted to go into photography. He explained that less than half of his year is still in photography. It took Chris about one year to get a full time paid photography job after he graduated. He applied to all types of photography jobs and eventually got the chance to photograph a wedding. He had never done a wedding before so had no idea what he was doing. He ended up doing a good job and managed to get a portrait photography job. At Uni he did a lot of landscape work, so originally he wasn’t interested in portraiture and he explained that he didn’t pay any attention to his classes so he had to relearn everything about portraiture.
The listed a few of the positives and negatives about working for someone and later in his talk he explained that he set up his own portraiture business and listed the positives and negatives of that. He got the portraiture job in order to learn about the world of photography and it was much needed experience. But once he was done, he set up his own independent business. He searched for assistant, and explained to us how important it is to have a professional email address and studio name in order to be taken seriously.
At the moment he doesn’t take as many photos as he used to, but is now more concerned with marketing. He explained a bit about branding and how important it is to stick to the same brand so people can recognize you.
· Staff photographer for the Daily Mail
· Graduated in 2011
Georgie was my favourite speaker of the day, she was so enthusiastic about her job and the things she’s been up to that it was really inspirational. She worked as a sport photographer for the Daily Mail and worked with the 541 Olympic sports athletes. She helped to come up with a plan of how to photographer everyone as part of a group shot. The athletes were put into smaller groups and photographed and then small thumbnails were put on a board allocating where they would be in the group shot.
She also shot all the medal winners of the Olympics and Paralympics a well as the opening ceremony of the Paralympics and managed to get the front page and the second, third and fifth page of the Daily Mail.
Since being at uni, she knew she wanted to be a press photographer and got a interview and a week of work experience at the Times. In her third year she expanded her portfolio to get on the press circuit and did work experience with various photographers.
Georgie submitted her images for her final year project to source magazine competition and won. This opened many doors for her and because of that she managed to get an interview at the Daily Mail.
· Independent photographer, London
· Graduated in 2009
Nick had a different journey as he wasn’t initially interested in photography. He studied languages and then ended up changing his course. He was able to start in the second year of photography so had to teach himself how to use the darkroom and film.
He managed to win an award for his final year images, but unfortunately he was trespassing so didn’t receive the reward in the end.
When he left Uni he didn’t have a clue what he wanted to do, but he knew he wanted to be a photographer. He literally did every single job that he could and got a lot of experience from that. He worked with esquire magazine and photographed for Kurt Geiger. Because he had such a popular name on his CV it made it easier for him to approach anyone. He ended up becoming really interested in interior photography and started working for architects.
He explained that the most important part of being a photographer is being able to network, having a website, facebook, twitter and a blog made it easy for people to find him on a search engine. Now, most of the work he gets is from clients approaching him, rather than him approaching clients.