Yesterday I reflected on my Final Major Project and now I thought I should reflect on the Creative Futures Module. The purpose of this module is really to help us be prepared for working as a photographer and to complete commercial assignments to a brief.
We have met photographers and artists and interviewed them about their businesses, how they started out and how they keep earning a living. I particularly liked Tom Arran’s advice about doing exactly what you are asked in the brief and then going the extra mile and doing something above and beyond the brief. I was also encouraged to hear Debi Keable talk about making a living as an artist and having confidence to apply for grants. Her advice to get along to meetings and gatherings about the arts was good and something I have taken on board. I hope to be able to get along to more activities in Hull once all my assignments are completed and handed in.
I have worked with a local business and some individuals to fulfil a brief set by them. I spoke to the people from Garthwest at the final exhibition and although the website has been delayed, they are planning to use our photographs on it in the next few weeks. It has been valuable work experience and taking part in this project taught me that things don’t always go to plan so I need to be imaginative in overcoming some of the problems that may come along.
After photographing for the Freedom Festival we had a good chat with the people at a local marketing agency and the things that they will look for and expect of a photographer. Their advice about specialising and becoming the best ‘whatever’ photographer was very good and while still photographing weddings and other things I hope that panoramas and particularly travel/landscapes could become the ‘whatever’ that I am known for.
I have also done both portraits and a couple of weddings as part of this module. All seem to have been completed well and after each of them I have reflected on how I could do it better next time. I am particularly pleased with the latest wedding that I completed with a friend. We have since met and discussed how we might do it better next time (different lenses, less time on certain aspects etc.). We also plan to meet up in a couple of weeks to write a business plan about how we might do weddings together on a more regular basis.
We have been to exhibitions and art galleries and through this and my Final Major Project I have learned a lot about collating a set of images for an exhibition, how to frame and hang prints and also about atmosphere and viewing distances. I need to be precise about the purpose of the exhibition and the story that I want to tell people as they view it.
Alongside all of this I have kept taking photographs whenever I have an opportunity so that I can continue to keep refreshing my portfolio.
I haven’t entered any competitions this year but I plan to enter the Travel Photographer of the Year competition in the autumn. I missed it in 2015.
My eyes have certainly been opened to the complexities and opportunities available within the commercial industry. For me though, the main purpose of joining the BA Photography course was not only to improve my photography but after a number of career knock-backs to also increase my confidence. I certainly feel much more confident now, and have already applied for one grant and am planning to develop a part-time wedding photography business. I have also redeveloped my online presence with a new and updated website that I hope will encourage more people to take on my services.