I believe by doing three different professional experiences I have given myself a better way to understand what I want to focus on, seeing as there is no particular photography subject that I prefer at the minute, I thought it would give me the opportunity to experience different styles. For example setting up my own shoot let me control not only my actions but other people’s and it allowed me work in a group; following a photographer gave me a greater understanding as to how professionals work and what they think to the photography world; and then setting up my own online exhibition gave me control over everything and I had to take into consideration whether or not an online exhibition would work better than an actual exhibition space.
I was lucky to get the professional experience I got from the contacts that I had. First of all the photo shoot I did was for a friend who is part of theatre group and they needed images for their show and also they need images for posters to advertise the show. This was a good opportunity as it benefited not only me but the theatre group too. Also doing this first shoot has set me up for further photo shoots in the future because the it started off as a preliminary shoot to find out what shots were needed so in the future when the theatre groups show gets closer, they have asked for more photo shoots to continue on from the previous one. The way I came about working with Ruth Goalby was because of family friends and after I took a look into her work and started emailing her, we took an interest in each other and decided to meet. The day mainly benefited me because I got the opportunity to see how a professional works with clients and models etc and also I got to ask questions that I wanted to know about the industry and about Ruth’s particular photography style. I’m pleased I now have Ruth as a contact as she has already said that she would work with me again and I will definitely work with her again in the future.
As I said I’m glad I did several professional experience projects as this let me gain further knowledge into different fields and because my preferred style of photography is quite varied I wanted to be able to gain experience into new styles and different ways of working. I can say that I’m glad that I’ve done what I’ve done and I feel that it has benefited me in the long run because at least I can say I’ve tried new things but it still hasn’t made me choose and focus on a certain photography style that I prefer. I still want to experience more to gain more knowledge and experience before I choose a preferred career path. It also hasn’t changed the way I feel about going straight into a photography job, my first intentions when I leave university is to travel and I believe this will be the best way to gain experience and knowledge. At least if I choose to travel rather than go straight into a job I can focus on the things that I want to focus on and potentially get better work experience away from England and with new people.
All the professional experience projects that I have done over the past few months, I feel have gone pretty well and I’ve enjoyed doing them. I did have other work experience ideas but things didn’t go to plan such as; photographers not having any spare time/photographers already having people to work with/ people not emailing back etc. But I feel I worked around these problems and the fact that I still managed to get three kinds of experience has made me more determined and persistent when it comes to getting experience/jobs in the future. I’m happy to say that there wasn’t many things that went wrong for me during these times, obviously the fact that I didn’t get as much experience as I would have liked was a bit of a downfall but I feel I worked well with what I had. There was one problem I had, and that was when I had my day with Ruth Goalby. Basically I didn’t have access to a DSLR, which meant I had to use a standard digital camera. Ruth wasn’t too bothered about this situation however I felt that it made me look a bit unprofessional but there wasn’t much I could do about the situation and I worked with what I had. I do believe that all the professional experience I have done has gone really well and to plan, it has left me with new contacts and a more open mind about the photographer industry. I intend to keep in contact with all the people who I have met from this, as they were really nice to work with and I feel that in some cases, such as Sarah and the theatre group, working with them in the future will not only benefit me but also them and with Ruth Goalby I can hopefully work with her in the future and it will let me focus on what being a freelance photographer is like and whether or not it is something that I want to establish.
Professional experience is something that I think I need to focus on a lot more because of the fact that my photography style is really varied so I will definitely continue to keep looking for jobs and experience. In the future I would like to hopefully work with someone a little more well-known and get more contacts with the photography industry. Also the other thing that I want to do is to travel a bit further than Coventry so I can see what jobs are like further around the UK and maybe even abroad.