Over the last year I have devoted more of my time to external learning. Attending galleries, exhibitions, trade events, workshops as well as watching online tutorials such as Kelby training and creative live. Some highlights are:
The Yerburys - Fine Art Portraiture Masterclass.
This was simply amazing, two award winning photographers allowing me into their studio/home to look at how they work and to have training session. Simply fabulous
Kirstie Mackin - Michael Ormerod Award winner at Newcastle College
Kirstie Mackin exhibited some beautiful images from her travels high in the scottish highlands a place and culture i may never get to see, simple/hard life beautifully captured. This was followed by an exhibition on Michael Ormerod's project in the USA which was shot on film and that was amazing to see. Both exhibitions inspired me a lot as i really like the simplistic nature of the photo-jounalism
The Digital Imaging Show - NCL
This was a day of seminars and trade exhibitions which was great for my business networking at top see and feel quality of products. During the day event i attended a lighting workshop with John Denton which supported all the workshops that I had attended with Alan and it was nice to see another take on a simple technique. Catherine Connors lecture on Magnetise business was also of great interest together with Charlie Kaufmans talk on Making more profit. I learnt a lot of new ideas and strategies for self promotion and price structure.
Confrontier - Side Gallery
Images from the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I was a child when this happened but i remember my mother talking my about it all as we watched the news footage at the time, so to see documented images from Kai Widenhofer's experience was very moving.
Renowned celebrity photographer Mark Seliger invites fellow photographers and famous photo buffs into his studio to discuss the stories behind some of the world's most iconic images.
Mark Seliger meets Platon, who has captured world figures from Bill Clinton to Gaddafi. Actor and photography buff Colin McDermott joins them.
Albert Watson discusses his iconic images of Mick Jagger and Alfred Hitchcock with fellow celebrity photographer Mark Seliger. Model and designer Lauren Bush joins them
Martin Schoeller talks to fellow celebrity photographer Mark Seliger about capturing actors Zach Galifianakis and Jack Nicholson.
Rock'n'roll photographer Bob Gruen joins actor Kevin Bacon and fellow lensman Mark Seliger to discuss his iconic images, including his famous portrait of John Lennon.
War photographer Ben Lowy shares his experiences of Iraq and Libya with celebrity portraitist Mark Seliger. Dancer-turned-photographer Mikhail Baryshnikov joins them.
Photographers Helena Christensen and Mary Ellen Mark discuss their careers, inspiration and former subjects with celebrity portraitist Mark Seliger.
Peter van Agtmael who has covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, joins actor Aaron Eckhart and portraitist Mark Seliger to discuss the paths that led them to photography.
Al Wertheimer shares stories of photographing Elvis Presley with Mark Seliger. Norman Reedus talks about the unsettling images he has taken during his travels as an actor.
Over the last month I have really enjoyed watching and re-watching these interviews. Hearing the stories of the images especially Peter Yang and Albert Watson. Learning about the stories behind images and I was really inspired to learn how these images help us see people and can help us change the way we see the world and how sometimes a great photograph needs no explanation but on this series it was a fabulous insight into the mind of the photographer on what they say and how they feel about their work. What I take away from this series is that its is all about;
and that your best weapon is your own personality, especially in portraits as long as that person becomes comfortable in your presence and in front of the camera then they will open up to you
When first starting out on the course, I felt a mixture of excitement and fear, Excitement for what I was to learn and fear that it had been a long time since I was in formal education and would i be able to manage my work, family and study commitments . I started at Newcastle College back in September of 2012 having done a little assistant work but most of what i knew was from self lead study or one day courses but Now, in my final year of my FdA, I have a focus in my photography I started working freelance in my second year promoting Michelle Mercer Photography via social media and each year it has built along with my confidence.
Above shows my first year projects i received mid 60%-70% marks throughout the year and although that is not a bad mark as it is classed as high merit i am my own worst critique and strived to do better. My main learning curve in my first year was studio lighting, it was great to learn the technical aspect of is all as that is what I am used to in my past careers (I have a technical brain). The first year really exposed my weakness in creative thinking and this was something that I was determined to build on.
Above shows my second year projects and straight away, the whole concept of lighting, ISO, Shutter Speeds, Aperture, etc really clicked with me! and my IT mind it gave me a boost in my confidence as i know in my head what i needed to do to achieve the shot i was after. So this whole year was about the art and creativity. Throughout this year i used my photoshop and digital skills that i had acquired in my past employment and brought them up to date to allow me to complete some more skill demanding projects and briefs. By the end of the second year I was starting to rise again in my confidence after taking a blow mid year. I knew that the key to my future success would be attention to detail and seeing the whole frame, let my mind relax and explore my creativity. Above all PRACTICE!!!!
The end is near as | enter my third year and two final project and I have exciting times ahead my business for 2015 is building, I am starting to get regular commercial commissions from a VR company and my work is being published online and in newspapers. I was selected to be a case study for the college due to my high level of achievements. I have a plan and a focus for the future and I am looking forward to it
The following skills were core employability skills
All of these skills I have demonstrated in the FDA Commercial Photography Practice briefs. Epecially i
What I do well/ have experience in :
What to i need to improve/ areas of weakness:
Target : Self Employed Professional Portrait Photographer - Full Time
General Practice PhotographerIndustries:Photo ImagingDepartments:Photographers
They often work from a studio located in a prominent town centre location or set up temporary studios in department stores or supermarkets. In addition to traditional studio portraiture, there is an increasing demand to shoot social portraits in the sitter's home or workplace.
Weekend working is unavoidable, particularly during the lucrative summer wedding season.
Many GPs work for local businesses and advertising agencies, producing images for use on promotional material. They may also do work for local newspapers and produce images for sale through picture libraries and websites.
The GP's biggest competitor is the serious amateur photographer. GPs must have a strong marketing strategy supporting a service that an amateur cannot match, such as: online ordering systems; professional image enhancing services; a faster turnaround; professional framing services. GPs need to spend a significant amount of time on marketing and running a small business, rather than taking photographs.
Will I need a qualification?There isn’t a set qualification required to work as a General Practice Photographer.
If you are considering taking a photo imaging course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the photo imaging industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the extent to which they prepare you for a photo imaging career:
Photo imaging courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick
The LBIPP offered by the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) has a good reputation with employers.
Employers may support work-based qualifications, such as Apprenticeships and NVQ/SVQs.
Membership of the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP), the Association of Photographers (AOP) and the Master Photographers Association (MPA) may also be beneficial to you. The BIPP and the MPA offer a range of qualifications that enable a candidate to benchmark their skills against other successful practitioners working in the industry.
What’s the best route in?It isn’t essential for you to have academic training. Instead you could start out as an Assistant Photographer and support an established photographer, or group of photographers, and learn the creative, technical and business skills on the job.
You might also start out as a Press Photographer or Photojournalist before moving into this area of work.
It’s important for you to put together a portfolio of photographs to show potential clients and employers. This should be well presented and consist of 10 to 15 images, revealing a broad range of skills and abilities.