When starting university I had a general idea of what I wanted to be at the end of my course, the goal has always been to become a fashion photographer, but during the year before starting university my interest for photography has diminished and I was unsure of what I was and what I wanted to be in the field. Due to this, I’ve started my journey in this university at the Warrington campus studying a combined honours degree in digital photography and radio production.
Radio was my safe space as it was something I had an abundance of experience in and something I knew I liked, so it was my blanket to fall back on if photography doesn’t work out. However, when starting the photography course it reignited my passion for photography and fashion photography and helped me narrow down what it was exactly that I wanted to do. This realisation influenced my decision to move to the single honours program in Kingsway and put all of my focus into photography.
What I found difficult throughout these three years was to find my place within the courses. I left the digital photography course because my work was too fine art leaning for the commercial nature of the course, but in the single honours photography course, my work is too commercial. These past two years in Kingsway were focused on finding my place within my chosen field and how I can integrate these two parts of my personality. During these three years I have branched out and tried different types of photography like fine art photography, documentary, and still life, however, there was always one project where I tried to focus on creating fashion photography.
The project I started in first year that was aiming towards fashion was a project I named 2020. This is a project I had floating around my head for a while and one that I still want to peruse in the future. I attempted to photograph my models in modern looking poses but attempted to edit them to look vintage as if they were shot on a film camera. This would definitely would have worked better had I had access to a film camera, however as the course was digital photography based we didn’t have access to those from the university.
In the second year in the final project, we were given the option to choose a brief of an external place, competition, magazine, and work towards applying to it. I had chosen the association of photographers student award and focused on the theme of “people” and worked again fashion photography. I photographed one girl dressed in a costume of a demon, and another girl for a more standard beauty portrait photography some of which I had also tried to manipulate using photoshop to make it more engaging.
This year was meant to be the year where my final project will truly focus on true fashion photography, something that in the past I have not managed to capture just right. However, at the start of the year, I had experienced another drop in my spirit and interests as I was trying to start constructing my project. My project went back to be fine art based and I decided to keep my fashion work in the live projects I had chosen to do throughout the year. The project was dark and gloomy, and I had used masks to create interest and surrealism within my images.
It was only when I started working with the fashion students when my final project became clearer in my head and I’ve adapted my work to fit within that to create my final project: Wonder. This project managed to encompass the surrealism I wanted to express in my images while still staying true to the fashion work I want to produce. I feel that with this project I truly succeeded in expressing my true self and what I want my photos to tell about me as a photographer.
When looking at my work across the three years it’s clear that I have definitely developed and improved tremendously. I feel much more confident with the camera, with directing my model, my editing skills have improved, my lighting skills, and most importantly I’ve developed a confidence in on location shoots, something I have tried to stay away from in the years previously because I wasn’t confident in shooting in an environment where I can’t control the lighting with artificial light.
There is so much more for me to learn and so many different things within fashion photography that I am yet to try, but I am happy with the progress I’ve made in my degree and am hopeful for what the future has in store for me.