So now what?

My time in university is nearly over and I’m looking with hope into the future.

In the past year, I’ve worked hard on building up my professional portfolio, experience, and connections. I’ve taken on more projects than I could count, some featured on this blog and some not, some that I felt more confident in than others, but overall it’s all been a learning experience and one that will help shape my business in the future.

After university I intend to work as self employed in photography, continuing my focus on fashion and commercial photography, and also branching out more to events. I also hope to continue using the connections I’ve previously made with the fashion department, and more recently the music department to whom I have just provided some photography work, and build more working relations for the future.

I’m also hoping to start producing stock photography work that I could use as an ongoing project that I continuously add to as a self-driven way to produce cash flow to sustain my business.

I do have a part time job I’m planning to continue working in after I finish university to also help sustain me until my business grows enough for me to be able to work in it full time.

Finishing university is a very big and terrifying step, now is the time I am truly stepping out into the world, but I am confident in the business I am starting to build, in the relationships I’ve created in these past three years, that this is a new beginning and I am excited to see what the future holds.

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CV

View my portfolio on my website

Skills & Abilities

• Team work
• Photography
• Videography
• Adobe Premier skills
• Photoshop skills
• Trustworthiness and discretion
• Ability to handle multi-tasking
• Knowledge in IT, specialising with Mac computers
• Creativity and flexibility, including working with stress and change
• Fluent in both Hebrew and English
• Moderate level of Spanish

Internships:
Summer 2016: Photography intern with the head of photography in The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Work included assisting with the photography of the exhibitions and editing the photographs.
May 2017-June 2017: Work placement as a studio assistant in Digital Exposure Studios. Responsibilities included prepping products to be shot, shooting smaller projects, and retouching images.
Commissions and Exhibitions:
Fashion At Chester catwalk show
Children Today Charity catwalk show
Chester Art’s Fair (event photography)
Beatons tearooms
University of Chester international office
Chameleon Style spring collection
University of Chester second year fashion design exhibition (exhibited photography)

Education:
2006-2012: Graduated from the Sha’ar Ha’negev education centre, full Bagrut major- ing in transmitted media (radio), History and English translation.
2013: Took 3 courses in Camera Obscure photography school in photography, studio photography and photoshop skills
2014-2015: Yarin shahaf make up academy
2015-2018: undergraduate degree in the University of Chester studying BA Photography

Personal Development

 

Untitled-1

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.

 

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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.

Catalog statment

My chosen catalog image is this:

YamKovatch

And this is the statement that follows:

Wonder

by Yam Kovatch

 

‘What may I do?’ at length I cried

Tired of this painful task

The fairy quietly replied,

and said ‘you must not ask’

from My Fairy by Lewis Carroll

 

My project was inspired Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland and his poetry surrounding the story including My Fairy. The project contrasts the two sides of the tale: the beauty and purity against the madness and surrealism, then link it to different approaches to fashion photography.

 

I collaborated with a fashion design student who has also drawn inspiration from the same story, and together we have created two different sets of images titled Wonderland Pt.2 and Wonderland Pt.3. The project seeks to take inspiration from both the beauty and the madness of the story and showcase two different aspects of fashion photography, one commercial based and one fine art based.

 

My inspiration for the project comes from fashion magazines such as Dazed and Confused, I-D and Vogue, photographers such as Rankin and Inez & Vinoodh, and fashion designers the likes of Alexander McQueen and Valentino. I am interested in the three-way collaboration between magazine, photographer and fashion designer and how this impacts on the final look of the image.

Exhibition planning

My final project has drawn from one of my live projects working with the first year fashion students. One of the designers, Lili, has created a dress with a print inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The project I have been working on previously included masks of a cat and a rabbit, which some of those who have seen my project have linked it back to Alice in Wonderland.

 

As I liked Lili’s design so much, as well as working with her, I decided to start using her dress in my project, drawing inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and the stories surrounding it, mainly focusing on my favourite poem “My Fairy”. My final selection of images was from both series of images, first the ones taken in the studio with Kenzie, and then the outdoor shoots with Louise.

After seeing my work displayed in the second year fashion student exhibition, where my images were printed on a very large scale (6ft).

I decided I would like to print my images for this project on a similar scale, having the portrait images from the studio shoot be 6ft, the main coloured photo from the shoot on the beach to be A0, and the black and white images to be A1. The issues started when I found out that I can’t print on campus in the scale I wanted of 6ft without having to crop my images due to the width of the printer, and so I had to downscale my images to 5″4. I later test printed all images in the correct size to see if they hold up, however, unfortunately, the larger images have started to become soft and the quality of the images have severely been reduced due to the original image file not being large enough to hold up to the scale of the print. This is a known issue when shooting on a digital camera, however, I wanted to experiment and see if it might hold up.

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Due to this test print, I had decided to downscale the images completely and have 4 images (the studio and the black and white photos), as A3 and the main coloured image from the beach shoot to be A2. This allows me to do several things I could not have done before. Firstly this allows me to mount my images on Foamex, something I had considered before but was worried that with the large size of the images it will be too much. It also allowed me to print the images on glossy c-type paper. I prefer glossy paper for these prints however the large printer in university only uses certain types of paper, and the c-type printer can only print up to A3. Having all my images larger than A3 would have forced me to outsource them all if I wanted to have them printed in c-type which is why I opted for the other type of paper, however having them at this size allows me to only outsource one image and have the rest done on site.

In the location selection, I had requested to be placed in either the fashion studio or the foyer. I wanted to be located in the fashion studio as, despite it not being used for that purpose on the day of the exhibition, links to my images as they are of fashion nature. I requested the foyer as originally my photos needed quite a lot of wall space however it is not as relevant now, as well as I didn’t know if the fashion studio will be available to use.

I am hoping to display my images in this manner:

how my exhibition should look

MA study

Going into further study has always been something that I had considered. As a person, I am very much an academic person and I do enjoy study and in my lifetime I would like to reach a Ph.D. level. Studying for an MA is, of course, the next stage. It is not a stage that I am prepared to take now, mainly for financial reasons, however, is one that I am working towards achieving in the 5 years following my graduation.

In my MA study, I would not like to study photography, or a specialised version of it (such as MA Fashion Photography, MA Documentary Photography, etc), but a subject that might be related to my photography practice, but expenses on the theoretical side and considers other paths within the photography practice. The three courses I am currently interested in are:

The first course I found was MA/MFA Visual Cultures in Manchester Metropolitan University, however in recent searches for the course I could not find it in the course list anymore, however, there are similar courses to this in other universities.

I am also considering a path in digital marketing, MA courses for which can be found in my current university, the University of Chester in the Warrington campus, and in Liverpool John Moores.

Other courses I am taking an interest in are inUniversity of the Arts London. The two courses I am considering are MA Fashion Cultures, MA Narrative Environments, and MA Fashion Media Production being my favorite one of the three.

At the moment postgraduate study seems pretty far away as I do want to take a short break from study to rest, save up money, and also start gathering work experience in my field however it is definitely a path I would like to pursue.

Fashion Photography-Research

My goal since I’ve started university has been to become a fashion and editorial photographer. Getting your foot in the door in fashion photography can be challenging, it’s a very high demand discipline and one that requires a very large portfolio of work in order to succeed in. In the past year, I have spent speaking to photographers, applying for jobs, and attempting to create a large working portfolio of work outside of university, in the form of the work I have done in my live projects.

I have met with a photographer who works as a fashion photographer and also runs a studio for other photographers to use when in need of one. She has been working in the field for ten years and she recommended to continue to apply for as many opportunities as possible, send over to magazines my own personal work, attend as many events as I can, and generally just continue to push forward until something sticks. This is something I’ve already been doing, I am a member of several Facebook groups that are around photographers and fashion work in general, and whenever a job comes up in one of these groups I automatically offer my services.

I have been constantly job hunting through websites such as indeed, glassdoor, and LinkdIn to see what jobs are available within my chosen field. In the photography field, most jobs I have found have been commission based/self employed basis, however, there are some “in house photographer” jobs available mainly in e-commerce websites. In the recent months, I have started applying for jobs in e-commerce websites as those are a great gateway into the fashion photography world, and jobs in which I can gather experience in the field. I had already gone to one job interview for the site ISAWITFIRST for a junior video editor position and I intend to apply for more in the future.

I am going to continue to attend and photograph events to later send to magazines or sell on stock photography websites. In the coming months I will be photographing Manchester Fashion Week and in the summer I will be photographing Nakshi Fashion Week in London.

At the end of May, I will be attending The Fashion Network Recruitment Fair, to which I will take along my portfolio and CV to showcase to the various brands attending the event in the hopes for future work. TFN is a great source of research for jobs and what is going on in the fashion field. I have subscribed to their newsletter and check their website periodically to see if any new jobs come about.

Venture

Throughout the year I have taken part in the university’s Venture program. This program was set up by careers and employability to help support start up business set up by students. The program invites guest speakers to hold workshops and lectures with students to help support them in their developing business.

The lectures include things such as tax information, building website skills, social media for businesses, and more. At the end of the venture program, those who have completed 12 hours of lectures within the program can apply for “the pitch” an opportunity to win a grant of up to £5000 to start your business.

Initially, I started going to events by the Venture program because I wanted to apply for the pitch, as if I were to win the grant it can assist me in building a small studio for myself that I could use once I graduated and to start working professionally on my own without the support of my tutors or the university’s equipment.

However, as I continued to go to the lectures each of them have taught me new things I haven’t even considered such as creating a trademark for my business. I don’t plan on having a name for my business, I would like to just use my own name, however during the “What’s in a name” session regarding trademarks it was mentioned that it’s worth registering a trademark for the business even if it is my actual name, in the events that someone with an identical name starts working in a field similar to mine or even external and could potentially cause bad reputation for my name.

I have also begun going to one-on-one sessions with business advisors from Natwest who have helped me start creating a business plan and prepare for the Pitch coming up in June.

Degree show promotion

Throughout the year the promotional team has been focused mainly on social media and have had our Instagram page run by Alannah who has been sharing work in progress posts from all students. Coming to the month before the exhibition, it is now time to start doing active promotion by inviting people to our show.

Within the promotion team, we decided to split up the roles in a way where each of us would contact relevant magazines and galleries in correlation to their own personal interest as well as connections. I took on the role of inviting relevant magazines as I have an interest in editorial in my career ambitions.

I first contacted Laura Robertson from the Double Negative as in the past year I have made connections with her in the hopes of becoming a contributor in her magazine.

I later also contacted The Skinny, Flux magazine, Redeye who will be relevant to the photography students, and Paper Gallery.

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