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.
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.
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.