I also enjoy sharing my experience over the last three years with you, and hope it will inspire and motivate some of you to get more into photography.
So, here are a few more things I’ve learnt through taking the Photojournalism course:
During my second year we worked on two exciting collaborative projects: the uni newspaper (Arts London News), which is published once a week, and a magazine we created from scratch. I worked as the picture editor on the newspaper, which was such a challenging, busy, and exciting time. I remember feeling like it was the busiest time of my life so far. Anyway, working as the picture editor taught me a lot about working with people, managing and organising time, and being assertive while staying friendly and calm. If you can get a chance to take on a leadership role in any kind of creative area, you should take the opportunity. This isn’t necessarily related to photography, but of course I also learnt a lot about selecting and editing pictures, and working very quickly and efficiently - a skill photographers definitely need, if we don’t want to spend hours and hours editing pictures.
As I just mentioned, we also created magazines in small groups. This project taught me so much about working in a team, staying calm and collaborative, while keeping up a productive working spirit. I personally love working with others, it keeps me motivated and the accountability pushes me to work hard and get things done. But we all know, that’s not the case for everyone - so being able to work with all kinds of different personality types can be a real challenge, but also a great learning experience. Again, not specifically photography related, but collaborating with others will help you grow your social skills, which you’ll definitely need as a photographer in any situation. All those skills come in handy every time you work with a client.
Another project I worked on during my second year was creating a photo essay. I haven’t talked about photo essays much before, but it’s one of the most challenging and exciting photo projects to work on if you invest enough time and energy into it. For the photo essay during the second year at uni I photographed a farmer - it definitely was time-consuming and hard, but again I’ve learnt so much from it: getting access and finding the time that works for both people involved, running around and keeping up with whatever your subject is up to, keeping your frame clean and composing the photo in a nice way, looking out for interesting details, and at the same time keeping annoying things out of the image, selecting the best pictures, remembering what you still need a photo of and getting that picture, editing all the images and putting them in an order that tells a story…
This is just a brief summary of what’s involved in a photo essay. I’ll talk more about it in the next (and last) part of this series.
For now I want to encourage you to think of a project that you might want to work on yourself. No matter whether that’s telling a story about something you’re interested in and working on a photo essay, or creating a magazine on a topic that you’re passionate about. It doesn’t always have to be ‘official’ - why not look for people to collaborate with, and just do something for fun? You’ll definitely learn a lot from it.
What are some projects and ideas you’ve always wanted to work on? I’d love to hear!