London Trip and Visiting Lectures  

London Trip

At the beginning of year two we were offered a trip to London form the 13th-17th of November. We were offered this trip in our first year but at the time I could not afford to go, but I heard from everyone who went how much fun and how much they learnt from the trip, so I decided to save some money so that I could this year.

On day one (13th November) we met outside the college at 8:15 so that we could catch the bus to London at 8:30. We then arrived at the hotel around 15:30 and then had the rest of the day to do what we wanted before the busy next day. On the 14th we met outside the hotel at 8:00 to go to the Seventy 7 Studios. Seventy 7 is a premier studio, production studio and production agency. During out time there we had a variety of different talks/presentations from people who work there from photographers, retouchers and art directors. I found these talks very interesting and appealing and it defiantly made me think about the industry and what to expect when I get into the industry, they did not sugar coat what the industry will be like. After listening to the talks they then took us around the studios talking about some of the brands they work for and seeing some of the studio setups they have. I really enjoyed learning about the clients they have and how they setup there studios, I also liked how they did not have the top of the range art studios but had what they need for the shoot and not unnecessary equipment. After finishing our time at the studios at around 2 we then headed back to the hotel and had the rest of the day to ourselves

The 15th was the all-day event where we had a symposium, the outline of the day is as following:

  • 9:00 – Students/Morning guests arrived
  • 9:20 – Programme started – Welcome & Introduction
  • 9:30 – Rachel Smith – Fashion, Beauty & Portrait Photographer – I really like her talk as I want to go into the fashion and portrait industry and It gave me more of an idea on what to expect and how to get into the industry.
  • 10:15 – Owen Harvey – Editorial photographer
  • 11:00 – Break
  • 11:15 – Philip Haynes – Sport & Portrait Advertising photographer
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 1:30 – David Ellis – Advertising & Editorial photographer and film maker
  • 2:15 – Niall Horton Stephens – Agency & Production Company
  • 3:00 – Break
  • 3:15 – Sarah Williams – Creative Consultant & Art buyer

I really enjoyed the day and had a great time learning about what each of the photographers do and how they got into the industry. After we had the talks and during the breaks we were able to have a one to one with one of the photographers to show them our portfolios and to talk more to them on the best way for us to move forward and what we could do better with our work. I had my portfolio review at around 5:15 with the photographer David Ellis. Though he was not the photographer I really wanted to talk to because he is not in the fashion industry he gave me some great advise. He said my work was really good and I had a great eye for it. However he did say that I should look in to not only fashion but portraiture as well, as my work seems to be half fashion and half portraits. Getting this advice was very helpful and made me think more about portraiture and is that something I want to go into? After a lot of thinking and as I move forward in this project I have realised, that I want to look into both and improve my skills for both. The Symposium finished at 5:30. Where we then had the rest of the evening to do what we would like.

On the 16th we had a workshop with an editorial photographer called Peter Zelewski. Peter is based in London and does mostly portrait and documentary photographer. He is drawn to the streets of London to take photographs of the people, which have then resulted in two award winning projects called People of Soho and Beautiful Strangers.

The brief of the day was to meet outside the hotel at nine to then walk to the East End. The idea of the day was to develop our skills on editorial street portraiture. We were put into groups of four and asked to shoot as a group 12 different portraits of people we stop on the street. In my group there was Megan, Sandra, Gaby and me. I had a really fun time doing this project and I learnt a lot about street photography and the best way to ask strangers if we can take their portrait. Though at the beginning we found it difficult to go up to people and ask to take their photo with the help of Peter we grow in confidence and by the end we went up to people without any hesitation and got some great photos.

On the last day (17th) we could either go to the Taylor Wessing Portrait exhibition or have the morning to ourselves. I decided to have the morning to myself and made sure everything was packed. We then got the coach outside the hotel at 12:15 and then arrived back on Plymouth at 19:15.

Overall I had an amazing trip and developed my skills and learnt a lot of new information about the world of fashion and portraiture industry. My favourite day defiantly had to be the workshop we did was Peter Zelewski as I loved how the project was so hands on and he was there to ask questions about what he does, give us advice on how to take the best street images and learn from doing and not by listening. I am very glad I came to London for this trip and will defiantly be coming back on the trip in my 3rd year.

Visiting Lectures 

I am always very excited for when visiting lectures come to see us as we get to learn more about the industry and show them our work and get their opinions and also ask them questions about the industry.

Dylan Thomas 

The first visiting Lecture there was, was Dylan Thomas. He is an award winning photographer who has assisted renown photographers such as Lord Snowdon. Dylan has built up a reputation in the industry over the years and is an interior, still life and Portrait photographer and does work for a number of highly valued clients as well as the famous and rich. Sadly I only got to listen to his presentation about what he does and his work as I had to leave after the presentation to go to London to assist Holly McGlynn, so I was not able to participate in the workshop, but I heard it was a lot of fun and they had a great time learning from him.

Rebecca Swift 

I have been to two talks by Rebecca Swift one about the Getty image trends and one on how to market yourself. Looking back at the two talks I defiantly found the first talk more interesting about the trends as for this project of Visual trends we are looking at the Getty image trend. Rebecca has been in the photography industry for over 20 years and was one of the founding members of the creative research team at Getty Images where she introduced visual research methodology to the photographic industry. She is now responsible for collating and building image collections for iStock, which is a subsidiary of Getty Images.

In the morning we had a talk form Rebecca Swift telling us what she does in the Industry and about the trends. In the afternoon everyone in the class showed two images they have done for this assignment of visual trends so far. Rebecca then had to guess which trend it was following this and then give us feedback on what she thought about the images and what she might change. The two images I showed her she seemed to really like them, she guessed straight away that they were both following the trend Colour surge and she said they definitely followed the trend and I should be very pleased with them. The only advice she gave me which I then followed was to crop them down a little bit which will then make them stand out more. I followed this advice and now one of the images is my final image.

I am very happy with the advice Rebecca gave me and I learnt lots from the experience on how Getty images works in the UK and worldwide. I think she offered a great amount of encouragement for our work and was keen to take any questions we had. I really enjoyed both her talks a learnt a lot form the experience.

Ian Catling 

Ian Catling has over 20 years, experience creating brand technologies and ideologies for companies such as ABSOLUT, Energiser, Cadbury, and many more. Around twelve months ago he has set up his own business. His knowledge and willingness to pass on tricks and tips I found very useful as some visiting lecturers we have had before have not been as willing to give tips and information. My only problem with the day was that he did not know much about photography and when getting his opinions on our images to me he did not seem that knowledgeable about giving us advice on our images. However saying this it was really interesting to learn about the process of creating a brand before the photographer is involved and what goes on.

After the presentation about his work and some of the brands he had worked on we were then put into groups and given a brief to create a new advertising campaign for a sofa company called Sofology. In my group there was Barbra, Molly and me. The first part of the assignment was to research our chosen product and make mood boards and come up with an ad idea following the described protocols of that brand Ian had spoken about in his presentation. After coming up with the ad idea we then had to present is to Ian and the rest of the class. At the end of our presentation Ian seemed to like out idea, but advised use that when doing a presentation to speak up and be a bit more confident. I completely agreed with what he said as before doing the presentation my group were a bit nervous as we had not had long to create the presentation and come up with our idea.

At the end of the presentations we then showed Ian one of our images as I said before he did not know much about the photography and he mainly does advertising so when he was looking at the images he was talking about the images in a branding and advertising way. However he seemed to like my image and it was nice to get an opinion of someone who is not directly in the photography industry.

I enjoyed the day with Ian and I learnt a lot about branding and what comes before the photographer is even thought about. It was also interesting to hear about what he looks for in a photographer when they get to that stage of branding.

Overall I really enjoyed all the talks form the visiting lecturers in particular Rebecca Swift. I am also looking forwarded to more visiting lectures in the future.