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Photojournalism Career

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Similarly, to the documentary photography research, I felt I should look into photojournalism – another career path that interests me.

I have again highlighted key information that I feel is important to know when approaching photojournalism as a career path, highlighting skills that I know I need to have/develop further. It also highlights the best places to look for jobs where I feel I will be most valuable.

Example of Career Requirements

Degree Level No degree requirements; bachelor’s degree may help improve employability
Degree Field Photojournalism
Licensure/Certification No licensure or certification needed, but membership in the American Society of Media Photographers can offer professional resources and networking opportunities
Experience Internships available; professional portfolio is required
Key Skills Stress-management; ability to meet deadlines; communication; decision-making; computer skills with photo editing software; technical skills with camera technology
Median Salary (2015)* $31,710 per year (for photographers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monster.com, American Society of Media Photographers.

Although this career requirement list is for an American job, it has still enlightened me on the kind of skills employers are searching for when choosing successful applicants.

When submitting a CV is important for me to consider these skills and present a CV which responds to this directly to show myself as a reliable and worthy applicant for the job.

Other skills/knowledge/requirements needed to be a successful photojournalist:

  • Graduate with a degree – a photojournalism degree is often more favourable
  • Invest time in an internship – learn about the industry
  • Create a portfolio
  • Publish your work – create contacts with local newspapers etc to form networks which will give you a gateway to the industry
  • Become confident with writing – this will more often than not have to accompany your work

I found that the requirements for this career choice are very much the same as documentary photography, but with the added extra of a skill within writing – specifically when working with publishers. This isn’t something that had put me off the decision to pursue this as a career, but more motivated me to consider practising writing things such as a press release or article to help me gather experience when publishing writing.

From this point I want to continue working on my skills and develop a CV/portfolio that will be attractive to potential employers, enabling myself a strong opportunity of entering the industry fairly quickly after graduation.

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Documentary Photography Careers

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After establishing my lack of desire to continue education straight after graduation, I felt it necessary to investigate the qualities and knowledge needed to invest into a career in the documentary photography industry.

I have highlighted here key elements that I feel are important to know when approaching this as a career path, highlighting skills that I know I need to have/develop further, and the type of jobs I could potentially approach when graduating.

Other skills/knowledge/requirements needed to be a successful documentary photographer:

  • travelling to remote places
  • contending with uncontrollable forces like weather and lighting challenges.
  • translating and visualising issues that are happening as is, and in a way that will make the story interesting and appealing to different viewers
  • being able to choose your subject well – researching thoroughly, understanding the issue
  • adapting a style to suit the message – example: close ups or long shots? Dramatic or intriguing?
  • showing a storyline within the images
  • having health and safety/insurance sorted – asking permission from authorities, models – showing them respect
  • being patient – waiting for things to happen, not choreographed
  • paying critical attention to detail – they help narrate the story

This research has demonstrated to me the key areas that are ideal for me to work on when continuing my studies, using this as an opportunity to experiment and get a professional feel for the industry. It sets itself as ‘guidelines’ to follow when approaching my career in the future, using this knowledge to sell myself within CVs when applying to jobs and promoting myself as a knowledgeable candidate.

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Masters?

When considering the next steps after graduation I considered the option of studying a Masters. After deep thought I felt this may not be the best route for me. Through my experiences at university, I have at times struggled with personal issues and motivation which as a result has made me question my passion for photography on several occasions. Knowing deep down that photography is where I want to be, making a name for myself as a practitioner, I made a conscious decision not to approach applying for a Masters, allowing myself to get out there and continue to actively make work because I WANT to not because I have a deadline approaching. I also feel that this decision will allow me to gain more experience with the action of doing.

Despite this decision I felt it would be of benefit to research possible Masters courses that I would consider if for any reason I was to change my mind in the future about my decision to discontinue study.

I came across a Masters degree in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. The course itself sounds like the exact thing I want to participate in when approaching my career, but as said before the idea of studying for another two years is not of an attraction to me now.

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The course itself is online based, and has an excellent track record for successful graduates, who have “dominated the UK student documentary photography prizes”. The course allows students to build on knowledge of the industry and encourages the use of multi-media. The course is two years and employs a variety of highly successful practitioners such as Tom Hunter to tutor the course.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography attracts students who apply direct from an Honours degree course, or a professional or academic qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree, or those with other, equivalent qualifications.

Graduates of all disciplines may apply, although most students have a background in Arts and Humanities. You must be socially aware, inquisitive, self-motivated and passionate about a career in photojournalism or documentary photography. Relevant professional experience or work experience in the industry is increasingly important.

Candidates without a first degree can be accepted onto the course if they can demonstrate past experience equivalent to a first degree, such as professional experience. This is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. 

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS (INTERNATIONAL/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score. 

  • IELTS 6.5, with 5.5 in each four skills is required.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of prior knowledge and/or experience of Photography that would indicate potential to successfully complete the programme of study
  • Social awareness, inquisitiveness and passion about a career in photojournalism or documentary photography
  • An ability to work on one or more projects over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way (Portfolio)
  • A journalistic and documentary awareness and an understanding of research and practice methodologies and a realistic idea of what makes a strong project (Project ideas)

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

PERSONAL STATEMENT ADVICE

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

STUDY PROPOSAL/PROJECT PROPOSAL ADVICE

All applicants will be expected to submit an outline of their major project ideas. This should describe the area of interest – the field of study and the particular focus of their intended work across the year. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project – the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

PORTFOLIO ADVICE (25-30 IMAGES)

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application, with all work clearly annotated and labelled. Your portfolio should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material, consisting of 25-30 photographs of a documentary or journalistic nature on a related theme. This should demonstrate evidence of an ability to work on a project over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way.

If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.

What happens next?

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course. 

I feel the entry requirements of the course are of an achievable level for my abilities which makes me feel more confident about the opportunity should I one day chose to approach it. However, they are also another aspect that has put me off the idea of continuing education straight after graduation. At a time where I am so busy with completing my degree, this would be an awful lot of work to be taking on at the same time, with a deadline fast approaching for the applications in February.

FEES AND FUNDING

HOME / EU FEE

£4,750 (2018/19) entry.

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

ELQ

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the course enquiry form.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

FEES & FUNDING CALCULATOR

Find out how much your studies may cost and what financial help may be available.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

 

Although there are various options available to applicants for the funding of the course, it is something that I have had to question deeply when considering this as my decision. With an extensive debt on my back when graduating from uni, it is an extra debt I’m not sure I’m willing to have when debating my future. However, realistically the price of the Masters is extensively cheaper, and I wouldn’t necessarily have to consider accommodation costs as the course can be completed online.

At this current point, I don’t feel that a masters is an option for me straight after graduation. I would like to go out into the real world and give it a good go, encouraging myself out of my comfort zone and indulging in my passion for photography because I want to get a career and not because I have a deadline. Although I feel this course would be of a great benefit I also feel that entering the working world will also give me a substantial amount of knowledge and experience which I feel is incredibly important when starting a career within a competitive industry. If things don’t go to plan for me, this option is definitely one I will revisit in the future as a back up option.

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5 Year Plan

Year 1 – After graduation it would be beneficial to be able to intercept the photojournalism industry at a low level, for example as a photographer’s shadow, gathering experience to motivate myself to work up further into the industry. To do this I wish to be building strong networks with existing practitioners and creatives with knowledge useful to my goal. I will look to move to a larger city rather than move back home to broaden the chance of opportunity, depending on potential recognition from Free Range. I hope to build extensively on my confidence and networking skills by maintaining existing relationships with individuals from PCA and creating new ones with individuals who hold beneficial experience, to make the process of moving to a larger city and stepping into a competitive industry easier. I want the process to be underway within the first 6 months to motivate pro-active behaviour and avoid the event of becoming indulged in my social life and ignorant of a potential career. If Free Range doesn’t go quite the way I expect, and I miss out on an opportunity, I hope to invest in a full-time job to accumulate a financial situation which will allow me to later hunt for an opportunity independently in other places.

Year 3 – Assuming I begin to become successful and build on promotions within the photojournalism/documentary industry, perhaps for a popular newspaper or magazine, I hope to be able to reach out to a wider audience and increase the potential of becoming identified. I think of a standard work day involving actively creating work at all times – indulging in the community to create relatable and strengthened pieces of work. I hope that my financial situation allows me to live in an environment rich with opportunity for commissions and work opportunities to continue the building of knowledge. I have an expectation of a deeper knowledge of the industry and work ethic, which will motivate me to begin thinking and investing into becoming self-employed, giving myself independence and broadening my options – for example beginning to curate exhibitions using my own work. It is important to me to begin making a name for myself within the documentary and photojournalism sector of the photographic industry as I am passionate about giving people a voice – exposing truths within the world that are often victims of ignorance. I want to enable the audience to trust me as a photographer and open to confiding in my photography. If at this point I feel that I am at a loose end and my career is not really progressing, I would consider going back to education and studying a Masters to encourage an increase in knowledge and perhaps acquire a new perspective when approaching the industry.

Year 5 – By this point I want to have and continue to maintain a strong identity within my desired industry, if I haven’t by this point gone back to education. I would like to start being recognised for my documentary work, photo-journalistic work and potentially curating influential solo exhibitions. I would like to believe by this point I would be self-employed, and that my business would be beginning to really take off, evidencing a comfortable financial situation, domestically and socially. For this to happen I will have had to invest a lot of money and actively push for my business to get going in the previous years – putting in what I want to get back. I hope by this point to have an extensive and loyal following from my audience, and a maintained relationship with other practitioners and previous colleagues within the industry to continue to build myself as a photographer. To feel a sense of accomplishment I wish to believe that my work would make a difference to the subjects photographed, giving the injustice, justice. I have always believed that visual work can make a difference to personal feelings, and my goal is to prove that with my own work.

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Press Release

Thinking about a career within photojournalism, the expectation is that the work I wish to produce will often be accompanied by writing. I felt it was necessary to consider press releases and how they are written to increase my skills when writing to essentially promote an event/item/myself as a photographer.

To practice I have attempted a press release based on the upcoming print auction event designed by our cohort to give myself an idea how the kind of thing that the press release needs to include – being concise and enticing at the same time.

 

What? (Give your event a snappy title)

 F29 Fundraising Print Auction
When?  February 22nd 2018, 7-7.30pm
Where?  Copthorne Hotel, Plymouth
Who? (Who is organising the event? Who is invited?)  Organised by BA Photography third year students, invitation to other creatives and members of the public interested in art/photography
Why? (Why is it an exciting event? Think of 2 or 3 reasons why people would want to come to this event) ·       To help raise funds for the graduate show in London, June 2018

·       Get your hands on work sent directly from existing practitioners, signed, sealed, delivered!

·       To express personal passion and have an enjoyable experience doing something a little different

Quote: (Don’t forget to include a name from an organiser, attendee or sponsor)  Items for sale include work from internationally renowned photographer Tom Hunter, signed book from fashion photographer Rankin, and many more!
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Online Portfolio

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To enable myself the ease of creating an online portfolio, I created a profile on artsthread to reach out further than my existing website and social media platforms.

The website allows one to look at other portfolios from existing users, submitted by a range of users from undergraduates to practitioners, gathering inspiration from people within the industry that could inspire my career going forward. It also allows people to view, ‘appreciate’ and ‘comment’ on your portfolio which could lend useful feedback when trying to make an impression.

The website also allows you to enter competitions, another platform which will help me to release my work to a wider audience and essentially increase my confidence when submitting work to be judged. It will also help me to consider my decisions when choosing work more critically, in order to display work that is successful.

The website is also designed to help with potential job opportunities – similar to a LinkedIn profile but more specifically for artists.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

Creative CV

Dannielle Hand

31 Churchill Road, Wells, Somerset, BA5 3JB

07403411649

danniellehandphotography@hotmail.com

Aspiring documentary photographer, I hope to find a place within the industry that I feel my skills and knowledge will be immediately valuable to and vastly developed. I consider myself to be responsible and mature, thriving in fast-paced environments with a desire to learn new things and take on a challenge. I am very punctual and able to meet deadlines effectively which have led me to achieve an excellent track record.  

Skills:

  • Use of Adobe products such as Photoshop
    Excellent communication skills
    Friendly demeanour
    Detail-orientated
    Strong work ethic
    Strong team-work skills
    Easily Adaptable

Experience:

South West Image Bank
Dates volunteered – May 2016 – May 2016
General learning of the organisation of a photographic archive, adding images to the archive, studying old negatives

Skills acquired

  • Increased knowledge of historical processes of photography (eg. analogue photography)
  • Adapting to new processes of organising archives using computers and scanners

The Bridgwater Way
Dates volunteered – October 2014 – April 2015
Photographing of local events set by the company for the community to be shown in the press and used to promote future events/the company

Skills acquired

  • Gaining more confidence when working within the community
  • Increased passion for documentary style work

Timeless Images
Dates volunteered – Jun 2011 – Jun 2011
A week of work experience in a photographic studio, shadowing the main photographer on shoots, learning post production techniques, as well as general management of finance and shop floor.

Skills acquired

  • Financial skills developed when handling cash/business money flow/shop floor
  • Studio lighting skills learned and developed when shadowing photographer
  • Using basic post production programmes to edit imagery
  • Increased confidence when directing models

General Event Photography

Dates volunteered – 2012 – Present

Taking part in photography of paid events such as weddings, christenings, birthday parties and family reunions

Skills acquired

  • Increased relationships with individuals from the public
  • Developed directing skills
  • Refined documentary approach to imagery
  • Adapting to different environments and event styles
  • Time management and organisation

Education:

Plymouth College of Art
Bachelor of Arts – Photography
Dates attended or expected graduation – 2015 – 2018

Exhibitions

  • September 2017 – ‘Plymersion’ – Plymouth College of Art.
  • May 2017 – ‘The City’ – Plymouth College of Art.
  • May 2017 – ‘Fictive’ – Plymouth College of Art.
  • May 2016 – ‘Our Essencene’ – St. Saviours Church, Plymouth.

Bridgwater & Taunton College
A Level
Dates attended – 2013 – 2015
Photography – A
Business Studies – B
Fashion/Textiles – B
English Lit/Lang – C

Exhibitions

  • June 2015 – ‘Art and Media Show’ – Bridgwater and Taunton College.

The Blue School
GCSE
Dates attended – 2008 – 2013
Art – A*
English Language – A*
Textiles – A*
English Literature – A
Graphics – A
History – A
Biology – B
Maths – B
Core Science – C
Spanish – C

Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

Learning Style

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YOU ​ARE ​A VISUAL ​LEARNER!
Below are 5 top tips to help you make the most of your particular learning style.
1. ​Refer ​to ​pictures, ​videos, ​posters ​and ​slides ​to ​help ​you ​take ​in information.
2. ​Use ​colour ​coding ​to ​help ​you ​stay ​organised.
3. ​Use ​mind-maps, ​graphs ​or ​diagrams ​rather ​than ​lists.
4. ​Use ​symbols, ​initials, ​illustrations ​or ​other ​visual ​cues ​to ​help ​you remember material.
5.​ You​ ​may​ ​be​ ​more​ ​susceptible​ ​to​ ​visual​ ​distractions​ ​so​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​working​ ​space​ ​as clear​ ​and​ ​tidy​ ​as​ ​possible.

I took part in discovering my own learning style as I felt this would be helpful to me not only with things such as aesthetic, but with the continuing of my PDP.

I am a visual learner which suggests that I engage more with things that are shown, illustrated, coloured etc. Thinking about this in a professional manner towards the completion of my PDP, it is important for me to include visuals within the learning process and the document itself to ensure that I take something away from the experience and not take part in the process purely because I must.

I feel this will help me when exploring things such as exhibitions, as it will maintain and engagement between myself and my surrounding environment, allowing me to take away more from the experience.

The suggested 5 tips have been useful to me when trying to think about ways of tackling this module. For example, the PDP is a heavy text document, so using colour coding will allow me to stay focused and in control when completing.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

Skills Audit

Dannielle Hand
Skills Audit – Results

Thanks for completing the Careers and Employability Skills Audit. Below you will find a summary radar graph which highlights your strengths as well as areas you may wish to work on.At the bottom you will find some helpful suggestions on what you could do to improve your abilities but make sure you also look for other opportunities for self improvement.

Remember this is just a snapshot of your skills and abilities so keep checking back to ensure that you have the most up to date information and results. If you wish to discuss any aspect of your Skills Audit Results, please email careers@pca.ac.uk to make an appointment.

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(A higher number is better)

Key Areas for Self Improvement:

Ability to network easily with other people.

Tip – Improve the mood of the group. Be positive. Be fun. Be appreciative of other people. Be full of good ideas. Do your part to make the environment a good one.

Communication on lynda.com


Ability to express yourself clearly and talk about your work to a group of people.

Please take some time to discuss this with your lecturer or program leader.


Ability to effectively listen to others views and ideas and understand their point of view and what they require from you.

“There is a difference between listening and waiting for your time to speak” – Simon Sinek

6 Ways to Show People You’re Really Listening on Entrepreneur.com

Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

LinkedIn

Using linkedin was something new for me – I found it quite difficult to use at first as I found the process to be quite confusing – what I have at the moment in a work in progress; things are still to be added to and updated with new experiences.

I approached this as an online CV, using it to create a creative CV purely about my experiences within photography. I felt it would be unnecessary to include information about previous jobs as a waitress when my goal is to gain a job within the art world. I want to use this profile to create a strong network of people, to learn, and to potentially help with my career within industry. Networking is one of my weak points, so I hope this platform is something that can help me to build confidence in that area.

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I used basic information at the start of my profile, using a short artist statement, similar to the one on my website, to stay consistent. I also stated exhibitions I have been involved in to gain immediate attention from my audience in hope to gather interest. I also included links to my Facebook, Instagram and website to exhibit a sense of professionalism.

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My profile views at the moment are very low, but I feel I should use this profile as an opportunity to actively LOOK for individuals to network with, which in turn will give me more page views as I gather interest into my work.

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I chose to include details about my education as proof of my experiences and existing knowledge about art and design subjects having studied various. I want to be able to show myself as someone who is knowledgeable as well as creative, in order to build a strong sense of passion towards my area of study.

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My experience area needs to be updated as I have taken part in various other volunteered experiences during my studies, however, I wanted to use this as part of my profile to demonstrate how active I am within the industry and my willingness to learn. I feel it is crucial to reflect experiences to potential audiences/employers/etc to allow them to see the existing knowledge and skills you have acquired from the working world and not just through study.

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Finally, I have highlighted areas I feel I am skilled in, in hope to reach out to someone who may be scouting for an individual who is strong within such areas. I also included awards I have received – although only small, they are still recognitions for my work. Essentially, I am trying to promote myself to a potential employer to help me get a head start to a career within industry.