Guest lecture: Max Ferguson

28th September 2018

Guest lecture : Max Ferguson, editor (Smash&Grab; Port). (Viewed via the recording from 18/9/18)

As someone who is not looking for a career as a photographer after the MA ,Max’s talk gave me some hope that there might be other opportunities to work creatively within the photography world.

Key points for me:

  1. When he uses the term ‘young’ – he is referring to new photographers rather than being defined by age.
  2. Instagram is likely to be looked at before website by editors
  3. Try to keep style as broad as possible
  4. Max doesn’t look for particular photographers, but photographs he likes, instead
  5. Brands look for photographers with a strong personal narrative. Cian Oba – Smith uses his website as a platform to show his personal projects rather than his professional ones
  6. It’s a necessity to have a tight website and to keep it well maintained
  7. There are more readers online than for print
  8. Max is constantly looking for ways that photographers can make more money – currently there is not enough work for the amount of working photographers

To do:

  1.  Update my website
  2. Work more on my Instagram account, weed out some of the photographs which don’t fit in with the image I am trying to create. (Have a personal, and a professional one?)
  3. Look at the work of Cian Oba – Smith
  4. Find out more about the magazines that Antenne Books and Artworks Books publish
  5. Keep looking for new ideas, a niche, and ways of presenting my work

23rd September 2018

September 23rd

Having subscribed to “Lecture in Progress”; listened to the week’s audio recordings on Canvas and watched the interview with Will Hartley; I made a list of pertinent quotes, tips and advice on becoming a photographer:

The earlier you can realise where your passions lie the better – Kyle Bean

Being confident in how you present your work is as important as making it – Luke Evans

If you’re not a bit stressed or unsure of how to approach something, then it’s too easy and you’re doing it wrong…To make the most of your time at university, don’t be afraid of trying new things and producing the work you like, instead of what you think other people will like. Trust me, you will enjoy your time more, gain deeper insights and work far better this way. But remember to always be humble and remain open to new ways of working.  Zanthe Simmans

Write it all down. See it all in one place – Roshni Goyate

Most things start with an email. From my own experience on receiving emails from those starting out, I like to see a web link, as well as a bespoke pdf attachment. I tend to lose the emails sent at certain times of the day – especially a Friday afternoon or in the middle of a busy day. Personally early morning suits as the day may not have begun in earnest for that perspective employer and it shows your not lazing in bed nursing a post-student hangover. I would suggest never sending at the weekend as there need to be boundaries. This also applys to when working with clients overall. Its not cool receiving emails late into the night or weekend. By all means formulate things at the weekend if need be but send during work hoursCharlotte Heal

Professional experience is necessary in a fast evolving industry. Initially it may be necessary to offer services for free.  Research the photographers you want to work with, present only positive character traits to them, and send a covering letter with your CV. Networking is important. Follow photographers on social media. Never stop learning. Keep on top of the latest equipment.  Take full advantage of what the university, its staff and peers have to offer. Listen to people’s advice and apply it to your own thinking. You make your own opportunities in life.

I have been working in a professional industry for the past fifteen years (albeit a different one), and so most of the points covered above regarding how to present oneself to other photographers, prospective employers and clients I apply to my own, current career.