Carving a career in any creative industry is difficult. Photography is no different. Despite being an amazing photographer, a student may find it difficult to get the break that they need. Also, many student photographers have no idea of the wide variety of career opportunities that there are in photography such as events, product (from technical products to food), industrial, families and weddings. Although the thought of being a self-employed photographer may offer too little security for many, it is a great life. Also, there are many companies looking to employ good photographers.
Careers Leader Steve Jones of Cyfleoedd at Bridgend College recently invited me to meet and talk to budding photography professionals during their careers week. Cyfleoedd, meaning ‘opportunities’, provides an innovative and collaborative workspace to support and enhance employability skills, and enable students and employers to connect. I hope that I was able to demonstrate how professional photography has never had a greater profile. Thankfully for photographers, the digital world has an enormous appetite for content (word, images and video). Although mobile phone photography is a vital component in the digital world, there is also a growing demand for professionally taken creative and quality imagery to feed websites and social media. When a company’s image is at stake, any photograph needs to be well constructed, perfectly lit and of a high enough standard to use for any marketing purpose.
When photographing the ACCA Wales International Women’s Day lunch (Liberty Stadium in Swansea, 6th March 2020), I was joined by one of Bridgend College’s student photographers Emily Parfitt. Emily and I had a coffee and talked about career opportunities in photography a few weeks before the event. I was really impressed by her enthusiasm and passion for photography, as well as the work she showed me. Subsequently, I contacted Ceri Maund at ACCA Wales who was more than happy for Emily to join me as the event’s second photographer. In fact, Ceri was already working with Cyfloeodd introducing students to the world of accountancy.
The event was excellent with an inspirational talk from Liz Johnson, GB’s Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winning Paralympic swimmer and Managing Director of The Ability People. Emily and I worked the room well together, covering different areas to get a real mix of images that reflected the atmosphere of the event. A small selection of the photographs we took at the event can be seen in the gallery:
Hopefully, I was able to provide Emily with a few tips and guidelines on event photography. Like anything in life, I learn something new on every photoshoot and it is great to share some of those experiences – both good and bad. I intend to give other photography students opportunities in the future, providing an insight into the my world as a professional photographer.
Emily left smiling, which was a good sign. The work that she sent me was great and you will not be able to tell who took which photograph.
Emily, thanks for helping me out and it was a real pleasure to work with you.
Paul is a commercial, industrial, events and wedding photographer based in South Wales and covering the whole of the UK. To discuss a photography assignment, please contact Paul on firstname.lastname@example.org