Photography Archive

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The next photography project that I am going to be working on after I finish university is going to be a portrayal of my hometown in Denmark – Holstebro. So I started thinking about the most obvious places I am going to photograph, and as it is a very cultural place where music, theatre and art are highly valued there are multiple options.

I started by looking at the local museum which would be a good place to start, but unfortunately, it is closing down after easter to be refurbished. But browsing their website I found an archive with over 5000 old and new photographs of the local area. The massive variety of themes includes post-war, floods, aerial views, old school photos, local businesses and so much more.

I can’t wait to go through it all, and I am thinking of using these photographs as a starting point and re-photograph the locations from the archive. My Mum and her sibling grew up in the town as well so talking to them will give me an even better insight into the town’s history.

As I am not planning on photographing full-time this is a great project that can easily be carried out in my spare time, and I can see it being a project that will stretch over several years.


http://www.lokalhistorisk-arkiv.dk/lh/gallerier.html

https://www.holstebro.dk/Holstebro-welcomes-you-1561.aspx

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Course Recognition

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As I am not British, I am planning on returning back to Denmark after I have finished my course. But it can actually become a little difficult for me to find a job with a foreign degree, which is why I will need to get it validated.

Due to the nature of my course, and the fact that it doesn’t exist in Denmark, I will have to get the Ministry of Education to validate my education in order for future employers to understand the nature of the course I have done. It could mean the difference between getting offered a job and getting rejected, simply because the employer does not understand the value of my education.

I came across the information about the validation when I was looking through a website of a company that I have applied for a job with. The website led me to the Ministry’s website with a detailed description of how to get a course validated. It is not possible to do before I have finished my course, so I need to wait until I have my degree and final grades.

It will also have an influence if I should decide to do any further studying. Regardless of the country, I decide to study in, it is a good idea to make sure my own country actually recognises my degree. So although I would probably have to study abroad again to expand on my photography degree, I am planning on getting my degree validated as soon as I have all the necessary paperwork as it will improve my chances of finding a job.

 


Volunteering

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I have always been very involved in the thighs that are going on around me, and that hasn’t changed in university. I am still very passionate about the community I am part of, and it is important to me that I do my part in order for everyone to be happy. I also think that it is too easy to just complain instead of taking action if you are unhappy with something.

A big contributor to our University experience is the University of Cumbria Students’ Union (UCSU). As I explained in an earlier post, I am on the UCSU Panel where I am the International Students’ Representative, but that is not all I do. I am also a Student Academic Representative and a Student Trustee. As Student Academic Rep, I represent my classmates at Staff-Student Forums, and I am the person my classmates can go to for help, or if they are unhappy with something on the course. As Student Trustee, I represent the entire student body, all of the UCSU’s members, at the Trustee Board meetings. It is all roles that I take very seriously, and I have a great relationship with the UCSU staff and I work with them to make sure I do the best I can for my constituency. I was elected for all three roles and had to campaign for both the Panel and the Trustee roles.

As the UCSU is a charity they must have an Anual General Meeting (AGM) where their members are updated on how the UCSU is doing. This year’s AGM was held Friday night at the Fusehill Street campus. The current Sabbatical Officers presented what they have accomplished since they started in July 2016, and the CEO explained what the money had been spent on, and what the finances looked like for the previous academic year.

The UCSU had combined the AGM with Sabbatical Officer election results and the Volunteer Thank You evening, and to my surprise, I was given the UCSU Volunteering Award!

I am passionate about what I do, and love going to all of the UCSU events because it is always so much fun, and the staff and the other volunteers are some of the best people to be around, as all of the staff have the most amazing positive spirits. But I was so honoured that I received this awards and it just shows that they really appreciate the work that I do.

I am so happy and really incredibly proud of this, and it just made everything I do so much more worth it!

 

During my time at university, I have also volunteered at two different photography conferences, Redeye Hothouse and Visualising the Animal. I have gained so much experience from everything I have done, almost more than I could have gained in a paid job, and I have enjoyed it immensely. I know that wherever I manage to find a job, I will be just as passionate about that company as I am about the University of Cumbria.

Degree Show Branding and Promotion

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It is our own responsibility to design and distribute promotional materials for our Degree Show, and we are going to need posters, flyers, postcards and business cards to hand out and put up around Carlisle. We have decided on a name for our exhibition and have already set up public profiles on different social media sites to attract as many people’s attention as possible (links at the bottom of this post). Our exhibition is called ‘Open to Interpretation’.

We need to fundraise money to pay for the materials, and as well as fundraising money on our own, we are setting up a crowdfunding page to raise money to spend on the things we will need for our Degree Show; promotional materials, drinks, paint booklets and more. We are currently working on which rewards to offer people for donating money. We are trying to keep the costs at a minimum and I have offered to give private campus tours as a reward. I am looking forward to see if anyone is going to request one as I would love to do this, campus tours are my favourite thing about my Ambassador job.

Another thing we need for the exhibition is a booklet that contains statements and examples of our work. As I have experience in graphic design, because of my Multimedia Design degree, I have been given the task of designing the booklet, and as I am playing with the thought of getting back into the field of graphic design, this is a great opportunity for me to create something I will be proud to show potential employers.

I am working on a very simple design based on the colour of the logo, and I have sought inspiration from the booklets made for the Degree Shows from the two previous years in terms of what to include and how to lay it out.


We had our interim CRIT today, I got a lot of useful feedback and think it overall went really well. I was mostly excited to see my work on the wall for the first time, even if it was just test-prints. One of the suggestions I got was to print the photographs full bleed instead of with borders, and that is definitely something I am going to do as it will look much better and contribute to the overwhelming effect I hope for it to have.

The Degree Show is something I have been looking forward to since I started my degree, and I am very pleased to finally be working towards it.

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Part-time Photographer

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I love photography and I know that I chose the right course at university, and I have every intention to keep photographing after I graduate. The only thing is that there are not a lot of money in the type of photography I like doing, so I am planning on getting a job that I will enjoy doing to pay the bills, and then continue with my photography in my spare time. I enjoy photographing landscapes and would like to do a lot of travel photography, but that all cost money, which is why I need a job, at least in the beginning.

Another thing I would also like to do is to occasionally photograph events, as this is something I have been doing throughout my time at university. Among other things, I have since my first year photographed the university graduation ceremonies and other events for the Alumni Association and last year I photographed the first TEDx held at the University of Cumbria.

TEDxUoCUoC Graduation

When photographing events, and in general when working with clients, it can be difficult to set a price for your work. As a student, I tend to not to charge a lot, but somehow clients still find the price too high sometimes. But I have to consider how much time I actually spend on a job. It is both the initial meeting, the actual shoot and then the editing time afterwards.

Last week we had a talk by one of the MA Photography students who recommended creating a ‘rate card’. A card with set prices for different services. This looks professional and gives the client a clear idea of how much you expect to be paid for the photographs. It is something I will definitely make sure I have handy for my next job. It is easier to give a customer a discount from the set price than trying to convince the customer to pay you more when they were expecting a different (lower) price.

My hopes are that I can find a great job that will pay my bills and pay for my photography so I can continue photographing the things that I love with peace in mind.

UoC Ambassador

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To earn some extra money for university I am working as an ambassador for the University of Cumbria. I work at open days, interview days, applicant visiting days and school campus visits. I talk to prospective students of various ages about life at university. I tell them about what the University of Cumbria has to offer and why they should choose to study in Carlisle. I often get a lot of questions about where to live, how to cope with living on your own in a new city and if I like studying here. When I give campus tours I answer questions from both the prospective students and their parents. I show off our space and equipment and tell them about all the perks of studying at our university.

It is a job that I really love doing and it has helped me realised what I would like to work with in the future. Supporting and guiding people is something I very much enjoy, and it is also the reason why I am on the UCSU panel and a representative for my class. I have applied for a job where I would be helping other young people study abroad because I would like to help other young people have the opportunity to get the same experiences I have had studying and doing an internship abroad. When I handed in my application I was told that the company I applied with are taking on trainees this summer, which would be absolutely amazing for me as I don’t have any specific experience in that field other than my ambassador job.

Other jobs I am looking at are also relating to the jobs I have been taking on while being at university. I am looking at jobs that are about supporting international students, e.g. international coordinator at my old institution Business Academy Aarhus where the majority of my classmates were international students.

I am also looking into what it would take to become a school or study counsellor. It would be another job where I would be able to use the skills I have gained in my job as an ambassador. I have had a look at different websites, including Uddannelses Guiden (The Education Guide) which is the best place to find out what education you need for specific jobs. According to the website, there are specific courses available for counsellors but it depends on the specific job and the employers what the requirements for the different jobs are. I have a degree in Multimedia Design and Communication where the communication lectures counted for 1/4 of my degree, so depending on the available jobs that may be enough, otherwise, I can look into doing the specific course part-time after gaining some experience in other jobs.

I am looking at different types of jobs as I would like to try out different things. The only thing I know for certain is that I would like to be in a job where I get to help and support other people, preferably young people.


Futures Festival

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This week the University of Cumbria hosted the first ever Futures Festival at the arts campus. It was three days of seminars, talks and workshops by university staff and external professionals.

I went to three workshops and four talks over the three days. It was extremely helpful and I gained knowledge I couldn’t have found anywhere else. I took part in workshops that were about how to use the skills I have gained at university in a potential job, and what jobs I can get with my degree apart from the obvious photography jobs. We had great discussions about how to present ourselves to potential employers, what kind of skills are useful in a job as well as at university and about applying for jobs that are not necessarily in the same field as your course. I chose the workshops that were relevant to me, the ones that could help me look at how I can extract elements from my course to use in other jobs that aren’t necessarily arts based. This is information I have been lacking throughout the course, and haven’t known where to turn for help until now.

I was given some very handy checklists to determine what my strengths are and what I might need to work on. The lists are extremely handy, and are a great reference for when I am applying for jobs:

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Out of curiosity, I went to a postgraduate talk. I know for certain that I am not going to do a masters degree now, but it is something I might look into in the future after gaining some experience in the ‘real world’. The talk consisted of an introduction to postgraduate study and then a presentation of each of the courses the University of Cumbria offers. They mentioned two subjects I would be interested in, Photography (of course) and something different called Creative Practice. Creative Practice is a mix of different disciplines and sounded like something I could see myself doing. I could have used a bit more practical information about the courses though, such as how many lecturers do you have and what are they about, and how much time do you get to work on your own projects.

After the talks, there was a social gathering in the gallery where myself and a few classmates talked to some of the lectures, mostly about our Degree Show. It was nice enough, but as we were only a couple of students there we felt a bit out of place. I took advantage of the event and picked up a bit of reading material to have a look at, especially the book about careers is useful.

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On the last day, I went to three talks by external speakers. It was extremely interesting and useful to listen to three professionals talk about their journey after university to the job they are in today. It is one of the things I am often wondering when listening to professionals taking about what they do, how did they get to do what they do? The most interesting one was Thomas Dukes who is the curator of the Open Eye gallery in Liverpool. Dukes made the discovery early on in his studies that he wasn’t interested in taking his own photographs, he was interested in playing around with others’ and curator would be a perfect job for him.

It was such a good event and I learned a lot about my possibilities after university, and since I am not planning on looking for a photography job, the workshops I attended was a huge help to me looking at what skills I have gained that I can transfer into a lot of other jobs.