You are on page 1of 33

Getting into photography

Maggie Danquah The Careers and Employment Service B Block-Ground Floor 0208 231 2702



How can the careers service help me?
• • • • • • • We can notify you about job vacancies via e-mail (Register online Careers advice: CVs, job hunting, cover letters etc 1-4pm careers drop-in Mon-Thurs, helpdesk (10am-4pm) Evening drop 5-7pm (1st Tuesday of every month-term time only) Workshops, careers information Volunteering opportunities: V Team: • Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages:!/UWLCareers • • Graduates can use the Careers and Employment Service for up to 3 years on completion of their course.
09/12/2013 2

Skills required in the photo imaging industry
Motivated, self sufficient, enthusiastic, commercial awareness/adaptability to new technology , flexibility, understanding of intellectual property How have you demonstrated these skills? _1.asp
09/12/2013 3

Intellectual property advice
• • IP Health Check-protecting your IP : • -calendar.htm • Business start-up workshops: • City Business Library and
09/12/2013 4

What goes into a CV for photography jobs?
• Name, contact details, website/social media links (Twitter, Linkedin etc (should be relevant, demonstrate best work) • E-mail address and answering messages should be professional • Profile (optional) demonstrate your unique selling points • Education • Skills: studio skills, camera knowledge, graphic design/technical skills, office & photography software, customer service skills, administration/business i.e. invoicing, marketing/sales/accounting, communication…. • Employment history/relevant experience • Achievements (exhibitions, competitions, published work) • Interests (i.e. photography interests/influences, other interests, art, film, sports, travelling etc (which add character to CV) not watching TV! • Some are not required i.e. age, nationality • Can move things around……..
09/12/2013 5

Skills based, chronological, combination or creative?
Choose a structure that best highlights your skills Creative CV tips/samples: (Tips on freelancing, CV writing, interviews etc) Creative CV Guide (available in careers service) Traditional and skills based CVs



People who tried something different 6/15/200-infographic-resumes-an-escalatingtrend.html



…and there’s more…
• es-of-photography-cvs/ •



• • • • •
• • • •

Creative CVs-tips Ensure it reflects your personality and is clear
Show your creativity, but not distract the employer If in doubt have a traditional CV as back-up, check company’s style Get the information right, then think about the design E-mail attachments: ensure they are compatible with the employer’s software Get feedback from people in the industry i.e. your contacts, tutors etc. Send separate e-mail to each employer not a “blanket” e-mail E-mail addresses: should be professional i.e. not! Websites/blogs: Easy to navigate, presentable, reflect you and your work positively : check content first! For photography careers your portfolio is an extension of your CV Alternative to creative CV: include your website/showreel links on the CV Print the CV to see what it looks like on paper too.
09/12/2013 9

• • •

Positive language
• Implemented • Organised • Developed • Managed • Coordinated • Devised • Prepared use thesaurus- i.e. more than one way to describe “achieve” “attain” “accomplish” “gain”
09/12/2013 10

Vague • I have 2 years’ photography experience…”

The power of language…

• Descriptive “ A second year photography and digital imaging undergraduate who has 2 years’ experience as an assistant photographer including setting up equipment for photo shoots, photo editing, researching appropriate locations and completing administrative tasks such as processing invoices and client enquiries.

Quantify achievements
“ Exceeded individual sales targets when promoting new product offers to customers which led to being promoted supervising 5 members of staff” “ Won student photographer of the year for the Guardian Student Media Awards…”
09/12/2013 11

• • • •

Errors and negative language Too brief or too long Generalised and convoluted statements Missing vital/relevant information i.e. relevant skills, detail about course content, evidence of creative work etc • Not tailored to the role • Poor presentation • Relevant information at the end of the CV
09/12/2013 12

What makes a poor CV?

“Candidates who make errors run the risk of missing out on being short-listed for a job for which they may have the right experience and qualifications. The findings show that jobseekers should first pay more attention to getting the basics right” Source: Marcia Roberts: Recruitment and Employment Confederation Chief Executive “ 50% of CVs have errors and 80% are not well laid out” (Source-Advertising employer-Antidote)
09/12/2013 13

What the employers say….

• 83% of employers would disregard an application that has basic grammar and spelling mistakes (Association of Graduate Recruiters)



Who would you call for an interview? aphy-CV.pdf



The cover letter
• Customise the covering letter to each job/employer • Extract relevant skills/experience mentioned in the CV. • Ensure that it is wellstructured and • encourages the reader to look at your CV • Write to a named person • If you are writing “on spec” make sure you provide an opportunity to follow-up • Show why you would like to work for the employer • How would you research the company? • If you have had previous contact use this as an “icebreaker“ i.e. “Following our telephone conversation on…..”


Mackney Photography-studio assistant vacancy

• Jot down examples of the skills you have for this position-swap your examples with your neighbour-who has closely matched their skills to the advert? • How would you research the company?



Mackney: We are a creative family portrait photography studio based in Derby. As we expand our business, we are now looking to take on an assistant photographer to join our happy family
Candidates will be required to have a varied portfolio which shows evidence of a strong natural eye for composition, design and technical ability. You will have excellent communication and people skills. A professional qualification i.e. national diploma, HND, or degree in photography design, Photoshop and IT skills would be essential. You will be required to work with a varied aged group from babies, children to teenagers so a portfolio that can reflect this ability would be advisable. This is a varied position requiring a flexible and confident individual with a 'can-do' work ethic with a 'friendly' personality. Must also have an abundance of drive and ambition with a clear ability to motivate both self and others, capable of creating a vibrant atmosphere and delivering an exciting and unique client experience. Source:
09/12/2013 18

Researching companies/photographers
• • • • • • • • • Company website (Caution! Everyone will do the same!) Company blog Twitter #followed by type of job/placement you are looking for (Use it to showcase your portfolio too!) Google! Events; galleries, AOP career talks Trade press: British Journal of Photography, AOP’s Image magazine, •
09/12/2013 19

Job roles
• Photography assistant roles: good way to learn from a photographer, develop new contacts and gain an understanding of the business side of photography
• Contact photographers that you admire for work experience i.e. by checking credits etc.

• The AOP has a database of photographers by specialism.



• Picture library staff find the right image for clients to use. Check for vacancies and placements.
Some picture libraries take on people for work experience. Archival skills and knowledge of Photoshop are useful:Mary Evans Picture Library. • Contact picture libraries directly for further details about work experience

Job roles

• Roles: sales, photo editing, research etc
• Film/television: i.e. Unit stills , camera roles, colourist Provides an overview of photography careers in media, i.e. how to get experience and where to look for vacancies etc). • (Photo library links) and freelance register



• 2, 795 results for “photography” including “photography jobs and assignments” • tography&trk=tyah&trkInfo=tas%3Aphotography%2 Cidx%3A2-2-3 • 18,390 UK photographers on LinkedIn • us/index/linkedin-for-students.html • LinkedIn resources for students
09/12/2013 24

As of 30th October 2013…..

The portfolio
• The Portfolio: (get feedback from contacts, tutors, online i.e. Flickr, Vimeo, your blog). Include your best work-start and end with a striking piece that will make you stand out as a candidate. Attend events/be on forums where you can get critique on portfolios etc (i.e. Photo net, photography trade press, photography clubs., Think about your audience and target your work i.e. categorising work Choose work that you are confident talking about at an interview/meeting-shows the diversity of your skills Portfolio/industry advice: Gallery , museum talks, Association of Photographers offers a free monthly careers talk including portfolio advice. •

• •

Collaborate (i.e. other creative students i.e. fashion, interior design etc)



Check for details about forthcoming events.

Promoting yourself: Participation means more publicity for your work 80% of jobs are not advertised: 68% of photo imaging industry are freelancers Source: Skillset’s Photo Imaging-Labour Market Intelligence Profile • Competitions/commissions . (check trade press) i.e. The Photographer, Photographer Monthly, British Journal of Photography etc. Also useful for keeping up to date with current news within the industry • • • Some photography organisations have a database of photographers, i.e. BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photographers), The Association of Photographers AOP Student Awards: & Guardian Student Media Awards UWL winner! Getting a photographer’s agent (List of members) Useful for work experience/contacting companies directly



Self promotion continued • Check (website for visual artists) for opportunities, residencies, competitions, list of galleries etc. (Includes a self promotion guide) • Contact (curators) local and national galleries for details about competitions/exhibitions/to pitch your work for an exhibition.

• • •

Are there any artist led groups in your local area? Ask curators/organisers what type of work they are looking for Joining a local photography club/ one at University will also help you find out about photography exhibitions and is a good way to network. Contact your local arts officer for information regarding local exhibitions/events. Organise your own or group exhibition and invite curators/gallery owners Peer support: i.e. setting up a portfolio review group
“Stay connected” Check trade press/directories for dates when projects, collaborations, exhibitions occur each year and who was chosen. (Gives you an idea of the type of work/skills organisations are looking for). Check: Venues: contact local councils or check (a database of available buildings

• •
• • •



Self promotion continued
• • Opportunity for artists to network, share ideas/obtain feedback etc • Other methods of self promotion: business cards,(i.e.Vistaprint, etc) website, online galleries i.e. Photonet ( (photography community website) Saatchi and Saatchi A platform for artists to showcase their work/upload work

Success stories:
• Roycin D’Souza-Tweeted a photograph a day • Sarah Chong created the Telegramme Magazine showcasing photography work • 25,650 photos on Flickr page




South of France-portfolio reviews, discuss projects, keep up to date with industry trends. “I always return from Arles with a renewed enthusiasm for photography and its possibilities” Kate Edwards, picture editor, Guardian’s Weekend magazine y-events-listings-Telephoto-diary.html London Photo Festival 22-24th May 2014, The Crypt, London 14th March 2014, The NEC, Birmingham
09/12/2013 30

Looking for jobs/photographers:
• vacancies, members’ portfolios, an assistant search database, student area, directories (agents, assistants, photographers etc) Industry talks/events (don’t miss out!), AOP student awards etc • Also try: for photography assistant roles • Marketing and Creative Handbook: photographers’ agents, photo libraries, studio hire etc. • National Association of Press Agencies List of news agencies including picture libraries and photography agencies • Local high street photographers: (Yellow Pages) • Local press for press photography



Looking for jobs
• • Jobs in local councils.

• • (free for job seekers) British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies

Check credits in magazines for photographers that you may wish to contact for work or if interested in magazine/newspaper photography contact magazines, newspapers, news agencies for work experience/employment opportunities. (includes a media directory of magazines, newspapers etc) Jobs advertised by the Arts Council-free to register.

Refer to photography leaflet for further organisations.
09/12/2013 35

• Commissions and curates new photography, produces exhibitions and portfolio sessions. (focuses on South East artists & photographers) • The Disabled Photographers Society: (information on exhibitions, events etc) • A photography network; search for exhibitions/events by region, news & opportunities. • • London based film and photography centre Includes space hire, gallery, events, workshops etc) Useful links. • The National Photographic Society:

Organisations that support photographers in their practice/networking



Organisations that support photographers in their practice/networking
• Opportunities including residencies , exhibitions, commissions etc. Videos, practical guides for artists i.e. artists CVs, arts directory etc. • The Artists Information Company (Online resource for artists i.e. jobs and opportunities, an employer index, artist toolkits). • Current news and events. • Supports emerging artists including photographers, painters and illustrators. • Online resource for contemporary artists • Exhibitions, workshops, networking •



• You can use the service up to 3 years after graduating • 2010/11 graduates: 44% self employed photographers. • Other roles: Retail, photography researcher, trainee visual merchandiser, front of house manager • photography production assistant (Debenhams)