This introductory seminar was exciting, if not a bit daunting and already had me thinking further outside my practise of first year, which feels quite small even now in comparison. The space in which I have to fill as a photographer in my own right doesn’t quite feel all that ready for me so I’m hoping the tools and information in this module will open up that space and allow myself to move into it.

James emphasised right at the beginning of the session that this module will not take the same shape as PC1, engaging us much more with real world questions as opposed to theory about a professional practise. I was pleased to hear this as I still feel very out of my depth within my practise and found last year’s module to be quite confrontational in terms of overload of information.

Starting with the idea of ‘no one owes you anything’ I immediately started recognising from James that photography is not something that falls in your lap and to explore your worth and what photography is worth to you is the basics of starting the journey.

Stressing the importance of engaging with the photography world around and taking in as much external sources as possible is crucial to a creative mind – let it feed you and nurture your soul and then reflect on it – do you agree? Do you disagree? This is how you grow your personal practise. Retain the joy of taking pictures, take pride in your work and know how to market yourself professionally (this will come in a future session) so others will take notice of that pride.

Reflecting on this session a few weeks later (I have to be honest!) I found it was an introduction that didn’t cut any corners and laid it to us straight – are we willing to work to achieve what we want? I think in the photography industry transparency is key, but I somehow feel this won’t always be the case, this honest and candid way that James talks about his personal practise is possibly not something you will always find in other creatives (we don’t like to dwell on our failures!) I find however that these talks are potentially the most informative and engaging – photographers are human too and its comforting to know everyone makes mistakes.

ROB HORNSTRA CASE STUDY – We were shown a video of Hornstra’s work process after he left education, emphasising the fact we had to push ourselves to keep working forward. By recognising that all photographers start somewhere I felt comforted by the fact that we are being shown videos like this at the beginning of this module, emphasising the drive that we have to have to keep moving forward.

CHLOE DEWE MATTHEWS – Caspian Sea CASE STUDY – ‘When something grabs you, thats the work you should follow’ – photography that communicates with you. Trust your instincts, go out and explore the world, lose expectations and just do it! Amazing video with some great points.

This session also set up the following ones well, giving a brief overview to what they would entail so we could come to sessions with any questions.

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