Creative Futures Week, Day 2

Adam Lee

Adam Lee discussed ways to build your career. In 1999 he studied at Liverpool university in Zoology. He then went traveling and became interested in photographing his travels. This then led to further experimentation with photography, where he asked a farmer in his home village if he could document his farming routine. After the images were published locals in the area became interested in his work and he started to receive work requests for projects. He mainly does public engagement photography, which consists of taking ideas and making them into images.

Key Points

  • Understand the Importance of personal contacts, using people with useful links.
  • Branching out, making effort to contact people and they don’t have to be in the photography business.
  • Volunteering will aid in building contacts and creating valuable experiences.
  • Be apart of communities, such as forums and private exhibitions.
  • Visit industry specific events, such as Red Eye and Look Photo festival.
  • Introduce yourself to people, this will enable you to become more noticed and remembered to possible contacts.
  • Take part in events and exhibitions.
  • Reputation, building relationships are crucial in the photography industry and enable you to find work or find help from other people. Healthy relationships between clients will lead to higher successful results and positive feedback.
  • Make your own projects, as this will exercise skills and enable you to learn more.

I found this discussion useful and informative. I found Redeye and Look photo festival to be interesting and made sure to note them down so that I can research into the, further. His advice on the importance of networking is beneficial as it has made me more aware of what benefits they can lead to in my career. I have since made more effort into networking and have created contacts that have been very beneficial. For example, during the time I attended Wales Comic Con I took the opportunity to speak to the business owners of the stall, which led to connecting with Flash Your Buckle who have given me a job to photograph their chrome buckles with specific criteria.

His emphasis on creating your own projects is something that I agree with and have also since conducted various projects to develop different skills. For example, I have worked with another photographer to photograph creative portraits and creating a pop-up studio where we were able to experiment with lighting and dealing with clients. I have also looked into new editing and visual effects skills, where I have tried new techniques, such as using particles for effects and creating a rain visual effect in After Effects.

Follow Film

Graham Cooper and Hollie Harmsworth are past students of the Film and Photography course at Glyndwr. They have created their own company, named Follow Films, where they focus on commercial films and advertisements. They have discussed what it is like to build your own small company and how to be successful.

Key Points

  • Brand and identity are important. Make sure it represents who you are, don’t confuse or mislead clients.
  • Promote yourself appropriately.
  • Be formal and polite in face to face conversations and when messaging.
  • Collaborate with others as this will provide a more skill variety and can make you appear as a bigger company than you really are.
  • Create relationships with clients and contacts. This will then lead to positive feedback and recommendations.
  • Show your interest in what you’re working on for the clients. This will build trust, instead of showing no interest which will cause concern from the client and make their experience with you negative.

Marketing

  • Word of mouth is valuable, such as feedback from clients and recommendations from them to others.
  • Social media can attract a mass audience, therefore make sure you have an active online presence.
  • Use a variety of social media platforms to attract a larger audience.

Working from home

  • There is nothing wrong with this when performing in a professional and appropriate manner.
  • Provide a space for work and for clients.
  • A Lot of self-motivation is needed. It will be easy to be distracted, therefore a professional mindset is needed.
  • Don’t set unrealistic deadlines, this will lead to unnecessary stress and possible chance of missing deadlines. This will then create a bad representation of yourself to the clients. If you manage to meet the deadline then the client will expect this next time which will lead to future issues.
  • Charge by hourly rate, work out the time it will take to complete the whole project.
  • Be confidence when telling the clients your fee.
  • Quote the highest rate first.
  • Don’t take too low of offers and try not to work for free.

After they had finished talk I went to speak to them personally as I wanted to have a face to face conversation and find out more information. I asked what their advice was for students finding work and charging They said not to devalue yourself and be realistic. They also expressed that they bought the equipment needed over time and it is still manageable with limited resources.

I found this talk to contain much valuable information and related directly to my industry. It was nice to hear from a new company to understand what it would be like to start my own business and the advice that they provided.

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