You wait to give a talk to students for months then three come along at once! Strange but true, I’ve just given my third talk with students in the past month or so. I totally loved each one, all for different colleges and universities.
First up was City of Glasgow college where my good friend, fine art photographer and lecture Iain Campbell works teaching the NC and HND photography students. I showed a wide range of work from my personal projects to the commercial and went over any advice I had to help the students find their feet in the industry.
That was pretty much the same agenda for my talk with Jon Lee‘s photography students at Edinburgh College. Jon’s great at bringing in outside photographers to share their unique perspective. I feel almost duty bound to do these talks as when I was a student at Salisbury it was the visiting photographers that really inspired me and made me believe I could become a photographer myself. It was harder back then when you had no online window into that world so those talks were a goldmine on information.
Last up was Napier University where I spoke with photographer and lecturer Sophie Gerrard‘s 4th year photography students about portfolio presentation. More of the talk was focussed on how you get through the door in the first place as this is often the harder step, certainly in the commercial world. Lots of good questions and feedback too.
I’d really recommend that folk take their experience and share it freely with the next generation. When I think how much of a difference it made to me back in the day, there’s a real sense of it coming full circle.
I’ve done this kind of thing before, a talk in front of a roomful of semi interested students who don’t always have the choice about whether they want to be there. It’s actually generally a fun thing to do. I feel a strong sense of obligation to help out students as it was professional working photographers visiting and talking at my uni that made all the difference to me. It left a big impression. So that’s why I like to do the same for students now and it usually ends up with me blurting out every possible bit of advice and pitfall to avoid I can possibly muster in a non too eloquent manner.
This time though, Sophie Gerrard, photography lecturer at Napier Uni has asked me to talk to her final year students but has also made the talk open to the public…. and they’re calling it a lecture….. It all sounds a bit grown up and serious! They’ve even made a poster for it! (At least I’m looking svelte in it, being taken 12 years ago – with me standing on the bubble cable release)
It’s supposed to be about being a commercial photographer, which is fine although I’d much rather talk about personal projects as they consume about 98% of my brain. However, I’ll strike a balance and go over both. One of the problems is that it takes many hours to prepare properly for a talk and I’m always so busy! I’m trying in my spare time to collate new info and images to make it as fresh as possible but if you’ve heard me talk in the past you can cough loudly and yawn when I start telling one you’ve heard before. Questions at the end.
My biggest fear apart from the nerves is that it’s full of photo nerds that want to talk about gear! Zzzzzz. sorry guys!
If you want to attend this stream of consciousness then you need to RSVP Sophie Gerrard the lecturer co-ordinating it at Napier.
RSVP for a seat S.Gerrard@napier.ac.uk
Where Napier University, Merchiston Campus lecture theatre B2