Overall I felt my work experience was beneficial to me, as I learnt many things, specifically about running a studio. Working on my own projects and shadowing a photographer from a local business, allowed me to understand different aspects of the photography industry.
I spent some time during my work experience working on my own commissions. The first commission, was to photograph a proposal. This involved a lot of preparation, keeping to time schedules was very important, as to not spoil the surprise. It also taught me to think fast when situations do not go as planned. The proposal was planned to be inside a bar at Hyde Park, however, the soon-to-be-bride wanted to sit outside. As she had no knowledge of what was about to happen, I had to quickly assess the new location and adjust my settings on my camera accordingly.
I also spent some time working on my retouching skills, I have learnt there are lots of different techniques that can be used to create an image. It also takes a lot of time and patience to get the techniques perfected to create good quality images.
Finally, I have started a project working with the charity BARC. I have had an initial meeting, where I learnt a lot about the charity. I am now in the process of organising more meetings and shoots, with various people involved in the charity. This project will take a lot of time and planning, also it will involve a lot of text, as well as photography.
In my second week of work experience, I worked with Sarah James Photography. The studio is based in Fareham and takes a variety of sittings, including newborn and family. In my week with Sarah James Photography, I helped with various aspects of the business. Seeing all the different jobs which comes with running a studio, taught me how important all the elements of the business are, and not just the photography.
While shadowing at Sarah James Photography, I got the opportunity to discover the process of making orders. Each order had to be carefully documented and checked several times, to ensure each customer was receiving everything they had ordered. I also had the task of carefully putting copyright stickers on each print before placing a mount on them and putting them in a clear sleeve. this job required a lot of care, as to not mark any of the prints. Each order would be put together in a black gift bag, ready for the client.
At the studio, I also learnt about building a client base, and how important marketing is within the business. I learnt how to create a mailing list, and how to design a newsletter for the business. In the future I will be creating this for Sarah to mail out her latest offers. I also made several phone calls to book potential clients into the studio, and to explain to the client what to expect from the day.
During the sittings at the studio, I would run for Sarah if she needed anything, and watch and learn from what she did. What I found was most important from watching Sarah, was how she adapted her shooting technique to the client she was photographing. For example, when she had a newborn shoot, everyone would be quiet and hidden from view, as not to distract the baby from her. Whereas, when she had a family shoot, she used lots of silly props and joke books to try and make the children laugh naturally.
I picked up on other business techniques from the studio, including her sub-letting. As her studio is in such a big building, Sarah sub-lets various rooms to other business'. Sarah also uses the building as an 'exhibition', displaying her work throughout.
In conclusion, I felt my work experience was a positive learning experience. I learnt to work independently, as well as part of a team. I discovered techniques as to how to successfully run a studio, as well as understanding different jobs within the business. Some of my work experience I will be continuing, including my work with BARC. I hope to use some of the skills I have learnt with my work experience, in my future projects.