During our course we were given the opportunity to listen to some visitors who came in to speak to us all about their personal progress, opportunities, their businesses and even gave us advice.

We had 4 talks altogether, the first was with Shamaila ‘shy’ Burham & Jonathon Smith;

Shamaila or Shy spoke about her past as a university student at Bradford college and how she progressed from there, She was able to pursue her career as a portrait photographer and even opened up her own studio, she met Jonathon who was her mentor through all of her progress and still helps her now with her career, he showed her new ways to do things gave her advice and was on hand for any questions she wanted answering. Shy talked about the importance of having a mentor to hand to help and advice with anything we are having difficulties with, she was able to get where she is now through her hard work and dedication and a helping hand from her mentor.

She told us the importance of creating a professional logo for our business so we get recognised, something that will automatically link work to us, and give us a professional look, she changed her logo many times before finally settling on one she was happy with but was glad she had. I will be looking into creating my own logo I can add to my site and as a watermark on my images.

She went on to do an exhibition, she explained how majority of the work she did was at her own expense and that we should get out there and try things out like she did, because after all the hard work she put into her project even though it wasn’t paid she then managed to get some good contacts and even sell images from it meaning if she hadn’t gone out there and put in the time then it wouldn’t of been possible to be where she is now with the opportunities she has had.

We were also given some handout sheets at the end of our talk which had some helpful tips on success for a small business from Jonathan from Bradford Trident, I particularity found the part about engaging with customers helpful. He wrote ‘Know who your customers are and how to get in front of them’ this section explained the importance of advertising to the correct market, as I am focusing my images on a general need in family portraiture I will be needing to keep a close eye on my market and how to reach out to potential clients.

Bradford Trident

The second of our 3 talks was with Claire Epton another former student of Bradford college;

Claire had excelled herself in her degree by putting in as much time as she could and going on countless shoots, she showed us a slide show of all the work she had done whilst in her degree and showed us where it got her in her career.

She began shooting at sport events once she had completed her degree and even managed to get a job providing Bradford City with images, before going to work with jet 2.

She told us how even though she had plenty of different experiences and opportunities whilst working with jet 2 she still missed her true calling for sport photography back at Bradford City, she explained to us that we should always follow our instincts even if it seems as though we may not get as much because she as like all of us didn’t start our degree to gt a job we didn’t enjoy doing, she now works again with the football club this time taking images for a profit and hopes to continue doing so in the future.

Claire brought along her equipment with her, she had started collecting all the equipment whilst doing her degree so she was ready once she had finished and had all the equipment she could possibly need, she showed us the large heavy lenses used in sports photography and even gave us some advice on handy extras that have been helpful during her career, the Black rapid strap she showed us was very useful it held the camera at a more manageable position when not in use, this would come in handy for wedding photography as the camera won’t be just hanging in front of me but securely by my side and then she showed us the pelicase she carries everything around in, this looked very sturdy, the equipment fit in nicely and was safe to move around, both these bits of equipment were of some interest to me and I will be looking into purchasing them to help further my career.

The third of our talks was with Martyn Johnston who was the marketing director amongst other things at the Chapel Street Studio;

Martyn talked to us about the studio and what It had to offer to potential business ventures, with the studio offering available desk space and meeting rooms this was something that could be of interest to us when leaving university for our own business ventures. Working with the studio enabled the members to use the space available as well as having the opportunity to collaborate on projects with others in the team.

We were given the opportunity to go down to Chapel Street Studios and take a look for ourselves at the newly established rooms.

Chapel Street Studios

He showed us the area where people could hire out a desk and work from there as well as the meeting room and library, all this is available to all the members to use as they need.

He gave us a hand out explaining the prices and packages available and how it could help us to progress, there are always loads of projects happening in Bradford and for a photographer who is interested in working closely with the community this would be a great opportunity.

One thing he said to us during the talk interested me ‘If you can make it in Bradford you can make it anywhere’ this made me think about my own personal progress and achievements, I have always been worries that I may find it difficult to get my name out there and generate business but after listening to this statement I felt that as long as I am able to generate a business in my home town then I can generate a business anywhere!

I found all the talks helpful, I was able to get good advice see how others have progressed and even been given opportunities ans well as ideas for equipment and methods of business.

And Finally we were visited by Daniel Kosharek, Curator at The New Mexico Fine Art and History Museum.

Daniel travelled from Santa Fe in New mexico, to Bradford to talk to us about the pinhole exhibition that the New Mexico Museum are hosting at our very own National Media Museum. He talked through the work tat will be displayed in the Media Museum during the exhibition and his relationships with some of the artists.

New Mexico Digital Collections – Pinhole exhibition

Daniel showed us the digital collections of the pinhole exhibition, He mentioned the names of a few artists that will be exhibiting in the show including;

  • Eric Renner
  • Nancy Spencer
  • Georgia O’keefe
  • Dominique Stroobant
  • Bethany Fedoras
  • James Huff
  • Ben Conrad

I looked into some of the artists that will be displaying some of their work, some of who have now passed away, I came across Georgia O’Keefe and foud quite an inspiring quote when looking into her online profile.

”I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do”

I think tis is quite an inspiring quote, Basically whats she’s trying to tell us that we shouldn’t let any problems hold us back, if she can do it then anybody can.

I also Looked into Ben Conrad who has some work displayed, he created pinhole camera’s using a suit, Daniel described how the suit works and showed us an image fro the archive, I liked how he had used his imagination to come up with something so unusual and still able to produce images from this.

A view from a pinhole

I was able to look at the above website that had an article about this specific suit which I found interesting, I looked into using pinhole for my project but had decided against this type of photography to capture my images, my reason for this were that I am basing my project on the makings of a ‘perfect’ family image and creating photos I feel are suitable for a portfolio that I could show to clients when I finish University to gain clients.

I didn’t feel that pinhole would be best to create my images as the images are often a ‘surprise’ as its not always easy to tell what you will be capturing, when capturing a family photograph I am required to get all family members in the image and would not be producing images that would fit to the clients needs if I used this form of photography.

However these images would be more than suitable for a exhibition or gallery, I will be attending the exhibition that runs from 17th March to 25th June at the national Media Museum to take a look at some of the images on display and see if any of the work relates to the way in which I take my own images.


Pinhole Exhibition National Media Museum