Ravensbourne University London
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Joe Thompson

Course: BA (Hons) Digital Photography

Year of Graduation: 2017

I chose to study photography at Ravensbourne because I wanted to turn my passion into a career. I really enjoyed starting at Ravensbourne. It was great making new friends, starting classes and living in halls; it was all very exciting. My lecturer, Julian Hawkins, was a great support over the course. I put a lot of work into my photography and he saw that. He helped out a lot, even when it was just talking to him about a project. He also helped me to network and understand why it is important.

I gained an internship with the photographer Timur Celikdag, a well established commercial portrait and fashion photographer during my second year at Ravensbourne. Although portrait and fashion aren’t the areas of photography I’m most interested in, I learnt a lot about the production side of photography there and how to manage yourself as a professional. I worked with Timur for around six months; it was a very useful experience.

Currently, I am working for comparethemarket.com as a travel advisor. I am travelling the world taking photographs and making short travel films, as well as writing a blog. I send content to them each month and they upload it to their website. I am also starting a company with some very talented filmmaker friends, called Slog Films. We mainly make short travel films and documentaries but have an interest in anything moving image related.

I have just finished a two week expedition to Everest Base Camp. I have also explored the fjords in Norway, visited Helsinki and travelled through India for a month. My daily routine involves filming a vlog for my YouTube channel - I make vlogs that include myself as well as cinematic footage of the places I am travelling through. I have done a lot of research on different areas to photograph.

Whenever I am travelling on a bus, train or plane, I am editing. There's a lot of work to do. Every night I am editing too; there is a lot of content and I need to keep up with the work involved in creating these films and photographs. Good organisational skills are key; I am OCD when it comes to storing my images and footage. Everything is neatly categorised on my external hard drives and nothing gets deleted.

If I could give one piece of advice to current students I would encourage them to network. I gained loads of contacts during my time at Ravensbourne. It helped a lot when it came to my final major project to create a solid project with some sponsorship from Phase One. It’s also really important to practise! Get out there and shoot - that's the only way you're going to get a great portfolio and learn the skills you'll need when you leave.

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