Ravensbourne University London
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"Ravensbourne prepared me for business and gave me direction to achieve this."

Course: BA (Hons) Digital Photography

Year of Graduation: 2015

What appealed to you about Ravensbourne and your chosen course?

Ravensbourne was one of the only universities to offer a commercial based photography course instead of a fine art or fashion based course. It only concentrated on digital photography as analogue work outside the art scene is not commercially viable these days. Being London based and having great connections with Ogilvy meant that opportunities of meeting the right people were much higher than courses outside of London.

How has your degree from Ravensbourne helped you achieve your professional goals?

Ravensbourne helped me fill gaps in my knowledge and find my specialism. Prior to my course, I had worked as a cruise ship photographer as well as at weddings and on portraits but struggled when it came to networking due to lack of knowledge of art movements (all the theory and context). Ravensbourne taught me the theory and context which has allowed me to rub shoulders with some amazing people. The people that I met were able to advise me on which direction to take and this led me into automotive and still life photography.

Please list the benefits that you experienced from studying with us.

Links to industry, preparation for commercial workflow, finding a specialism and meeting friends for life.

What were the highlights from your time at Ravensbourne?

Through photographing Ravensbourne's Late events I met a speaker, which led to a group of 8 photographers being asked  to cover a live music event at Reading stadium. We photographed on stage, back stage, in front of the stage and the artists included Jessie J, JLS, Union J, Wiley, Lawson, Amelia Lilly and Charlie Brown.

 Are you in employment and, if so as what?

I am both employed and self employed. I shoot for 6 magazines at the moment: Classic Ford, American Car, Custom Car, Performance Vauxhall, Retro Cars and Total 911. This work is seasonal with most of work being shot in the warmer months and released over the winter. I am currently studying a PGCE as a Schools Direct Salaried Design Technology teacher, teaching DT and photography up to A-Level. The ideal situation would be to teach in a university or college 2-3 days a week and photograph the rest of the time.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

Say yes to any opportunity, even if it isn't paid where it can lead you will be worth it. Go to every event and network, it's key to opening doors. Share your knowledge with others! This is the most important one, don't try to hide your ideas or knowledge from others, help each other and you will learn more. Find someone who does something better than you do. I partnered with someone who was super organised, knew all the hand in dates and would call me saying we should get together and get this done. In return I shared my technical knowledge and I was able to help him plan and execute shoots. The result: We both came out with first class honours. 



Darren Woolway

Amazing things happen here