On 20 July, Kat and I graduated from BA (Hons) Photography at Nottingham Trent University, alongside our housemate Erik (who took the photo to the right) and everyone else that we’ve studied with during our three years at NTU.
As I’m sure is the case for the majority of recent graduates, it was a day of mixed emotions: happiness to have achieved what we have and excitement for the next adventure, but deep sadness for having to leave the university environment and mindset, the resources available, the structure for learning that being on a degree course provides.
In truth, the end of our time as students really seemed to end on 4 July, when (ironically for the day that Americans celebrate for independence) the lease on our student house expired, and Kat and I squeezed a whole house worth of possessions into a single bedroom at my childhood home. Just a temporary solution until we find stable- and permanent-enough work to make moving back to our own place in Nottingham a realistic prospect.
In the meantime, we’re both working part-time at our student jobs. Kat has transferred to a Sainsburys in Derby, and I’m working three day weeks at PC World in Derby. My role as ‘Digital Imagaing Specialist’ has been something of a superficial title for a while now, and so I’ve spent the past fortnight training at Fonehouse and Dixons Retail‘s head offices, in London and Hemel Hempstead respectively, for a position at a proof of concept in-house mobile phone shop within my current store. As a proof of concept (separate from Dixons’ current Phones4U shop-in-shops), the phone shop is only being integrated into three stores for the time being, with the possibility of it being extended to a further seven before Christmas as a pilot scheme if the proof of concept stores work as anticipated.
The benefit of this is that I’ll have enough money to live off for the immediate future, while having the rest of the week free to pursue photography-related endeavours, and hopefully find some way to move back to Nottingam within the next couple of months.
It’s an exciting time to be a photographer, especially with recent developments in photographic technology, and the ubiquity of increasingly powerful cameras integrated into smartphones bringing the medium to a huge new audience, democratising the medium. You only have to look at Instagram’s insane popularity (considering its young age), and the value Facebook placed on the company when it acquired it recently, to gauge to degree to which consumer photography is exploding. The next big question is how and where, as a photography graduate, do I fit in?