Beyond the student work

One of the things that has been concerning me recently is that, while we have showcased some fantastic student work over the last year, we possibly haven’t conveyed enough about who are the students are behind the work. So it was with alacrity that Mark and I seized the opportunity to interview Esther Rose, who is one of Clive White’s students on Art of Photography. I think hearing Esther talking about how she is managing to develop her networks in photography at the same time of doing the course and and being a mum adds something. So expect further videos in the future.

20 Comments

  1. Rob Birrell 3 August 2011 at 8:55 am

    I agree that it’s good to hear about other students background. I guess that Esther’s life/study mix is typically atypical if that makes sense. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing some of her images. She’s obviously very talented and willing to get out there and take on some challenging shots requiring complex planning and organisation. Keep it up.

    Reply
    1. Gareth 3 August 2011 at 9:25 am

      ‘Typically/atypical’ I like the formulation Rob and think it does fit many OCA students. There is usually a reason why people choose the flexibility of an OCA course or degree, but when we have tried to categorise them we seem to end up with nearly as many categories as students.

      Reply
      1. Esther 10 August 2011 at 11:10 am

        I’ve had a couple of people email me after this video as well – interested in the course.

        It’s brilliant for people that still have to work / have children. I’m not perfect at time management and feel like im proper behind at the moment, but there’s no pressure to hand in each section on time – you work at your own pace. I love that about the course! I Would encourage anyone to join.

        Reply
  2. Catherine 4 August 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I enjoyed the video. I also think Esther is very talented and her gently self-deprecating manner hides how much effort and determination she must be putting into succeeding as a photographer. I’d like to see more of this kind of video.

    Reply
    1. Esther 10 August 2011 at 11:12 am

      Thanks Catherine. It’s easy to put your heart into something when you love it enough 🙂

      Reply
  3. tom smith 4 August 2011 at 2:14 pm

    From what i deduce from this video,it helps if you have a father who is already a proffsonal photographer.Not everyone has that privilage, and so they have to learn from scratch,mostly on there own.They also have to quickly learn from there own mistakes if they are going to be sucessful.And more often than not they are there only critic.That is why i am pleased that i joind the OCA photography course because you then get your own personal tutor who is there not only to guide you,encourage you,but also be your personal critic,I know it may seem like i am being a little hard on esther.But i would rather be me,learning from scratch,learning from my mistakes,and not have someone to ask when the mistakes are made.

    Reply
    1. Esther 10 August 2011 at 10:59 am

      Thanks all for the comments everyone. I’m just enjoying myself and working towards a qualification I can be proud of.

      In reply to Tom and others that have mentioned that I get help I would just like to say that; yes, I did get a lot of help learning the technical side of SLR photography from my dad when i was about 10. I also haven’t seen him since I was 17.

      I only started taking photography seriously again in the past year – 18months (i’m now 24) and have had to re-discover everything either by myself with books, or through OCA’s course. I also learned lighting by myself – looking at pictures in magazines and trying to trace shadows. I get nobody telling me what’s right and wrong so would just like to clear that up.

      Esther

      Reply
      1. Catherine 10 August 2011 at 11:09 am

        Good on you for making the point Esther. I admire your determination. I know what it’s like to focus on your own self-development whilst taking care of a family as well. I wish you all the best for a successful future as a professional photographer.

        Reply
        1. Esther 10 August 2011 at 11:20 am

          I appreciate the comment Catherine. I Just don’t want people thinking I’ve got an ‘on-call mentor’ or anything. If i’m good it’s because I put the effort into learning and practise.

          Yes I kow what you mean. Family life often puts everything else on the ‘back burner’ but that’s no problem really, i’m a mum before anything else.
          Esther

    2. Danielle 10 August 2011 at 12:09 pm

      i don’t agree Tom, if you knew Esther, you’d know that her dad only taught her to use an slr at 10, she hasn’t seen her dad since she was 17…. she got back into photography at 23 and had to re teach herself from scratch. her dad being a photographer in my eyes had no influence what so ever, he just gave her a taste of photography that’s all. I’ve watched her grow into an amazing Photographer in such a small time. She’s worked very hard and put her all into it.

      Keep up the great work Esther.

      Reply
  4. Rob Birrell 4 August 2011 at 2:34 pm

    If I had the opportunity to learn fromn a close relation I would have definitely taken it. I would imagine that it is a huge advantage. Just having access to knowledge, advice and lighting must be a big help but in no way does that undermine Esther’s obvious talent.

    Reply
    1. CliveW 4 August 2011 at 2:43 pm

      Esther’s doing a brilliant job and is an exemplar to other students in ambition and determination.

      Most photographers working in her ilk have the benefit of a close relationship with a mentor when they serve an assistant apprenticeship so she has less direct support than many.

      Reply
      1. Rob Birrell 4 August 2011 at 2:51 pm

        Nice idea Clive but certainly in my experience assisting opportunities are non-existent … in the North East, at least. You just have to make your own way as best as you can. Probably if you’re young and mobile there are still opportunities in Manchester and London, but I’m neither 🙂 ! Even where there were assisting opportunities in the past I think those are now dwindling due to the general financial squeeze that the industry is under. I am not disputing that the assisting/apprenticeship route is the best way to go.

        Reply
        1. CliveW 4 August 2011 at 3:09 pm

          Well you can be a freelance assistant and it still be an apprenticeship. ‘ }

          I got an ex-student of mine, not from the OCA, some freelance work as second assistant to a fashion photographer not so long ago through an old assistant (freelance) of mine, in London it has to be admitted, and they started to build a client list quite quickly.

          Of course full time assistants are far fewer than in the 70s, when I was one, but if you really want it, and if you want to be a pro you have to really really really want it, and that might include moving to London, then there are still ways to go and things to try for.

          BTW I was reinforcing your post not arguing against it. ‘ }

        2. vicki loader 5 August 2011 at 12:53 pm

          @Clive

          If you come across any of your mates, who would be prepared to take on an old biddy as an assistant on odd occasions, please point them in my direction. No pay required! London or Home Counties.

    2. Esther 10 August 2011 at 11:04 am

      Thank you Rob 🙂 Nice to be called talented.

      Just pointing out the post I made above in reply to Tom. Not a winge just explaining that I get no guidance
      Esther

      Reply
  5. Rob Birrell 4 August 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Oh yeah. Point appreciated.

    25 years ago and in a different life I might have got myself off to London but I don’t think my (thankfully high earning) wife and 4 year old would appreciate uprooting our lives on the off chance of some assisting work. Neither am I prepared to sweep floors and be an erand boy at this time in my life. I think I’m resigned to not making it as a Pro. I’ll pursue it for my own fulfilment but with no great expectations and then I won’t be disappointed.

    Reply
  6. Penny 4 August 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Nice “student profile” Gareth.

    Reply
  7. CliveW 5 August 2011 at 1:32 pm

    @vicki

    I’m afraid I’ve used up all my favours but I admire the ambition. ‘ }

    Reply
    1. vicki loader 5 August 2011 at 1:40 pm

      @Clive

      We are nothing without ambition! Thanks for the response; and if you do come across someone, I’m still keen!

      Reply

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