Guest speakers – David Oates and Karin Albinsson

This week, as part of this module we were given the opportunity to talk to two diverse photographers, one whom we have never met – David Oates and Karin Albinsson, who we have been lucky enough to have worked with on other assignments in year 2.
Karin and David both discussed and explained their individual routes into the industry and provided invaluable advice on various methods for finding work and making contacts within the industry.
David Oates has worked in multiple different  fields all over the world; events, commercial, PR, documentary, portraiture.
He explained that his interest in photography developed quite late on in life and after studying a completely unrelated degree and having a relatively successful career in a different line of work.
He told us how many commissions and projects he had been involved with had been established through making contact other practitioners and joining forums and social groups for photographers ect.
Through collaborative work initially, later getting involved with local photography collectives, photographic meetings, artist talks and workshops ect  led to further opportunity in the photographic industry.
He explained how through work with/alongside other photographers (often more established) on group assignments. In time this then lead to further opportunities and informed his own independent practice.
David recommended getting involved with collectives and groups as it was for him personally a way to remain inspired and motivated as the photographic industry can be very overwhelming and confusing when starting alone without support.
Karin Albinsson, who’s work I was already familiar with from having worked closely with her in 2nd year presented a variety of work some of which we hadn’t seen previously.
Like David, Karin also works across many photographic fields,some of which include celebrity portraiture, music photography, social documentary and even wedding photography in order to support her own practice.
Karin spoke about the development of her career, as her route differed to Davids in the sense that she had undergone a photography-based degree.
Karin gave some useful advice in relation to using your classmates upon graduation, as she too stayed in contact with people she had studied with and regularly met up to reflect, share ideas and feedback on work in progress.
Karin also spoke about contacting local organisations and utilising the resources immediately accessible to us. For example she had gained work at  Salford University and maintained regular work doing community workshops in Manchester cathedral.
Karin used these locally-based community jobs as a stepping stone, informing her personal practice and leading to larger personal projects such as her ongoing documentary project in the Sahara. Where she still regularly returns and organises workshops for the community group there.
Some general advice and pointers;
 – Print most successful body of work to date in book format to take into interviews and meetings ECT.
– Seek online submission opportunities, this could be competitions or magazines, etc and will boost confidence and increase exposure.
– Get a website. Make it individual and reflective of yourself as a practitioner.
– Stay up to date with other practitioners, following them on social networks ect – This will help us to remain informed about the types of work others are producing.
– Get involved with local photography groups and attend as frequently as possible. Utilise other professionals  opinions and feedback.
– Set yourself goals and challenges that will encourage you to push your won personal boundaries and gain confidence in your own practice.
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