This piece was written for university. The assingment was to chose two texts for a close reading, then compare and contrast their respective approaches to photography. It is fa from my best piece of writing and with hindsight I would not have chosen two texts that were so different in approach and context, but it was an interesting exercise to look for the common threads within two very different pieces. As always, in the interests of publishing these as a way of showing others what mistakes can be made, I have presented here the exact copy I submitted, Keep an eye out for the major mistake. Final grade was 66.
The first marked written assignment on my course was to chose an image from a photographer that we wanted to research and write a 1,250 word critical study of the image. I was given a mark of 72 for this essay.
A copy of the image was included with the submitted essay but ommited here due to copyright reasons, the image can be found at
Everyone needs a starting point for a website, so as this will be a archive of my work as well as a portfolio, lets start a the very beggining. I wrote this as part of my UCAS application form when applying for university.
Its not the best piece of writing but it helped to get me an interview.
How do you sum up a passion for photography? For the first draft of my personal statement I began by looking into quotes that I could open with, something that would sum up, in a succinct way, my thoughts and feelings on my art. I couldn’t find one. It is one of the most talked about subjects yet Photography is no simple language, it’s not just the mechanical process of composition, it is a fluid form, an extension of the self. It is a voice. In such a short space, I find it hard to sum up something which I am so passionate about, as such I am not sure how I expected to find a summary using someone else’s words. I work as a photographer, in my free time I travel around taking photos, I talk to anyone who will listen about photography and I always carry at least one camera.
Photography has always been a huge part of my life and some of my earliest memories involve my father’s job at Kodak. I remember those strange canisters containing a bizarre funny smelling plastic that you could pull all the way out, hold up to the brightest light to look for pictures, before carefully rolling it back in to be used another day……….. Amazingly my early attempts at photography would be doomed to end in failure. I blame the developers as they were often returned to me totally black and with no hint of images on the negatives! Since then my skills (and awareness of light tight conditions) have improved somewhat and I now work full-time as a freelance photographer, through this have been offered some incredible opportunities. I have worked at festivals, shot at live gigs for both large and small bands, I often work for charities and some of this work has become ongoing voluntary posts. In addition to this my work has also included major corporations and personal clients. My photography has taken me to amazing places, from underground historic tunnels to as far afield as L.A. I’ve had work displayed in Foyles Bookstore, won competitions and have also just been asked by Professional Photographer Magazine if they can feature one of my shots in an upcoming issue. Through all of this I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the most incredible and inspirational people. Yet as a self-taught photographer there are gaps in my knowledge and only so far I can go, this is why I need a place at Westminster.
I would like to study at Westminster as it is known to offer one of the top photography courses in the country. I believe that the University would be a good fit for me and enable me to pursue my love of learning immersed in a creative environment. I would savour the chance to be helped towards truly finding my photographic voice and identity under the guidance of the tutors. If given the chance to study at Westminster I aim to put the highest effort into every aspect of my studies in order to follow on to the MA photographic studies course. Photography is not just a career, it is a vocation, and the potential for continuous learning and development is limitless. It is my intention to graduate from Westminster with the skills that will enable me to produce world class imagery and return to full time photographic work with the ability to produce challenging and exceptional photos.