Over the next 9 months I will be trying to gain as much professional experience as possible. In order to get the broadest understanding of the industry I will be attempting to gain practical working knowledge from a variety of areas within the industry. In order to do this I have formed a plan to tackle this using different methods.
I already have an established business called JLM Photography which is effectively based in Lincolnshire. I am among to continue to get occasional work through this business as it still advertises. Setting up this was quite an undertaking and required me to learn as many aspects about new business startups as I could get. Without any previous experience I found a government scheme which offered free to attend seminars that went through many of the basics of business set up and this was invaluable in getting started. I registered my first business and obtained my first serious contract with Holiday Inn to cover the events at their hotel in Peterborough. This was a successful venture that lead to me obtaining more work with Marriott Hotels, Best Western and De’Vere. I also began to pick up other clients for family and baby shoots and with some local companies.
My previous work experience was in the service sector and I had previously worked for industry leaders in customer service. I wanted to take this same ethos into my business and prided my self of being able to deliver a standard of work that the client would be delighted with.
In order to expand the potential of this business I started CML Productions with the support of Coventry University. Through a scheme sponsored by the European Union and participated in by various university I was able to obtain funding and further knowledge. I was required to attend a series of lectures which covered other aspects of business operations and provided PR, Sales and Marketing advice and a business mentor. I had a new concept which i wanted to launch with this venture and expand my skills into videography. I teamed up with an existing videographer and explained my idea, from here we shot two videos as samples and I am now at the market research stage to see how viable my idea is.
Access 2 View
I was approached by a new company who operated in the real estate market to provide some photographic services for them. On this occasion I was unable to help but I was interested in the possibility of future works so I registered with them as an official photographer. The work I needed to undertake was to make contact with home vendors and arrange to take pictures of their property. This could also involve creating a floor plan. My images would then be used to advertise the property on various websites.
Shortly after registering I got my first job and attended. After uploading the images I submitted my invoice which was promptly paid after 2 weeks. This company has agreed to offer me more work in both Lincolnshire and Coventry areas depending on where I am living.
I decided to sign up with an online system which allows people with photographic jobs to advertise directly to get students. This allows any potential employer to get a job completed and below the regular rate and allow students to get valuable experience. I see this company as an opportunity to see what other jobs are coming up and to get experience in submitting a tender for a job. This could provide valuable insights into pricing structure and obtaining work through this system. Since joining I have had conversations with some clients but unfortunately have found that people’s experiences are unrealistic with them expecting students to work for free or for so little it would lead to being out-of-pocket. There seems to be an assumption from some that I should be grateful just for the opportunity for the experience. Although experience is very important and there would be certain jobs I would work for free I feel that I am should be selective over the jobs here.
I am also looking to take up a temporary job if I can find one or even a part-time role in a photographic studio to gain experience. I use a phone application called ‘Indeed’ which regularly keeps me updated with a variety of employed roles within the industry. I also intend to approach the photographic section of the John Lewis partnership about work experience. As someone who is already employed with the company I hope this gives me an advantage.