Amy Paton has had a steady career after her years at PSC, where she completed her Advanced Diploma. Learning about imaging, post-production techniques, working with clients and collaborating with a mentor, during the program has helped her to get a well rounded view of the photography industry. She currently works at The Warrnambool Standard as a photojournalist. Here are her tips for launching a career as a photographer:
1. Network With Those Who Add Value To You
It's as much who you know as what you know. Mentors are so important; the mentor I found in my third year ended up becoming a great friend and an equal . We now exchange tips and details about work. He refers me to jobs he can't do and gives me great feedback about my photographs.
2. Make The Most Out Of Your Time While Studying
The people you meet at Uni can help you out in the long run. Get to know people while you have the time. Make the most of guest speakers, industry placements and everyone you meet thanks to your teachers. Ask to assist or second shoot professional photographers who visit you, and observe them while they work. It also helps to take them out for a coffee, for a chat about the industry. People are always willing to help students, especially the keen ones!
3. Always Say Yes
Never say no to any work. Even if it's not in your special area of interest, as you end up getting another contact, another reference and an addition to your portfolio of work. Think about the future, when all these avenues will get you more assignments.
4. Working For Free Is Not A Bad Thing
Do volunteer work (but tread with caution). I have reached where I am today, because I worked for free. Working for a professional football club and having the support of their media team,as well as showing how keen and committed I was opened so many doors for me - they couldn't pay me (as much as I, and they, wanted to), but they promoted me as much as possible at the highest levels they could. This expanded my portfolio tenfold and allowed me to always be selected for paid jobs, thanks to the helpful staff. Many professionals warn against doing volunteer work, so you have to make a sound judgment call; go for projects where you’ll get something worthwhile out of it.
5. Focus On What You Love And Stay Dedicated
Be passionate about your craft and your vision. It may sound redundant, but in a place like PSC (and really just the photography world) you won't get anywhere unless you're really keen and enthusiastic. The people you meet will support you so much more if you're really excited about what you do. Work hard and don’t forget to put in the effort to have a great social media presence (Facebook and Instagram are key!), as well as a website.
You can have a look at Amy's wonderful website and portfolio, by clicking on the image:
With these simple and very important tips, strengthen the foundation of the career you choose to build for yourself. Stay connected to the community of photographers and to your work, things will work out! If you're interested in beginning your future with photography, you can also be a part of the PSC legacy like Amy. To find out more about the Advance Diploma in Photography that Amy completed, visit this page: https://www.psc.edu.au/ft_the_course.html