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Central Saint Martins

Alys Tomlinson

MA Photography Alum
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Alys  Tomlinson


I am an editorial, design and fine art photographer based in London. Before studying at Central Saint Martins, I completed a BA (Hons) in Communications and English Literature at the University of Leeds.

I work regularly for Time Out and recent commissions include the Time Out Guide to Toronto and guides to Miami, Barcelona and New York. Other clients include Conde Nast, The Royal College of Art, CABE, The Specialist Schools Trust and EDF.

In 2007 I was named as one of the PDN (Photo District News) 30 Photographers To Watch. I've also been highly commended in the Observer Hodge Award and a winner in the Flash Forward/Magenta Awards 2008. I combine commercial work with personal work, which I try to publish and exhibit.

Why CSM?

Partly its reputation but I also got a good feeling about the course when I went to the open day. The tutors were welcoming and supportive and the college as a whole felt very dynamic and inspirational.


Once you get to London, go to as many openings and events as you can. Also, make the most of getting advice from tutors and using the equipment and studios (for free!). Think about collaborating with people on other courses.

For instance, if you're interested in fashion photography then get to know people on the fashion courses and work on projects together.

Keep making new work after you graduate and continue to put on group shows with students in the same year as you. Get a website up and running in time for your degree show and don't leave the house without a business card - you never know who you're going to meet.


I'm a freelance photographer, but it took several years to get to the stage where I can make a living solely from photography.

Before I started the course I lived in NYC for a year and that was when I got my first photography commission. When I came back to London, I combined part-time work with assisting other photographers, whilst building my own contacts, clients and portfolio.

People know the name and it's reputation means that people take you more seriously. I am also still in touch with students and tutors from my year, all of whom are very supportive and continue to be good friends.


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