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James is a 3rd year student on BA (Hons) Photography at London College of Communication.
Why did you choose to study this course and why London College of Communication (LCC)?
After completing my A-Levels I wanted to go to a place where I would gain more technical knowledge about image-making, and have the conceptual side of my work challenged and developed by a range of teachers from different backgrounds of life and the industry. I knew I also wanted to be in an environment full of other students who were just as passionate about photography as myself, while being able to collaborate with students with expertise in other courses. London College of Communication's facilities made me really excited to come and create new work, and living in London meant being in the heart of the creative industry.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on so far?
At LCC, I've been able to collaborate with students from other UAL colleges on some really great projects. One of my favourite projects involved working with a fashion designer studying menswear at the London College of Fashion. In this project, she had created a collection of clothes that combined the conflicting experiences of masculinity she experienced growing up around her family. I loved her designs and working with her gave me first-hand experience in how I could apply what I learned at university into the real world.
Have you had any opportunities to engage with industry whilst on the course?
Every week we have a diverse range of artists, book publishers, photographers and other professionals from the creative industry come in and talk to us about their successful careers. After a guest lecture delivered by photographer Laura Pannack, I contacted her and was able to assist her in a photo studio for a few days on a commission she had for the British Journal of Photography. It was really beneficial to see how she worked and I was able to take a lot of what she taught me into my own work.
What important piece of advice would you give to students thinking of studying this course?
Being open minded is key. A lot of students come in with a fixed idea on what they think photography is and it really hinders their development. Stay open to having your work challenged and seeing how people with different perspectives might read your work. It will allow your work to grow into something amazing.
What has been the highlight of your LCC experience so far?
Learning how to create my own photography book start to finish by hand and then selling it at the Tate Modern Offprint Festival alongside my classmates.
How do you find your course specific facilities?
The photographic facilities here are outstanding. I'm always coming in to book a photo studio for a shoot or develop by hand my 35mm, 120 (medium format) and large format (5x4 & 8x10) film for free at college and taking it straight into the darkroom to print or the digital suite to scan high resolution. These facilities are exclusive to photography students so I know I don't have to worry about waiting in line to get my work done.
How do you find being a student in London?
Being a student in London is always so much fun. You never get bored because there is so much around you. My dream day in London would start in Brixton to get some fresh street food. Then jumping on the tube into central London to look around the exhibitions at Tate Modern. Finally ending the day in Shoreditch to look around the bookshops and see if I can get a bargain on some vintage clothes in the market.
What are your career aspirations?
In five years' time, I aspire to be working as a fashion photographer collaborating with different magazines and brands to leave my own mark on the fashion world.
If you had to describe your LCC experience in three words, what would they be?
Inspiring, exciting and friendly.
View the BA (Hons) Photography course page.