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I’m Alphonsus Ezekiel Santos, 24, Pisces. I currently work full-time at Browns Fashion within the marketing team where I mainly shoot stills/video and edit for their social media channels and website. I also work freelance as a photographer and filmmaker.
Since finishing the course my freelance work mainly involves editorial and campaign shoots. I am also constantly working on personal projects. My most recent project was made in collaboration with Nicole Ngai, who also studied the same course. We worked on a zine together titled ‘tender’ which launched November 2020. It has nearly sold out and was stocked in Tenderbooks as well as 50-m in London. You can find out more about the project on the i-D website. I’m currently working on publishing my final major project which I shot at University exactly 2 years ago. It’s a fashion-documentary photo book titled ‘SMUT’ which explores sexuality through a queer gaze. The first iteration focuses on the transgressive [nature] of female sexuality and involves sex workers.
I actually wanted to pursue a career in film when I was younger (still plenty of time for this!) but realised that I really enjoyed the fashion industry and collaborating with people I’ve met within. I also really love clothing, and enjoy the transformative power of clothes and how they can make you feel… so I guess the answer is no. But I’m happy to be a part of it.
The zine I created with Nicole Ngai was all shot before and during the pandemic. During this time I got to look inwards and really question myself as an artist and my intentions. I also had a lot more free time which meant I could shoot more. During the first lockdown, there were definitely a lot of self-portraits taken and my work focused more on still-life photography. Luckily enough, some of this work has been featured on a number of publications.
As mentioned, I’m working on publishing my first photo book ‘SMUT’ to launch around September-time this year. I’m also currently working on another documentary photo book to be released in 2023, it’s a 10-year archive of my work. Think ‘coming-of-age’ through a soft but dirty perspective, it’s lots of fun. I also have a few campaigns and editorials coming out in print in the next few months which is exciting, I always love seeing my work outside of the digital realm.
Within the next few years, I’d like to quit my full-time job and go freelance; continue working on a handful of personal projects and really establish myself within the fashion/art world. I also hope to still be having lots of fun, and be less anxious about ‘being an adult’.
Definitely its reputation. It was also a great way for me to move to the big city.
Alongside the university, I had also heard really good things about the course and tutors. These are also some really notable alumni from the course like Alex Leese, Coco Capitan & Nadia Lee Cohen.
Definitely meeting and working amongst such a talented group of artists. The tutors were also great, their advice and guidance of my personal and professional work is something I’ll hold with me for a long time. My development as an artist during this time was also very nice to witness and experience. I often compare my work before coming to University and afterwards, and think ‘wow’.
I really enjoyed the modules throughout 2nd & 3rd year but my favourite was definitely the fashion film module in 2nd year. I created an erotic fashion film for a designer who made leather pieces which included chaps & coats. The film turned out well, and I got to experiment with/ use really great equipment from the loan store. This module solidified the idea that I could be both a photographer and filmmaker. To this day, I still use the same equipment when shooting music videos.
“Grades don’t matter.”
Grades really don’t matter (haha)…
Also make sure you’re ready for all the writing and research that the course entails. When you are there make sure you make the absolute most of the facilities and equipment that you can borrow! Trust me, it’s for your own benefit.