MA Fashion Photography student Otto Masters has just returned from a trip to Japan. He was awarded a Fashion Matters travel bursary which funded the trip that formed part of his research and inspired his final project. We spoke to him to find out about his time at LCF, and how the funding has made a difference to his education.
Before my MA… I did a BA in Photography at the University of South Wales in Cardiff.
I chose the MA at LCF… for two reasons: firstly because I knew that to take my career in the direction I wanted it to go, I had to be in London. Secondly, for the great name and reputation behind LCF – it is one of the best fashion schools in the world. I wasn’t at the level I wanted to be at yet with my work, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to push myself further and grow as a photographer.
My final project… looks at the idea of the West looking to the East, in particular Japan. It explores the two sides looking at each other in terms of culture, fashion, ideals, and behaviour. From my point of view, as a Westerner, I want to look at Japan and try to see it from a different perspective to others before me.
When applying for the scholarship… help from my peers was a huge contribution. After writing my proposal I went over it with my course leader and classmates to get advice from them. The process for applying was very straightforward, and the team running the application process were very helpful at all times.
If it wasn’t for my scholarship… I would not have been able to go to Japan to complete my project. I used the money on flights, accommodation, resources for the trip, and any other expenses for my stay in Japan. My project would had been entirely different in terms of what I would have been photographing, the things I have learnt, and who I would have collaborated with.
Fashion matters… it is how we present ourselves, the reason we dress a certain way, eat certain foods, and the way we live our lives. Fashion dictates so much more than people think. Whether something is in fashion, or not, creates social and cultural norms that differ across the world.
After I finish my course… I want to work as a photography assistant for a photographer whose work I really look up to and admire. I will continue to work on personal and freelance projects on the side.
Every year, LCF’s Fashion Matters Gala raises money for scholarships and bursaries to help new and existing LCF students begin or continue their studies. This year’s gala is on November 10 and we hope it is as successful as past years.