Photography industry leaders on careers in the creative industries

  • Friday, March 10, 2017

Three leading women in the British photography industry have given Roehampton students insight into forging creative careers in a two part series of guest speaker seminars.

In a two part series of guest speaker seminars in February, Roehampton welcomed Creative Producer Christina Hardy, Magnum Photos' Global Digital Director Anna Bourgeois-Vignon and former National Portrait Gallery Photography Manager Helen James to speak to students, describing the different routes and career paths possible in photography, and how to break into the sector.

Hardy and Bourgeois-Vignon spoke of the challenges in the photography industry. Instagram's necessity is a double-edged sword for photographers: the app owns the copyright of all images posted to it, yet it is a requirement to showcase work and demonstrate to publishers an existing following. They also said that while editorial is poorly paid, it offers a level of self-promotion that other careers in photography do not, which continues to make it attractive to photographers.

James focused instead on how the photography industry has changed over the past few years in terms of commercialisation in galleries and agencies. She also emphasised the importance of research in creative industries, whether for a project or a job, explaining that ‘you have to know an organisation and how to pitch to them’.

Bourgeois-Vignon and Hardy's seminar concluded with a portfolio viewing session, giving students the opportunity to show their work to the two commissioning creatives and receive extensive feedback.

Senior lecturer Michael O'Brien said ‘We were very privileged to have three speakers from the highest level of photography management come to talk about their careers in photography as well as giving insights into the photographic industries. Their presentations were greeted enthusiastically by the students, several of whom made connections between what was being presented in the seminars and the work they undertake on the programme’.