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Professional Contexts Blog

Resources and Social Media (lecture 7)

I have been using Notion for a while as I find it a really great tool for staying organised and for note-taking. I decided to keep a note of all relevant resources I come across here, organised into different categories as I think that it’s really important to continue learning beyond university. I like to decorate my Notion page as I have always found that if something is designed nicely, I’m more likely to look at it. I know that it's not very professional-looking but the page doesn't get shared with anyone.

A lot of these resources were what I noted down from the final Professional Contexts lecture.

For a lot of these pages and organisations, I also follow their Instagrams and am subscribed to their mailing lists where I feel relevant too, so that I am really keeping up-to-date with them. In the session, we discussed social media too and how to use it effectively.

At times I do get bored scrolling through my photography Instagram news feed and checking stories as it would feel like I am being bombarded with things that so not necessarily interest me or are not relevant to what I want to see. I decided to go through my following list and unfollow anyone whose work I do not personally connect with or will not help grow my knowledge and experiences in photography. Me and a couple of others on the course, once we are together again in Bath plan on taking some photos for each other that look a bit more professional to use as profile pictures on social media, to look a bit better than having a selfie. I do think that other than this, my Instagram is cohesive and showcases my best work, but social media is always advancing, so it is important that I take note of these changes and what is expected for a professional page.

For me, I don’t think that having a Facebook page is necessary for my practice, whereas if I wanted to go into wedding photography for example, it would be quite useful for reaching people within a local area. With Instagram being such a visual platform, I do think that it is the only one which I will need. In some cases, I may want to add one of my images to Pinterest, making sure that the link goes to my website, but Pinterest does have issues in terms of the ownership of images as sometimes the link to the original owner can be removed and lost and in this instance, people may be seeing your images but not knowing who the photographer is.

During the session, Sapphire Stewart who graduated last year joined and spoke to us about how her life has been since graduating. I appreciate how honest she was with us, like James has been throughout the module. Once she finished her final major project, she didn’t want to photograph for a while, which is understandable after putting your all into projects one after the other for three years and feeling the constant need to get better with every project.

After university she had a job in a pub and couldn’t afford to photograph for a while as she shoots everything on film. She spoke about how once you leave, you don’t have access to the facilities and equipment which can be quite frustrating and because of covid, she felt even more lost because she had a plan but everything was up in the air because of what you can and can’t do. At the moment, she isn’t doing very well financially, but is in contact with the relevant people and is applying for jobs and whilst it is a good idea to have a plan of what you want to do, it’s also good to keep an open mind as you may be presented with opportunities which may interest you. She’s applied to several awards but hasn’t heard back from any yet. This is a brave thing to do, especially when you aren’t doing too well with your mental health as it can be quite disheartening when you don’t hear back and you have put in all of this time perfecting your submission, but if you are shortlisted, it probably will make you feel great. Sapphire is an amazing photographer and now that she has found the motivation to apply for more jobs and opportunities, I’m sure that she will achieve great things.

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