Professional Contexts Blog

SWOT Analysis (lecture 5)

Things to consider in a SWOT analysis:

Strengths- what the portfolio/ career aims does well (what qualities set you apart from others, how in-depth your artist research is, if the portfolio is pitched correctly, what conceptual/ technical/ transferrable skills you have)

Weaknesses- what the portfolio/ career aims lacks or can improve on (what the competition does better, what is missing, identifying missing skills, market research, reputation and levels of experience)

Opportunities- things you can address (skills training, market/ career research, portfolio improvements)

Threats- External factors which can threaten your portfolio (ethical compliancy, risks, technical challenges) and chosen career (competition, demand, entry level, financially)


Strengths

I am a quiet person, which until recently I have been viewing as a hinderance when in fact, having the ability to make quiet work is not something that can be done by everyone. I am a good listener and like to tell stories through my imagery that reflect on my silent observations and I think that because of my approach I appear more trustworthy around instances when people may feel more vulnerable, it is likely clear that I do not have malicious intentions.


It is important to note that there is a difference with having confidence in social situations and having confidence in my work. If I make a photo or a project, I am able to recognise that the work is good, even if I struggle to talk through the work and intentions vocally.


I enjoy the process of finding photographers to be inspired by and making connections between my own work and theirs as well as following what is happening currently within photography. My work is cohesive as at this stage I have a fairly well formed style of imagery heavily inspired by the documentary genre.

I find that frequently create and learning comes effortlessly to me as I am quite motivated. I do also have an interest in personal development and living with purpose and with this comes organisation and setting goals

Weaknesses

I feel that my technical skills could be improved on, both within the camera and post-production and this comes from a mixture of not knowing how to do certain things with lighting and camera as well as just not feeling confident in areas that I have not had sufficient practise in. The Adobe suite feels like an endless realm of possibilities which does feel quite daunting as my knowledge into the programmes feels limited in comparison to the possibilities.


I only work digitally, so shooting film in different forms would widen my skills set but I do feel a pressure to make the most of film as it is a costly way of working, particularly medium and large format.


Studying with so many lockdowns occurring, I do feel as though I have not had a lot of experience with the process of exhibiting work first hand and in general how work should be presented for in-person experiences.

When creating, I do feel uncomfortable with someone seeing my work-in-progress and I find it difficult to work with others on projects and would rather work alone and just show the final outcome.

Opportunities

I have found that I am a homebody so would like to live close to home after I move out and the most convenient location I think would be in or around Nottingham, but I will need to look into what the photography scene in that particular city is like. In Derby which is my nearest city at the moment is Format festival every two years, but researching into what other jobs and events there are is important.


I am unsure of the grants and commissions that will be available for me to apply to out of graduation, but have to hope that I have the drive and motivation to continuously apply for these and show my work.


Portfolio reviews from professionals as well as peers may also be quite motivating and good to have after university, when you don't get weekly progress check-ins. However, getting professionals to reply to your emails for free is difficult and portfolio reviews are expensive.

Threats

Facing difficulties with covid during my degree does make me feel as though I am at a disadvantage moving into the industry and of course being away from university when places do open back up again, I won’t be able to have access to the facilities and constant feedback from others.

I plan on continuing to work at my hospitality job in order to have a regular income to rely on, but with this comes the worry that I will be at this job too often and not giving myself enough time to work on my creative career.

I know of other photographers on the course at Bath Spa alone who make work similar to myself, so I do worry that this will be mirrored in the wider community of photographers and I do often doubt that I have enough advantage against those making similar work and if mine would stand out at all.


I can't drive which will restrict what jobs I can agree to doing and I don't really want to learn because of the costs.



Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay for the whole of the session as I had a photoshoot planned for the final major project with someone who has been a little difficult to work with and wouldn't agree to doing it on a different day or different time. This meant that my SWOT analysis was done without the help of others.