As our studies are coming to an end, we have been thinking a lot lately about how it began and how much we've actually learned during our studies. The beginning was rather tough, because we didn't really have a lot of knowledge or experience with photography and before we started we had only randomly taken pictures while travelling for fun. I still remember my very first class really well. My teacher is actually one of my thesis mentors now. I had a class with him on my first semester and on my last one, so there was a huge gap between both courses.
On my first semester at University with him, we all had to show our portfolio which for me was a compilation of some images I had taken here and there. After showing my images, he was pretty tough on me and told me that my images were not a portfolio, but rather looked like random moments which had been taken while travelling with friends around Europe. I thought my images were ok, not great, but still ok, so you can imagine how I felt after this. He was very honest and expects a lot from his students which is actually a good thing. Now I actually laugh about what he said, as it is actually pretty funny, but back then I didn't. The name of the class was "Photographic basics" by the way. In this class we talked about the rules of photography by seeing examples from other photographers and did some assignments to practice some of the things we talked about. Pretty basic actually, but for me it was a whole new world. I'm actually happy to have gotten such bad feedback, because I think that's what made me realise that there was a lot of work to be done and that I had to take the BA very seriously. After that I had many different classes, like Portrait, Fashion, Staged, etc also some design or art classes where we designed Business cards, created a brands Identity and even painted (painting is definitely not one of my talents).
This past semester was also my last one and one of my classes was with the same teacher. The course was called "Visual Strategies" and it was about finding our own visual language and about realising what made our work different from others. The teacher, who hadn't seen my work in a long time was surprised to see how much I had improved and how much my work had changed. I was happy to get his feedback and discuss the work in class, as he has a lot of experience.
Before starting these second studies I was actually pretty lost as to what I wanted to do in life. I wasn't really interested in my previous degree in Advertising and PR and hadn't really found my thing. I worked at so many different companies doing all sorts of things, like for example at a few Communication and Advertising agencies in Madrid, as a receptionist in a few Hotels in Tenerife, as a Personal Tutor for a language school in Berlin, I also taught English at several schools and held private tuition classes while I was studying in Salamanca, Spain. I worked as a Customer Support agent here in Berlin and even in animation for a Hotel in Menorca, where I had to dance on stage and present the parrot show in German haha funny times! Before we started this BA in Photography, we thought a lot about it. We both wanted to do something different, something creative and Photography was a field that interested us both. Starting something new is never easy, but sometimes you just have to follow your gut and take risks. If it doesn't work out and you realise it's not for you, you can always do something else!
My last job was at C/O Berlin, which is a very important exhibition space for Photography in Berlin. I worked there throughout my last two semesters, but decided to quit six months ago to be able to concentrate fully on our photography work and blog. For the first time, I'm working for myself as a freelancer and it's a very strange feeling. It's still pretty recent, but I'm happy because I think I prefer organizing myself and planning my own projects. One thing I realised in the past was that I'm not an office person, I get bored easily and need new challenges and in my previous jobs I often got bored of always doing the same things. Still, I think that all these different job experiences were really good for me, because I learned from all of them and I think it's important to try things out even if you find out that they're just not for you. Don't you think?
I'm really happy to have finally found something which I am passionate about. I think it's important to find something you love and brings you joy, no matter how hard it is. When I started 4 years ago I never would have imagined that I would at some point have the opportunity to work with big names such as Esprit, Billabong or Canon. Photography has really changed my life for good and I hope to continue learning and growing in this beautiful and creative field for many years to come!