Photography personal statement
It is estimated that within the two hundred independent countries of the world there are 6800
different spoken languages, creating a huge expanse of language barriers, hand signals and
lost translations. However, within this mass of worldwide confusion, pictures and photography
can still be understood universally. Maybe it's a cliched point to prove, but personally I
think this underlines the concept that a picture can (with no specified language) speak a
thousand words to a thousand different people. I find this idea of global understanding deeply
fascinating and it is one reason among many which has propelled me towards the study and
creation of photography and the visual arts.
From a young age I have had an interest in pictures and drawing, which developed, as I got
older into an interest in textiles and a love of fashion. From this I decided to do an
introductory course at The London College of Fashion, and it was there that my idea to pursue
a career in photography and art direction first occurred. I found that although I was
interested in the logistics and business side of the fashion industry it was the compositions,
vibrant images and individuality of the advertising campaigns that truly inspired me. Studying
photography at A-level I have learnt the importance of individual style and personal reading;
seeing this put into practice in magazines and adverts led me to decide that with the aid of
higher education I wanted to go on and work with photography and advertising.
I have always had a flair for business, completing GCSE, AS and A level exams with a
high-grade average. I have learnt the importance of finances and budget restraints, which I
think is a very valuable lesson to learn. By studying English Language I have been able to
improve my writing skills and expand my knowledge of the way in which words can be used to
influence and explain. I have found both these subjects to have aided me with various
independent projects and have increased my understanding and ability to perform at a high
level in different areas. When I joined The Henley College I began working and learning with a
wide range of different people from different backgrounds, it was a large change from the
structured life of an all girls grammar school. However, I found moving to this environment
and a new way of education highly liberating, I was able to adjust very quickly, both socially
and to the educational practices. From this experience I learnt to be very open to new
opportunities and places, which has helped me with the projects and jobs I have done.
There are a large range of skills required when working in commercial photography- an example
of these being networking and perseverance. In order to gain a wider perspective into the
challenges of this as a career, as well as my subject coursework, I have done freelance work
on a number of occasions including photographing private events and parties. I found these
jobs to be more subjective as I had to work to a very specific brief with tight deadlines; the
results of such experiences I have found to be highly positive. I have learnt to compromise
with difficult clients and have had one of my photographs printed in BCFA member directory as
part of an advertising campaign. However, the biggest learning curve I experienced was when
observing work at a professional studio it was here I witnessed the patience and communication
skills needed to become a successful art director. I think by working with lens-based media at
a degree level I will be further towards gaining the attributes needed for this area of work.
From university I hope to go on to and work within the photography and creative advertising
industry. I know the skills necessary are both creatively and academically challenging, but
due to my ambition, social ability and general love of photography, I think it is definitely
something I could excel at, given the opportunity.
This personal statement was written by helenlucy for application in 2000.