Why I chose to study in Falmouth’s Institute of Photography

08 May 2024

Fashion photography student taking photo in studio
Fashion Photography student taking photo in studio
Type: Text
Category: Applying to Falmouth

This article was written by Commercial Photography BA(Hons) student Holly.

I knew very late that I wanted a career in photography, but I didn’t know my options. The idea of studying at university didn’t cross my mind until all my friends were applying and I thought, why not have a look?

I was overwhelmed with all my options and I wasn’t sure where to go. The Commercial Photography course at Falmouth was always at the top of my list, but being a 6-hour drive from home is what originally held me back. I looked at many other universities closer to home, but when attending a campus tour at Falmouth University, I loved the area, the vibe and the staff. For me, the other universities just didn’t compare.

When arriving at Falmouth, it was daunting being far from everything you know, but the support I received when joining was amazing. All the other students understand your situation and are so friendly and offer great advice, The support system within the Institute of Photography from the tutors, technicians and Stores staff are amazing and they are all very chatty & friendly people, making this whole scary situation feel a lot more positive and fun.

As someone with barely any experience in photography (apart from taking photos of landscapes every holiday), I was worried I would feel far behind. In my first year, I learnt a lot - there was so much practical experience with all the amazing facilities in the department. Working on the basics in the studio and developing further & further, I have become so comfortable setting a studio up and working with industry-standard programs, like Capture One. The chances to experiment with mediums has also been fun, with opportunities to process my own film, both in hand tank and machine, giving me space to experiment.

The photography Stores in the department were one of the main reasons I came to Falmouth. The large amount of equipment and resources in the Stores was amazing compared to the other university I looked at. Plus, the chatty nature of the staff in the Stores makes it easy to ask any question, big or small.

Another reason that made me join Falmouth was the tutors in the Institute of Photography. I talked a lot to students about their experiences before deciding to come to Falmouth and the biggest thing I picked up, was the standard of the staff - and this couldn’t have been more accurate. The tutors are very supportive and offer so much help, whether this is reviewing work or coming into the studio to help with an ongoing shoot. They also use their own connections to the industry to offer more support in terms of work experience and understanding what the working environment of a photographer looks like. These connections have helped me get work experience in London and have meant professional photographers have come down to Falmouth to collaborate or talk about their careers, which is amazing to get more insight into the current industry and to build our own networks before leaving university.

The opportunities in the Institute of Photography have giving me a huge increase in confidence and also an idea for what my path will look like when I graduate.

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