Throughout my three years on the course I've tried a whole range of different types of photography, including objects, landscapes, interiors, cityscapes, portraiture and more. However, something that has been consistent for the past few years in my passion for landscape photography. I started off being a bit clueless about photography, but the course has taught me that it's not all about a pretty picture; it's the meaning behind the photograph that makes you a great photographer.
In my third year I really started to think about my future: what I'm interested in and what kinds of jobs I want to get when I have finished the course. Therefore my two final projects are both about landscapes, but very different aspects of it. The first has a very scientific approach which is an area I'd love to go into, whereas the second project was a lot more personal. Because of my passion for landscape photography, I contacted quite a few photographers regarding their work and whether I could assist them on a photoshoot to gain more experience. After interviewing Fergus Heron, he agreed to let me assist him on a shoot in Horsell Common. It was a fantastic opportunity as I learnt a lot about large format photography and the ideal composition for deadpan landscape photos. It was also interesting to see his process of finding the perfect shot, and how he records everything in a workbook - similar to what I have been doing on the course. Another field of work experience I looked into was working in a camera shop called Harpers Photographic. This was a great learning experience, especially working in the processing lab, although it isn't something I would like to do as a career. Finally, I have also been part of a volunteering project called New Creatives where I worked together with a contemporary artist, Oliver Merkin, and helped Havant and Portsmouth college students create an art piece with the theme "making things makes us human". Their work was displayed at Aspex gallery, alongside a timelapse video I created of my experience. New Creatives has introduced me to some jobs I'd be able to do such as teaching or curating, but it's also given me more confidence to talk about my work and help others with theirs.
In 2010 I created my own Facebook Photography page and have been regularly updating that ever since. I also got a Flickr account where I do weekly photo challenges; I have a Twitter account, a Pinterest account, a blog, and finally a YouTube account. I update my blog as often as possible, usually a few times a week. My YouTube account has all my timelapse videos, my pinterest has a bit of everything (portfolio, landscape photography, pet photography, university projects, behind the scenes) and my Flickr mainly features my weekly photo challenges. Of course I also have a website with its own domain (www.elainedevries.com). My website features my portfolio, but also has links my University projects and my Commissioned projects (Pet, Band and Interior photography). It also has a link to my blog and Pinterest and a contact button. I also have a section with "links" that brings you to a list of websites where my work has been featured. Although I have an online portfolio, I also have a physical portfolio as I think it looks more professional to bring that in for an interview. It is an A3 box portfolio from Silverprint and includes a variety of my best work.
After I graduate I will be moving to Australia. This is both for personal reasons but also to further my landscape portfolio. Australia is known for its beautiful landscapes, and I'm hoping to do more projects similar to my Succession project, where I look at a more scientific aspect. I like the idea of creating awareness of environmental issues within my work. Something that I have become increasingly more interested in lately is pet photography, which is why I will be doing some work experience with a pet photographer in Melbourne, Caitlin McColl, once I have arrived in Australia.
As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.