From working on the Hereward ‘Guide to Autism’ project I found that I learnt a lot about myself personally and myself as a photographer. I realized that I have to be constantly pro active, always keep positive even though I may not be feeling it. I also found out that there is actually a lot more work involved in big scale projects that I initially expected. I have to admit I did find it hard at times to keep my spirit high when photographing as sometimes the style of photographing wasn’t really what I enjoyed but this did teach me that when you are brought into work on a project no matter if you like it or not you have to do the work and do it to your best ability and always give 100%. I did really enjoy working along side the college and all the students and I did learn that when I leave university I would really like to work along side a team of people in a company as I like the idea of collaborating with several people from different departments as ideas seem to develop must faster and we can quickly move onto developed ideas for the project.
I think I have had a few strengths and weaknesses throughout this experience. I found that I have to really work on my time management and be a lot more pro active but as soon as I realized this I think I definitely gave my full potential and turned my commitment around. I found that I work better under pressure but I think I definitely need to approach projects differently after this. As it was a bit of a long-term project I think in the future I need to get my head in gear straight away. From doing this experience I feel as if I don’t really know where I want to go with photography and am actually quite a bit confused to what I really want to do with my future as I thought I would enjoy working on a project like this much more. I really enjoy photography but during this project I found myself really re thinking about what type of photography I really enjoy doing.
I do think that throughout my experience I have gained skills that I will carry with me throughout my future experiences and projects. I learnt how to really work in a team and how it isn’t always as easy as you think, I found myself getting a bit frustrated at times working in a group as sometimes things didn’t go as planned or wasn’t very organized. I really realized how important time management is and how important it is to constantly communicate with the people you are working for, emailing occurred constantly trying to organize days, time, and just the work in general. I found myself acting more professional in these situations. Throughout this project I have to really think about what to actually photograph as many of the images the hereward staff wanted without the students being in them so me and the two other photographers really had to think about how we would photograph certain images in the way that the students wouldn’t appear in them but still show the meaning of what we were trying to portray about their autism. Doing this made me really think about photography in a different way and taught me how to not photograph something to literally.
Whilst working on this project I worked a lot of Photoshop and learnt many new skills on there which will definitely come in handy in my future work. I also found out how important it is to work along side a media/journalist team as every image the photograph team took the other Coventry uni students had to know about and vise versa as we all needed to make sure we were on the same page creating the same image that the Hereward staff wanted to be put across.
Overall I really did enjoy this great experience that I am really grateful to have had and been a part of. I made some really great bonds with the students and fantastic connections with the staff at Hereward college. After the summer I will still be keeping in contact with Julie and Mandy as we will still be collaborating together for the exhibition that will be taking place later on this year. This will be a really exciting moment for all of us as we will be finally able to see all the hard work we put into this project come across in an exhibition for the public to view.
I have taken many positive points from being in this project and will carry my new found skills with me into my future jobs and my career. I know I said easier that this may not be where I want to go with my career but it has really taught me about working in a professional serious project with strict deadlines needing to be met and targets to be reached.