When I started my professional experience journey within the framework of this module I never expected that it is going to take me through such range of different experiences. Even before the start of this module I have been working in different nightclubs here and then so if I wanted I could have perfectly made the majority of hours from this activity. However fortunately after a certain point, don’t know when and why exactly this struck me, I understood I want to get more from this and this is when my immersion to a completely new life started.
Working at IGLU NIGHTCLUB
Starting from 12 April every Saturday
/2 days: 1st – taking pics; 2nd – editing/
IGLU risk assesment
I was and I am still working at IGLU nightclub, but now regularly – taking pictures every Saturday. They have launched the new night on 12th of April and it was my first time shooting promo video that I was to edit afterwards. Before that I have done this work seriously only once and from the footage shot by another person. That was a promo video for event organisation International Love (http://youtu.be/zq1K3YUxBHY) last summer. So this time was even more challenging and gave me insight in different area of my interest, which I obviously have a long way ahead to explore and improve in. What I also like about regular work at a nightclub is that it is easier to communicate with people and to gain their trust as a photographer when they see you every time they come to a club. You know them, they know you, they are more opened and if you are lucky enough some of them might offer you to depict them in out of nightclub ambience. There is no limit to perfection, so I am still enjoying working there and improving the eccentricity of my pictures. However I understand that I don’t want and actually physically can’t build my career just on this type of photography.
Examples of pictures:
YOUR LIVING CHOICE placement
Period between 2.04.14 and the end of the module. (Approx. 2 weeks)
/Precise times vary depending on when the agency needs me to take pictures of a particular property/
YLC risk assesment
My another idea for placement came to me very randomly. I was looking for a place to stay next year and literally every time I was opening the advertisement the photos of the property was just horrific if they were actually posted. Some people apparently think that their narrating skills make the photographical addition to their posts unnecessary. And if in case of private landlords it is understandable, I count it to be unforgivable for housing agencies. That’s how I started to work with Your Living Choice housing agency (http://www.yourlivingchoice.co.uk). I contacted the owner directly and luckily his office is not too far from my house. There wasn’t any negotiation really – he was happy to accept my offer. And since then I have been travelling around Coventry taking pictures of different houses, nicely retouching them and fitting in the collage that we have decided to be a template. I have also helped to slightly improve the logo for his different project. I really enjoyed what I was doing in this case – guess because it was my initiative from the very beginning. I wanted the houses to look extremely cozy and appealing for the viewer. As if I was looking at them myself at the gumtree. However sometimes students typically didn’t want to clean their houses for the sake of photography and advertising, so I had to retouch pictures from the last year and stitch them together the same way. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted because some of the pictures again were not nice quality, were taken from the angles I wouldn’t have taken them from and usually were taken with phone camera. However I tried my best to edit them in a way to get the most appealing outcome.
Examples of pictures:
However apart from my own preferences I obviously had to meet my employer’s expectations – for example when I was taking pictures of his office he asked me to focus the attention on particular things and to shoot it from different angles so that he can choose the best photographs after.
This placement gave me a better understanding of relationships between the employer and employee. As well as it immersed me in a more official atmosphere in comparison with the work in a nightclub. That’s when I have finally vividly considered the line between the work and casual relationships, which I think the earlier the better to understand and adjust to. As in building your connections not only your technical and creative side that matters but the appropriate way of treating people you approach as well.
/21, 22 – Taking pictures at Oil Blending Plant in Torzhok; 23 – Editing process
24 – Taking pictures at 100th Shell retail site in Moscow; 25 – Editing process/
CF WP02 – Shell
Shell Wp03 form
My two next placements I did back in my hometown – Russia. Thanks to my father who provided me with this unique opportunity to have an insight in a completely different field – industrial photography. I have spent two days in Torzhok – small town in Russia where a huge Shell Lubricant Oil Blending Plant is located. For me it seems like a one time in life opportunity. I was supervised by one of the workers and fortunately understood at least 50% of how things work there. Obviously on a very shallow level. Shell lubricants blending plant is one of the largest lubricants plant in Shell, and the only Lubricants Plant built in Russia by an international company. All staff on this plant – including General manager – are Russians. Additional challenge was to take pictures wearing all this protective gear – hard hat, coverall, hard boots, goggles. However I didn’t have a choice as no exceptions are made. Two weeks earlier the plant was visited by Bloomberg filming crew who had to wear the same personal protective equipment as I did.
Despite the lack of understand of the environment I was depicting, this experience taught me another key thing – my role as a photographer is to be very flexible and adjustable to the surrounding. I have to be able to pick the depicted out of context and present it in a way to impress the ones aware of this context and the ones not.
Example of pictures:
Continuing a short-term placement with Shell I visited the 100th Shell retail site in Moscow. The scope of the place was nothing compared to what I’ve seen in Torzhok so I focused more on details that might characterize this ambience. Shell logos wherever I saw them, burst of colors, visitors and workers of the petrol station.
Eventually I got very commercial photographs, which I was entirely satisfied with. As well as my employer. Commercial photography is another thing that I would like to explore because I believe I have a good eye for details and even though I am not into spending hours and hours retouching model’s skin but I like spending time to get my sense of perfection for this particular scene I depicted. According to agreement with Shell, all my pictures can be used by the company in internal and external communications.
Examples of pictures:
OIL AND GAS ‘VERTICAL’ MAGAZINE PLACEMENT: CONFERENCE ‘ARTIFICIAL LIFT 2014’ in Moscow
14 – 19 April
/14, 15, 16, 17 – Taking pictures at the conference; 18, 19 – Editing process/
CF WP02 Oil and Gas conference
Oil and Gas Conference Wp03 form
My second placement overseas was also held in Moscow at the conference “Artificial Lift 2014”. I was taking pictures for Oil and Gas Magazine “Vertical” for four days and my job was to capture the speakers, the audience and simply of all the greatest minds. Sometimes the greatest minds argued very passionately, which resulted in intense photographs.
Examples of pictures:
SAVE THE CHILDREN placement
29 – 30 April
/29 – Taking pictures at the event; 30 – Editing process/
Save the Children risk assesment
My last placement I got through IEMS in Uni. I was covering the event hosted by the organization “Save the children” dedicated to 100th Birthday of one of their best UK fundraiser – Connie Sharman. The event wasn’t very big and lasted for just 2 hours. It was typical to the conference I was covering in Russia, but not that official and with the topics much more relatable to me. There I benefited not only by gaining the photographical experience, but also I discovered a lot more about the organization itself, which I wasn’t that aware of before. They do amazing things and I wish one day I could collaborate with them.
Examples of pictures:
This made me think that photography is not only about getting better in your narrow career spectrum but also about expanding your knowledge about the world. It is listening to stories and then storytelling, although still leaving something for your own.
Overall I more than enjoyed the work I did in terms of this module and each placement gave me a very unique experience serving the investment for my future professional path. I never knew I could move that far from taking pictures in nightclubs and find myself on the roof of Shell oil blending factory. In this short period of time I gained more confidence in what I am doing than I have ever had. And I understood that the expression “the world of opportunities” is literally a whole WORLD, which is waiting for you to progress, communicate, move forward, try new and eventually succeed being on its top.
[P.S. Should be mentioned that for all of my UK placements I have registered as a freelancer for this module by submitting general Wp01 form. Then for each of the UK placements I have filled the risk assessment forms; For each of the overseas placements I had filled separate Wp01, Wp02 and Wp03 forms.]