AOP tours Awards to City of Glasgow College
17 July 2017
©Lulu Ash, part of the Awards on Tour at City of Glasgow College 18th-30th July
AOP are excited to take the winners from the 2016 AOP Awards to the City of Glasgow College for a special exhibition from 18th until 30th July. Do come and enjoy images that were judged by leading names in the photography world including: Andy Taylor - Iris Worldwide; Terrence Pepper - Photocurator and exhibition organiser; Laura Noble - Director at L A Noble Gallery; It’s Nice That creative arts blog; and Piers Morgan - Journalist. This collection of work showcases the amazing quality and diversity of AOP members as leading professional photographers in the creative industries.
About City of Glasgow College
There has been a photography course(s) at Glasgow for over 50 years, currently they are the largest provider of photographic courses in Scotland.
Their enormous range of courses means they have up to 270 full time photography students and almost as many on evening classes.
All courses are delivered at the brand new campus which opened in August 2016 and has brand new facilities including 8 large studios, a darkroom, processing room, mac lab, download and print/scanning room.
Students have access to a well equipped photographic store with traditional cameras including 5x4 and Canon Digital equipment for all courses with digital Hassleblad for our BA students.
They are a lively and active department with staff from a broad range of photographic industry bringing a wealth of experience.
We chatted to Aileen Campbell - City of Glasgow College's Curriculum Head Photography about all things photography
What does the AOP do for you?
We use Beyond the Lens as a key text for all aspects of photographic practise. We also work with the AOP to encourage our students to enter the AOP Student Awards, and build it into our planning.
We absolutely believe competitions are vital for emerging photographers; they create a deadline, an external eye, a commitment by students to print or pay a fee.
The exposure is of course hugely important and for students to see where they stand alongside others often for the first time is an important step in gaining some confidence about their own photographic work. We have had many students shortlisted for the AOP in the past, and I'm glad to say after a push this year we have seen more enter and be shortlisted too. Competitions allow students to step out of the college environment and pit themselves against others, it's a very healthy thing to do!
How do you think emerging photographers can get ahead in the industry nowadays?
It's important to understand that there are many different ways to carve a career in photography today. The industry is not the industry that many lecturers experienced and the job market as we now recognise it includes jobs which we could not have predicted, especially around online sales and social media. This presents new opportunities for photographers.
The traditional route for photographers as assistants is not the only way to get ahead in photography. Education plays a huge part and we have many successful students working as photographers, as picture editors, using moving image, working with agents.
The skills of photography are only part of the way to impress, being good communicators, resilience and problem solving are just as important skills in the current highly competitive job market.
What do you offer your students that’s different from other photography courses?
Other institutions are often horrified by the scale of what we do at City of Glasgow College, but we see our size as a real strength.
With a lot of students comes a lot of equipment and facilities which includes a lot of full time and part time lecturers, this means there is a lot for students to experience from the department and from each other - and of course we have an impressive Alumni.
We are in the centre of a culturally rich city where there's a lot going on and the students completely absorb this.
Our teaching approach has changed dramatically - we still teach photography, we still teach photographic skills - traditional and digital, but we do this through a very flexible project approach with a lot of industry input with live briefs often led by practising photographers. The project approach allows us to take up opportunities so that we will not be doing the same thing year in year out. We can be very proactive in adapting projects to meet new opportunities with many interesting partners.
We really work hard to try and cater to the range of our students especially at degree level where students can follow projects which direct them to their own photographic future, we do not stipulate courses as commercial, professional, fine art, but instead we do actually achieve all of this, because that's the range of what our students want to do and among our staff we have those skills.