Summer Work Experience

For about 5 weeks over the summer holiday, I will be taking work experience at Media Production Agency called Tapestry. I will be observing the photographers and helping in any way I can at their studio on Goswell Road.

As I type this, I am on my 3rd day of work experience. So far it’s been okay, there isn’t a lot for me to do most of the time but that doesn’t bother me too much as I can focus on Uni work whilst I’m not needed. What I have done to help so far is to unpack age, steam and hang up Pj sets and robes so that two of the female photographers can photograph them either on a mannequin (robes) or with an overhead (PJ sets). After the shots where finished the next day, I folded and re-packaged them up. I also help with any cleaning up that needs doing if we are preparing for a new shoot. In total, there are 4 photographers and 2 photoshoppers working here depending on the day of the week. Danny Bird is my immediate boss for the time I am here, he is very friendly and has been kind enough to arrange for me to spend a day with him at Dennis Publishing which shares photographers with Tapestry who then work at Dennis’s studio. Hopefully I will be able to pop into the marketing section and see how magazine publishing works which is exciting.

I’ve also kindly been given a tour of the print workshop in the basement where I have learnt some important points about todays printing techniques, it’s all a bit geeky/techie which I love!

I have to keep reminding myself that it is early days as occasionally I get a bit disheartened or rather overwhelmed at this insight into the industry, I think it’s safe to say I am not interested in working full time at a photo studio but will never rule it out completely as most photography jobs require a studio at some stage. I just feel I am more of an explorer than a stand-stiller.

But I will give it a go and after some stubbornness, I eventually gave in an pursued Danny’s plan to let me experiment with the camera, soft boxes and computers on one of the 4 sets we have at the studio. We have this many sets so more than one project can be dealt with at one time.

To finish off the post, here are my notes I have written whilst working here. It’s compiled of observations and comments I catch through listening in.

  • Email clients to ensure they are receiving the quality they pictured, especially email if you are unsure and want a layout approved.
  • Use Google Calendar for a work plan schedule which is easy for everyone to access and have input to.
  • When taking a shot, zoom in and scan the image to check for accurate colour and focus.
  • Don’t use auto-white balance.
  • Compare the colours shown on the computer to the colour of the item, colour management may need to be checked.
  • A bit of DIY pays off, such as blue tac instead of clear wax.
  • Can print film or paper.
  • Small test prints are printed before final.
  • These tests are used to check for too much saturation or warm tones ( or anything not shown in the computer image display.
  • Nothing is as easy as it seems! Pins, gloves and steamer are just some items used to solve problems.
  • When getting your work printed, ask them for opinions on whether colour and tone needs adjusting. Make sure they understand what you want!
  • If photographing clothes, think about whether you need to use a mannequin or do some overhead shots.
  • Check clients website or previous shots you may have done for them for inspiration and possibly continuity.
  • Continuity does matter!
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