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Case Study

Josh Gawthorpe

Leeds, UK

BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging

Josh Gawthorpe didn’t think university was for him, but after attending an Open Day at the University of Sunderland realised he could pursue his passion for photography in an enriching and supportive environment. Having graduated in 2021 with a 2:1, Josh has had roles in photography and marketing, and currently works with the police as a digital imaging editor.

University was something I'd never really considered, I wasn’t great in school, my grades were below average, and I was under the assumption I wasn’t smart enough for university. I was lucky enough to fall into a job working for a television show as a camera operator/editor where I really developed my skills but when I left that job I couldn’t get employed in the field because I didn’t have any qualifications. After working the nightshift in a warehouse for a short while a switch just flipped, and I decided I needed to go to university.

There are multiple reasons why the University of Sunderland stood out for me: the resources available, the options to develop, and the smaller class sizes allowing for more one-to-one experiences. From attending an Open Day, it was clear that the University is committed to providing students with the best resources to enhance their learning experience, with well-equipped photography studios, modern digital labs, and multiple darkrooms. The smaller class sizes allowed for a more personalised experience and the ability to network. Feedback or information was greatly accessible, and I liked the fact that all the staff worked closely with students. These factors provide an ideal setting for aspiring photographers, videographers, and digital imaging enthusiasts to nurture their passion, develop their skills, and prepare for a successful and fulfilling career in the creative media industry.

My favourite part of the course was making friends with people with similar interests, and the way the course challenged my creative thinking. I learnt so much from experimenting and developing around people, you’re effectively sharing knowledge and experience which has had a huge impact on my work today.

Since graduating, my career has been incredibly fulfilling and dynamic. I have had multiple roles working in photography and marketing where I have had the opportunity to further develop my skills. My acquired skill set and passion for digital imaging and photography led me to work with the police as a digital imaging editor. It’s a fantastic professional career which is both challenging and rewarding, as it requires attention to detail and a strong commitment to accuracy.

As I look to the future, my career aims align with my passion for digital imaging and photography. I aspire to become a supervisor, guiding a team of skilled digital imaging editors to achieve outstanding results in their work. Additionally, I plan to establish my photography business on the side, enabling me to express my creativity beyond the confines of my professional responsibilities. Whether it's capturing breathtaking landscapes, powerful portraits, or documenting special events, I want to share my artistic vision with a broader audience and turn my passion for photography into a thriving business venture.

Prospective students looking to study at the University of Sunderland will find an enriching and rewarding educational experience. Choosing the University of Sunderland means embarking on a journey of artistic exploration, self-discovery, and professional advancement, making it a compelling choice for aspiring photographers, videographers, and digital imaging enthusiasts.

My experience of studying here can be best described as transformative. The University's emphasis on practical experience, smaller group sizes, and constructive feedback has instilled in me the confidence to showcase my work and embrace continuous improvement. Overall, my journey at the University of Sunderland has been one of growth, self-discovery, and artistic fulfilment, making it a truly memorable and invaluable chapter of my life."

Published 26 July 2023

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