Case Study

Esme Fletcher

The freedom to develop as an artist at the University of Sunderland gave photography graduate Esme Fletcher the confidence and skills to go on to start her own business. Esme now runs her own photographic agency serving the West Midlands and the North East and admits that studying at Sunderland equipped her to make ‘something of myself’.

Without my time on the course I would not have developed the confidence and ability to go on to launch my own business. I now enjoy running my own photography business and in the long-term would love to build this and employ a few like-minded people.

I started my studies at Newcastle College but was interested in a more film-based conceptual course which Sunderland provided. From the start I enjoyed the freedom of self-expression and the help given by the lecturers at Sunderland, as well as meeting like-minded people.

The course was really different – most universities offer only digital studies, but Sunderland offered many different types of creative processes, from film to cyanotypes and playing with liquid light. The environment is also really homely and the staff very approachable, which helps if you need to talk through any problems or ideas you may want to develop. I was given free rein to develop as an artist and my ideas were always listened to and encouraged, with a healthy dose of constructive criticism if it was needed!
 
The range of facilities is fantastic with access to darkrooms, computer labs and large-scale printers. We also got to mix with a range of students on different courses such as fashion, which is great as it helps to develop and influence your own personal work.
 
I’m from Sunderland and I think the city has a lot to offer. Not only are the people great here, but the nightlife is always fun and eventful. It’s always bustling with activity and there’s great transport links to travel further afield for something a bit different or a change of scenery.
 
When I left university I went straight into a job running a photographic studio for a small fashion company. Without my degree and skills learned at the University of Sunderland I couldn’t have done this. I loved the course and if I could do it all again I would!"

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