So now it’s onto the final module. It’s taken me a long time to get through all of the OCA Photography Degree course simply because I’ve been treating as a hobby, something to give me some focus in my retirement. That’s meant that I’ve been happy to do it in my own time, enjoying the journey without getting too stressed by deadlines and objectives. However, despite my best efforts at slowing things down, I’ve arrived at the final module, Sustaining Your Practice (SyP).
I actually got the module notes a few months ago and have been vaguely working at it while finishing Body of Work and Contextual Studies. I didn’t start writing things up or start following the course notes until those modules were complete, partly because I didn’t want to confuse things also, because I wanted to see how I did in those two courses. This was largely due to a slight lack of confidence in my work, if it was rubbish how could I face taking it out to a wider audience? However, I had read the notes and begun preparing for the module by creating contacts etc.
As it happened both modules were graded at middle/high 2:1s so, when I take the work out, I will at least know that the assessors didn’t think that it was rubbish irrespective of the views of the audience which will give me some confidence.
It’s seems a sensible place to look at the aims of the module so …
The aims of this course are to:
support you in developing a detailed knowledge of the photography market and photographic industry
develop your awareness of ethical considerations in relation to professional codes of conduct.
develop the interpersonal, professional and business skills necessary to operate successfully in a commercial photographic environment within ethical boundaries
help you publish and disseminate your body of work by developing professional relationships with markets and audiences
further develop your critical, analytical and evaluative skills so that you can identify and develop opportunities in your professional practice
On successful completion of the course you’ll be able to:
demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the photography market and the commercial dimensions that underpin a successful photographic practice
fully evaluate the ethical considerations of professional codes of conduct
operate in complex commercial contexts requiring the application of specific interpersonal, professional and business skills
disseminate your body of work by establishing relationships with audiences, clients and markets with minimum guidance
analyse, review and evaluate information relevant to your professional practice and identify opportunities for professional development.
Having said that, the main objective of the module would seem to be the publication of my portfolio from Body of Work, the previous module, or a modified version of that based on feedback. Months ago I asked my tutor on a couple of occasions whether it had to the the portfolio of Body of Work but I still haven’t had a response so I’m going ahead with the assumption that I can include other portfolios, i.e. I may present two or even three portfolios to the outside world.
The reason for this is simply that my favourite genre has always been wildlife with Andy Skillen and David Yarrow being two of the wildlife photographers that I most admire. I’d quite like to get feedback on, and present, my own wildlife portfolio at the same time as I progress with SyP though I appreciate that it might have to be outside of the main assessment process. Still, if the objective is to get my work “out there” I don’t suppose that anybody could complain if I attempted a multi-pronged approach.
The first part of this module concentrates on building a network of contacts in the industry and obtaining feedback from said contacts. In the next post I’ll recap how I’ve been doing this already, albeit on an informal basis, before I build a more formal network and look for more formal or professional feedback