Coventry City Placement Reflection.

As a follow up for my placement with Coventry City Football Club I felt it was important to reflect upon my experience and how it has benefitted me greatly in terms of both professional practice and personal development. I decided to refer back to my SWOT analysis and highlight the areas in which this placement has had an impact on.

Strengths:

  • Organisation
  • Experience in event photography
  • Team player
  • Passion for photography
  • Fast learner
  • Highly computer literate eg. use of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Positive attitude
  • Creative

Weaknesses:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Like to stick to what I am used to
  • Handling stress/nerves
  • Quiet
  • Don’t like to take the lead role
  • Theory work/research

Opportunities:

  • Learn new skills
  • Meet new people
  • Build up contacts
  • Increase confidence
  • Explore new fields of photography
  • Expand portfolio
  • Take more risks
  • Push personal boundaries
  • Get my name known
  • Feedback from others

Threats:

  • Standing out from others
  • Cost
  • Damage to equipment
  • Safety
  • Not able to drive – transport
  • Competition
  • May not be able to access certain equipment when needed
  • Initially making contact/getting in with companies
  • May be hard to find work experience in particular field

In terms of strengths, my passion for photography and previous experience in event photography meant I went into the placement feeling excited and fairly confident that I would be able to produce a good standard of work. I had a good understanding of what sort of settings were appropriate for fast paced action and the equipment I would need. As well as having the strength of being a fast learner, this meant I would be able to adapt to the situation quickly and produce photographs efficiently. With my previous experience in a number of different softwares, particularly Adobe Photoshop, I was able to use this to my advantage through post production of my images, as well as expanding upon my skills and working with different editing techniques which I may not have used before. My positive attitude also helped me continue to keep faith when things didn’t exactly go to plan with the placement, allowing me to come out on top and feeling pleased with what I was able to achieve. Whilst these strengths gave me the confidence to apply for the placement with Coventry City, there were still a number of weaknesses with room for improvement.

One of my biggest achievements following my placement with Coventry City is how much my confidence has improved. Previously highlighted as a weakness, this placement has allowed me to grow as an individual and appreciate how I am capable of producing a good standard of work meaning I can now believe in myself more. It has encouraged me to take a lot of decisions upon myself, ensure I am well prepared in terms of equipment and travel arrangements before shooting and meeting deadlines with post production and passing on images. The placement has also improved my management of nerves, feeling more comfortable and confident with each game I attended as well as helping me handle stress better and dealing with complications in a calm and professional manner.

The placement has also highlighted the importance of targeting the threats which I identified in my SWOT analysis. Whilst I appreciated that standing out from others was crucial, with the other number of photographers I saw and acknowledged at the game I realised what a competitive field it is, as with anything in photography. This means I have to continue to produce a good standard of work and forever be improving upon this in order to appeal to potential employers. Secondly, not being able to drive came as a strong disadvantage during this placement meaning I was always relying on others to get to places. Whilst transport was always arranged, this was not ideal and being able to drive may have meant quicker/easier journeys, more opportunities to work for them and possibly some away games. This is definitely something I will need to change as soon as possible to make myself more available for potential opportunities elsewhere other than where I am based. I also ended up relying on the media loan shop for the equipment I used, particularly the 100-400mm lens which is very popular especially at weekends highlighting the threat of not being able to access equipment when needed. This taught me to make sure I booked out the equipment I needed a few weeks prior to the game, ensuring I had it when I needed it. It also occurred to me that when I decide which field of photography to go into, I will have to buy my own equipment which will be costly however will benefit me greatly for my future and the jobs I complete.

Overall, working for Coventry City Football Club has been a brilliant opportunity and an incredible experience. It has allowed me to improve upon a number of areas such as experience and developing skills. I can now update my portfolio and CV with this work making me more appealing to potential employees. In terms of sport photography, I have improved my production of images whilst working at a fast pace and using different approaches to deal with low light situations. I have enhanced my Photoshop skills and improved the speed at which I select and edit my images as well as developing an eye for what looks good in terms of football photography. I now feel confident in terms of preparing for shoots and dealing with situations if they do not go to plan. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be photograph more matches as they often clashed with other commitments however with the possible opportunity to continue next year I am looking forward to hopefully be able to photograph more games and also non-match events. When I had less successful games and was unhappy with the photographs, I was left feeling a little disheartened however looking back at what I have produced makes me feel immensely proud and confident to continue in both event photography and more. I also got the chance to photograph my own my team which was unreal. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity and the people I have met through it, as well as allowing me to begin building up contacts. It has helped me develop greatly as a person and a photographer.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on May 5, 2014.

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