354MC Professional Photographic Portfolio – Lecture 2

On Tuesday 17th March 2015, I attended another day of lectures dedicated to the 354MC Professional Photographic Portfolio module. To start off the day, we had a Creative Enterprise and Networking Talk with Peter McLuskie, before moving on to watching a previously (audio) recorded presentation by Kirti Mistry-McLaughlin regarding Professional CV’s. Following this, to end the days session, we then had a short Invoicing Workshop run by Caroline Molloy. All of the notes from today’s sessions can be found below:

Creative Enterprise and Networking Talk with Peter McLuskie:


  • Never actually committed to academia – has always done other things as well
    • He’s always worked in the Media Industry
    • Worked in media production management
    • Worked in academia – part-time teaching
  • Became more interested in what happens after people graduated – discovered that finding a stable career after university is really long and quote precarious
  • Became quite passionate about distilling skills, setting up workshop and learning opportunities where these particular skills became accessible
  • You need to start practicing professional methodologies and practices soon – graduation tends to hit individuals like a brick wall


Creative Enterprise:

  • https://creativeenterprisecoventry.wordpress.com
  • Creative enterprise was set up in 2012
  • Main clients are people that have graduated – they’re not always students and they spread right across the midlands
  • Creative enterprise is a free business support for creative enterprises and people thinking of setting up as a freelancer or as a business
  • Based at the creative enterprise section of the technology park
  • They run workshops, mentoring, networking and hotdesking
    • Workshops – these include more practical and conceptual ideas including invoices, taxes, how to price your practice etc.
    • Mentoring – one-to-one sessions that help with specific business problems for individuals
    • Networking – run different networking events for creative individuals that aren’t always in the university; they feel is a key part of their company
    • Hotdesking – quick troubleshooting for any questions you think of regarding your business
  • You should sign up to our newsletter
  • Networking
    • Networking is building up professional relationships with a variety of practitioners in different industries in order to further yourself and your career
    • Networking is all about meeting people but also about getting to know people and letting them get to know you – it’s all about having a relaxed conversation, you don’t necessarily have to be formal all the time (just remain professional)
    • Opportunities lie within networking
    • You’re not just gathering contacts, what you’re trying to do is build genuine relationships with people
    • You should appreciate that networking is important and should start thinking about ways of doing it – it’s very open and not always formal
    • Some people wait to network because they feel that they’re portfolio is not ready or that they haven’t had enough experience – you need to get out there now because you’re not going to come to this point when you feel you are “ready” because life is a journey and you will continue to grow
    • Networking isn’t all about going to networking events – you can network digitally through sites such as LinkedIn
      • Use other tools to identify with people you may want to meet but also try and meet them in person
    • Start networking by using the networks of your friends – spiral up, don’t go straight to the top, work your way up building your relationships
    • Networking is a skill that is all about impressing people (not that will make them think that you’re fantastic, but just to show that you are professional and someone they will want to build a relationship with):
      • Smile – shows that you are confident and engaging
      • Ask questions – even personal questions work, they can make people open up more than the boring business questions
      • Be open – don’t be cagey, talk about yourself and answer peoples questions
      • Listen – if you listen for long enough, you will often find an opportunity or see a some form of similarity that you can connect with them
      • Body language – have a positive body language, stand up straight, try not to fidget, etc. and make sure you shake hands with someone you want to talk to (it not only closes the gap between you and the individual you’re having a conversation with, but it also changes your mindset to more professional)
      • Small talk – don’t start with a “do you have a job for a photographer?”, remember it’s about building relationships
      • Be positive – don’t come across negative, positive people are easier to talk to
      • Personalize – try to find ways to personalize the conversation by using their names for example
    • Networking is a long game and it requires a lot of investment of your own time – you need to really start working on it now



Easter Homework:

354MC Easter Task

Do three interviews with professionals that are relevant to your career path

  • Use it in a way that is going to support you – be strategic
  • Do whatever is feasible – it doesn’t have to be face-to-face
  • Don’t get too caught up on the numbers, just use it as a journey for knowledge
  • Katherine Michelle and Ella Parkinson? – Wedding photographers that I could talk to about the wedding industry and setting up a business etc.
  • Claire (at The Old Kent Bar) – Wedding Planner that I have been put in contact through my tutor Caroline Molloy



EXPOSURE: Shed Light on your Professional CV with Kirti Mistry-McLaughlin:

EXPOSURE- Shed light on your Professional CV

  • Kirti Mistry-McLaughlin is a Careers Consultant based in the Hub
  • Have you thought about the direction of your work?
  • How will you market yourself based on your decision
  • How will you develop your CV and portfolio with this in mind?

In your CV, you should consider:

  • CV structure – it should be 2 sides of A4 but can vary in the creative sector
  • How to target your CV
  • Technical and transferable skills
  • Making your CV stand out
  • Visual presentation – you can have very minimal creative flare

The CV Essentials:

  • Personal details (including contact details, online presence such as twitter, blogs and your online portfolio)
  • Profile – needs to be 4-5 physical lines showing a quick snapshot of yourself (including what you are, professional interests, positive words to describe yourself, and your USP)
  • Education and qualifications – be selective, you don’t have to include everything, only those that are relevant (start with the most recent then work back in chronological order)
  • Relevant work experience – be selective, you don’t have to include everything, only those that are relevant (name this section “Selected Work Experience” if you do decide to only include the relevant)
  • Transferable skills
  • Technical skills
  • Interests
  • References – can be “References can be seen on Request”, or you can include one academic and one work experience reference

The Anatomy of a Creative CV:

  • You should start with a standard CV
  • Then add on different aspects, such as:
    • Competitions and self-directed projects
    • Freelance work and exhibitions
    • Typography/presentation/imagery – this should reflect yourself
    • Blogs and professional networks


  • Make sure the information on your LinkedIn profile marries up to the information shown on your CV
  • Having a LinkedIn profile allows you to create a more in-depth profile of yourself that you can refer people to

Creative vs. Standard CV’s:

  • You need to find a balance between the information and the creative aspects of the CV
  • At the end of the day, the information you supply is a lot more important than the creative aspects – but use slight creative flares to draw attention and interest to your CV

Thinking Competitively:

  • What are your unique selling points (USPs)?
  • Think about your successes at university and through work experience and/or competitions
  • How can you add value to a prospective employer/client?

Think about your Skill Set:

  • Creativity – a good eye for shape, form and colour.
  • Ability to research for a shoot
  • Practical and technical photography skills
  • Communication and `people’ skills
  • Patience and concentration
  • Managing the process of a shoot – including adjustability
  • Reliability, good organisational and time management skills
  • Computer skills – industry specific programmes
  • Good business sense and the ability to market yourself
  • Motivation and determination

Marketing Yourself:

  • Brand yourself – logo, website, portfolio
  • Think about your USPs
  • A creative CV must not lose the message through the medium
  • Consistency is important
  • Target the document to the opportunity/employer

Developing your Personal Brand:

  • What is Personal Branding?
    • “Personal brandingis the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personalbranding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.” (Marketing.com)
  • Personal branding is important to the creative sector – your influences, values, style, approach to design, etc.
  • How do you wish to be perceived as a photographer?

Personal Branding – Why is it so Important?

  • You need to make sure that your image is right, your message is clear, and that you’re aiming at a specific target audience/employer
  • Your USP needs to appeal to the target audience/employer
    • Think about the target audience/employer and decide on the key features that you want to focus on

Branding Me

  • Brand identity – who you are
  • Brand Meaning – what you are
    • Including skills, experience, USP, and the image and message you wish to display
  • Brand Response – what people feel/think about you
    • This includes the feeling and the judgment that you want to create in people when they look/talk/think about you
    • Make yourself relevant for their needs
  • Brand Resonance/Relationship – have customers/employers connected with your brand?
    • Are they coming back to you to build a relationship? (Which links to networking)
    • Also, make sure you use Social Media Sites to market yourself

Contact Details:

  • Appointments
    • Bookable
    • Available on Monday afternoons and Wednesday mid-morning
    • Approximately 30 minutes long
  • Details:
  • The service is here to help us up to 2 years after graduation


Links Regarding CV’s:


Invoicing Workshop with Caroline Molloy:

  • Basically there are only a few essential things you need to put on an invoice after which it is just cosmetics and aesthetics
  • You need to include:
    • Date and reference number for your invoice
    • Company name (and your name) and full contact details (including your address, email, telephone number, website, twitter, and blog URL)
    • Your client details (including their name and address)
    • A service description (i.e. photographer/photographic services, assistant fees, freelance curator, etc.)
    • The amount for your fee (which should have been agreed already) – NB fee day rate/hourly rate/job rate as agreed, plus VAT if applicable
  • Things to consider on your Invoice
    • Terms of usage
    • Terms of payment
    • VAT number if applicable
    • National Insurance number

Example of a Good Invoice

Invoicing Workshop Task:

  • In pairs, design an invoice that reflects your company. For the sake of this workshop, and to save procrastinating about the really, really correct corporate identity, you are either:
    • Running a cake business that has supplied 8 cakes @ £30 each to your client, including all expenses
    • OR
    • You are an eco delivery company who has delivered 20 shoeboxes to a client. You charge a set price for the delivery service and a mileage charge of 38p per mile. You have travelled 26 miles and are VAT registered.
  • For this task, Lucy Bartlett and I designed an Invoice for the cupcake company that can be found below:

Practice Invoice


Links Regarding Invoices: