Rachel Thornhill, LBIPP
10 months after being accepted into the British Institute of Professional Photography, on Tuesday of last week I was awarded my Licentiate in Portrait Photography.
I had many reasons for choosing to qualify as a Professional Photographer, but the one that was driving me the most was to prove to myself that I could take my passion for photography and make it my career.
Putting together my portfolio I found to be very difficult. I wanted to show the Judging Panel the best of my work, not only technically, but emotionally too. The judging criteria can be very high, and a photograph full of emotion and love that I have seen become a beloved part of my clients’ lives might not be technically what they’re looking for. But I wanted to make sure that every image that I chose was representative of my brand and my style, ensuring my portfolio was a true representation of my current work. The idea behind submitting a printed portfolio was that it can go on to be used as such, so the right selection of images is everything.
I was also required to put together a book of supporting evidence, the stories behind how I created the images, information about myself and my business, workflows, training, marketing and even health and safety! This is something that is quite unique to the qualification process with the BIPP, one of the main reasons why I chose to qualify with them, not only looking at the photographs that we are producing, but ensuring that we are right to deserve the qualification for our businesses too.
Through this process, I’ve become pretty critical of my work, which is a bit of a double edged sword. Often you have one chance to take a photo, and depending on how quickly you can react, it’s could be a 50:50 chance you’ll nail it. But from every blown highlight there is a lesson to be learnt, and through being open to learning, we see things differently.
But I’ve had an absolute blast on my qualification journey so far… and I’ve met some incredibly inspirational people along the way. So here’s to the next 18 months, as I work towards the next level of qualification, ABIPP!