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  • Kirsty Smedley

Experience is still Experience.

An announcement was popped out to all the photography students in February that an opportunity had arisen for work experience within a fashion and product photography studio based in my city!

We had to apply with a statement and really sell ourselves and out of the students that applied I was lucky enough to be chosen. It was unfortunate that I was unable to attend on the start date due to a cultural trip to Berlin (more on that in a later post!).

Upon my return however, I arrived at CHO’s photography studio on that first Monday morning eager and excited to learn as much as was practically possible. Initially the work experience was for one day over a period of six weeks, but Tommy Martin (The photographer) and his assistant Katie were so welcoming and realising how eager I was, allowed me to go in every day. (I should point out that at this point Covid-19 was dominating the media and Italy and Spain had already been placed under strict lockdown rules). It was evident that I needed to learn as much as possible as I wasn’t sure how long this opportunity would be available to myself.

The lessons and the confidence I gained just within that week were invaluable. I had the opportunity to work in most aspects within the studio; lighting set ups for ecommerce, how and what to shoot for ecommerce (clothing details etc), styling, the organisation and documentation of products pre and post shoot, shooting models and retouching. I even got involved with steaming the clothing! It occurred to me that within this team no job was too big or small for anyone. Due to the fast-paced environment, teamwork was of the upmost importance to ensure the end result.

Then that dreaded Saturday came. Boris Johnson announced that we must stay home to save the NHS and my ecommerce dreams were shattered!

As disappointing as this was, I am so thankful for the opportunity and patience showed to me during that week at CHO. Both Tommy and Katie are now contacts on my Instagram page and are always able to lend an ear or give advice should I need it. Katie even pushed me to buy my first Wacom tablet which, during this lock down, has been an absolute godsend (that, and her list of photoshop short cuts).

All in all, I managed to network, learn new skills and experience a sector in an industry that I would love to be a part of. Not bad for a week’s work!


Below is one of the shots I had the opportunity to style, shoot and retouch.


























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