IGNITE updates
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Graduate Spotlight 08: Emma Booth, Photography Graduate

After the great feedback and success of publishing our IGNITE website and social media platforms, we decided to shine a spotlight on one graduate, who has uploaded their portfolio to the IGNITE website, each week. Through our Weekly Graduate Spotlight, the graduate chosen will have their work and their experience of The University of Plymouth or Plymouth College of Art promoted and celebrated on our various IGNITE platforms.

Emma’s Experience of Studying at The University of Plymouth

Emma is a direct-entry student, joining The University of Plymouth from Exeter School of Art to study the final year of her BA (Hons) Photography undergraduate degree. Despite undergoing such a big change in the most challenging year of her degree, Emma found the transition to be a welcome step up for her third year of studies.

During her time at The University of Plymouth, Emma has been able to facilitate the wealth of resources, teaching support and creative opportunities available to the undergraduate photography students. It is through this excellent support that Emma has had the opportunity to improve her creative skillset and build confidence in her professional capability.

Outside of the university, Emma has also utilised the growing Creative Economy in Plymouth’s city; finding every opportunity to engage with local arts and culture, developing her network through making new connections and building her creative career in preparation for completing her degree.

“Although my time studying within Plymouth was cut short due to the pandemic, I feel lucky to have been involved in such a wonderful creative course and have enjoyed working with other likeminded creatives.” – Emma Booth, Photography Graduate

Post-Graduation Plans

After commuting into Plymouth for her studies over the past year, Emma hopes to continue building her work and creative network as a freelance photographer and curator in Plymouth. Emma plans to engage with the local arts and thriving culture within the South West, with the aim of progressing into the museum and gallery sector, whilst continuing freelance work and commissions.

Overcoming Challenges

Due to the UK lockdown measures, Emma faced the difficult transition of moving from teaching and creative engagement in the classroom, to virtual learning and communication through a screen. What’s more, as Emma’s normal working practice is extremely collaborative, the transition to working solely from home due to the UK lockdown measures, has meant that Emma has had to adapt her working style dramatically to continue with her career plans and complete her degree. However, this challenging experience has encouraged Emma to become more versatile and resilient in her creative practice, to ensure that she can still engage with the creative community.

“It has been great to see so many local and national institutions are adapting so that creatives can still access resources through online means. This has been especially beneficial for emerging artists such as myself to overcome geographical, social or economic boundaries.” – Emma Booth, Photography Graduate

Emma hopes that the new reliance on virtual communication will mean that more accessible opportunities will arise for creatives to thrive outside of industry in London, allowing areas such as the South West to continue developing vital local arts and culture.

How Careers Support and IGNITE Has Benefitted Emma

“My biggest hope is that the creative industry is able to recover from the pandemic to then have the ability to employ young people and provide opportunities for emerging creatives.” – Emma Booth, Photography Graduate

For Emma, developing her creative network and career during this challenging time has been made a lot easier by being able to facilitate the IGNITE platform as a resource for expanding her networking and online presence. However, Emma has also facilitated the opportunities created through My Careers, including attending informative webinars and gaining relevant and useful knowledge from industry professionals. 

“I found the process of curating my profile and having it published online to be a really valuable process in considering how I want to present myself as a professional creative. My online profile will act as a useful tool moving forward to showcase my industry experience and highlight my key skills to potential future employers. Additionally, the portfolio contains all the relevant links to my website, socials and downloads, which help to showcase my personal brand as a creative professional.” – Emma Booth, Photography Graduate