The Final Viva

The final viva of my degree went rather well. Not only did I receive positive and helpful feedback but also got some very nice compliments on my images. Though each tutor has their own style and opinions as to which way my work should by laid out, it’s up to me to make that decision. Whilst two of my lecturers thought that they should become more scrambled and chaotic on the wall to suit the project, one of my lecturers thinks it should be more strict and based on the way my work was intended to be seen – in a magazine. There’s a bit more thinking to do on this one, but in the end, it’s going to come down to what I can afford and what suits my work most.

I’ve come away from my viva with a lot of positive thoughts on my project and am feeling like the only way to go is up. I have to continue to be as dedicated and hardworking in these last weeks as I have done the 3 years I’ve been here to ensure that our exhibition, Iris, is a success. I understand that it’s up to me now to make my work the best it can be, to continue to take on all of the advise I’ve been given and work from there…

If you would like to continue to follow my work and progress please visit my usual site and blog at 

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Viva Preperation

After the terrifying experience of going into my last Viva I realise that it’s not actually too scary but rather what lies beyond. Not being able to have that guidance when you feel lost or having dozens of creatives around you at all times to help fuel inspiration and throw ideas around. So with this one I came prepared & had all the information ready and was well informed about my choices and options for the final exhibition in hope of a successful last viva. Here’s what I brought to the Viva:

Wall – Central left wall, studio 2

No. of Images – 8 Depending approval

Size of Images – 8×10.9 inches each – same as a Vogue magazine

Spacing Between Images – 2-3mm between each image

Materials – White 3mm Foamex with Lustre paper – Woodwork are providing the split batons to attach to wall at £3 per image

When Will Your Prints Be Ready? – Tests have been done, final images will be printed and ready by the end of the week to send to Digilab

File Review – Files are suitable for the size and prints of desired layout

Costing’s – Price per 3mm White Foamex single mounts: £12 Price for 8: £96 – Split batons: £3 per image approx – Lustre paper per image: £2 – Per 8 images: £16 – Plus Price for glue/nails: approx. £7

Total Per Image: £17

Per 8 Images: £136

Selling & Pricing Work

The time has come where we are only a month away from exhibiting and leaving University. At this point, with all this talk about our futures, I need to begin to think about what I’m going to sell my work for and how much it will be. I’m planning on selling books at the exhibition, but prints will be the hardest to price and those have been what I’ve spent the most time on.

After discussions with various lecturers, it’s usually the cost of the print plus around £15. So If i was selling an 8×11 print which cost me only £2 I should sell that for approximately £17 though I’d round it up to £20 for profit.

Recently I have been asked by someone to purchase an A1 copy of one of my pictures. This has cost me £18 to print, therefore I should be charging around £40+ for the print. However, for this particular print I think it could be worth more than that as it is one of my best prices of work, so I am going to charge £45-£50 for the print at A1 size.



Portfolios are something that is essential for any creative, especially photographers. So far at University we have had our basic plastic A3 portfolio for our hand-ins which has been fantasic and is extremely durable, but is hardly professional. At our exhibition my intention is to have my work be a symbolic representation of my professioanlism, so I’m evolving my portfolio to match this.

Though there were many options such as a leather plastic sandwich portfolio, box portfolios and photo books I’ve decided to go for a SilverPrint black card folder with changeable inserts and bought 20 shine resistant and clear portfolio sleeves to go with it. This portfolio is in line with my ethical sensibilities with it being recyclable but also was very reasonably priced for what I got. It came to £81 including the inserts which is a great price considering I plan on using it for up to 5 years. Having done research on standard fashion portfolios for photographers it seems that 8×11 is the industry standard so I got my portfolio to fit within these guidelines.

Here’s a few pictures of my new portfolio and me testing some images inside the sleeves.

DSC_2452DSC_2422  DSC_2464

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Test Printing – Matching The Concept With The Prints

For this exhibition my ideas and concepts have all came from an aspiring career in fashion and editorial photography. With this in mind, it has lead to an interesting layout and design idea that will not only work very well for my images but will also have strong links to my future career path.

Creating my layout based on magazines, therefore the pictures will be spread across the wall as if it was a consatina cover that comes out of a magazine in those large editorial spreads. As the work is heavily patch work I’m trying to choose my final images so that they almost knit together to give the illusion of one long panorama rather than a series of seperate I images. Because the work is so based on the background it works on a number of levels allowing me to choose my design and any number of my photographs can slot into place, which is interesting as that’s how my set was built in the first place. The photographs on the wall will also only be printed the same size as a vogue magazine at 8 by 10.9 inches. 

Here’s some of the printing I have been doing when working out how to fit them together. Enjoy! 



Test Printing; Blue Grey’s and Magenta Whites?

Test printing is proving to be a valuable learning tool. I seem to have learned the most valuable lessons about printing when something goes horribly, horribly wrong. It’s also surprising the amount I’m learning about editing and colour balances from it, generally it’s different to how it appears on the screen. There’s just nothing like seeing it as a physical thing you can hold and move around compared to seeing it on a screen and it allows me to see it with fresh eyes.

It’s just at the test printing stage now, where I’m working out how the colours will be best displayed on certain coloured walls. Originally, the intention was to go with white, but as I have some white in my photographs it makes either the colour of the wall look magenta or my print look magenta and it’s a lot of two and fro to get the right balance. Grey is the new favourite option for my prints. There is still the possibility of that colour seeping through, as our technician told us, it is the grey on the wall thats slightly on the magenta side. Though because there is less grey than white in my pictures it will make the whites look whiter without throwing the colour balance off too badly. Theres lot of options to go through but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made over the last week.

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Wall Design & Layout

When we show, all 26 of us have to distribute the gallery space evenly giving us all 2.66m of space to work with. Each area of wall comes with it’s own positive and negative attributes such as plugs sockets, window light, radiators and reflections. The question is, which is the wall that will suit my own work the best?

After a trial and error test of putting some of my test prints on various walls around the space, I have come to the conclusion that the centre, left wall in Studio 2 would be an ideal location for my photographs. There are multiple reasons for this for some of the main ones would be about the lighting, glare and viewing space. The paper choice so far has a slight shine on it therefor there has to be a good balance of natural light. The space chosen is not directly opposite any doors or windows, yet still receives a perfect amount of light from either side of the room to be able to see the images easily. The space around it will provide a good distance to view my images from whilst still invites people to come closer to the wall and enjoy them more intimately, which is an important aspect to my patchwork style layout.

To show my vision, this mock layout shows how I will display my images on the same wall I wish to display them on.