Advice for A-Level Students

In the past years I have regularly received a couple of emails a week from UK students studying photography at A-Level asking me questions and advice.

It’s incredibly flattering when someone takes the time to write and tell you how your urban photography work has inspired them and they’d like to base their research on it.

It should be the aim for all of us to pass the knowledge whenever possible and I always try to be as helpful as I possibly can.

At first I gave lengthy and detailed replies. Unfortunately what I soon found out is that people just do not know how to say thank you.

I mean, I’m not asking for a long thank you letter telling me how grateful they are, but in all honesty I can say that maybe 1 out of 10 will ever bother replying after I take the time to answer their questions.

Maybe it’s just me but when I ask for someone’s help, I don’t do a runner when I get it.

My take on thank you is that it's a simple way to acknowledge someone has helped you move forward. It's an understanding that the person didn't have to help you but they did.

Unfortunately the ones who can’t find the energy to drop a thank you, simply put, fuck it all up for the rest who mean well and deserve to succeed.

To finish off, here’s my advice for what it’s worth to students wanting to get into photography.

Success in photography is not only about taking good photos. Another big aspect is how well you network and the relationships you build in the industry.

Be different than the rest, be the 1 out of 10 who says “thank you”.