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I’ve edited one of the most important covers of our lifetime

Ellie Allsopp graduated in 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

I started my degree later than most, at 21, having worked for a while before re-entering education. It made me realise what I wanted from my career and where my true interests lay.

Photojournalism and documentary photography is constantly re-focussing on ever-changing industry standards, which is what I believe really sets it apart from many other courses. I learned skills in research, story development, studio lighting, moving image, interview skills, printing, the process of putting on an exhibition, and the rights to ownership of your work (what a crucial module!) to name just a few. Each of these skills can open so many doors in a variety of positions post-graduation.

For me, the fact that the course still teaches photography theory and emphasises the importance of a dissertation was a game changer. Upon graduating, I applied for my MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, where I specialised in Documentary Photography and Film. Without the experience of long-form academic writing, I would have struggled to even apply, never mind cope later! At the time, I worked part-time at a marketing agency too, using graphic design skills. All my experience for that role was also garnered from my degree.

Following these two degrees, I applied to work with film companies partnered with the BBC and Channel 4, creating long-form documentaries at museums worldwide and in the press. All possible due to the experience I had largely gathered from my BA.

I am currently working with The Times as an Imaging Assistant. The position was gained via my degree course’s alumni page, made to support students post-graduation. The Times had contacted the University directly, knowing what the course teaches. In my first month, a cabbage had outlasted a short-lived prime minster and the Queen had passed. I was editing one of the most important covers of our lifetime. I work on the post-production of images for the printed and online editions, working with designers and editors to produce the highest quality output.

I would not have been able to achieve everything without the continued support of the lecturers at UoG. The time and effort these individuals offer their students is above and beyond the industry standard, and it is revealed in what their students have been able to achieve.