FMP – The conclusion
Where has that two years gone? I can’t believe it’s really over or even how much I have enjoyed studying. At the ripe age of fifty-three I survived Uni.
The course started with me feeling very intimidated, and I almost didn’t make it if it wasn’t for my cohort Cromarty. They have been a shoulder of strength to myself and each other. I feel I was very lucky to be part of it. I didn’t witness this kind of camaraderie with the other cohorts. Not only academically minded but some amazing photographers with some incredible stories to tell.
I signed up for this course with the hope it will help me to develop within my creative practice through finding me within my photography. I wasn’t sure if it was the right move on several occasions. For many reasons, one of my biggest concerns was the text as I was never confident in reading academic books and writing contextually as well as working alongside some super intelligent people was pretty scary at times, sometimes I didn’t want to talk for making myself seem stupid. So in the early days I let my photography do the talking. I was also afraid of trying to balance the course with Fostering pretty challenging kids as it was very time consuming at times and also my private life was very hectic. With a husband chasing down Olympic dreams I have been pretty full on for the last year. I wasn’t really convinced that I would stay the course to be fair.
The language used was often a problem for me. I often had to ask my cohort what something meant in layman’s terms. And some of the books went right over my head. It was a bit intimidating to talk during the recorded webinars and I would cringe when it came to my turn, but my peers had nothing but great things to say about my photography and I grew in confidence. I have enjoyed the experimentation and loved that the tutors were happy for me to experiment, and change course when things went wrong. I felt at times I was isolated as none of my peers were creative in a similar way myself so it was difficult to have something to say at times, as all my images were creations and not just a click. It took a lot of time and at times a lot more than the suggested time needed each week, probably because I would have to read over and over again to understand something’s or spend hours on Photoshop. But what I found was that thanks to the tutors in year one, they set me up for a great year two. I have come out of year two with much more of an understanding historically. Something I had never looked at. I had never read a historical photography book or even heard of the likes of Cindy Sherman or even Martin Parr, never mind the creation of photography and its evolution. I had never been to anywhere like Paris photo exhibition and never questioned ethics, or looked at other peoples work with a view to comparing it to my own and certainly didn’t think I would be seeing and be happy understanding where I sit among all these amazing photographers.
What I gained during the two years course is invaluable. I will draw from the knowledge and experience for a long time. It changed me eternally as a photographer and I am even more of a credible artist than I was when I started, and with minimal Photoshop too and you know what? I am really comfortable with that.
I feel very well equipped for the future and looking forward to getting back into some paid work, as that did have to be sacrificed.. I have lots of plans for building on current projects started through the MA and also new projects. But for now, I am going to sit back and appreciate just how incredible I feel about having stuck the course. Not made too much of a fool out of myself asking what something meant and also made some amazing friends and mentors.