LSBU launches the South Bank Collective, a student-led photography agency
02 October 2015
London South Bank University (LSBU)
has officially launched the South Bank Collective, a creative photography
agency run and staffed by students.
Through the agency, students deliver
professional photography services at competitive rates, across a range of
briefs including artwork, events, marketing and creative projects.
“LSBU’s arts degrees have a strong
focus on professional practice, preparing our students for a range of careers
including freelancing and entrepreneurship. We want to provide students with
industry-relevant experience that goes beyond simply teaching them about it in
a classroom,” said Daniel Alexander, Senior Lecturer in Photography and the
supervising academic for the Collective.
The Collective recently registered as
a community-interest company following a successful semester of test trading,
where the students earned a total of £5,500. Clients included LSBU, the Royal
London Society for Blind People and UK Youth Charity.
“The Collective has provided me with a
platform to learn about setting up a business, and furthered my leadership and
management skills. I have had the chance to work with a variety of interesting
clients, build a good network of people I want to work with in the future, and
find my preferred career path,” said Lisa Drew, who is currently studying BA
(Hons) Photography and is Director of Creative at the Collective.
The Collective has many benefits for students.
By providing advice on how much to charge clients and a structure for determining
the value of their work, the Collective hopes to help students avoid falling
prey to creative exploitation. Students also gain professional freelancing
experience, building their expertise in invoicing, preparing quotes, time
budgeting and handling insurance.
“LSBU, one of the Collective’s first
clients, commissions a lot of photography, which previously had been going to
external photographers. Now the University is commissioning the Collective and
reinvesting in its students. By charging professional fees the agency is
generating work for the students without undercutting on price, which would
harm the industry as a whole,” said Daniel.