South Bank Collective, student-led photography agency and LSBU spin-out company
Following a successful trial period, London
South Bank University (LSBU) has officially launched the South Bank Collective,
a creative photography agency run and staffed entirely by students.
Providing commercial and entrepreneurial experience
The Collective gives students on the
BA (Hons) Photography course the chance to 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 has numerous 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.
“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.
in our students
The Collective was recently spun-out from
LSBU as a registered community-interest company following a successful semester
of test trading. The company was set up as a collaboration between the
students, the School of Arts and Creative Industries, and the Entrepreneurship
and Innovation Institute.
During the pilot, students earned a
total of £5,500 from a range of clients, including LSBU, the Royal London
Society for Blind People and UK Youth Charity.
“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 collective is
generating work for the students without undercutting on price, which would
harm the industry as a whole,” said Daniel.
Along with a variety of new
assignments, the Collective has been commissioned for a variety of new assignments,
including photography for LSBU’s graduation ceremonies at the Royal Festival
Hall. Going forward, the agency aims to expand its student staff, and
incorporate film and design services.