For many of our budding photographers, our central London location is a big draw. The chance to study photography surrounded by iconic galleries and museums, offers increased cultural opportunities and developments – and BA (Hons) Photography student Amy Warwick certainly agrees.
“I knew someone who had studied photography at LSBU and really enjoyed the course,” explains Amy, “but the location was also hugely appealing. The Tate Modern is just ten minutes walk away and you can get to the brilliant galleries and photobook shops of central London very easily indeed.”
As part of her degree, Amy has been able to make use of Elephant Studios – our production facility available to students. “It’s a great place to work,” she says.
There’s a good range of industry standard equipment, but it is also a quiet environment and there’s lots of people from my course, or related courses, to talk to. It means that if you need help, you can learn alongside your peers and help each other to improve, as well as learning through lectures and workshops.
Another reason why the degree appealed to Amy was its sheer diversity. “I looked at the course and saw that it is very varied, which also appealed to me, as I was not entirely sure what area of photography I wanted to focus on,” she says. That broad-based approach has helped Amy to explore different areas of the photography industry and, it would seem, has helped her to find the right career path for her.
One of the modules looked at self-publishing and it led me to realise that designing and publishing photozines is what I really want to go into
“I’ve since been able to focus some of my third year optional modules on photozines and I’ve been really able to explore publishing. In fact, I have even set up my own business as part of my degree, which has been a really enjoyable experience.”
Blame Your Parents is a small press that Amy started in November 2016 as part of her third year major project. “I wanted to design and produce photozines containing my own work and that of others for my project,” she explains, “so setting up a publishing house seemed to be the best way to go. I wasn’t expecting it to develop much, but my tutors were incredibly supportive and it is turning into something I’m really proud of.”
So far, Blame Your Parents has published two photozines, with at least one more planned before Amy graduates. The first, ‘Oi Punk’, celebrated youth culture in London and Essex, focusing on rebellion but with elements of humour throughout. To Amy’s delight, it has been stocked by Foyles Bookshop, The Photographers Gallery in London and Nowhere Fast Studios in Canada – as well as being on sale via her own website.
The second photozine, ‘Youth Is My Excuse’, features work from Amy and 25 other photographers from the UK, Europe and the US. “I put out a call via the Blame Your Parents Instagram account and was overwhelmed by the response,” says Amy. “It’s available from my website and Nowhere Fast Studios.”
Sense of pride
Amy’s talent has also seen her work exhibited in the Ə /uh/-books gallery in the LSBU Student Centre, an experience she describes as ‘amazing’. “You feel a huge sense of pride when you see your photos in a gallery space,” she says. “It just gave me more motivation to make photozines, and to be even bolder with my work.”
Unsurprisingly, Amy is looking to start a publishing career once she graduates, with the aim of developing skills that can help her to develop Blame Your Parents press even further. “My degree has got me into the structure of creating work, getting feedback, then using it to improve myself,” she says. “It’s something I want to carry on outside of university, and it is a great grounding for what I hope will be a long and exciting publishing career.”