- Patrick Kilian
- Foundation Degree Photo Imaging
Why did you decide to return to education?
It may sound like a clichÃ© but I began to re-evaluate my life when I hit 40. I had been working as an actor and running my own gardening business. While I loved the acting, it was never going to be that lucrative. The gardening was regular and profitable but my heart was never in it. I knew I wanted something creative but hadn’t a clue what. I don’t mind admitting it was a very low time for me. A friend I’d confided in was admiring some holiday snaps I’d taken. He told me I should take the photography further and the pieces just fell into place.
What made you choose Nescot?
Although I was excited to feel this enthusiastic about something again, it was also very serious for me. If I was going to take the leap, I couldn’t afford for this to just be an expensive hobby. I really did my research into which courses had solid industry focus as well as developing technical skills and creativity. Nescot was the obvious choice.
Has the experience lived up to your expectations?
It’s been brilliant! The course content encompasses all aspects of the craft and the industry but there is the flexibility to pursue certain subjects in more depth. The three main lecturers here are all very strong commercially with very different strengths so there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to tap in to. The tutors are also very accessible and available to help.
How has your time here changed you?
Well, I hadn’t sat and written something since school so when it came to essays and dissertations I didn’t know where to start. Now though, I really enjoy a good write! I was fairly computer literate but I never dreamt I would be able to achieve the imaging, presentation and web techniques I use now. It was daunting at first but I can create interactive CD Roms and use software like Flash multimedia tools and Photoshop. Last year I was also invited to submit work for the Nikon Discovery Awards. All the other candidates were in their second year so I didn’t expect to be chosen. I was, and still am, thrilled and it’s made a real difference to how I view my work.
Any advice for those thinking of starting your course?
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the wrong job. I wish I had done this years ago and would encourage anyone else to take the plunge. The change has rubbed off on my friends and family too. My sons see me studying and talking positively about learning and I’ve seen changes in their attitudes to their own schoolwork. My eldest is taking photography at VI Form so maybe we’ll be a family firm, who knows!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m more excited about life than I ever remember feeling. I’m going to Thames Valley University next year to complete my degree. I used to feel pessimistic about my future but I now have a long term business plan to work in action portraiture, using all the opportunities opened up by digital formats.