Cambridge Regional College Photography students reflect importance of diverse routes to success
Finding the right career path is a challenge that everyone faces at some point. Cambridge Regional College (CRC) believes there are many different routes to success, pointing to their own students as a prime example of varied achievement pathways.
Jake Davis, Chloe Balcombe and Cameron Evans all studied Visual Communications at CRC and each has found success, but have done so by taking unique paths that differ immensely from each other.
Jake has left home to study at University, Chloe has started a successful photography business and Cameron has completed a Level 3 photographic course after initially studying Level 2 Creative Media.
Cambridge Regional College has a long history of helping students acquire places at the University of their choice, and Jake Davis is a recent example of a student who has succeeded in this goal. Jake has now begun his Press and Editorial Photography BA at Falmouth University, an ambition he is thankful to CRC for helping him realise. “I’d like to be a writer and photo-journalist” he said, “The staff are very enthusiastic about their field and none were too forceful on one specific route of progression succeeding college.”
Alternatively, since graduating from CRC last year, Chloe Balcombe has started up her own successful photography business, she said, “Starting up your own business is scary but trying to plug your own business and get it out there in the world is harder! I started off doing photo shoots for free and posting my images online. This led to people sharing them and recommending me so that I could start charging”. Chloe has now enrolled at University in Cornwall to study photography and further advance her business.
Choosing one route does not mean your future is set in stone, as proven by Cameron Evans. “I chose to study Level 2 Creative Media as I wasn’t sure which specific field to study” he said. “I ultimately decided to study Level 3 Graphic Design and Photography, because that was the subject I enjoyed the most within all of the subjects I studied during Level 2. I’m not 100% sure what I would like to do for a career yet, but I’d like to be involved at a magazine company or retouching company as I’ve had work experience within this field and thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Whilst the paths they have taken have varied, one thing that remains constant is all three student’s approval of their experience at Cambridge Regional College. Jake says, “I was really attracted by the CRC facilities, photography studio and Mac suite. Everyone was very approachable and willing to help wherever possible”.
Chloe agrees, “The teachers are extremely passionate in what they’re teaching you. It doesn’t matter how silly you think the question is or if you don’t understand something, they will sit with you until you understand. There’s a lot of places where you can do your work, like the onsite Costa which is a nice place to get your head around things. I learned how to carry out my own shoots, how to find contacts in the same industry, even the legal sides of photography were covered which is extremely important. The projects during your time at CRC help to identify yourself as an artist”.
Cameron adds, “The facilities within CRC are easily accessible, whether it be hiring a DSLR camera for a project or using the dark room to creative negative prints. I would advise others to study at the college as they allow you to be creative and think outside the box within assignments”.
Lillian Bixler, lecturer in Visual Communications at Cambridge Regional College says: “We are delighted to see our students succeeding and doing so in ways as creative and imaginative as they are. The achievements of our students reflect the limitless possibilities available when completing studies at Cambridge Regional College and we are extremely proud of all of them”.
These student success stories are just some of the achievements the Visual Communications department at the college has experienced in recent times. Earlier this year, students contributed to a retrospective photography exhibition entitled ‘Cambridge: Then & Now’ at the Museum of Cambridge, recreating vintage photos of the region in a modern-day setting to parallel their historic counterparts. Some of the images captured went on to be featured on the East Anglia section of the BBC News website.
A centre of vocational excellence, Cambridge Regional College continues to grow and expand its role as a major seat of learning in the East of England.