College helps prepare for life of photography

Freelance photographer Lauren Campbell is a British Institute of Professional Photography 2019 bronze award winner for her Sons of Amazon Coffee advertising campaign.

The City of Glasgow College HND photography graduate also has a growing client list that includes Costa, Genius, Rebel Rebel, Albert Bartlett and Scotty Brand.

However, despite leaving school with the equivalent of 10 Highers, Lauren was unsure what she wanted to do in terms of a career. Her one certainty was that she did not want to go to university.

“I wanted to work and earn so I took a year out and started at the Bank of Scotland.  This turned into five years as I realised I had a flair for sales and the bank put me through numerous exams. In turn, I worked hard and became a customer and mortgage adviser,” said Lauren.

“I finally left the bank to work with yell.com as the advertising industry always excited me. I then moved across to magazines, where I worked for Bunkered, and then into TV and radio. I learned how to create campaigns across all media, selling everything from airtime to SEO to websites. I found radio advertising the most rewarding,” she added.

It was a bold move, therefore, to leave an established career but that’s what Lauren did after giving birth to her daughter in 2014.

“During my maternity leave I continued to work with a number of clients but felt at a crossroads. I was managing their social media channels, taking promotional pictures of products, interiors and content. This was the turning point when I realised that photography was growing from a hobby to a paid venture. 

“I realised I needed greater technical knowledge so enrolled in City of Glasgow College’s 10 week studio lighting course. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was extremely impressed with their studios and endless kit options. I doubt there are any other colleges with such high-tech facilities,” explained Lauren.

The 35 year old, who grew up Glenmavis and attended Airdrie Academy, loved the learning environment and in those few weeks her understanding and knowledge of photography was elevated to a whole new level. So much so, she decided to do an HND in photography.

“This course helped immensely in many ways, first and foremost my confidence and technical ability, and it enabled me to be in charge of my day. I enjoyed the studio work, food and product photography, and came to realise that variety is my main motivator.

“City of Glasgow College was both challenging and nurturing and the lecturers treated me as such, providing support and encouragement. It prepared me for walking the walk, backing up my ideas with technical ability,” she added.

With a growing client base which, such is her growing reputation, she has built up through word of mouth, Lauren is confident about continuing her journey, investing in her business and enjoying a successful and rewarding living.