Career Pathways

Mind Map Of Initial Ideas Mind map


The concept behind my decisions to explore avenues that will provide focus and inspiration for the future. I decided to investigate and build a better understanding of the industry, I started by researching online what exactly the creative industry offered, my research of the creative industries was extremely insightful, the creative industries are a fastest growing industry, which is something that I had suspected. The website gives you lots of options for a career pathway, however, I would like to take the path of photography, alternatively, I would be happy to try other creative pathways with photography being the main focus.

My research does, however, give you an understanding of who are the main employers in the creative field which I thought was very useful. These include:

Advertising – AMV BBDO, Grey London, Leo Burnett;

Cultural heritage – English Heritage, National Trust, National Museum Wales, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Galleries of Scotland;

Design – Jaguar Land Rover, Harrods, AKQA, Big Active;

Fashion – Arcadia, ASOS, Burberry, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Next

Film/TV – Ealing Studios, Pinewood Studios, Sony Pictures, ITV, BBC, Channel 4;

Music – Opera North, Warner Music Group.

It helps as a guide in the right websites to find the creative jobs such as creativepool which is similar to LinkedIn but for the creative field.

The research gives insight as to what it’s like working in the creative field and what the requirements are for an employee.

It is also brilliant with regards to informing you of the issues that could arise and obstacles that need overcoming in the creative field I had considered some of the issues as concerns already but I found it very informative as a whole.

I then decided to look at the job profile of the photographer on the website and what that entails. It gives your ideas focus and insight into genres in which you can pursue, some of these listed are –

Most professional photographers specialise in one area, such as:





Fine art;

Social photography – also known as general practice, which includes weddings, commercial and portraiture photography.

For information on working in the press or within medical photography the scope is endless the potential ideas include press photographer and medical illustrator.

A medical illustrator is something that instantly interested me, and I was extremely fascinated by this especially as my work looks into medical/clinical subjects. I want to investigate this option further

I read about the responsibilities as a photographer and I found this very useful however I was not surprised by anything but helped reinforce what I thought already.

Another part I found extremely useful is the salary guidance, as it informed you how much you should expect as a photographer and how much it can range between experience and employer.

I also found it very useful reading the section regarding working hours as it told you that you needed to be very flexible and adaptable, this merely reinforced my perceived ideas.

Another thing I found useful is what you can expect as a photographer. I also found the skills section very useful as it entails all the key skill I’ll need as an employee.

It mentioned work experience, why it’s important and keeping an up-to-date portfolio is very helpful for any employer to view it at an instant these provide a snapshot of the level of skill you have attained.

It was also extremely beneficial to read a profile of the scope of employers or a potential employer’s field. The research provided insight into who would be likely to require a photographer and therefore how you could adapt CVs to attract and deliver the desired portfolio for these roles, it also informs you exactly the type of roles that are employed or self-employed very valuable as goals to focus upon.

It also listed many very useful websites in which you can search for jobs or further education and this was very helpful to view.

I then decided to look graduate jobs and what would be the expected skills.

These include- creative ideas and ability; strong communication skills – not only useful in your day-to-day work, but also invaluable when networking and building contacts an essential part of any career in the creative arts and design sector; the ability to work in a team; effective planning, organisation and time management skills.

The majority of work in the creative industries is project-based and deadline-driven, this is essentially reinforcing the concept of timely organisation to manage your workload; self-discipline and stamina to cope with long hours; resilience and determination – the industry is highly competitive and you’ll have to be able to cope with setbacks; a good eye for detail in art and design roles; the flexibility to work on multiple projects at once; commercial awareness and business orientation; digital and IT skills; manual dexterity; practical and technical skills, including associated software, e.g. Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, CAD; marketing, administrative and business skills – especially relevant  if you are self-employed.

I found this very useful and informative insight precisely what you need to focus upon and hone the precise skills base once you graduate.

My research also gave valuable insight into how you get work experience in the field. It also gives you websites in which you can find work experience. This was extremely useful and will be advantageous in the future.

It also advises how you can find a job after you graduate in the creative sector. This was useful as it informed you that creative jobs are not advertised and a highly competitive. This promotes the idea of how important building your own profile in order to be of interest to potential employers. It also gives you potential employers that would look at graduation schemes. It also tells you that you will need your own online portfolio as well as getting onto all social platforms to build yourself a potentially captivating profile in the creative field.


Job Searches

Job Search Guildford

On the first search when looking for photography jobs I found very few that I would be able to apply for as I didn’t meet any of the requirements, these include having a driving licence all my own equipment including cameras lighting and a studio or they were too greater distance to travel, or I needed experience. I found a few job searches that I could potentially look at if I was in better health however these are still at a great distance. I felt that the job above I would meet the requirements as it is part-time and some of the locations are easy to commute to via train, however, this, a further cost of travel. I have a DBS check. I thought I am semi experienced in Photoshop, and Bridge but feel I work best in these programs. I feel that I am a happy, enthusiastic and jolly individual who is friendly and feel that I can work very self-directed. I’m always very eager to learn new things and build my skill base and have experienced volunteering in the photography department in the school I attended.


Job Search Madistone

This job search was the most local I found as it is based in Maidstone. I thought it was interesting as it was event photography. Though working with enthusiastic freelance photographers would be very pleasant and inspiring. I feel I would be able to fit into the team as I am very much team orientated too. I feel I would be able to work within a youth sports arena. I would be able to train in the designated areas. I like the idea of meeting customers before capturing their image them as it’ll be good to understand and gain insight into their personality. I feel that I am enthusiastic and energetic and able to communicate effectively. I would feel confident with both children and adults. I feel that I would be able to work at a fast pace or under high pressure. I feel I would be flexible to work when needed. I feel that I am semi experienced in a studio but perhaps could benefit from some more training. I have most of the equipment that I need but would need to expand on studio flashlight. One downside of this which I don’t meet requirements is my own driving licence or a vehicle to drive which is something I would under normal circumstances but will address once my health improves. All job searches I found that it was a requirement in mostly all of them. I would embrace attending meetings as this would give me excellent interaction.


Job Search London

When finding this job I thought it would be a good opportunity to build my skills in the studio by being a photographer’s assistant, I know that I have relevant skills in being able at the studio and would be able to do this individually but the common practice I would I be the more confident. I would like to understand fashion photography and all the relevant requirements that go into photographing in the fashion genre. I liked everything that was required as an employee as I feel I would be able to manage this successfully. So I match the identified profile desired with the required skills needed and would successfully be able to perform this role.

Job Search Mni LabWhile searching I came across this potential job and expanded the realms in which I would happy to go into fully, it looked very looked interesting and I fill I fit their initial requirements as I’m naturally friendly and have many skills to offer. I feel that I would also be able to work fast paced and feel that I would have an opportunity to gain more insight into studio portraiture. I feel that I am able to work well in computer skills and use Photoshop successfully, I have a strong passion for photography itself. I feel I would be able to manage customer sales or assist in doing so. I would get to photo print and develop film. I feel like I would be able to make photo gifts and print onto canvases or posters I would be able to DVD transfer and also restock. I thought I would be able to manage studio portraiture and do general housekeeping tasks.

whilst I was also looking around other websites I came across the website above which helped me to understand exactly what would be required of a photographer’s assistant and how it would be a great opportunity to build a name for myself but also to gain more skills and required experience if I was to become a photographer in my own right. I would quite successfully be able to go straight into this role after I finish my degree as I have experience in the field though my experience thus far is only for personal use, I feel that I have the essentials in understanding piecing together equipment.

I wanted to investigate a medical illustrator’s role I clicked on the hyperlink to a medical illustrator and I found an incredibly helpful section, I was advised precisely what to expect and all the qualifications I may need in order to follow this pathway. The description is ideal and something that I would thoroughly enjoy, there are four categories in which you can be a medical illustrator these are –

Clinical photography;

Graphic design;

Medical art;


I thoroughly enjoyed researching medical science as it relates to me on a personal level, however, I also know that I don’t have a qualification in this field and therefore would need a qualification in order to pursue this role but perhaps something I shall look into in the near future.

I like the idea that as a medical illustrator, you’ll be categorised as a healthcare scientist and employed primarily by: hospitals; medical schools; research establishments; specialist publishers.

This is a reliable job and therefore is stable long-term one, this removes the risk factors often associated with a photographic career and is certainly is encouraging as an idea. The website gives you a breakdown of how you are likely to be utilised within the roles these include-

Photographers and video producers are involved with delivering visual records of patients’ conditions, operations and treatments for medical files, education and research.

Graphic designers and artists create artwork for: audio-visual lecture material; corporate publications; leaflets; posters; websites.

I feel like this would be very interesting and reinforces some of the areas that are currently missing from my perception. The role would deliver the desired underpinning and the stimulation would be extremely rewarding for me.

The website also states the responsibilities I’ll face as a medical illustrator. This was extremely helpful to know precisely what I need and how to train, acquire further resources, and learn the skills required for this role.

Taking photographs or films of patients (often concentrating on just one part of the body that has been affected by illness or injury) and process the images or film;

Undertaking more specialised photography, such as 3D imaging or using specialist cameras, to photograph the structures of a particular part of the body, e.g. the eye, photographing the lens, cornea and retina;

Arranging the necessary consent from patients.

Take photographs or films of medical equipment to be used by clinicians for teaching purposes; Photographing hospital personnel, buildings and events for use in publicity materials and use desktop publishing packages to produce materials, such as the hospital trust’s newspaper or annual report; specialise in specific areas of photography, e.g. bereavement photography (photographing babies that have been stillborn or have died shortly after birth for parents to keep in remembrance) or forensic photography (photographing ‘non-accidental injuries’, such as human bite marks); use computers to download, edit and process digital images or films, using software packages such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or Kodak Photo Desk; manage and train staff at more senior levels.

The Website then includes a section on salary and this works on a banding system the NHS deploy as a structured process, the role starts at a start from a band four for a novice with limited experience and work your way up to a band six once you are more experienced. Bands are as follows a salary starting from – £19,217 and £22,458 (Band 4), rising to £21,909 to £28,462 (Band 5) £26,302 to £35,225 (Band 6) however a head of the department at a university teaching hospital or university medical or dental school can earn around £55,000. This I feel is quite promising as it is stable and is comparable to a successful self-employed photographer.

The working hours are then stated and these range from 37 to 40 hours Monday to Friday and there can be additional hours from time to time. This is only an average working week in the NHS and therefore hours can be rotated to allow freelance projects in your spare time.

The next section is what I should expect, this is extremely helpful as I get to know specifically what I’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis and the kind of skills that would be required of me to acquire.

You will generally work in a team environment, liaising with other illustration staff, medical and healthcare professionals, as well as outside contacts, such as printers.

As well as the technical side, you may work closely with patients, which might be distressing in nature of course.

If you specialise in photography, you’ll spend much of your time working in departmental photographic studios. Graphic designers and medical artists are largely office-based with little or no interaction with patients.

Dress is usually casual, with smarter clothes worn for events. If you are working in a clinical environment, hygiene and protective clothing guidelines must be observed.

A substantial proportion of entrants are women.

Jobs are available in most areas of the UK, wherever there are hospitals, but competition for posts is high.

Illustrators, who do photographic work for a hospital trust, may have to travel to various hospital sites to photograph patients in wards, clinics or operating theatres.

Overnight absence from home is uncommon, as is overseas work or travel.

The qualifications required are listed, how to acquire them and the time frames involved.

Relevant degree and HND subjects include:


Clinical photography;

Graphic design/illustration;

Medical illustration;


BSc (Hons) in Clinical Photography from the University of Westminster, which is the only full-time undergraduate course in the UK;

Graduate and Postgraduate Certificates in Clinical Photography or Graphic Design for Healthcare from Staffordshire University;

Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Photography at Cardiff University;

MSc in Medical Art and MSc in Forensic Art and Facial Identification at the University of Dundee;

MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy run by the Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art;

Postgraduate Programme in Medical Art at the Medical Artists’ Education Trust, which leads to membership of the Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain (MAA).

It also notified me that I need to have a clinical photography degree I can apply for a position as a trainee and take a one-year postgraduate course in clinical photography whilst working.

I investigated this option and I found a part-time one-year course as a distance learning option which was extremely helpful as a key issue was that the courses shown above were a considerable distance from me. This is something I would like to address on completion of my current degree.

The clinical photography skills sections that I subsequently found are listed below this site was very informative and in order to understand what I should learn in the course but also have already learnt subsequently these include – a genuine interest in the scientific application of your skills and in the treatment of disease; time management and organisational skills; technical and creative or artistic ability; attention to detail and a methodical approach; a sensitive and tactful attitude and the ability to deal confidently with a range of people and quickly establish a rapport with patients or healthcare professionals; an understanding of anatomy and biology; IT literacy, as each specialism involves substantial work on computers, both Apple Macs and PCs; a reasonable level of physical fitness, as you may be required to lift and carry equipment.

The work experience section that follows is also very useful as it tells you how to get work experience and this could be portfolio based on clear, detailed images and you could attend a course on how to get the right style of a portfolio for employers. You could also get this via a course which then informs you that it is highly competitive as a medical illustrator as it is very limited to vacancies. It also then tells you that any local work experience within the hospital would be very useful. This is something I will certainly look to doing in the future.

The following section informs you on where the highest level of are employers normally based; Birmingham; Cambridge; Cardiff; Glasgow; London and Oxford.

The list includes where to look to find relevant jobs in the field.

I found this website extremely useful in structuring exactly what I need to know for the future and where the pathway can lead enabling the means to obtain a job as a photographer in a medical illustrator role.

I also found a job as a forensic photographer and have looked into this is maybe being another future viable option.


I have a clear pathway of what I would like to do after I complete my degree the research has given me greater insight and broadened my options I had previously considered doing a Master Of Arts in Photography as an original objective was to become a self-employed photographer, I have modified my choices as stability must be an option to be considered in my current health perspective.



3 thoughts on “Career Pathways

  1. Hello. I found this, (what you said, in your project proposal) so very profound. “the concepts are tremendous but my journey is so personal” It’s interesting that you say ‘but’ my journey. Is your personal journey not tremendous as well?


    1. Hi Kaz, thank you for your kind words, I very much appreciate them! I think you summarised exactly the way I perceived my journey at that moment in time; perhaps I made more of a statement about my meantal health/compromised cognitive abilities than my creative proposal. I should amend it, although unfortunately I actually couldn’t find the exact excerpt to do so.


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