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billiem

Joined:

Jul 10

Posts: 4

billiem says:

HND

Hi  I am new to this site but am currentlt struggling to make a decision!  I work full time but always wanted to do photogrpahy so have recently been accepted to study HND in photography my only prob is as i have a degree already the lovely british government want me to pay double so for the 2 year course i would pay £8250.  This is quite steep and i also know that there is quite of lot of payment to be made in the course for materials.  I was just after advice I likke the content of the course and going back to film for some modules is a dream come true.  My dream is to eventually work part time in photography or full time if i was good enough.  Do people think it is essential to fo HND?  Any help gratefully appreciated!

Billiem

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StephenBatey

Joined:

Nov 05

Posts: 10076

StephenBatey says:

Re: HND

In a word, no.

A professional photographer makes money by selling pictures, and working back from that, by taking pictures that sell. People look at the pictures before deciding whether to buy, not the qualifications.

Qualifications might help people to have confidence in your abiliities, but for my part I'd look at the "letters" offered by recognised organisations and trade bodies rather than educational establishments.

The positive value of gaining a qualification (I speak as one unqualified in photography or art) is that the course you follow will require you to study the parts that you find deadly boring, but whose content may well come in very useful later on.

From personal experience of taking a science degree (and I expect that this is true of whatever course you took) it is perfectly possible, provided you have the necessary motivation, to follow a course of personal study that will leave you just as well equipped. There are only a couple of exceptions to this:

1. Practicals. It would be quite impossible for anyone not incredibly wealthy to have access to the equipment I used as a chemistry undergraduate. NMR spectrometers and liquid nitrogen for example are not things you buy at your local DIY shop.

2. Examinations and essays. It's said that what you learn is what comes out of the end of your pencil rather than in through your eyes. It's easy to have a good understanding of a topic in theory, but it's only when you have a practical problem to apply the knowledge to that you see how well you've really understood it. This is partly a matter of self discipline too - you can buy exam questions, set yourself essays etc - or just try writing a book on the subject! You'll soon find out where you're lacking.

You can always try to find a group or web site where you will receive honest comment and critique on your photos. I'd recomments the Feedback Forum here - but I would, wouldn't I?

There are organisations you can join such as the SWPP who run a "Mentor Me" program.

£8,000 will buy a lot of private tuition, books, equipment (and even travel to places to try out the techniques).

Old photographers never die - they just stop developing

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Dave Canon

Joined:

Mar 06

Posts: 4090

Dave Canon says:

Re: HND

You say you have a full time job so why do you want to give that up? (None of my business) If you earn a reasonable income and your job is not unbearable why not stick with it and make photography a hobby. It has been my hobby for over 35 years and I probably enjoy photography more than ever before BUT, it is a hobby. This means I can explore any aspect of photography I like and when I like,use any equipment and technique. I gain valuable knowledge from other photographers and socialise with other photographers. Contrast this with a fellow club member who turned professional (for a while),instead of photographing young ladies and landscapes,his main customer was a oil distribution company. They paid him to photograph green plastic oil tanks. He had to photograph on the time/day the customer stipulated whatever the weather. He soon found photography to be very boring. Do not confuse enjoying a hobby with running a business. In fact a course on business management would be far more use to you than a photography course. If you are really keen you will not be put off by this and you probably already fully understand the difference between a photography business and a hobby.

Dave

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bigalguitarpicker

Joined:

Sep 06

Posts: 1496

Re: HND

£8,000 for HND?   Seems way over-priced to me. I studied part-time for HND, one day a week from 2004-2007 at a cost of £220 per year in the Southern Regional College here in Northern Ireland. I guess I spent about £5,000 or thereabouts in total, but I could have spent much less. £2K went on a DSLR, but a much cheaper one would have done fine. I enjoyed the course, even though as said above, you have to study the bits you don't like, as well as the bits you do! Business Studies seem to be considered the spawn of Satan by just about everybody, but again, all useful knowledge! I progressed to a degree in Creative Imaging after completing HND and the Business Studies were even more hateful, but again, well worth doing, drawing up a Business Plan, producing a Business Report on the feasibility of a proposed business, and preparing a powerpoint presentation on the legal requirements of a new business start-up. ( All completed in Year 1 I'm delighted to say). Is HND necessary? Absolutely not, from the viewpoint of becoming a photographer. Time very well spent though in personal development and achievement, plus it gets one onto a degree course. You also get to become ARPS on passing HND or a degree. All the best with whatever you decide to do. Alex.

www.irishancestry.biz "Pushed the slider too far? Who?? Me???"

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billiem

Joined:

Jul 10

Posts: 4

billiem says:

Re: HND

Thanks for your advice, I work in the nhs and am currently finding myself struggling through each day so this is why i would do a course to give me some enjoyment back around the drudgery of work.

I did consider doing a city and guilds so maybe i should do this and other short courses. I currently dont have a favourtie subject to photograph which is also why i thought a course would help a little taster of it all until i find the one that I am good at and enjoy.   I last did photography 10 years ago so this last and a half i braved it into the world of digital and am enjoying as i only have to have a program on  my computer and not a whole dark room set up!

So confused!  I want to be able to talk the talk not just walk the walk!

 

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Dazz

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 2078

Dazz says:

Re: HND

 You're being ripped off. University tuition fees are capped at 3290 per year. a HND should not take longer than 2 years.

Personally, I dont understand how having a piece of paper which says you can take photographs would make you any better a photographer. For me that money would buy me a nice long lens and a few trips to put together some decent wildlife photographs into a portfolio. 

It's only banter :)

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IanB

Joined:

Jan 06

Posts: 926

IanB says:

HND

A qualification, like an HND, does show that you have the determination and self discipline, to work at the subject and that you have done additional work to pass written assessments, etc.  All of that is never to be taken lightly but it does not demonstrate that you can turn the theoretical knowledge into what you need to become a professional photographer.  I am an engineer and, in the engineering profession, the professional bodies look for the paper qualification but, before you can become chartered (recognised as a professional angineer), they also need evidence that you have training and experience - they look for more than the paper qualification.

I would suggest that you look very hard at the sylabus for the HND and decide what you know already and what you really need to know.  One thing a professional photographer needs is a good set of business skills but you can, for example, get a good grounding on that in just a few days on some wedding photography courses and it would cost less than the HND!  You could probably find various ways of filling in other gaps in your knowledge. Alas, our UK educational system is quite supportive if you are working for your first degree but, as you have found, after that the costs do escalate.

Nobody can tell you what to do, all we can do is to give you something to think about - good luck!!

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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anonymous

Joined:

Jul 09

Posts: 689

Online

anonymous says:

HND

@Dazz - unfortunately tuition fees only count once and although they are capped they are subsidised through govenrnment. As the OP says he's already done a degree so the institution can charge the full cost. Years ago a friend of mine failed an exam in the 2nd year of a human biology degree. Uni wanted £12k to re-sit the year due the high cost of human body parts!

@billiem - I wouldn't pay that for an HND. I did an A'level part time, in the evenings, just for me and nothing to do with running a photography business (I don't even mention it on my website or to clients). Cost of this course was £280 per year plus about £25 for dark room materials. It hasn't helped one bit as far as the business goes (although I did enjoy it) and most of the pro togs I know don't have any formal photography qualifications.

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billiem

Joined:

Jul 10

Posts: 4

billiem says:

Re: HND

thanks for all your advice, i think i am going to do few short courses and buy some lovely new equipment  with the amount i would spend doing a HND! 

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snowy190uk

Joined:

Jul 10

Posts: 4

snowy190uk says:

Re: HND

Just to add to the above topic about costs.  I've signed up to a foundation degree in photography set to start in September.  Its made up of 16 'modules' spread over 3 years (5-6 per year) as I'm working during the day, so have opted to do it part time.

The 'modules' cost £300 each!  

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billiem

Joined:

Jul 10

Posts: 4

billiem says:

Re: HND

foundation degree may have a look at that then as thats very reasonable!

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