Matt Whitewood Talk and Conclusion

Yesterday afternoon we had a talk from a Huddersfield University Alumni, Matt Whitewood. He graduated from the university and is now working in New York and works for clients such as Sony on their Playstation 5 pre release marketing, Nissan and Bose. This guy is living the dream in my view. Photographing cars is a dream job of mine but to also work for these brands would be amazing. However, he isn’t a photographer and works with CGI in Cinema 4D but i was nice for him to discuss how he broke into the industry, websites he recommended and the importance of networking and personality in the business, these are areas usually not covered in other talks. I just wish this was arranged earlier in the year as it was the day before hand in and I was working on my presentation and portfolio as I was listening to the talk, it would have been nice to give it m full attention. I only got the requirements for Roddy’s presentation two days before deadline so it was frantic getting sorted in time along with the portfolio submission.

These have now been submitted and I am glad that the semester is behind me and I had focus on making the work something I am proud of, maybe get my enthusiasm back for the course. Richard Mulhearn and I had a discussion where I told him of my intention to go to Indonesia in July to which he expressed concern as I would miss lessons, but I have been attending lessons since the Masters started only to be greeted by irrelevant content and technical glitches so I don’t see the difference it would make. I have been very disappointed with how this semester and the course in general has turned out. When I started the Masters, i was riding high on the achievements of my undergrad but the lack of photography content, poor communication for tutors (still waiting to hear back from two tutors regarding a simple question), and for the majority of the course no access to facilities has left me feeling down and depressed for most of it. The decision to put all the arts students into one lesson can only be described as idiotic, as photography students and textiles students are listening in on graphic design and coding lectures. I can only imagine other students must feel the same, especially after the financial burden we have put ourselves under to do this course. Some students like Astle have travelled from India to join us only to be dismayed at the content.  I only have to travel 45 mins if I get to uni uni again and I am dismayed.

I feel like I have made my work as good as I can make it with the support structure in place. It would have been nice to have more access to people like Yan and Richard who’s advice has been critical as have the group crits we put on ourselves as photography students where we showed work and gave feedback. 

This semester has been one of experimentation and development and has given me a firm route for my work. I have made many errors during this time but I have developed some of my skills as shown in this blog, most notably Photoshop which in the past was an area I was scared to go near after having so many disasters, but I have made progress with airbrushing and background replacement and other experiments and I have grown in confidence using it. 

I have also dipped my toes back into fashion photography, which I haven’t done since the first year of undergrad, and really enjoyed it, so much so that I wish I had focused on this more in my undergrad.  My research into other practitioners such as Stephanie Galea has shown me how conceptual and artistic fashion photography can be and its not all just about the clothes and selling them but can also be about artistic expression or political expression as can be seen in Martin Parr’s work for Grazia Magazine be it on purpose or not. I have also begun to develop my skills in editorial photography and the differences between that and documentary.

I also feel like this has been a semester and a work of resilience. I have had critical and sometimes harsh feedback about my work and after taking it on board and considering it, I have moved the work on and changed my views about what my work actually is and what it actually says

Overall I would think of my work this semester as successful. It’s unlikely the work I have made will make it into my final piece, but that in itself is a success and I look forward to next semester to develop further and produce greater work


Image: Whitewood,
M. (2021). Matt Whitewood. Designer/Director ,

M. (2021 April 19). Word On The Street. Grazia

S. (2021). Outside The lines In. (2021). Elle  

Using Format