LPA Student Challenges / Catching Up With Rameez Khawaja
With the deadline fast approaching to the final of the LPA Student Challenges, we recently caught up with one of last year's winners Rameez Khawaja, who spent a day at LPA. Here is what Rameez said about his day with the LPA team and his portfolio masterclass.
Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing at the moment Rameez? At the moment I'm on a placement year from my university, Huddersfield (Digital Photography BA Hons). I’ve decided to use this year to invest in myself and get more experience before going on to finish my degree. I have several personal projects that I am developing and also juggling working at RM Studios, which primarily focuses on wedding and commercial photography. I do have my hands full but sometimes my whole schedule can get a little unstructured at times!
Tell us a bit about your LPA portfolio experience day. My portfolio day with the LPA team was better than I could have imagined. I met Alexa & Tom in the morning at a portfolio appointment in West London and subsequently had my work critiqued by Lisa who has years of experience in the commercial industry. It was incredible and I walked away with a mountain of information that wasn’t only just informative but I can put to use in my practice in the here and now.
What surprised me the most was the transparency of the agency staff when I started badgering them with questions! As photographers there’s a lot of competition now more than ever and most of the time there’s a blackbox of information that not a lot of working photographers unfortunately share with those starting off. So it was almost too easy getting a simple and honest response to most of my questions that usually get avoided by others.
Did you find out any useful information you didn't already know? Finding out how briefs are put together and discussed/negotiated with clients was something I had no experience of at all in. It’s definitely something I will now look at incorporating into my own work in the future and expecting from clients.
In all honesty I didn’t know what to expect when I was thinking about the agency appointment, but it was above and beyond what I would even have thought of.
Did you get some useful advice on own folio and website and some good information about the industry? Lisa was very thorough with my portfolio providing good insights as to how I can advance in my career. She was honest and straightforward in picking apart my portfolio and seeing what work matched with my mindset and how to use this to the best of my abilities.
Lisa advised on my website and how to make it more streamlined in tandem with how I felt about the priority of my work and just generally how to make it user friendly especially to future clients who haven’t the time to sit about browsing through my website if they can’t find my most important work quickly.
The information on the industry was also irreplaceable: as with a typical art degree we are heavily taught the history and fine-arts but when it comes to the business side of things there is nothing provided as such. How can I find work in the first place? How can my portfolio be tailored to whom I want as my client? These sorts of questions go amiss in University. But with Lisa the information given was almost a light bulb moment at times and for that I’m very grateful.
What are plans for the future?
For the future taking on board everything I learned at the LPA, it sounds strange but I finally know what to concentrate more on and what to disregard. One of my aims is build a strong consistent portfolio aimed towards commercial advertising clientele. But to also continue investing heavily into my own personal work which really where my greatest interest lies.
Pushing the wedding business even further ahead. As this is my bread and butter its something that is a major priority, so RM Studios has been going through a major revamp in providing the best possible Wedding Photography Service in West Yorkshire.
I’d finally like to thank everyone from LPA from the bottom of my heart, as it was a very important day for me and the knowledge I acquired is something no degree could touch upon.