Industry Insights: 2020 Symposium

Our annual Symposium in London is a key initiative in our commercial photographic curriculum, providing an opportunity for students to expand their understanding of the business of photography. With presentations a from a range of practitioners, agents, picture editors and other industry professionals, our students gain invaluable insight into various areas of the industry, gaining an understanding of the career possibilities available to them and the knowledge, skills and attributes required to succeed.

This academic year we were delighted to be joined by an incredible line-up of award-winning photographers and photographic professionals, who spoke about the work and their experiences in the industry.

Tom Oldham

Tom is a PCA Alumni and London-based portrait photographer, known for shooting portraits of musicians, sports starts and all manner of talented people across the nation and worldwide. Tom’s work has been shortlisted and exhibited in numerous competitions and awards including the AOP Awards, the BJP Portrait of Britain and the prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. His recent project, The Last of The Crooners, was awarded the 2018 Sony World Photography Award for Portraits in the Professional Category


Suki Dhanda

London based photographer Suki Dhanda is another PCA Alumni and has been shooting professionally for over 10 years.  As one of The Observer’s main portrait photographers her sitters have included musicians, politicians, celebrities and sports personalities. Her editorial commissions are regularly published in leading magazines and in press nationally and internationally. Her personal projects concentrate on people in their environments and ethnicity and she has exhibited with the British Council, Platform for Art and the Photographer’s Gallery.


Karen Thomas

 Karen Thomas is a London-based food and still life photographer, and moving image director. Known for striking stills campaigns for clients such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Costa she has also directed some incredibly accomplished moving image too. Most recently, she was thrilled to be part of the new M&S campaign doing what she does best – bringing a beautifully natural and foodie aspect to the work. Other clients include McDonald’s, Vue, Nestle and the National Trust


Holly McGlynn

 With her infectious personality and strong communication skills, photographer Holly McGlynn has attracted the attention of many high street and international brands. Her irreverent style of photography is feminine and feminist reflecting her sense of fun, colour and identity. Holly always want to collaborate with clients who want to create exciting imagery and is particularly passionate about working with brands who are committed to reducing their impact on the planet and have sustainability at the top of their agenda. Clients include: Chanel, Cosmopolitan Australia, Dorothy Perkins, Elle Australia, Fabergé, Glamour USA, John Lewis, Mulberry, New Look, Playboy Fragrances, Primark, Red Magazine, Stylist Magazine, Tiffany, and White Noise


Derek Seaward

Derek Seaward is a distinguished, award-winning advertising photographer, known for his extensive background in automotive and location shooting. His career has seen him working on illustrious campaigns with some of the biggest companies in the commercial world  including all of the world’s car manufactures such Alpha Romeo, BMW,  Ferrari  Jaguar, Mercedes,  Rover, Volvo, and Volkswagen. Other advertising clients include British Airways, Barclays Bank, Budweiser,  Sony, the BBC, British Gas,  Sainsbury’s and TESCO 


In addition to the talks from our industry guests, a key component of our symposium is the opportunity for students to have their portfolios reviewed

Professional portfolio critique is an integral part of our curriculum with students undertaking reviews as part of their Professional Practice modules. In addition to industry and creative advice, the reviews also provide a unique networking opportunity, with many students coming away with valuable contacts, often leading to work placement and assisting opportunities.


In addition to our 5 symposium speakers outlined above, we were delighted to to be joined by Germaine Walker.

After several years of shooting and studying photography, Germaine started her own photographic agency. 30 years on, she still has the same drive, determination and passion for the business, and is always wiling to spare time for students to review their work.

Our thanks go to all of our fantastic industry guests for their time, energy and insight.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s