Taking Opportunities In Education With Emily Drinkeld

Emily Drinkeld is a Commercial Photography MA student at Nottingham Trent University. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily at last years Raw Print event in November and I was really impressed with the work she was producing and the projects she was involved with outside of her studies.

I regularly interview people who have been in the industry for long periods of time, but every once in a while it’s also good to hear about people just starting out too.

After I met Emily at Raw Print and heard of the projects she was getting involved with outside of her studies, I thought it would be great to produce an article that looks into how educational work and time in education can be used to help set you up for life in the working world.

Before we get into today’s article, make sure you check out Volume 3 of 99 Percent Lifestyle. Sales of the physical magazine are what keeps 99 Percent Lifestyle running on a daily basis. Each and every sale goes a long way.

This magazine features some of the worlds most inspiring creators and entrepreneurs. Volume 3 features the likes of Entrepreneur Lewis Howes, Youtuber Estee Lalonde, Photographers Alex Strohl and Rob Strok, Designers Aaron Draplin and Angus Hyland, and much more.

Discover everything in the new magazine by clicking the link here.


Taking Opportunities In Education With Emily Drinkeld


Before Emily Drinkeld started her Masters in Commercial Photography, she was studying Fashion Communication and Promotion (again at Nottingham Trent University).

Emily learnt that she enjoyed the photography side of things and the process leading up to a photo shoot.

She got her first DSLR camera at the age of 15, and though she only used it socially when out with friends, a passion for taking pictures was always there.

The Master’s degree in Commercial Photography enabled her to learn more about the technical aspects of photography, such as the lighting and camera settings needed for specific types of shoots (as opposed to just leaving the camera settings on automatic).

Emily is currently getting involved with as many projects as possible to build up her portfolio and gain more experience in the process. One of the projects she is currently involved with is the monthly indie magazine event called Raw Print, held in Nottingham.

She began interning and became the event photographer, with this experience also opening up other doors too (for example having written work published in MetaZine, a physical project by Raw Print).

Some of the other projects Emily has been getting involved with is shooting for some up-and-coming musicians too.

If you are still in education, it’s important that you try to make use of the opportunities around you. This really interested me when speaking with Emily, because 99 Percent Lifestyle actually began as a University project.

Whilst at University, I started a film blog, football and film weekly podcast and then 99 Percent Lifestyle, as well as getting involved with multiple projects with the University as well.

Not only does this build up experience and skills, it also allows you to build up your contacts too. The saying ‘it’s who you know’ still holds up, more so than ever in today’s world.

“Talk to everyone you know, your friends your lecturers, because if I hadn’t of asked Matt (founder of Raw Print) to be involved with Raw Print, I wouldn’t know anything about this indie magazine world and wouldn’t be doing a photography internship with them”, stated Emily.

If you are approaching people to intern then it’s also important that you keep updating your CV and making sure it stands out from the crowd. If you would like some more advice on preparing a CV then I highly recommend checking out my interview with Angus Highland of Pentagram in Volume 3 of 99 Percent Lifestyle. He shared some useful tips for preparing the design and layout of your CV.

One of the things I learnt towards the end of my time at University, is that the work you are producing for your assignments can actually have an effect on the outside world. So in reality, the modules I took within my Journalism studies could have been used in this way: the news stories I had written for assignments could have been pitched to local papers, the photographs I took could have been used to build up a portfolio on Behance and if I was a design student then perhaps my illustrations could have been turned into a fantastic poster which I could have tried to sell on Etsy. The opportunities are endless.

I only realised this at the end of University when making 99 Percent Lifestyle. My brief was to make 4 magazine spreads, and instead, I created a 180-page magazine (now known as the Free Interview Edition) to create a portfolio piece that could land me a job at one of the top magazines in the UK.

Emily learnt that her work could result in her getting work after her studies finished, and her focus is to now build up her portfolio.

Photography is a hard industry to break into, especially with everyone being a photographer nowadays thanks to Instagram. Emily knows this and she told me that “defining your own style of images is important in today’s world, and people will want you for that style.”

Her focus is to really develop her own style over the next year doing on-location shoots with the people she really wants to work with. This is going to be key to gaining a steady supply of client work after her studies.

If you are specifically focused on becoming a photographer then a piece of advice Emily wanted to give is to enter as many competitions as possible, because you never know what could happen. Even if you don’t win, sometimes you can get feedback from experts in the photography industry, and that in its self is priceless.

I hope you enjoyed this article with Emily Drinkeld. Be sure to follow Emily on the following social links and follow what she is up to: