Photography student progression stories

Here is a selection of what our students are doing now:


I’ve loved the courses I’ve done at City Lit, the teachers and the facilities and the students are all great.  My first ever course was the Event Photography course with Conrad Blakemore, it was great, even though I was such a beginner, I love the way all the tutors at City Lit always encourage and so helpful, but give honest and constructive criticism.

Although I continue to take photos of dancers and portraits, I made a move into wildlife photography and loved it. In fact, I just love animal photography - challenging though!  I haven’t won any prizes, gone professional or anything as the day job takes up so much time but I love taking photos and hope one day I’ll make more of it. I did get around to making a website though!

Heather Hughes


I have taken a number of courses in City Lit and I have enjoyed spending hours on photography. I am taking photos because I love photography, but in my age (73 years old now) it is difficult, if not impossible, to see it as a new career.

Eleni Paliginis


I was introduced to Flickr at your college and was inspired from the classes I attended with Matthew Ward on Macro. I shot out to buy a 60m Olympus lens with macro and it is now my favourite lens. Thank you Matthew. I am still very much an amateur and am not good enough to win prizes etc. I only use my photos to make calendars, business cards etc and my sisters website.
Valerie Spencer


I am a traveller, frequently to obscure countries, and took courses to broaden my skills after receiving interest, via Flickr, in photos I had taken on the road. Over the years my photos have now been used in excess of 500 times (that I have been informed of) on blogs, websites, slideshows, charity publications and other media and while the majority of images were used under a Creative Commons license, I have also been paid by book publishers, newspapers and magazines and through Getty Images. I have published several photobooks and as an artist (painter / printmaker) have included photographs in two of my exhibitions. I was photographer in residence at an artists’ colony in Croatia and documented this through additional photobooks. My most recent photobooks were “Ghana At Work” and  “Japan in Cones”.
Carsten ten Brink


Blooming of a rare Australian flower "Nagem" is my first project. I wanted to recreate this wonderful daily miracle by using the shaped, line, curves of a nude body and light only with black background to give more purity in this action. I have entered, my first official competition and I am flying for 3 weeks in Tenerife where I plan to take some landscapes, portraits, candid photographs which I would like to use for further competitions or perhaps approach some agency to propose my work.

Christine de Oliveria


I am currently studying for the MA in Photographic Studies at Westminster University. We have our final show in September.
Rakesh Mohindra
MA Photographic Studies, University of Westminster, London


I have started getting paid for a few photography jobs like photoshoots, events and product shots. My favourite picture since City Lit is an art nude picture of a Korean Woman  - you can see them on my blog:  I took lingerie pictures a few weeks ago for a new lingerie product. It is one of my first jobs as a professional photographer.  I have started working as a photographer but do feel I still need to learn more and improve my skills. I have already done a year course of photojournalism and a Portrait photography course in CityLit (as well as two Photoshop and a Lightroom courses).
Annie Gentil


I have enjoyed the courses that I attended immensely, they were apt, to the point, well organised and, not least, I was always grateful for the reasonable prices! I have since become a full time wedding/event/portrait photographer and have been kept busy over the years, mainly word of mouth.  I also do a lot of corporate work as well as interiors.  My work has appeared in various national newspapers and some magazines, i.e. recently a double page spread in Country Life of opera singer Ailyn Perez sniffing a camellia at Chiswick House in full Dame aux Camellia costume.
Anna Kunst


Here is one of my last works which won the Creative Prize at the 2015 Annual Exhibition of Epsom Camera Club where I have been a member since 2013. I am very pleased with the accomplishment of this work.  When I first started the beginners’ course in Photography at City Lit in 2012, I had a very simple purpose: could I represent in photography the images that I would have liked to paint?  ‘Swirl of pansies’ does just that, in a very impressionist style!    After the beginners’ course in 2012, I went on to learn Night Photography, Portrait Photography, Photography as a business and more recently Wedding Photography. I won another prize at the Epsom Camera Club at the annual exhibition in 2013, and a number of works got ‘Highly commended’.  One of my images also came third in a competition run by City Lit in 2013. I am also collaborating with a yoga teacher on imagery for her yoga book and I am hoping to turn my photography into a commercial enterprise and pursue my Art print project. This year I shall also be seeking the Licentiate distinction of the Royal Photographic Society
Rossella Pagano


I've managed to sell one work on online picture library and also I am regularly contributing for London based Scan Magazine.  Also, I am trying to get work at moment with dog portraits:)
Sanna Halmekoski


[City Lit Photography studio] – it’s such a wonderful facility you have there, and the courses are great.

My photograph called “Under Blackfriars Bridge” has just been recommended for the Royal Photographic Society’s Licentiateship.  It was also one of the images included in the City of London & Cripplegate Photographic Society’s biannual show in the Barbican Library last October.  I’m starting to think about my ARPS and have been obsessively shooting the Millennium Bridge mainly early in the morning and in all weathers.

Hilary Barton


I was a student at City Lit in 2011/12 ago.  I had just started a project taking photographs of amputees, which gained a lot of momentum afterwards. A friend’s daughter was setting up her small business making creative limbs. I took a lot of images that were in an ‘edgy’ exhibition called Spare Parts at the Rag Factory, Brick Lane as part of the Paralympics in 2012. They have subsequently had huge international exposure. I’ve sent you a few of the links.


I have increasingly become involved in using the landscape. I’ve spent time in the Outer Hebrides and went to Iceland a couple of times in 2013. I am currently an MA Photography student at Brighton University.

Rosemary Williams


I started my project, an ongoing body of work that I am doing documenting a community living in a London square, whilst on a documentary photography course at City Lit and I am still doing it. Since doing short photography courses at city lit I have had one curated exhibition at a gallery in a doctor’s surgery, 5 cafe exhibitions, an exhibition in a squat, as well as exhibiting individual photos elsewhere.  I won 2nd prize in an architectural heritage photo competition in Fes, Morocco.  I have also had more than 50 photographs published in online magazine Kentishtowner, as well as two written travel pieces accompanied by photos in the same magazine.  I have joined London Independent Photographers and The Photographer's Gallery and try to visit as many exhibition of other people’s work as possible.  I have really enjoyed the City Lit photography courses which have enabled me to make good progress.  I have appreciated the quality of the teaching as well as the opportunity to meet and network with other photographers. 

Sally Lyall Grant


I’ve taken many photography courses at the city lit, including street photography and performance photography. Right now, I’m still doing taking a lot of pictures, mostly portraits and movement.

My favourite photo at the moment is the one with the flowers because it was a challenge in low light and disco lights. It was taken at a wedding party a few weeks ago. I’m also sending a couple of dance photos from a shoot that I did a couple of months ago.

Rose Nicols


Since doing several courses at City Lit, I have worked for a school taking photos for alumni parties and find this the most fun, rewarding and lucrative.   I have done several family portraits of pets too and a Jewish wedding which was very interesting.   I have turned several of my landscape photos into cards and they have sold in the local shop.
Susan Morgan


Since completing the beginners course, I have learned how to use a film camera and since then I have bought my own film camera - an Olympus OM2 and started to experiment with black and white photography.  I love photographing people and will be doing my first wedding photography job this summer.
Carmen Rodrigues


Since January I have been photographing bands and solo artists on the professional music circuit in London. I hope to continue this and see how it goes. One of my pictures was published in the May 215 Issue of "Vive Le Rock".
Dr David Newbold


I use photography in a documentary style with a flavour of exploration into art documentary and self-portraits. The photographs are part of my yoga practise and teaching. I communicate yoga concepts and encourage people to practise and explore yoga through my website, one-on-one sessions and nature yoga reTreats.  See more photos here
Camelia Yoga