Art, Design & Photography
“The lecturers have got such diverse photography experience and they love sharing their own experience and work they’ve done… We really get a chance to sample all aspects of photography at NESCol. I also really like the facilities. The college has got their own studios, they’ve got so much different equipment, and they’ve got a dark room. So I get to experience all those things without buying the equipment.”
From receptionist to photographer, Jo Reynolds’ change of career was inspired by a lifelong love of photography.
When she turned 30, Jo decided that if she did not take the opportunity to pursue her passion then she would never do it, and so she submitted an application to study NC Photography at NESCol. She says this is the best decision she has ever made.
“College has given me so much more confidence and so much more freedom. Even with working part time, I’m getting these opportunities to do so many things because of College. I won a photography completion in 2019 – the Harbour Board competition – so my picture was up in an exhibition at the airport, and I was in the paper.”
Jo began her studies in 2018, and realised any worries she had about returning to education after years of employment were unfounded:
“No one ever made me feel like I was too old. We had a really wide range of people in the class and they treated everyone the same. It didn’t matter if you were 16 and just out of school or older and well educated – everyone was treated the same, which I really liked. Just meeting all these new people has been really great as well.”
From the NC course, Jo progressed to the HND, and is now in her final year of studying at NESCol. During her time here, she has developed her skills in a range of photography mediums, including fashion, journalism, architecture and portraiture – a field for which she has gained a passion.
“The lecturers have got such diverse photography experience and they love sharing their own experience and work they’ve done. I never was into portraiture before, but speaking to lecturers who have done it inspired me to look into it and I really love portraiture now. We really get a chance to sample all aspects of photography at NESCol.
“I also really like the facilities. The college has got their own studios, they’ve got so much different equipment, and they’ve got a dark room. So I get to experience all those things without buying the equipment.”
Jo is already looking to the future and has applied for a place on Robert Gordon University’s BA Photography course – which NESCol students can progress to directly into year 3. This is a step Jo could never have imagined herself taking when she first submitted her application for College.
“I wanted to just do the NC and see how I got on, and I had fully intended to just go back to work after that, so to be applying for uni is just crazy. And I want to do it – that’s what even crazier. I definitely didn’t think I would ever have the confidence to go to university. I never thought I would have the opportunity. But I’m excited.
“I’m just really enjoying life in general and I think that’s because of College. It is the best decision I have ever made.”