If you’re interested in knowing more aboutstudying Bachelor Fine Arts Photography, keep on reading. In this article, I wanted to tell you more about the journey of why I started photography and eventually ended up studying Bachelor Fine Arts Photography.
I started shooting on analog in 2007 and at that time I was shooting entirely for my own pleasure, back then the images were really not shared anywhere and only served as a creative outlet for myself. One thing I do still feel analog does for a budding photographer; it lets you compose your images more and forces you to learn about lighting.
Now that I look back at my own photographing, I rarely opened up any of my work or really knew how to bring out the storytelling through the image. Although, you know eventually why things happen, I knew being in a creative environment could help me to get a sense of where I wanted to go.
Starting my studies in Finland
For years I tried to apply to Lahti Institute of Design LAB with the knowledge I had and sheer passion. When I was applying for the studies the feeling was that it would be great if I got selected, but wasn’t expecting anything from the entrance exams. This shows I didn’t feel confident enough in my skills. Already seeing a few exams, once even quitting my job to have the exam dates off, I knew not to have my expectations high. I was finally accepted to studying a Bachelor of Arts at Lahti Design Institute in 2014 and a whole different world opened up.
The start felt awkward, of course, I had already been working and building my own schedule for so long that changing it without financial gain felt challenging. I was somehow used to a certain type of lifestyle and not having the extra headache from the creative process was all I knew – and that was also the fixed mindset I had before I learned to love the unknown. Adjustment in general. Nevertheless, I was ready for it because my own life had been pretty predictable for years and my job as a stevedore wasn’t the most challenging.
Moving away to study in the Netherlands
After studying a Bachelor of Arts in Lahti for a few years, I had the opportunity to do my exchange. Lahti had not appealed to me and I had moved back to Helsinki during my studies, where my social life and part-time work took time and focus away from studies. Applying along with a few others, to the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague KABK in the Netherlands and after both excitement and doubt, I was told that I was the only student selected for the exchange.
I have to say that, in hindsight, I would recommend everyone who gets the slightest chance to do an exchange to go for it. The variety of studies and the extent of networking, which we don’t have here in Finland, is just unbelievable. While studying in the Netherlands, I completely rebuilt my identity as a photographer – I learned to tell stories with my photos, properly edit my series build properly targeted portfolios, and live in a studio without hesitating my skills. However, I believe this was due to the Academy’s location and the wide network that allowed quality education and intense schedules, which forced me to upgrade my practice to be able to compete with the rest of the class. For me, I needed the pressure to evolve. Studying Bachelor of Arts abroad was the best thing happening to me.
Life after graduation
Graduating in 2019 feeling relieved and amazed that I actually made it that far. At the same time, I felt a great longing for home. For the last couple of years, everything in my life felt temporary, mostly missing the important days my family and friends were having in their lives. It felt more like a rash that I had to scratch – I wanted to move back home as soon as I could.
First-year after graduation was where I was just enjoying my life with no real plans for my future or goals. Which was well needed in a way, but also let me get stuck in a rut for a while. Realizing my studies were not over yet I applied to Aalto University to study MA Photography last year and it has been really something. Studying fully online and not being able to share my thoughts and work with others is something I am missing. Working as a studio manager at my university lets me be constantly in a more creative environment and surrounded by creative people.
If you want to know more about the starting point in my photography, you can read it here.
Any readers here who also studied abroad?