Dean O'Brien's Blog

352mc Professional Photographic Practice: Improving my chances of employment after university

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I won’t lie.  One thing I struggle with is the Russian language.  Many may argue that I struggle speaking English.  But If I could have one wish right now it would be that I could speak Russian fluently.

Learning the Russian language is not an option for me.  It is something that I ‘have’ to do.  If I want to continue documenting issues such as social change in former Soviet countries then yes, learning the Russian language is essential.  I already know how to order a beer, but in all honesty it is hardly a conversation breaker.  I am getting tired of feeling slightly embarrassed when people apologise for their poor English when trying to speak to me.  It should be the other way round.

We all know that when taking portraits, that personal connection with the subject is vital.  I want to make that connection.  For the subject to reveal who they ‘really’ are.  I am not altogether happy for someone to interpret on my behalf.  It seems far too clinical and distant.

So I have decide to do something about it.  In September 2012 I will start a Russian beginners course at Warwick University.  On my cv it could act as a great unique selling point.  I honestly cannot expect to get commissions to work in these countries unless I have something different to offer, or at least the basics.  The language being essential I would imagine.

Yes long after I graduate from Coventry University my education will continue.  This has always been encouraged by my lecturers at the university.  To go forward with our projects and continue to develop and build them.  This is part of that plan.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

April 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

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