Higher Nationals Case Study: Yves Salmon HNC in Photography
I completed an ONC (Ordinary National Certificate) and followed it with the HNC (Higher National Certificate) because I wanted to learn the technical skills of photography that would enable me to pursue a career in the industry.
I had a permanent full-time job as a photographer for a single employer while I studied towards my HNC. I believe that the qualification helped me gain a good foundation in the practical and business aspects of photography.
HNC gave me a good foundation to work from
The qualification taught me how to use different format cameras for their relevant application and gain the confidence to produce good quality images to meet client briefs. Having these skills enabled me to be consistent in producing images.
It also gave me the confidence to become a freelancer and, over the years, I’ve had a roster of clients that ranged from corporate and government through to the arts. I see great value in maintaining the relationships with my clients as those who appreciate my work often come back as well as recommend my services to others.
Having recently completed a Masters in Documentary Photography & Photojournalism, I will continue to expand my photographic repertoire alongside teaching and working as a commercial photographer.
Continue growing your skills and knowledge
To those wishing to enter into the freelancing world, I’d recommend getting to grips with basic elements of running a business, such as registering with HMRC, VAT, invoicing etc. If you don’t have the knowledge yourself, find an accountant who can support you.
When dealing with clients, listen carefully to what they want and don’t be afraid to ask for clarity if you don’t understand a brief. Be flexible and learn to think on your feet. Like many photographers, I started my career in analogue and transitioned to digital. Both of those technologies have evolved over time so continue to educate yourself.