‘Be slinky’, photojournalism students told at new LCC exhibition

Young photojournalists at London College of Communication (LCC) were this week told to ‘be slinky’ to stay afloat in the industry today.

The advice came from a debate, ‘The New Ecology of Photojournalism’, on the first night of the degree show for this year’s MA Photojournalism students.

American photojournalist, Ed Kashi, told graduates they needed to be ‘slinky’ and that adaptability was a key skill for succeeding in the media at the moment. He said: “Photojournalism has never been more exciting than now.”

Other panellists included: Lucy Davies, the Telegraph’s photography critic; Simon Norfolk, photographer; David Campbell, professor of geography, Durham University.

All the panellists gave a positive outlook for photojournalists, but also advised young photojournalists not to rely on editorial photos and magazines for their income. Norfolk gave the example of British photographer Stephen Gill who makes his own photography books and sells them on eBay.

One of the students on the MA is Ian Buswell whose collection, ‘Silence in the Salween’, is part of the exhibition. The photos give a glimpse of life for the persecuted Karen community of Eastern Burma.

He said: “This is my first exhibition in London. I’ve spent three years in south east Asia as a freelance photographer, but sometimes felt isolated in Bangkok. In London, I’ve been exposed to more photography and had the chance to get better involved with the city’s art scene.”

The exhibition, called ’28 Stories’, runs from 10 – 23 December and 4 – 15 January, 10am – 5pm, at the LCC, Elephant and Castle.

4 thoughts on “‘Be slinky’, photojournalism students told at new LCC exhibition

  1. Fionnbharr Ó Súilleabháin

    Sorry to be a pedant, but it was Simon Norfolk who used the term Slinky during the discussion and Ed Kashi then repeated it back with great amusement afterwards.

    It is a great term, so just thought it should be properly credited as, who knows, it might end up in common usage.

  2. Eleanor Broughton

    To confirm: yes, SN first used the word slinky but it was EK who picked up on it and recommended that graduates thought of it as a career buzzword. Best wishes – and don’t forget to visit the show.

  3. Colin Hall

    As someone who has chased the dream of a full time income level from photography for most of my life I can honestly say that, far from being exciting, the photojournalistic world has never been more difficult to make a living at. I’m sure that it’s different in London, but for the rest of the country news image business is in severe decline, certainly not something that commands a wage.

    My point is more aimed at those who waste their schooling years chasing the dream of photographic glory. Rather than concentrating your efforts upon photography, take a written english course and learn to use your camera at a later date. A degree in English is more likely to carry favour in any industry, should you get a chance of a journalistic career you will be able to pick it up as you go.

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