SWOT Analysis: Fixing the Weaknesses

Confidence
I understand there is no quick-fix solution to this problem, and that it is an issue that will take time to address. Attempting to grow in confidence within myself will undoubtedly take time. However there are certain things I can do to speed up the process. By throwing myself into difficult situations, both socially and professionally I will learn to deal with issues outside of my comfort range, which will ultimately help to improve my overall confidence as I learn that I am capable of dealing with such situations. Doing this both socially as well as professionally will improve my comfort of being around new people, which will be of vital importance throughout my career. It will also help speed up the process of confidence building in order to alter my second SWOT analysis successfully.

The set project working in collaboration with the fashion students has had a positive effect on this issue. Being thrown into a more realistic work environment (working with strangers) has meant that I needed to be strong with my ideas, and also diplomatic whilst discussing their ideas. The issue that arose between one group member and myself, though at the time was frustrating, has clearly improved my ability to deal with difficult situations and my confidence in altercations. Through my work so far I have worked mainly with those I know as partners or subjects, and this project forced me out of that comfort zone, making me work with people I did not already know and felt comfortable with. The ability to relax the model, which I stated earlier as an important factor in this profession, I feel was also improved. I noticed a difference between the two shoots I carried out, and the relationships with the model in question that was formed. On the second shoot we were able to work in a very calm environment, one where all three of us (the model, the fashion student and myself) felt at ease. The change between the first shoot, which was my first encounter with a new group to work with, and the second is very apparent within the photographs. This has improved my confidence in this setting, as I know it simply takes practise to improve on, and I am confident that if such a big change can be seen between just two shoots, that over time this will improve greatly.

A second way in which my social confidence has been improved is by putting myself in further unknown situations and forcing myself to deal with them. By doing so, and learning I can not only deal with them, but also do so in a productive and very successful way has improved my confidence in my own abilities both technically and socially. This is ultimately translated into my overall confidence, making me more self-assured and confident I can take control of difficult situations resulting in a strong outcome.

Portfolio
By creating an online flickr account, I have uploaded all of my most successful pieces of work, which can be digitally presented to any possible clients or collaborators in the future. As well as this, I have emptied my old art portfolio which was used for interviews, and mounted a select number of images onto boards. These have been put into my portfolio as a physical copy of my work, if a interview should arise and I am in need of a professional portfolio to present. A second student and myself are also in the process of creating a joint website for our commercial work.

Transportation
There are two possible solutions for my transportation issue. The first is to save a suitable amount of money each week, which would allow me the option of a taxi to and from the location if the occasion calls for a large amount of equipment. This will be made possible through my student loans. A second option is to limit the amount of equipment taken to what I can carry. Through University I have access to a wide range of different equipment both large and small, which if chosen correctly can produce very similar results to those achieved with the large lighting sets. Taking the use of an assistant, if large lighting equipment is needed will mean we can carry more equipment when working together.

Language
The language barrier is an issue that needs to be addressed. As I am only fluent in English, this ultimately limits the range of work I can undertake, as I will struggle to work with people of different nationalities. Fortunately, English is the second most widely spoken language in the World, which minimises this weakness. A way in which I am personally going about changing this fact, is by taking a term in a University abroad; Sweden. This will throw me into a completely new culture and expose me to many different exchange students also studying there, and eventually improve my understanding of other languages. Taking a language course will be of great value to me in this respect, and aside from learning Swedish for this trip, I intend to begin lessons in Spanish over the summer.

Exposure
In today’s online-society there are thousands or even millions of people posting photography work hoping to be seen. I am just one of them. By creating a flickr account, constantly posting new work and sharing work will help get me more coverage. My University blog has reached over 12,000 hits already. So I know there are on average about forty people looking at my blog each day, which doesn’t really sound like a lot, but seeing as this is without me sharing my blog information, it is very encouraging. I am unsure how so many people are finding my blog, whether it is through google or simply through WordPress itself. Despite this, I can start trying to increase the number of views I get by sharing my blog through other social media sites such as facebook and twitter. By doing so, and by constantly updating my work, I hope to gain more subscribers who are interested in the development of my work. By maintaining a successful blog I can share the link alongside each email I send, and approach different companies.

Something I have noticed through the blog world, is that once I have had a comment off of another blogger, it encourages me to view their blog and explore their work. So by commenting on others blogs myself, the same result may be achieved. It may encourage the people whose work I comment on to also have a look through mine.

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