Interview : “Students who stayed at Nottingham”

30th September 2016
by Lamar Francois
  • Trent Building , University of Nottingham

I thought I’d share with you an extended version of an interview I gave to Leftlion appearing in their “Welcome to Nottingham” student guide for new students starting their university courses this week.

Some things I mention are about my approach to photography , what motivates me – and the importance of making the most of your time at university to really discover what you are about – and what you are capable of. It’s more difficult therafter as you would need to be working and solving other people’s problems – but you can be very self-focused at university , and with a lot of free time (lot of late night photography sessions at Highfields for example!)

Studying subjects very deeply to the edge of current knowledge , as I did with my MSci has really also helped my creativity – I needed to creative to understand , for example how pertubation theory could be applied to quantum systems…

Tell us a bit about your experiences at university (both of your course and of the institution)? Did you enjoy it? Did you learn interesting things? (LL)

Me :University has provided me with a wide variety of experiences – the most valuable of which is the opportunity to really explore and learn about yourself and gain a measure of independence along the way , as well as make lasting connections. People you meet through SU Societies , course mates etc are all valuable.

 Another valuable thing is the opportunity to push yourself to the forefront of what’s known in the field you’ve studied and learn from people who are experts in their fields and recognized internationally.

Has your degree in MSci Mathematical Physics helped much with the photography?

Having read Mathematical Physics has really helped give a background to quite a lot of the technical aspects of photography , from the inverse square law to how exactly digital sensors “interpret” light – which frees me to focus more on the artistic and expressive aspects of the medium. It’s also helped inspire a methodical approach to the work which I produce so far by giving me the tools to refine my ideas.

What are the best things about being a professional photographer?

The best thing about being a photographer is the opportunity to be able to use your ingenuity to creatively solve quite a few problems you’ve been thrown – as well as having the opportunity to share the magic of finding new ways of seeing things and inspire other people to do likewise.

I love problem solving.

Why did you choose to stay in Nottingham?

I chose to remain in Nottingham as I was already settled in the area having grown up locally , having had a good base of friends and family around – and also as the city has quite a bit to offer in terms of the creative industries.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students nowadays what would it be?

University is an invaluable opportunity to really focus and discover where your passions lie while as you have a lot of time to play with , more than you would afterwards – especially in the first year of your course as a “fresher”- try and make the most of it. By doing this I discovered photography – just at the end of my first term in 2008 , and it’s grown since then!



I help creative people and brands be heard through applying my unique vision of photography as both an art and a science.
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