Studied :HNC and HND Diploma in Photography
Progression : Level 6 BA Hons Visual Communication (Photography) TOP-UP
When Sindy Weals would go out walking, she’d often stop to admire any wildlife she came across. On one occasion, she took a camera along with her and began taking pictures of what she saw.
Five years on, she is a promising photographer. She also has a growing portfolio of work and college awards to her name. These include being named Adult Student of the Year 2019 and the Higher Education Student of the Year 2019 for Creative Industries.
“Awards like this mean a lot,” said Sindy. “I feel overwhelmed to have won them. I’m inspired to keep going further.”
A growing interest in photography sparked Sindy’s desire to return to education after a 30-year break. However, it was becoming redundant from her job in retail that spurred her to pursue her ambition. Witnessing how passionate her son, Guy was about the photography courses he studied at the college also helped.
“I liked the idea of knowing more about the art of photography and the different techniques involved,” Sindy explained.
For someone used to using her camera spontaneously and hoping she’d captured something good, Sindy discovered a whole new creative approach to her picture taking.
“There’s definitely more of a process to the way I produce my photographs now,” she continued. “Ideas come into my mind and then I want to recreate these in a stills format. Afterwards I can use editing software to achieve exactly what I’ve imagined.”
Having found her creative niche, Sindy was soon putting herself forward for other industry-related photography opportunities made available to college students.
When Walsall NHS Trust’s communications department asked if someone could volunteer to take photographs from them to use in their marketing materials, Sindy jumped at the chance. She has since provided them with images for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as well as other departments to use.
This includes images of different wards and hospital areas plus other behind the scenes activities.
In addition, Sindy has completed her first VIP portrait commission for the Lord Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Paul Bott. These experiences are paving the way towards her becoming a freelance portrait and commercial photographer.
“I grew up thinking I wasn’t clever enough for university – now look at me!” Sindy added.
“That’s not to say my courses were easy. I did struggle a bit.
“The amount of work I was doing was a shock to the system. There were tears, doubts and I did feel some pressure. But I was determined to learn, so I found the willpower.
“And my family, classmates and tutors encouraged me. I’m glad they did.
“My message now to anyone thinking about further and higher education is to just go for it. Follow your dreams – you never know what might happen until you try.”