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29th June 2016

Photography students enjoyed a talk from a very inspirational specialist last week. 

Kate's work

Kate's work

Underwater photography expert Kate Westaway visited St Brendan’s to speak about her work and incredible career in the photography business.

Kate spoke about her early work with photography – no digital cameras meant all of her work was produced through film, which involved waiting to see if you had captured anything interesting. The professional photographer studied at Falmouth University where she could practice underwater photography - something she was very interested in after growing up by the sea. Kate recalled how on her first residential trip to the Red Sea in Egypt she shot several films and developed them when she returned to university after two weeks…she came back with nothing. But instead of giving up she carried on, learning as she went. The visitor told the students how she spent thousands of pounds on her own underwater photography kit, which turned out to be one of the best decisions she made, as one of the first jobs she got was to shoot Angelina Jolie on the set of Tomb Raider!

Kate went on to work on other (above water) projects, with the BBC as a photographer and producer to raise the money needed to fund her own diving trips. This led to her getting shortlisted for a prestigious photography award and to her publishing a book about Humpback Whales. Kate now works photographing babies and their families in underwater shoots across the UK and Ireland and has also recently worked with Bear Grylls!

Throughout the talk, Kate inspired the students to work hard and not give up when things don’t work out, to have a backup plan, network and keep learning. The students enjoyed meeting their very inspirational visitor and felt they had learnt a lot from a very successful female photographer.