22RUNWAY: the graduate show by University of Hertfordshire

Gerard Ortiz

September 11, 2022

Jessica Miller visits 22RUNWAY the graduate show by Final year BA (Hons) Photography students from University of Hertfordshire. Below, the students share more about their projects and advice for those looking to get into photography.

Ellie Dee – Girls

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a 24-205mm lens, studio lighting with flash.

Can you tell me about yourself and how you got into photography?

I got into photography when I was younger always having a camera in my hand, bossing people around pretending to be on set, my love and passion grew when I studied photography for my GCSE, followed by college studies and a degree.

two models pose editorial photography by university of hertfordshire graduate

Image: Ellie Dee

Can you tell me about your project?

Girls is a series that explores the representation of women within the fashion industry, whilst positively exploring ideas around feminism and diversity. Plus, how an image can impact somebody’s confidence. My aim was to take images of all backgrounds, ethnicities, shapes and body types in hope it would empower women when they see an accurate representation of themselves within the media and recognising the beauty within.

How did you select the images for your show?

I chose three images that I felt showed diversity, feminism, strength and power within an image, in hope the viewers were immediately able to identify the themes within my project.

two models pose editorial photography by university of hertfordshire graduate

Image: Ellie Dee

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to continue shooting and developing my portfolio – there are so many ideas and shoots I want to achieve.  In the next year, I am hoping to do some assisting work with some fashion photographers before getting a job within the fashion industry being a photographer whether this is for an agency or an individual brand.

Do you have any advice for others looking to get into or study photography?

  • Just go for it and ask for as much help and feedback you can – it can be hard but the consistency and hardwork will begin to show within your work.
two models pose editorial photography by university of hertfordshire graduate

Image: Ellie Dee

Nadine Scarlett – An Ode to

Can you tell me about yourself and how you got into photography?

I am a young, black female photographer who is based between Luton and London. I have just finished studying BA Photography at the University of Hertfordshire and am now looking to taking a dive into a full-time creative career. My work sits in many genres but on an overview, I would describe it as “concept-led fashion” photography, whereby I am aiming to diversify the industry bringing faces of all different cultures and backgrounds in front of my lens.

I originally got into photography through art. I was mainly an Art & Design student until I decided to choose photography at A Level as a complimentary subject to my others. Thinking it would be “easy” and “just taking photos”. I then fell in love with shooting and began to do it more frequently alongside my A&D work, then pursuing at Undergraduate level.

close up detailing hair

Image: Nadine Scarlett

Can you tell us more about your project?

An Ode To evolved very quickly and unexpectedly. I knew for my Final Major Project, I wanted to do something about black culture. It was an important topic as a culmination of my own life experiences as well as ones I had experienced in university. My culture has always been of importance to me, but the past 2-3 years I have really felt myself engaging in who I really am and where I come from. Taking more of an interest in my family back home in Jamaica as well as paying attention to subcultures I exist in here in the UK. The Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020 really moved me and made me proud to be a part of something for my own people – it only felt right to bring it back home with this work.

I felt it was important to pay homage to those back home who brought us to the UK but also recognise the presence we have here. So, through an extensive amount of research including documentaries, interviews and more, I was able to tell the story of ‘An Ode To” : a series that recognises the presence of black culture throughout British history. It seeks to remind us of where we have come from and who we are. I want to uphold and acknowledge those who have paved the way for the birth of black culture today.”

a girl poses outside a pink door of london house university of hertfordshire student black heritage

Image: Nadine Scarlett

How did you select the photos for your show?

It was a difficult choice because, if you’ve seen the book, you will realise I only displayed one chapter out of nine! I sat down with one of my lecturers one day with mini prints of all my shoots so far and had to decide which chapter was strongest. Was I going to display one or two or all? It took a while! I wanted one that was fun, not too serious, but was relatable to all audiences – hence why I chose An Ode To The Grove.

The area of West London is so iconic and recognisable, and the shoot just had plenty of content to display in terms of location, styling etc. A shoot that is memorable to many.

What are your future plans?

I definitely have a passion for travelling and want to take my lens everywhere! But before getting to that stage, I want to be able to establish a creative career working with other photographers and learning on sets because education doesn’t stop here, right? I just won the University of Hertfordshire “New Blood Portfolio Prize” which is a one year mentorship programme with photo agent, Tom Burns, so I am looking forward to that too!

a portrait of a girl wearing long plaited pigtails posing on london road university of hertfordshire student black heritage

Image: Nadine Scarlett

Do you have any advice for others wanting to get into or study photography?

  • I f you choose to study photography, make the most of the kit and facilities! I only really started using the kit in my final year and I wish I did before. When you get out of education, everything costs a lot more so make the most of it whilst it’s free- honestly!
  • Also, just enjoy the process! It took me a while to get where I am now, and I still have a MASSIVE way to go and a lot to learn. But try find your niches. Whatever you love shooting and take interest in in life, shoot it. Then shoot it again, and again, and again. The more you shoot, the better you will develop and realise what you love most and what you do best!

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself or your work?

My work has been shortlisted twice in the past year- once for the Belfast Photo Festival and the Palm* Studios Awards. And I have so much more to give.

My main goal is always to tell a story. Where it’s my own or someone else’s – everyone has a story to tell – I am just the narrator.

a girl poses by white classic car london university of hertfordshire student black heritage

Image: Nadine Scarlett

Leigh-anne Bellgard – Equine Beauty

Can you tell me about yourself and how you got into photography?

I am a graduated student from the University of Hertfordshire. I specialise in equine photography capturing memories between horse and rider. I found my passion of equine photography through my love for horses since I was young.

Can you tell me about your project?

My goal for this project was to capture British breeds in their British environment. Horses are amazing creatures but breeds such as the shires are considered “at risk” which is a shame as they have a historical history behind them. Photographing the breeds roles in the industry and expressing them in a way that is not a image of a horse standing towards the camera, but allows the audience to understand and admire their beauty. The most difficult task was finding models for this project! Warm bloods and thoroughbreds are easy to find, but shires are difficult.

close up details of horse and saddle uniersity of hertfordshire

Image: Leigh-anne Bellgard

How did you select the photos for your show?

For this project I captured over 2,000 images from all the photoshoots I did. I then narrowed it down to 50 images I felt were good enough, a skill you learn a uni is to always think about the story behind the images and how does this image express my project. I would create contacts sheets and print them off A3 size, this allows me to look at my images altogether and see which ones had the strongest link to the project. I did not want a boring project with horses posing towards the camera in a sequence, but images that capture the bodies and more close up details of the models.

close u details of black and white horse

Image: Leigh-anne Bellgard

What are your future plans?

I currently run a small equine photography business Leigh-anne Bellgard’s photography which I started in 2020 before lockdown. My goal is to become a successful photographer around Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, but branch out into the world.

Do you have any advice for others looking to get into or study photography?

My top tips for other photographer would be learn how to use Lightroom and photoshop, there are so many tools which are very helpful when editing, it has taken me 2 years to finally feel comfortable using them. Another tip would be to always photograph, I take my canon digital camera or film camera out to place I know I want to photograph, even if you are just seeing those photographs.

close up details of horse hooves

Image: Leigh-anne Bellgard

BA (Hons) Photography at University of Hertfordshire

Find out more about studying the BA Hons Photography course at University of Hertfordshire here.




See more student work here:

Behind the scenes of Middlesex summer exhibition

Westminster graduates demonstrate resilience in degree show

Falmouth students share diverse techniques in Gweles exhibition

UWE students share first exhibition post-pandemic

University of Gloucestershire students share new perspectives at photojournalism show

Middleman: the degree show by University of Portsmouth

Birmingham City students: elevating into the photographic industry

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