About This Year | Ellen Rogers

Ellen Rogers

About This Year

About This Year

We have here new prints made with eco developer, the test prints, in my sketch book and a few colour film versions...


This year I’ve mostly been trying to behave myself. This is to say I’ve kept my head down so I can make some headway in my PhD. I’ve had to overcome my first exam, which at CSM is called The Confirmation. This required me to hand in a literature review and undertake an oral exam. My examiner was Professor Val Williams, an authority on many of the photographic histories my study intersects with. This was a real learning curve for me and a humbling one too. As you can imagine, my feedback was that my skills lay in practice, talking about photographic practice, intersecting with photographic practice etc; writing on the otherhand was, evidently, not so much fun for me or the reader. 

I'm in my third year of study, and in my first year, one of my supervisors noticed several issues; the university then sent me on a learning review which I was very lucky to attend. They decided that I had dyslexia and ADHD, which is very common with creatives—possibly more common than not. I hadn’t ever considered anything like this, and it certainly doesn’t get in the way of anything, particularly creative work. But I struggled with the reading and writing load, so I was given many tools to overcome this. One of the methods for my writing is dictation. Now I can access various apps which read books aloud to me too. This means I can wade through large numbers of text much more easily than before. I certainly hadn’t realised just how much work was involved in doing a PhD. And since I started my studies, I have become a Senior Lecturer in photography.

My workload is, to put it lightly, almost workable. I certainly don’t know how anyone does this with a young family but my students and their energy pull me through it everytime. My freelance work now mostly has to wrap into my studies or teaching. This shoot is an example of just that, and the next shoot I show here on my blog will also be a lighting test. I worked with one of my colleagues, Michele Turriani, in workshops to work out this lighting. It referenced Paulo Roversi. We used Mimi McVeigh, as I used her many times, and she was set up to work with students at the University. Projects like this are wonderful because they allow me to teach as I learn too. The clothing is by Sonia Trefilova who is an absolute gem of creativity, beautiful, lively, and creative; I’ve enjoyed so much working with her in the past year.

Oh, and I passed my exam!

The assistants for this shoot were two of my students - Rosie Stewart Tomes and John Steven Martinez

Leave a comment: