Professional assessment day dawned bright and clear. The brightness of the morning didn’t match my gloomy mood and knotted stomach at all. I’d have been much happier if the weather had been gloomy as well.
Over the last few days I’ve gone through hundreds of photos trying to second guess what the assessor would be looking for. I included personal work, a few baby portraits and some wedding stuff.
The drive down was fairly uneventful, except of course the m61/m60/m62/m6/m56/m53 combo which, as normal, didn’t fail to disappoint. The traffic was nose to tail for a fair portion of the journey, sodding great juggernauts and boy racers all jockeying for position on an overcrowded road. As for me I just kept classic FM on nice and quietly to keep me calm and breathed slowly ‘in through the nose – out through the mouth’ Yup, it’s fair to say that I was nervous.
Arriving in plenty of time I decided a quick jaunt through Chester city centre was exactly the thing to calm the nerves. While I enjoyed the early autumn sunshine I strolled along admiring the scenery and the shops while dodging hoardes of oriental tourists who were being led around by shrill tour guides with umbrellas held aloft signalling when it was time to be ached to the next location for more facts, dates, names and places, far more than they would ever be able to recall even if they wanted to. To be honest most of them weren’t listening to their guide anyway .
For the most part they seedmed to be wandering around in ever decreasing circles gazing skywards and bumping into unwary shoppers. More than once they caused me to chuckle aloud. I did notice a sideways glance or two from other pedestrians as they gave me a wide berth having obviously decided I was an escapee mental patient.
Back at the hotel I walked in with my heart beating like a drum to the room where the assessments were taking place to find…….no -one. Evidence of people having been there but as deserted as the Marie-Celeste.
Have I got it horribly wrong? It did say 1pm on the email, didn’t it?
Just at that a porter came to lock the door. A couple of enquiries later established that everything was running late so the assessors had decided to stop for lunch and would be back later. Good of them to let me know.
Words went through my mind that I’m far too ladylike to share on here. My nerves turned to irritation as I plonked myself on a chair to wait till they decided to resume the proceedings.
Eventually they did come back and I was escorted through to a very personable Scottish chap who looked through my photos with hardly a sound.
‘Oh dear,’ I thought as the silence was starting to deafen me.
“Hhhmmmm, let’s go through them again but this time talk me through them.”
‘Oh God!! He hates them!’ I thought.
Once we started to chat I realised it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. I was so impressed that he had worked out from just a few of my images what pushed my buttons and how to build on what I was already doing, which, incidentally, was declared to be of a good standard for the level I’m at.
He quickly identified my influences and declared that my darker and more gothic work was my strongest and that should be where I should try to build. Dammit! I’ve been trying to keep all that stuff under control since I got my degree amidst cries of, “why can’t you ever just take pretty pictures?”
Coz they’re boring, that’s why.
So, finally I’ve been vindicated!! haha!!
Look out Morticia – here I come!!
Here are some of my photos that got the thumbs up: