With the course returning on 29th September 2018 we caught up with recent alumni, Emilia Lombardo, who, after taking our Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course was accepted into the Royal College of Art’s acclaimed MA Photography programme.

© Emilia Lombardo

What is your name and where do you come from?

My name is Emilia Lombardo, and I come from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I lived there until I was 20, then I moved to Paris for studying and working where I lived 16 years until I moved to London in late 2016.

What is your occupation?

I am a software developer. I work as a contractor, and I’m currently working for the fashion industry. I’m also the creator and co-owner of the first raw vegan restaurant in France, 42 Degrés, and I’m an artist using photography as my primary medium.

What courses did you study on?

I did Beginners Drawing, Experimental Drawing, Beginners Photography – Film & Darkroom, and I recently I did the Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course which is a photography foundation course in one year.

© Emilia Lombardo

What did you enjoy most about your course?

Learning about critical theory and how to integrate it into my practice.

How has this course benefited your career and personal development?

It gave me the structure I was looking for, and it pushed my practice to the next level.

© Emilia Lombardo

Having taken the Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course, in what way did the class as a whole benefit each other’s development?

I think the best part was to collaborate with such a variety of beings; the class was very eclectic. We were all from different job backgrounds, ages, countries, and each one of us had our distinctive styles and way of understanding, and practice photography. I believe this kind of environment is the best to evolve, not only as an artist but a person in general.

…and what was the tutoring like upon the course?

It was great! Peter Cattrell is an exceptional teacher, he is very pedagogic and available for all of us. I also appreciated the fact he comes from a literature background, so he has a significant amount of knowledge on critical theory and was always advising us about books and authors to read.

We also had many professional photographers who came for talks and workshops. It was amazing to hear about their practice and to discuss their work. And we got the chance to visit artist studios and learn about techniques like wet plate collodion or cyanotypes, which I’m particularly interested in, and I’m now experimenting with these kinds of techniques thanks to these workshops.

© Emilia Lombardo

How did the Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course specifically contribute towards your successful RCA application?

I had never previously thought about applying to the RCA, or any MA in the first place. I’m mostly a self-taught photographer, I learnt alone, and I’ve been practising photography for more than ten years, but I never had any academic experience. Having never been in an art university before (I studied science), I sometimes felt  I had no structure for my photography practice. When I started the Photography Professional Practice course, I realised how great it was to be inspired by teachers and colleagues, and to be motivated to produce a body of work, to read and write about critical theory. I quickly understood I didn’t want to stop after this course and I looked for a good MA in Photography, so I just applied to the RCA, and they accepted me.

What experiences/learning will you be taking with you to the RCA and what are you looking forward to learning, going forward?

I’m just hoping to continue evolving and experimenting; I’m always learning and reading, and trying to integrate it into my practice. Also, I’m terrible at self-promotion, maybe the RCA experience will help me with that.

© Emilia Lombardo

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking a full-time portfolio preparation or short course at Central Saint Martins?

Just do it 🙂

It’s a fantastic experience. I had a great time, and I learnt a lot.

What do you believe is integral to the work of an artist, in any discipline?

Introspection and research.

© Emilia Lombardo

What 3 words best describe your short course experience at CSM?

Inspiring, professional, fun.

Want to see more of Emilia’s Impressive work? Check out their Instagram (@lombardo.em), and upcoming website. If you’re feeling inspired, there are plenty of courses available to book now on the CSM Short Courses website. Applications for the next Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course, starting this September, are now being accepted.