Photo Credit: Installation documentation of FORM Collective exhibition in Brighton 2018. Featuring work by June Cadogan, Joanne Coates, Rachael Burns, Kevin Casey, Becky Warnock, Cath Stanley and Liz Tobin.
Applications for Lightbox 2023: a creative collaborative course have just opened. If you're considering applying for the professional development course and want to know what it's like to take part and what impact it can have on your career. Why not read some of the testimonials from past participants here.
If you would like to know more about the course, including how to apply visit the Lightbox page here.
June took part in Lightbox 2017 - 2018. During the Lightbox course she formed a collective called FORM mentored by Nicola Shipley of GRAIN Photography Hub. She is a social and documentary photographer based in London and is the former chair of the RPS Women in Photography group.
“Lightbox was a life changing experience for me, I went from having a very small photography related network which consisted of my degree course peers, to expanding it to include the 5 wonderful female photographers who were part of the Collective we created called FORM. Since the course we have won 2 rounds of Arts Council Funding to create exhibitions at Brighton Photo Festival and FORMAT in Derby. We have all been really busy for the past couple of years, so we haven’t worked on a project, but we get together regularly at exhibitions, we did a small residency in Glasgow, ask each other advice and sounding board with projects and generally support one another. I feel as if I found my tribe and it’s all down to the Lightbox course.”
Simon took part in Lightbox 2015 - 2016. During the course he joined the Strand Collective with the industry mentor Dewi Lewis. As a collective they exhibited work at the Brighton Photo Fringe Festival and Hull International Photography Festival with their collective exhibition Second Skin.
“Taking part in Lightbox came at a very crucial time for me, it allowed me to hear from professionals working in the photography industry to appreciate how it worked, offering me the chance to consider where I could operate within the industry given my interests and strengths. It gave me confidence to explore and allowed me an insight into the types of work that I did and didn't want to be making. It also gave me the opportunity to work collaboratively, to see what I could contribute in a group setting and learn from others, which as a photographer now is much rarer than I'd like! I established relationships which I still maintain to this day and have aided me both creatively and professionally, for which I am very grateful.”
Since taking part in the course Simon has had multiple exhibitions including at Southbank Centre, Manchester International Festival, the Whitworth and Open Eye Gallery. His project Loved&Lost which invites participants to explore their experience of loss through restaging a family photograph, was seen on BBC TV.
Claire Walmsley Griffiths
Claire took part in Lightbox 2017 - 2018 and was mentored by Kate Jesson at Manchester Art Gallery to form the collective Disparity. Based in Blackpool, Claire explores the possibilities of human connection through photography. She regularly works with creative institutions including the Grundy Art Gallery, The Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Idle Women and Blackpool Grand Theatre.
“Being part of Lightbox in 2018 really helped support and raise personal confidence. From expanding my peer group to finding new ways to exhibit and network. I really recommend taking part.”
Drew Forsyth is an Award Winning Portrait Photographer & Director, working for commercial and advertising clients in the UK and around the world. He took part in Lightbox in 2017 - 2018 and subsequently exhibited work as part of the Liverpool Biennial Fringe.
“Lightbox was a fascinating experience that I would recommend to photographers at any level - regardless of experience. What Lightbox provided me with was an opportunity to step back and look at my career and practise on a macro scale, and really dig down into my own processes and creativity. The practical exercises, feedback from peers and mentors, and interactive sessions, provided me with skills that I use on a daily basis in my professional practice.”
Cath Stanley is a documentary and fine art photographer. She took part in Lightbox in 2018 and helped create the collective FORM which went on to exhibit at Format Photography Festival and Brighton Photography Festival.
“I completed the Lightbox programme in 2018, this experience helped to shape and form my creative practice. Lightbox provided a space to gain further knowledge around funding, arts council applications, industry and marketing.”
Lucy is a documentary photographer based in Yorkshire. She joined Lightbox Online in 2021 and formed the collective Ink with five other photographers based across the UK.
“I loved being part of Lightbox. I work mostly on my own - based in deeply rural Yorkshire - but Lightbox connected me with brilliant photographers, mentors and industry experts. The work we produced together during Lightbox was shown at Diffusion Festival in Cardiff, Open Eye Gallery’s LOOK Photo Biennial in Liverpool and Brighton's Photo Fringe. We still meet up when we can, either at exhibitions or festivals, but perhaps most valuable to me is at any time being able to ask each other’s advice and talk through ideas - everyone in the group has different expertise.”
Tristan Poyser took part in Lightbox 2015 - 2016. As a member of Strand Collective he collaborated with Simon Bray to produce the project Duality. An exploration into the way in which our uniform, workwear and casual clothes influence the perception of the individual. Alongside exhibiting at major UK photography festivals this project was profiled on the BBC website.
"Lightbox gave me the much-needed time, tools, and support to focus on my contemporary photography practice. It introduced me to a network of peers and industry professionals that I still lean on, and collaborate with 8 years later! As well as making new work that was exhibited in The Brighton Photo Fringe, Hull international Photography Festival amongst others."
Since graduating from the Lightbox course, Tristan has continued his successful commercial photography practice whilst extending his contemporary artistic practice and academic research. He now holds a Lecturer position at the University of Cumbria teaching on their BA Photography course. His recent project The Invisible In-Between saw him spend three years researching, travelling and photographing the full length of the 510km Irish border in response to the Brexit referendum.
Conrad took part in Lightbox 2017 - 2018 and formed the collective Disparity. They exhibited ‘Positions of Power’ at the Liverpool Biennial Fringe. Conrad is a successful freelance lighting assistant and digi-op based in Manchester.
“Lightbox was a great, immersive introduction into the world of Art Photography. I would recommend it to anyone who work in the commercial side of photography and wants to broaden their practise. It was great to meet a roomful of like minded people. 5 years later I still regularly meet up with friends I made on the course.”
Roxana took part in the Hang exhibition programme in 2008 - 2009, which was a forerunner to Lightbox. She came across Redeye's website and applied whilst still living in Mexico and preparing to move to the UK.
"It was such a great starting point for my career in the UK and if it hadn't been for that I would have struggled to connect with the photographic world."
Murray Ballard, Chris Nunn, Seba Kurtis, Jill Cole and Alison Stolwood were some of the photographers she worked alongside during the nine-month-long workshop, some of which I have kept in touch with. On the programme, she learned a lot about other methods of shooting photography projects, photographic styles and narratives, as well as being presented with the opportunity to get introduced to the photography scene in a country she did not know.
"During the workshops held at Impressions Galler (Bradford) we were introduced to a wealth of established photographers and professionals such as Joy Gregory, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, and Shirley Read; Anne McNeil and Pippa Oldfield, director and head of programme at Impressions Gallery respectively at the time, have provided me with absolutely invaluable advice throughout different stages of my career."
"It is not easy to find opportunities in the photography world especially as a newcomer with no professional connections. Thanks to being part of the programme, I secured my first job in the UK. I feel lucky to have been at the right place at the right time and with the right people at a very early stage in my career here. Hang was a step in the right direction without a doubt.
The experience definitely gave me the tools and confidence I needed to kick-start my photographic career in the UK.
after the yearlong programmed ended, I carried on following the work of Impressions Gallery and attended one of their portfolio review's with guest photographer Paul Reas. He and Anne McNeil were the first to see a rough edit of a long-term personal collaborative project I had been working on and it was a decisive moment. A couple of years later, the project resulted in a unique book that sold out within three weeks from its release."