My journey into photography

My journey into photography

When I was little no one in my family wanted to give me a camera, as I was told to be quite bad at taking pictures. It was always my sister the one who used to take the family portraits. Little did I know that many years later photography would become my true passion. 

At school, I was not particularly a brilliant student. However, I was really into art and the teachers always said how good I was at anything arty. Unfortunately, when I turned 16 I had a long-standing illness which prevented me to pursue any kind of further education. Despite this, I kept drawing at any opportunity and gave my drawings as gifts to family and friends. 

During adulthood, I worked in reprographics so this gave me the opportunity to learn more about graphics. Thanks to working in that area, I was given the opportunity to complete a free course on Photoshop. I became fascinated by all the possible opportunities that this software provided. At that time, I purchased a graphic tablet and started drawing digitally in my own time. 

Time passed and a series of events led me to photography unexpectedly. For personal reasons, I moved to the UK and this was the initial turning point. Most of my friends worked at Plymouth University so we used to meet for lunch there. Almost every day I crossed the art and design building and became fascinated with the work produced by the students and staff. I decided to go there and draw in the cafeteria in my free time. Students and staff stopped to see my work and it was a great opportunity to get to know more people. Thanks to that, I was invited to the final degree show and I wished I could attend lessons, learn more about art, and had the opportunity to showcase my work. 

Seeing the degree show made me realize I could still fulfil my dream of studying art. I decided to sign up to study a Foundation diploma in art and design online. My initial intention was to specialise in fine art as I was really into drawing. However, a number of events pushed me into photography. While studying the foundation I became ill again and drawing was not an option. During that time, my partner bought a digital reflex camera as she wanted to learn photography. However, she was so busy she did not have the time to use the camera so I started learning instead. I took the manual of the camera to learn the very basics (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO). I became so fascinated that while completing my foundation I studied additional courses on photographic theory, lighting, composition, etc. I decided that I wanted to specialise in photography and not in fine art anymore. I got a distinction on the course and before finishing it some of my images were featured in Vogue Italia. However, I decided quite late I wanted to go to uni so I did not have many options by the time I decided to apply. 

Despite this, I got accepted at the University of Chester to do my degree in photography. I still remember my very first day at university...I felt like a child with a brand-new toy (super happy and excited). I graduated with Distinction (average of 93) and they awarded me the valedictory prize for outstanding consistent performance on the course. After that, I decided I wanted to continue studying so completed a MA in Fine art while working as a photography tutor with the Online College of Art and Design. 

I feel really lucky not only to have found my passion but also to have the opportunity to teach students about photography. I really enjoy seeing their progress and how their skills develop and turn into photographers. 

If you would like to study art and design and pursue your dream careers do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Alberto Gonzalez

Photography tutor


Alberto leads the Art and Design course for Access Courses Online. He studied with our sister school, Online College of Art and Design, on which he is now the lead tutor for Photography; he is a well respected, and much loved, member of our team and school. Alberto will ensure you have all the tools and support you need to be successful on your art course. His outstanding achievements, both personally and professionally within art, as well as education, are an inspiration to us all.

We look forward to welcoming you into our online community to work with our fantastic team.

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