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Alumni Spotlight – BA in Photographic Media

Since graduating in 2014 Tomasz Kornas has successfully established himself as a wedding photographer. Widely published and recommended, his wedding photographs have recently been published in Confetti Ireland.

Name: Tomasz Kornas

Course: BA in Photographic Media

Year of graduation: 2014

Nationality: Polish

Home Town / Country: Warsaw, Poland

Tell Us About Yourself …

I’m 29 years old and based in Portlaoise, Co. Laois. I always dreamt about being a full-time professional in the photography industry and that dream has now come true after graduating last year from Griffith’s photography degree.

What are you doing now?

I decided to pursue a career in wedding photography. I wanted to offer something quite unique so I focused on working with couples who are open to new ideas and unique styles with the ultimate aim of recording a beautiful day for their families and friends. Using a documentary style when photographing at weddings helps me to stay creative and innovative with my work. I have now established myself in the Irish wedding photography industry and currently work on providing a personalised, tailored service to my brides and grooms.

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What is it like to work in the photography Industry in Ireland?

Wedding photography is highly competitive, so you need to be able to stand out from the crowd and offer something more than just beautiful photographs to your clients.

Can you tell us a little about the different photography jobs you’ve had since graduating?

Since graduating I have worked on a few commercial assignments. The main aim of these assignments was to create and improve the visual representations of businesses’ products and services, with the view to increasing revenue. At the same time I was working hard to raise my profile in the local wedding photography industry and this initial effort helped me to establish myself as an experienced, professional photographer relatively quickly.

What do you foresee as the main challenges for photographers over the next 5 – 10 years?

The biggest challenge for all photographers will be to stay creative and unique. As the cost of photographic equipment is relatively low and within easy reach of anyone who wants to start photography, it’s inevitable that the competitiveness within the industry will only keep on increasing.

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Do you feel there many job opportunities in the sector at the moment?

There are many photography job opportunities out there. Couples are becoming even more creative with the ideas and planning for their wedding day, including destination and themed weddings. There is always going to be a demand for capturing couples’ special moments in a professional way. Just over 20,000 marriages take place every year in Ireland so with the recent referendum legalising same-sex marriages this will increase and there will be many opportunities available to aspiring professional photographers of the future.

How has your photography degree from Griffith College helped you in your career?

A photography degree has really helped kick-start my photography career. I learnt many creative, technical and business skills that were invaluable when I started my own photography business. The wide variety of subjects and projects that I had to undertake during the degree helped me to grow as a person and explore my creativity. The three years at Griffith also gave me the strong foundations and confidence to build rapport with each of my wedding couples and successfully deliver high quality images of their special day. I also learnt the essential communication skills to deliver presentations to large groups of people and the confidence I now have helps me take command of key moments throughout the wedding day.

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Why did you choose Griffith?

When I decided to study a photography degree Griffith College was one of very few colleges in Ireland that provided a three-year photography programme. After visiting and Griffith open day and meeting photography lecturers I realised that the photography degree teaching and learning styles were both professional but also quite informal and relaxed and I knew this would be the right place for me.

What did you like most about Griffith?

The College’s community-feel makes it a really great environment in which to study. The excellent tailored support from tutors ensured that I didn’t miss any opportunities to learn and improve and I met so many great friends and professional contacts whilst there.

Would you recommend the course, the College and city to other students?

Definitely. In addition to the supportive professional lecturers and the positive learning environment, you will meet so many new people with similar interest to yours, and you will be able to grow as a photographer. The location of the College’s campus is great as it’s close to the city centre. I commuted into Dublin every day and it was very easy for me to travel to and from the College.

What is you advice for students considering studying a photography degree?

Just enjoy the course, take in all the knowledge, accept challenges, and try your best. If you think about becoming a full-time professional in the industry one day, college study is actually an easier but essential part of the process.

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What are your plans for the future?

My main ambition is to become on of the top wedding photographers in Ireland. I’d also love to establish myself as a destinations wedding photographer for Irish couples looking to get married abroad. Running photography workshops and sharing my knowledge with others is also high on my agenda.

Interview by Lydia Casey

Would you like a career in Photography?

Follow in Tomasz's footsteps and explore photography with Griffith College!