Content Creation | Oliver Crowe on Event Photography

SAE Content Creation student Oliver Crowe may only be in his first year but has already achieved a great deal, taking photos documenting the opening of new co-working space, Fold, and the Ikigai Japanese Festival. 

He was recently called on by our partners at Cogent to film and photograph various events at the Fold. Recently, Oliver was given just a few minutes notice to photograph the Mayor of Warwick as he unveiled The Creative Quarters Art Installations in the courtyard.

Liane Green, Course Leader for the Content Creation and Online Marketing Degree, said: “Ollie is one of those undergraduates who embraces every opportunity given to him in the pursuit of expanding his creative knowledge and experience. He attends every lecture, seminar and workshop with enthusiasm and with the desire to investigate and establish his place in the future of content creation.”

In our interview, Oliver tells us more about his experiences on the course, the opportunities it’s created and his future ambitions. If you’re interested in following in his footsteps, then get in contact with our team now.

How did you start your creative journey? 

I’ve always loved being creative, and, as I went through school, I found photography and video to be my calling. After I finished college, lockdown happened, and I ended up working for a couple of years. 

I started doing freelance photography when I was 15 and began building up a portfolio. I was walking through Leamington, which is where I’m from, and saw the construction sign outside the Fold: they were building this SAE university. I went onto the website, saw the Content Creation courses, and thought the syllabus looked brilliant. It was all completely by chance. 

How did you get started in photography? 

I would take photos for farm shops, gyms, take head shots of people, during the pandemic I did some weddings. Due to the restrictions, these were much smaller crowds than you’d anticipate. I was about 18 at the time, and was forced to learn how to communicate with clients pretty quickly. I meant I lost the anxiety you experience when first starting out. 

When I saw the SAE website and the course, it seemed like a brilliant place to build up my skill set, see the industry from within and be surrounded by experienced professionals. 

How have you found the course? 

I’m still in my first year at the beginning of my second trimester. So far, we’ve studied photography and web design, now we’ve moved onto filmmaking and podcasting. 

It’s been great working within the industry. Within the first six weeks of being here I had the chance to shoot the Japanese Ikigai festival which was brilliant. It’s not often you get to take pictures of Samurai performing, it was a really unique filming opportunity. 

The photography module gave me complete freedom to explore a new area too. I picked macro insect photography as I wanted to do something obscure and niche. So I went down to a butterfly farm in Stratford and took photos of butterflies, again something I wouldn’t have been able to do if it wasn’t for the course. I’ve been able to add so much more to my portfolio. 

What have been the key things you’ve learned? 

The highlights for me have been the people you meet and the opportunities gained through it. My tutor Liane is a fantastic interviewer and this is a side of the industry I’ve not explored before. So being able to learn from someone with lots of experience in this field is amazing. 

I’ve enjoyed working at Junction Eleven too, seeing what industry professionals do is invaluable, it’s like being able to take a peek behind the curtain of what life is really like in the sector. You don’t usually have access to this unless you get hired and to be hired you need experience. 

What have you added to your skill set through your studies? 

Yes, as far as photography and video, it’s been building on the fundamentals which has proved to be useful. 

With web design and podcasting, these are new areas to me. I ended up getting a first in this project which was surprising. It’s meant I could build a website for my mum’s face-painting business. I’ve been an occasional consumer of podcasts but never created them before, so it was great to get to grips with new software, even some elements of Premier Pro on the audio side, I’d never covered to such an extent. 

What future projects have you got coming up alongside your studies? 

I’ve signed a contract to work at Junction Eleven which we’re just working out when I start. With the Fold, I am their adhoc photographer, so if they need someone to take photos, then they come and grab me. It’s an unofficial position but is a lot of fun. A few weeks ago I was taking pictures of the Mayor! He was unveiling a sculpture, and they needed some pictures so I was asked. 

It’s fun and offers constant exposure to industry practises – and constantly being able to hone my skills and develop new experiences. 

Have you any advice for aspiring content creatives? 

Saying yes is a great way forward. Half the time it doesn’t even feel like an opportunity – but if someone asks you to be on their podcast, just agree – everything is a good chance to develop new relationships, learn a skill or just try something new. 

Having a basic knowledge of the editing suites is certainly beneficial, for you to know your way around a camera, audio and web design, including Photoshop too. They do a great job of teaching you this at SAE but it’s certainly helped me to have some previous knowledge.  

I was comfortable with a camera, so focused more on web design and develop this to a decent level. 

How have you found meeting Industry professionals? 

We have weekly/biweekly guest lecturers covering a wide range of topics – podcasting specialists, game specialists, social media marketing, YouTube marketing, actors, there’s a wide range of experts with a crossover of skills, topics and advice.

You can go and have a chat afterwards and open up other opportunities. It’s all about building relationships which are really exciting and beneficial. 

Connect with Oliver on Instagram for more information on him and his work.

Study Content Creation at SAE 

Whether you want to work in photography or video content, SAE’s Content Creation and Digital Marketing Degree could be perfect for you.

Our degree will provide you with the skills, experience and knowledge to create images, video and other forms of engaging online content.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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