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Gulsum from Turkey, BA in Photography

Gulsum Omer Ozturk is from Turkey, and is currently studying for a BA (Hons) in Photography, Level 5 with the Interactive Design Institute (IDI) – which is partnered with the University of Hertfordshire to deliver UK degrees online to students around the world.

Gulsum talked to us about how her degree has changed her perspective, and given her the ambition to try and become a photographer for National Geographic (scroll down to see some of her photos!)…

Why did you choose a UK qualification?

'I think UK universities have a great reputation across the world, and most qualifications you can gain will be respected anywhere in the world. The UK is an excellent place to get your advanced degree, build your confidence and gain experience to build up a successful career.'

What did you find most inspiring about your degree and institution?

'There are great opportunities in the photography industry for people who have an interest in culinary arts or advertising. This can be a promising career in the field of photography.'

How did your perception of your subject change as a result of your studies?

'I can say that the course changed the way I’m looking at things around me. I started believing that using a camera gives your life another meaning; your images start telling you stories and every image has its own story.'

What did you like most about the teaching methods and styles you experienced?

'Studying by online distance learning with IDI provides you with a flexible way of studying; you can study at a rate that suits you. Also, you are always encouraged to follow your interests, to ask questions and develop your own opinions, all of which will go a long way in preparing you for the workplace or for further research.'

What does being ‘creative’ mean to you?

'For me, it’s being able to use my words as a way to ideas and inspiration.'

What advice would you give students applying to your degree course?

'As a photographer, you really do need to think outside the box and get creative, and the partnership between IDI and the University of Hertfordshire offered me a good opportunity to achieve all my goals. Another reason I liked IDI and the University of Hertfordshire was that all staff members are really helpful and friendly – I’m getting all the support I need.'

All images ©Gulsum Omer Ozturk

What trip, workshop, course or speech really stands out in your memory?
'Dialogue in the Dark exhibitions – you are being led by blind guides through a specially constructed and completely darkened space. It was the best experience and most remarkable memory of my life; it shows that a world without sight is not poorer, just different, and it really changed my perspective.'

What are your ambitions for the future?

'My ambition is to have my own studio/business and my own assistant, as I believe that would help me to create more professional and creative images. As a food photographer I would be honoured to see one of my photographs published in a magazine or cookbook.

'As a portrait photographer, my wish would be to see some of my work in an art gallery. I also have a dream to write a children’s storybook with my photographs. My goal for the next 10 years is to become a photographer for National Geographic.'

What’s your number one memory from your time as a student? The one you’d tell your grandchildren about?

'One of my projects was about landscape photography, and I had to climb a mountain to shoot some great images of the sunset. I remember that it was freezing and I had a long walk to reach the top of the mountain. At the end, I was amazed by the incredible view of the sunset. It was a really memorable trip and I’m excited to tell my grandchildren about it.'

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