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12-07-2017, 05:53 AM   #1
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Moving (back) to UK. Job opportunities?

Hey everyone, I have a fairly complex question to ask and i might need some advice.

Is it possible to move into a new country, know no one and manage to survive with photography?


My story:

I moved back to my home country Cyprus after finishing my Ba and working in UK for a couple of years. 3 years ago i wasn't sure to move back to Cyprus and now i surely regret it. I managed to find some decent paying jobs but they never stick mostly due to the work environment or because of me being unhappy. This year i decided to start a masters degree in Visual Arts (closest i could find to photography), and instead of learning something... anything!... we just sit in a class and watch late 90's BBC Annie Leibovitz documentary in a good day. Heck, my photography lecturer claims digital cameras have max 5 stops of DR, above iso 100 is useless, we need to always manual focus because af is never reliable (we had an exhibition and everybody's photos were super blurry thanks to manual focus and canon 600d + 18-55 combos (hard to mf in that camera)) and all cameras' sync speed is 1/100. That and cancelling classes every 2 weeks was the last straw for me.

My 3 years Cyprus story resulted in me feeling like a cash machine from the education perspective and not satisfied with work perspective. I already don't like living here so why not go back to UK?
Options are crashing at friends either in Stoke on Trent or Swansea or Kent for 1-2 months until i can find a job. But is it even possible to move into a country that you don't know a single person and find work in photography?


Any insights, advice or comments are welcomed.

Sorry if it was a bit too long and repetitive but i am really frustrated here and thank you pentaxforum.

12-07-2017, 06:37 AM   #2
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I would never recommend moving somewhere without having a job secured at the location.

First, I'd look at the following immigration information for EU nationals: EU Citizens Working in the UK

Do bear in mind that to move from an EU country and live here, you must be able to support yourself financially without resorting to public funds / benefits.

Next, I'd have a look at jobs that are currently advertised. This might be a good place to start: Photography Jobs - December 2017 | Indeed.co.uk

I'd submit your CV and a well-put-together covering letter, along with some examples of your work, for each of the roles you like the look of. See what sort of response you get. Whilst I have no experience in the industry, others tell me that it's difficult to get reasonably-well-paid work in photography without fairly extensive experience. You might get some sort of assistant role, but the money will be rather poor.

Good luck!
12-07-2017, 06:45 AM   #3
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One other point I'd make, is that you may still find yourself unhappy with a job or the work environment over here. It's no different to Cyprus (or anywhere else!) in that regard - plus, as you already know, the weather is worse I worked for 28 years in software and banking, and for a good percentage of those years I can tell you I wasn't exactly happy with my job, my bosses, the culture and occasionally working environment. However, a mortgage, family and bills are great motivating factors to stick with a job The majority of people who find decent-paying jobs here in the UK will stick with those jobs whether they like them or not, as they're just not easy to come by.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 12-07-2017 at 06:50 AM.
12-07-2017, 06:50 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I would never recommend moving somewhere without having a job secured at the location.

First, I'd look at the following immigration information for EU nationals: EU Citizens Working in the UK

Do bear in mind that to move from an EU country and live here, you must be able to support yourself financially without resorting to public funds / benefits.

Next, I'd have a look at jobs that are currently advertised. This might be a good place to start: Photography Jobs - December 2017 | Indeed.co.uk

I'd submit your CV and a well-put-together covering letter, along with some examples of your work, for each of the roles you like the look of. See what sort of response you get. Whilst I have no experience in the industry, others tell me that it's difficult to get reasonably-well-paid work in photography without fairly extensive experience. You might get some sort of assistant role, but the money will be rather poor.

Good luck!
Thanks for the information.

I knew some of the basics as i previously worked in UK and it is likely that i will spend a couple of months living off my savings. And heck if i can get a part-time half-decent assistant work that would be great.

Judging from my past experience, i need to earn around 800 pounds to make a living and fully support myself, that is not a terrible hard goal to reach in first few months but finding the job and community is vital.

And thanks for the website again! seems useful

12-07-2017, 07:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by G.E.Zekai Quote
Thanks for the information.
You're very welcome

QuoteOriginally posted by G.E.Zekai Quote
I knew some of the basics as i previously worked in UK and it is likely that i will spend a couple of months living off my savings. And heck if i can get a part-time half-decent assistant work that would be great.

Judging from my past experience, i need to earn around 800 pounds to make a living and fully support myself, that is not a terrible hard goal to reach in first few months but finding the job and community is vital.
I'm going to sound like a dreadful old bore, but please hear me out... I'd really recommend finding work before you move. Rather than living off your savings for a few months (which is money down the drain), ideally you want to protect those and treat them as your emergency back-stop. Everyone fortunate enough to have any savings should have an emergency fund, IMHO. Life has a nasty habit of throwing the unexpected at you - some good, some not so good - and the not-so-good often involves financial expenditure. Then again, you might even need to invest in certain equipment, or perhaps you'd need your own transport for certain jobs.

Right, I'll shut up now!
12-07-2017, 07:12 AM   #6
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You are the banking expert so listening to you is a wise thing to do haha. If it were any other field i would 100% agree with you but photography always feels bit local, mouth to mouth advertisement. Why would anyone hire someone who isn't even in the country yet and not even citizen?

Considering my age, i consider myself having a decent experience in the field but by all means, i am a mediocre photographer.
12-07-2017, 08:05 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by G.E.Zekai Quote
You are the banking expert so listening to you is a wise thing to do haha. If it were any other field i would 100% agree with you but photography always feels bit local, mouth to mouth advertisement. Why would anyone hire someone who isn't even in the country yet and not even citizen?

Considering my age, i consider myself having a decent experience in the field but by all means, i am a mediocre photographer.
I understand where you're coming from...

In my old industry, several of my colleagues had aspirations to work in other countries. Some of them achieved it, but the way they did it - which I think is relevant to any industry, photography included - was to work for companies who provided services internationally. Then, as they built up their experience and reputation in those companies, they asked for opportunities to be posted overseas, or at least visited offices in other countries as part of their work. Once there, they networked with other individuals in the same line of work, and some of them found better job opportunities with different companies in those locations.

Although I never particularly wanted to work abroad, my job took me to a number of different countries, and as I got to know people in those locations, a number of job offers came my way (in fact, I very nearly accepted a job in Washington DC, but decided the time wasn't right for a move).

This approach takes time, but it works - and keeps you gainfully employed while you reach for your goal.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best with it
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