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With his time already split between three jobs, Graham Watson thought that he would never become a professionally accredited photographer. However, after researching his options, he decided that an online course that would allow him to study in his own time presented the perfect opportunity. Now working towards a fully accredited BA (Hons) in photography with IDI, Graham has managed to find a place for Higher Education in his busy life.

Graham’s interest in photography was first sparked when his parents gave him a camera for his 13th birthday and he hasn’t looked back since. Recently, with his good friend (and fellow IDI student), Deborah Priestly, Graham started up his own photography business: NY Images UK. It has proved a successful venture, enrolling over 300 people onto its workshops in the last two years. However, Graham felt he could achieve even more by furthering his own photography skills and decided to become qualified with a BA (Hons) Photography to help him realise his ultimate goal:

“I have one ambition: to be one of the best photographers in the North of England, so having a degree will help me perform at the very top of my game with weddings, portraits and commercial photography.”

As well as co-directing the photography business, Graham works full-time as a bus driver and helps his wife run a busy bed and breakfast. Such a hectic schedule would deter most people from taking on more, but Graham is determined to succeed in photography and simply states, “I don’t want to be driving a bus when I’m 70 years old.”

Initially, Graham had little interest in education, admitting he was, “purposefully stupid at school.” He was offered a second chance to study during an apprenticeship in customer service set up by his employers at the bus company. It was then Graham decided, if he followed a strict regime, he would be able to free up enough time to study photography. He chose IDI due to flexibility of the course and the ease of access to resources:

“I thought that it was certainly worth the risk and, as there are many ways to access the internet, I thought that it shouldn’t be too difficult to juggle everything about.”

With great results so far he is confident he made the right decision:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed dusting down my books, researching images and writing about them. I have suddenly found that I am looking at photographs with a more understanding mind and I have become quite critical about them too. I want to be getting top grades so that I can put this degree to good use with my photography business.”

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