Annie Dyer - BA Photography

Annie Dyer
With a love of photography, Aberdonian Annie Dyer, is graduating with a BA in Photography with Distinction from Gray’s School of Art having gained invaluable experience working with underprivileged young people, whilst collaborating a project with Denis Law Legacy Trust’s Streetsport programme, run in partnership with RGU.

As a school leaver from Hazlehead Academy, Annie headed to North East Scotland College (NESCol) to study a HND in photography studies. This gave her the foundation to apply for a BA Photography Course at Gray’s School of Art from where she hoped to expand her skills as a photographer whilst widening her knowledge of the creative industries.

22 year-old Annie said: “I was attracted to the support and close community of Gray’s School of Art.  My peers also told me that other universities might not be as supportive or encouraging as Gray’s and I was lucky enough to have the grades required to get in. During an Open Day I attended; all the lecturers and staff were so inviting and enthusiastic which left a big impact unlike other open days I'd attended.”

Annie says the opportunities available at RGU at endless and highlights the work experience she gained at the flagship community programme, Streetsport, as a real highlight from her time at Gray’s School of Art.

Annie said: “Whilst studying my BA in Photography, I was given an incredible opportunity to collaborate photography projects with the Denis Law Legacy Trust and to gain experience at Streetsport. The programme, which is run in partnership with RGU, offers free weekly sports and creative sessions to young people across Aberdeen and aims to tackle anti-social behaviour and to improve the health and wellbeing.

“The experience has been amazing, and I have been very fortunate to improve my technical and soft skills, including my confidence, teamwork and communication skills, whilst doing sport photoshoots with the incredibly supportive team at Streetsport.

“Denis Law Legacy Trust does far more for the children than they realise. They've built a bond with the kids, which allows the children to feel safe and fully aware they can trust the volunteers and staff. The Trust has proven that sporting activities can bring people together, form friendships, improve their health and wellbeing as well as emotional intelligence.

“The Trust also benefits the volunteers. Through the activities, they become leaders and role models that encourage and support the children without fail. With the confident and inspiring volunteers, the children are motivated with a positive impact.

“I was privileged to be allowed to document all the incredible and meaningful work that the charity does and was honoured to be a part of it. When it came to our photoshoots, all the children were excited to be in front of the camera. They had so many ideas and wanted their photographs taken. I was delighted to teach some camera skills to some of the kids which they thoroughly enjoyed. The experience was amazing and all of us were smiling by the end of the session. As an individual I admire all the work they do, and really hope to support the partnership more in the future as I love collaborating with them.”

For child protection reasons, Annie chose not to focus her final year degree show project on her photoshoots at Streetsport, instead she drew on her love of floral photography, and created a project called ‘Exotica Flowers’, which included beautiful images of flowers and plants using perspective, composition and lighting techniques.

Looking back on her time at Gray’s, Annie says: “I am really proud of myself and how far I have come. My experience at RGU, has given me so much confidence and faith in myself believing I can achieve big dreams and there’s more I want to do.  Gray’s is such a supportive art school and offers such a nurturing experience to help you grow and develop your skills.

“My time at RGU has given me more confidence in myself and I’m now planning to study Communication Design at Gray’s. It has also allowed me to build contacts with other photography professionals which I can approach and look up to for inspiration during my projects. I am so positive about my time at Gray’s and look forward to building on the experiences I’ve gained so far.”

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