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Creative pathways – From the classroom to the workplace

I enter the modern looking design lab at NMIT GBlock. I see the Lense based Media students intensely focused on computer screens, and you can feel that inspiration is flowing and the students are loving it. You could hear a pin drop.

Jess Shirley is the lecturer, and remembers being a student in the same classroom only 5 years ago.

Jess is a super talented and creative individual who knows how to take a great photograph. She has worked in the photography / fashion industry and knows how things work in the real world.

She reflects on the amazing journey that has placed her in the lecturers chair and smiles. You can tell she is loving this role.

Jess was a twenty something, solo mum and with 2 little mouths to feed worked as a part time cleaner to get some much needed cash. Jess knew she was capable of a whole lot more. Being in this situation helped motivate her reach out and invest in learning about different options. Some could say it was the perfect storm.

Her teaching style reflects this journey, with a practical twist that has been yielding some very positive results.

The NMIT Lense based Media class have been involved in a powerful collaboration with Uniquely Nelson / Morrison Square. Students are placed in real life work situations and generate content for local business in the form of Photography, Video and even Cinemagraphs.

This is the third year that Simon Duffy, the Manager of Uniquely Nelson has been working with Jess and her Lenses Based students. “ It allows students to experience and gain knowledge of the inner workings of  a small to medium sized business in Nelson City. The other plus is businesses gain online knowledge from the students as well as access to lots of high quality imagines”

What’s a Cinemagraph you say?

Popular on Instagram, it’s a photo with a moving/video element that repeats. It’s the rage these days and with super fast internet the world is watching video like never before. A snappy/fun thirty second video clip can showcase your product to thousands of potential customers. They can share it with their friends and it’s like magic.

Wendy, a former student, made a good impression during this collaboration and landed herself a paying photography job at Lambrettas cafe & Morrisons Square.

Jess loves the lifestyle in Nelson. “The community here is amazing. It is not too big, not too small. Networking is easy and once you build the confidence to step out and actually have a go, the magic starts to happen.”

Now, a first home owner, her kids enjoy horse riding and even have creative pursuits of their own. It’s quite an inspirational story and one that helps Jess find the passion to teach willing learners.

Learn more about the NMIT Lense Based Media course here. programmes/lens-based-media-studio/

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