Karina Matthews, Photography, 2005
What are you doing now?
I am now a photographer, I have my own studio in Derby running my own business Legend Studios. I specialise in green screen photography, particularly children's fairy tale photography.
I also produce customised children's story books, where kids come into the studio, act out the story, and then see themselves in a fully customised story book.
How has Derby impacted your career?
The lessons I learnt at Derby are still with me, I had a great deal of support from the Let's do Business programme - run by Evolve (the University of Derby's business incubation service), which included mentoring sessions and workshops. I had no idea where to start when setting up in business, they gave me the courage to take the leap, as well as providing me with ongoing support and advise.
I found the Fry up Friday networking sessions invaluable, as being self employed can be a lonely as scary process. They happen once a month and are for anyone looking to start up their own business or enter the creative industries.
What would you say to anyone thinking of studying at Derby?
BA (Hons) Photography and Popular Culture & Media (Joint Honours) was a great course, both the University of Derby, and the city are great places to be. I advise students to get as much work experience as possible, as a degree alone is not always enough to work in such a competitive industry. It is also important to make contacts and network.