Georgie Gillard Interview

Georgie Gillard – Photographer for The Daily Mail

After graduating in 2011 from a BA (Hons) in Photography Georgie applied for a position as a Trainee Photographer for the Daily Mail which she has now been enjoying for the last year and photographed prominent events such as the Olympics and Paralympics this year…

When did you first realise your ambition as a photographer?

When I was at School I had work experience with a local sports photographer at the Chronicle and Echo in Northampton. This really gave me the bug to become a photographer!

 How did you build your experience while at university?

I did a weeks work experience for The Times during my last year. After that I realised how important it was in news photography to have an up to date portfolio so I made sure that I was getting out and taking photos above and beyond just my coursework! I went up to London a lot and photographed the 2010 student protests in Trafalgar square as well as organising my coursework into themes so that is was more editorial friendly in my portfolio.

When did the opportunity for The Daily Mail come about?

In May 2011 I saw an advert for the position of Trainee photographer at the Daily Mail. I thought it would be a bit of a long shot but I sent my five images and a short covering letter and was very surprised when I was invited to interview, which turned out to be probably the scariest twenty minutes of my life!

What was the interview process like?

The interview was the first of two which involved a quick flick through my portfolio and complete scrutiny as to why I would be good for the job and after a weeks nervous waiting I was invited in for a second interview with both the picture editor and the sports picture editor.

How did you prepare for your second Interview?

I knew I would have to impress them so the day before I went up to London to get some news pictures. It was the weekend of Amy Winehouse’s death and the Norwegian gunman tragedy. I ended up going to the Norwegian embassy to take pictures of the memorial flowers and low and behold, ten minutes later, The Prime Minister turned up! So I went into my second interview a little more confident with some up to date pictures of David Cameron.

What advise would you give to any students seeking a similar career path?

I think although I got lucky you do have to create your own luck. The picture editors were impressed that I had been bothered to get up and go and search for news stories instead of taking in my portfolio. My advice for anyone wanting to go into photography or news is to keep yourself up to date. They always say your only as good as the last picture you took and If you take pictures every day you will improve your skills far more than if you take pictures once a week.

Tell us about your best experience so far in your job?

Since being with the Mail I have covered a lot of exciting things. Every day is completely different from the last and you get sent all over the place at a moments notice so it can be very exciting but also hard work. The best experience I have had so far is covering the Olympics and Paralympics this summer. For the Olympics I was based in Team GB house where I photographed all of our medal winners for an official portrait. And for the Paralympics I was able to cover all of the different sports with the athletics and The Velodrome being my highlights. I was also part of the team that created the Big Picture, which was a photograph of all 541 athletes taken over a six-week period in the Loughborough preparation camp. The final image was featured in seven national newspapers on the day of the opening ceremony.

 

Pictures by Georgie Gillard/Daily Mail/NOPP

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