How did you first get involved in Medical Photography?
I originally wanted to work in forensic photography, this was when I was in my final year at Uni, so when on work experience at the local police force I realised that I needed to go and do all the sciences separately at GCSE level. So they suggested Medical Photography, and that’s what I’ve done!
What is your current role within this field?
I am a Senior Medical Photographer at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board).
Wales and West Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI) Regional Representative.
Are you also a photographer and if so do you ever like to shoot other styles such as landscape or fashion?
In my spare time or on holiday I take my camera, although I usually get told I should take more photo’s. I like landscapes with shallow depth of fields. Also I occasionallyphotograph the odd wedding, but I don’t advertise it!
Have you worked in other areas of photography through your career?
What kind of training and qualifications did you get and where did you study?
BA (Hons) Photojournalism (2.1)
PGCert Medical Photography (Merit)
I did my three year Photojournalism degree in Swansea Met and then gained a two year trainee position at Salisbury District Hospital where I undertook a distant learning course via Stafford Uni.
Would you consider this to be the best job you have ever had?
Do you have any mistakes you feel you have made with regards to your career path or did you follow a goal and achieve it?
No, I don’t feel I have made any mistakes. I set a goal and have surpassed it.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given to you or that maybe you feel important to give to others?
You must be happy in your chosen career, you spend a long time doing it!
My dad was right! you have to enjoy what you do.
Is there anything in particular about becoming a medical Photographer that you feel everyone going into this field should know beforehand?
I think often students think they will be able to ‘walk’ into a medical photography position, however, this often is not the case. There is now a full time Medical Photography degree available at Uni of Westminster, but often students do their degree in Photography and still need to top it up with a Post Grad in Medical Illustration / Photography. Trainee positions don’t come up that often and when they do, they can be anywhere in the country, so you need to be prepared to move around the country.
What would you say was your biggest achievement that your most proud of?
There are a few achievements I have made. I have been presented with various IMI awards which are presented on photographic technique. I am also involved with the Institute of Medical Illustrators, which I enjoy. I am the regional representative for Wales and South West and I am also the workshop lead for this years conference. I’ve also become a senior medical photographer in my department, which presents challenges, but I wouldn’t change it!
Lastly, what is your favourite part of this job?
I enjoy all aspects of my job, no two days are the same, you really don’t know what you will be looking at next! I enjoy the interaction you have with patients and often you follow them through the patient pathway taking serial photographs of their condition. I have worked in various sized hospitals and it’s nice to be back in a smaller trust, its not as impersonal, and because we have a number of hospitals in the Trust, which the department covers, I get out and about too.
I hope this is OK Jenny. Let me know if there is anything else you need help with
Senior Medical Photographer
Royal Gwent Hospital