Molly Harrington graduated in 2012 with a major in photography. After graduation, she began working as a photographer and photo editor at an online fashion retailer based in Boston's Back Bay. She currently lives in Boston as well.
UMassD: the best of both worlds
I was looking for a genuine college experience as well as a fine arts education, and UMassD was the best of both worlds. The facilities offered at the Star Store in New Bedford interested me, and I was impressed with work I had seen from former students of the photo program.
Developing competency & confidence
Besides my wonderful professors, I appreciated developing my skills as well as learning about the history and world of photography.
By my senior year, I felt confident in both my technical competency and vocabulary in the field. There is no better feeling than going to a gallery or museum with someone unfamiliar with the work and being able to tell them all about the photographer and their process.
Prepared to work in the field
Guidance from faculty and taking full advantage of the facilities offered at the CVPA definitely prepped me to work in the field. I can safely say all the time I spent in the darkroom and media lab fixating on exposure and color casts were not for nothing.
I also worked as a student photographer for the university's wonderful PhotoGraphics Department, garnering experience in photojournalism and event photography. I recommend it!
Commercial photography: a change of pace
Working within a creative team at a high-volume studio and meeting different talent has been great. Everyone comes from different educational backgrounds and working experience, so I'm still always learning something new.
Getting a grasp on the commercial side of photography has been a change of pace and I enjoy bringing my fine art background into it.
Advice for graduates & job-seekers
Try everything! A couple weeks after graduation, I got a job as a school portrait photographer. It was a lot of early mornings and long days, but I just wanted to do something related to my degree no matter how much patience it would require. After sticking it out and sending my resume to as many places possible, I finally got my job working in the photo department at Karmaloop.com.
Also keep an eye out for local and national shows you can enter your work into. I entered a piece from my senior thesis and won an honorable mention at a national juried show that ran at the South Shore Arts Center in Cohasset, MA. At the risk of using a tired phrase, put yourself out there and see what happens.