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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Final Major Project: The Exhibition – Source Graduate Photography Online 2018

The opportunity to take part in Source Magazine’s Graduate Photography Online 2018 was one that I was not going to miss out on. As a member of the first cohort to go through this course, our participation would help to raise the profile of the course, and show the photographic industry just what we have achieved collectively as well as individually.

The cohort first had to choose a lead student to coordinate the entry. Philip Singleton and myself were voted as the joint leads. We decided to split the work up. Philip was responsible for the financial aspect and I collated the images and text required.

The Source website stated that “Graduate Photography Online has been running successfully since 2007 and is designed to promote graduate photographic work from the UK and Ireland to our readership, which includes picture editors, curators and those active in contemporary photography.” (Hull 2018). This platform has an established national and international profile that provides the ‘Viking’ cohort with a collaborative way to gain additional exposure for our work.

As well as linking to our individual websites, taking part provides us with an online permanent profile on the Source website.  Our work will be displayed on an individual web page. Each year, Source also ask various key industry professionals to select work that they find the most interesting. They use this material to introduce the project and this work is also published in a printed 10-page supplement which is distributed with the magazine.

The requirements were clearly laid out:-

The Lead Student will gather the following from each participating Student:

  1. (Required) Eight images saved as jpegs, 72 DPI and 800 pixels along their longest edge. We cannot accept moving image files. (Note: the Student may submit less than eight images if they wish.) If the Student’s work is made to be shown in a gallery we would recommend that one of the eight images be an installation shot. This is to show the scale of the work and how it is presented. See example »

  2. (Required) A 120-word statement about their work.

  3. (Required) Personal email address. This email address needs to remain valid after the Student has graduated.

  4. (Optional) Personal telephone number. (Note: if provided this will be displayed on the Student’s page.)

  5. (Optional) Personal website address.

  6. (Required) Payment of £33.00 per student (Note: the Lead Student will gather all the individual payments and then make a one-off payment to Source on behalf of their class.)” (Hull 2018)

Once the email expressing our interest in joining this year’s Graduate Photography Online had been sent, I was also emailed further details on the submission requirements.

a few important things you will need to check for:

Potential problems for images:

  1. If an image is not saved as a jpeg you will not be able to submit it. Often students will unwittingly provide a tiff or png file for submission. Only jpegs are allowed! If the file size of an image exceeds 2 Mb you will not be able to submit it.

  • So it is extremely important to check that ALL the images being submitted are: - Saved as jpegs. - Scaled so that they are 800 pixels on their longest edge. (A jpeg scaled in this way will never exceed the 2 Mb file size limit.)

Potential problems for text:

  1. It is quite common for students to use Microsoft Word or an equivalent word processor to create the text which they are submitting along with their images. Text produced by word processors (and indeed email programs) may include formatting information which can be problematic when pasted into a web page.

  2. Depending on how the individual student has the page setup configured in their word processor there may be additional spaces and carriage returns included in the text. These may only be evident once the text has been pasted into the submissions facility.

  3. These additional spaces and returns make the text appear messy and disjointed.

  4. If a web address or an email address is submitted with an additional trailing space it effectively changes that address meaning it won’t point to where it’s supposed to!

  5. Certain special characters commonly used by Word processors MAY or MAY NOT translate well in the context of a web page. Characters such as curly quotation marks (single and double), em dashes, ellipses and ampersands.

It is important therefore to check the following:

  1. Each student’s introductory text should be formatted as a single block of text with no carriage returns.

  2. Web addresses and email addresses MUST NOT include any trailing spaces!

  3. You need to be vigilant about this when entering this information into the submission facility.

  4. If in doubt, the safest way to deal with problematic special characters is to substitute them with safe alternatives. Replace curly quotation marks with straight quotation marks, replace em dashes with short dashes or hyphens, replace ellipses with three periods and replace ampersands with the word ‘and’.

You should also take this opportunity to correct any typographical errors in the student text.

The best way to go about preparing word processor document text for submission is to first of all paste it into a plain text editor and then once you have made any changes save it as a plain text file. Then copy and paste from the plain text file to the submissions facility.

You will be asked to select a category, from the list of categories below, for each participating student’s work:

  • Documentary/Photojournalism

  • Commercial/Fashion

  • Landscape

  • Portraiture

  • Staged/Constructed

  • Urban/Suburban Landscape

There has been much debate about these categories over the years of running Graduate Photography Online, you should not get too hung up about whether there is a category that precisely describes a given set of images, simply choose whichever category comes closest. These categories are primarily for the benefit of the Selectors – to provide them with a number of broadly-defined paths into the project as a whole.

Finally, even when all your material is correctly prepared, on the odd occasion you may find yourself unable to submit material due to network slowdown – there are a lot of links in the chain between your computer and the Source server most of which are beyond our control. If this happens don’t panic! Simply quit the submission process and return to it later. Give yourself a decent amount of time to complete the submission, rest assured, if you do have any problems we’ll do our best to ensure you are able to complete the process.” (Hull 2018)

Once all the images and text were collected in and in the correct format (there were no issues thankfully), I uploaded the submissions in alphabetical order (as required). Philip collected in the fees and paid for the whole cohort once the upload was completed.

Upload site images:-


We now eagerly await the release date 🙂

My words:

Fractured Identities: The endless electronic messages and stimulus we receive from social media and other visual sources cause us to analyse and judge ourselves extensively through the eyes of others. Our idea of self is eroded and broken down. As a result, we find ourselves changing who we appear to be to meet the expectations of others. Fractured Identities uses performance and self-portraiture to explore the ways in which social media affects the ways in which we present ourselves. Through our ever-increasing use of technology, we are invited to rewrite our identities and present ourselves as someone else. Using a series of often comical props and cosmetics designed to enhance appearance, Sutherst explores the world of the media generated selfie

My images:


Hull, S. 2018. “Re: Graduate Photography Online 2018 – MA Course”. [online]. Available at: [accessed 23 July 2018].

Hull, S. 2018. “Source Photographic Review: Graduate Photography Online Submission Guide – What We Provide”. [online]. Available at: [accessed 23 July 2018].

Hull, S.. 2018. “Source Photographic Review: Graduate Photography Online Submission Guide – Your Submission”. [online]. Available at: [accessed 23 July 2018].


Graduate Photography Online Submissions Facility. 2018. Source [online]. Available at: [accessed 31 July 2018].

Graduate Photography Online Submissions Facility. 2018. Source [online]. Available at: [accessed 31 July 2018].

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