Every month we choose one of our students who has shown real promise and we sit down with them to learn about how they got started with photography and how they’ve found the art so far.

The winner also gets a £50 voucher that can be redeemed against any of our courses.

We spoke with Edina Szabo

‘I have always had passion for art. Everything started at my secondary school. I wasn’t the most talented student, however, my art teacher must have seen something in me. She sent me to different art and drawing competitions and exhibited some of my work at school. Around this same time, I received my first film camera from my parents. I don’t really remember which type, but I remember I could not put it down; I was so happy and excited. They only problem was that I had to wait so long for the film to be processed before I could see my photos. Later, I think when I was a student at high school, I got my first digital camera and took it with me everywhere.

photography student of the month

(c) Edina Szabo, taken on Photoion’s Portrait Photography Workshop

However, as time went on, things changed, and I left art behind me and picked up a totally different carrier. I graduated as a lawyer and started to work within this industry. Yet, I was still passionate about photography. I constantly took my camera with me everywhere, for business trips, friend and family trips, and to birthdays and family events. The feedback from others who saw my pictures was always positive. Deep inside I knew I could do better things and could achieve much more in my life, so in 2012 I left my company and my country and moved to UK, changing my life completely. I started to work as an au pair, looking after two amazing girls.. When I earned my first pocket money, I was over the moon because I could then afford a better camera. Straight away I purchased a very nice automatic Nikon. I knew it was not the same as a DSLR, however, I loved it very much. It took me a while to be able to use it properly, however I managed in the end and was so proud of myself. At that time had enough money to travel all around the world, and of course I took my little camera with me. However, photography was still just a hobby those days. Until I met my husband.

photography student of the month

(c) Edina Szabo, taken on Photoion’s Night Photography Workshop

I moved to London in 2014 and started to work in full time within a training industry. At that time, I did not have any hobbies and did not have time to take photos anymore. I worked weekdays at the company and weekends as a babysitter to be able to cover my bills. Because my husband always has seen something special in me, he surprised me with a Canon EOS 750 DSLR camera for Christmas in 2016. He wanted to encourage me to keep going and never give up. I remember I was shocked and cried :-). That was the most beautiful camera I have ever seen and the best present I had ever gotten. I was so excited, so I took it with me when we visited our parents in Hungary. But it did not work the way I wanted or imagined. I was disappointed that all of my pictures were out of focus, so I did not touch my camera for six months. Alex kept pushing me to pick it up again and start learning. So, I started to learn by myself online. I completed a few courses, so I was quite familiar with shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, and began to understand how my camera worked.

photography student of the month

(c) Edina Szabo, taken on the Photoion’s Portrait Photography Workshop

I took some photos of my husband and achieved quite a few nice shots. I started to think maybe one day I could do this for living, combining my experience with kids and knowledge of photography, focusing on family, children and portrait photography.  I’m a very nice and easy-going person, getting on well with everyone and can communicate easily and most importantly, I love kids and they love me, too. I had plenty of experience with being a babysitter, where the most important thing was being patient. I knew this would help me while photographing children. I decided to practise more and asked friends and family to be my models. It went very well but I found that l had lot of out of focus pictures. I set out to find the reason behind the problem, but I was stuck and could not figure it out by myself. I needed a professional who could explain it to me. I needed someone to show me not just the theory of using a camera, but the practical side as well. My husband came across with Photoion Photography School while searching online and encouraged me to enrol in a class. I gave myself one last chance to see whether there was still any space left in this industry and to see whether I was good enough to keep going or not. I have almost completed my Long-Term Courses with Ion and I have to say it has been worth every penny. The courses are amazing, well designed, well-structured and easy to follow. Students have unlimited support after the courses, so it’s just perfect. I have progressed a lot since I started, thanks to Ion. After the beginner’s class I started to see things differently and picked up the new skills very quickly. I still would like to learn more and keep improving as my goal is to become a professional photographer and start my own business in the future.

photography student of the month

(c) Edina Szabo, tutor Ion Paciu in action during one of the courses

Looking back, I realise that photography has always been a part of my life and every step I have taken, every experience I’ve had, somehow related to art and photography. Now, so many years later, everything does make sense now. With my husband’s encouragement and continuous support from Ion and Photoion Photography School, I think I’m on the right path and hope my dreams can come true. My favourite quote is one from Ansel Adams: “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” Thank you, Photoion Photography School, for giving me the opportunity to share my story and let me introduce myself.’