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Director, Story (Film & Photography Production Company)

Having a few high-profile names on my CV heading in to the job market and being able to use some examples from the placements at interview were really beneficial.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity

I was keen to get new experiences by moving away from home (in Derbyshire) for University and looked at a number of different places. I thought Leeds would be a fantastic city to study in and I really loved the atmosphere on campus at Leeds Trinity. Home was a couple of hours away on the train which felt close enough to dash home for a weekend with the family but far enough that I could be independent.

While at Leeds Trinity I was an active member of the Students' Union serving as Press and Publicity Officer in my second and third years and as the President following my graduation.

Mark Dolby on campus.

How Leeds Trinity has supported me  

I was keen to work in broadcasting when I arrived in Leeds having had some experience as a college student. However, when I graduated I went in to the business environment, doing sales and project management, and the management side of my degree was essential to understanding my clients and creating marketing proposals for them. I always wanted to return to a more creative role and now as a photographer I feel like I have a business that allows me to do that. Nevertheless, I'm in no doubt that it is a business built on the foundation of my management studies and early career. The accounting and finance topics taught by John Earley are one example of modules which I draw on almost daily!

The benefits of my placements

I undertook placements in the Newsroom's of ITV Regional News, BBC Local Radio and at my Godfather's packaging machinery business. I was able to use some existing connections to secure these and I'd definitely recommend trying to build a network and get some experience before arriving at University. Having a few high-profile names on my CV heading in to the job market and being able to use some examples from the placements at interview were really beneficial.

Three words I’d use to describe Leeds Trinity

Community, friendship and fun.

My career since graduating

When I first studied photography at college I was shooting and developing my own black and white film but I didn't find it particularly interesting or accessible. Instead I channelled my creative ideas through film-making and writing and that's what led me to my choice of degree. After university I was keen to stay in Leeds and took a job with a web development agency working in account management and had the opportunity to work at and with some great companies like Disney, Sony Music and First Direct. Nevertheless, I often found myself more interested in the creative side of the office and returned to photography as my own creative outlet. By this time photography was digital and I enjoyed learning about blending creativity and technology. I soon realised that this could allow me to have my own business and started to build up my portfolio, equipment and client base.

In 2014 I became a full-time freelance photographer and in 2019 set up Story, a full-service film & photography production company with my business partner Jimi Lund.

Mark Dolby faces image.

Continuing my links with Leeds Trinity

I always wanted to give something back and the opportunity arose when I was part of an alumni group tasked with coming up with ideas for how former students could celebrate and be celebrated as part of the University's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016. I came up with the idea of a photographic exhibition and captured many shots of our notable alumni. I felt that capturing the portraits and stories of some of the exceptional alumni would demonstrate the impact that the University has had, as well as celebrating the achievements of the student body.