Completing a placement year with his favourite fitness brand has resulted in strong industry connections and new opportunities for De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student Lucas Dove.
Lucas photographing models in Gymshark apparel
From shooting products and staff headshots to filming app workouts and fitness events, the Photography and Video student became a valuable part of the team at Gymshark, the world-famous British fitness apparel and accessories brand.
“As a big Gymshark fan, I never imagined I’d get the chance to work there and it was an amazing year. I really can’t recommend doing a placement enough - it’s been so important and it’s framed what I want to do for the rest of my life,” said the 21-year-old from Peterborough.
Before his placement, Lucas was unsure about what type of photography he wanted to pursue as a career, but working with athletes and influencers has opened his eyes to new possibilities.
He said: “I’ve been watching some of the athletes for years on YouTube, so working with them has been so surreal.
“It was really rewarding, especially when they shared my photos and videos on their social media feeds. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve become really good friends with some of them on a personal level too.”
Mid-shoot for the Gymshark app
One particular placement highlight for Lucas was instigating a spontaneous photoshoot with a group of athletes at the end of a community fitness event run by the company.
“I planned, prepared, shot and edited it all by myself, so when the photos ended up on Gymshark’s main website it felt very reassuring,” he said.
“The equipment I had access to here and the freedom to follow my creative ideas was unbelievable. One of my main goals at the start of my internship was to learn more about lighting, especially in a studio setting, and the fact that I managed to do that and so much more is amazing.”
The connections Lucas has forged during his placement have resulted in a number of new opportunities, including shooting for other brands and athletes, as well as wedding photography.
A promotional shot using eye-catching neon lighting
He said: “I compare the position I’m in now to a year ago and it fills me with confidence for the future.
“I’m also looking forward to starting my final year at DMU with more experience under my belt and the ability to better express my vision. This last year has taught me everything I need in order to get the most out of next year.”
Lucas is grateful to the team behind DMU Works – the university’s award-winning careers programme – for helping him to finesse his covering letter and CV ahead of applying for the Gymshark role.
“The support I had really helped to relieve my nerves,” he said. “The team also put me in touch with a student who had done the same placement before me, so I got to ask her lots of questions which helped me to prepare for my interview.”
Lucas' journey came full circle by helping to train up his Gymshark successor during the last month of his work placement.
He said: “I never thought I would go into the corporate world and enjoy it this much. I’ve learned how to stay creative within a practical brief and the whole experience has just been brilliant.”
Posted on Friday 12th August 2022