SIT2LRN has given Wellington-based photographer Mark “Big Mark” Fa’amaoni the skills he was seeking to enable him to take his business to the next level.
Mark completed the New Zealand Diploma in Screen Production (Level 5) through SIT2LRN and is now studying the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5).
However, photography wasn’t his first career choice.
After Mark left school, he spent 15 years working in the conference and events industry, working at Sky City Conference Centre, Te Papa Tongarewa, and Bellamys at Parliament.
“My career highlight was in 2001 when I was functions manager for the state visit of Her Majesty the Queen held at the Banquet Hall at the Beehive.”
Mark decided to change careers in 2011 and studied with Mel Phillips at The Photo School on the Kapiti Coast before starting his own photography business.
“Big Mark & Co had always been primarily a photography company, but with a change in the market we had begun to pivot to doing both photography and video as well.
“I had dabbled in film before but had no formal training, so I looked around to see what sort of courses were available. I saw the SIT2LRN Diploma in Screen Production ticked a lot of the boxes for me – it was a comprehensive practical course that covered a range of topics, and it allowed me to both study and continue running my business.”
Mark wasn’t disappointed.
“The course was fantastic; it gave me a great insight into the film world. It completely changed the way I see film and television productions. The amount of work to put even the smallest
productions on screen is mind-boggling.
“I look at a ‘bad movie’ now and all I can see is the incredible effort that went on behind the scenes to get this ‘bad movie’ on screen.”
Mark has some simple yet helpful advice for anyone considering distance learning: get organised, use to-do lists, keep on top of your work, know your limits.
“This year I'm studying the Diploma of Photography, again with SIT2LRN. The plans for the business this year is to fully transform the business from a photography business to a full-service digital agency.”