Our Podcast Interview with the Daring Michael Coyne

Michael Coyne in Pakistan - Crumpler Blog

Michael Coyne in Pakistan – Crumpler Blog

Dr Michael Coyne is a multi-award winning photographer, who has covered significant events in places as diverse as The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa. His work has been featured in magazines such as: Time, Newsweek, and National Geographic. Michael’s extensive work has been featured in a number of solo exhibitions around the world. He spent eight years in the Middle East documenting the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. He covered the Iranian revolution and the Iran/Iraq war, for his work he received a number of awards such as the the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for Service to Photography and the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography)  Honorary Fellowship, the highest award for a photographer in Australia.

As a PSC Senior Fellow, our students get to glean from his experiences. Our first year Bachelor of Photography students were lucky to have had him talk to them this week, for their folio class, where he gave them great advice on breaking into the photojournalism industry. Michael mentors final year photojournalism students.

Hear our interview with the high profile photographer, as he sheds light on the importance of making contacts and networking, how Australians are doing exceptionally well in the international industry and his experiences with almost getting kidnapped while on assignment!

Click the image below to read more about him through the Crumpler blog article, where he was featured this year:

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To know more about how you can learn photojournalism from the best in the industry, check out our Full Time Studies Page.

Q&A with Professional Fine Art Photographer and PSC Alumnus, Stan Gemlitski

From 'Deconstructing Spaces' by Stan Gemlitski

From ‘Deconstructing Spaces’ by Stan Gemlitski

After pursuing his studies at PSC, alumnus Stan Gemlitski majored in Fine Art Photography and won 3 Silver awards (including a Silver Distinction) at the Australian Professional Photography Awards and the International Loupe Awards in 2013, as well as 2014. Currently working at his own venture ‘Paparazzi.Melbourne‘ doing glamorous wedding photography, Stan continues to build his ‘Spaces’ series, in Melbourne.

Here is our short Q&A with the enterprising photographer, who tells it like it is – especially on the note of establishing your own photography business.

  1. What led you to your style of work (the inspiration behind your choices in style and subject matter)?

Most certainly I would say that my photographic interests lie in the field of wedding photography. The current style that intrigues me and I am enjoying working on is wedding photography with a candid approach, combining art and glamour with the magic of the moment.  The style was inspired by works of the famous Russian painter and photographer Sergey Ivanov.

  1. Why did you choose photography?

Six years ago, I became a Director of the Tibetan Children’s Fund and at that same time purchased my first Nikon camera, so I was able to cover all of the charity events.

Slowly it turned into a life passion. Although I still do a lot of documentary photography and enjoy it, at PSC I’ve been given an opportunity to explore and be guided into many other genres of photography. I had chosen Art as my major to develop my vision and find my style through my final year of study.

  1. What do you miss most about PSC?

Studying at PSC, reminded me of my previous university years, and had allowed me to feel young again. I was very fortunate to meet a lot of great people during my studies and formed genuine friendships.

  1. Was there something you learnt at PSC that had the biggest impact on you, as an artist?

The biggest impact on me as an artist came in my final year, when as a part of the course curriculum I visited Gold Street Studios and learnt about alternative photographic processes. I’m trying to incorporate this into my current work.

  1. What are you working on right now?

At the moment, I’m actively developing my new business Paparazzi.Melbourne https://www.facebook.com/paparazzi.melbourne and I’m also continue working on my Spaces series (www.stangemlitski.com)

  1. Can you advise us on how emerging artists can establish their own photography business?

It is very hard to compete with well-established businesses in the industry, so this is what I’m thinking you should do when starting a new business

  1. Find a niche product or service that nobody offers.
  2. Start small, do trials, don’t put a lot of money at the beginning.
  3. Be flexible, change or adjust direction if needed.
  4. Work hard and don’t give up.
  5. Give back to the community.
See more of Stan's work by clicking the image to his Photosales profile. Buy prints now.

See more of Stan’s work by clicking the image to his Photosales profile. Buy prints now.

To find out more about studying full time at PSC visit: https://www.psc.edu.au/full_time.html 

How to Be a World-Class Photographer Featuring PSC Alumnus, Hiroki Nagahiro

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Image by Hiroki Nagahiro


For a kid who thought he’d grow up to be a professional football player, international photographer Hiroki Nagahiro found beauty in the art of photography and immediately changed his course of life. Growing up in the mountainous and idyllic town of Shimane (Japan), Hiroki experienced quite a transformation when he moved to Melbourne in 2011, to learn visual arts. It was here, in the cultural capital of Asia Pacific, where Hiroki developed an understanding of the flourishing international arts scene.

The love for photography struck him to the core, when he reached the 2nd year of his studies at PSC. According to Hiroki, the realization came about thanks to the effect of being around other aspiring photographers in the college – a community with which he formed a deep attachment.

“PSC wasn’t just about learning different subjects and doing assignments…these are important, but they’re not as important as finding a sense of connection with teachers, students and staff members. Teachers had the biggest impact on me, in fact. They made classes interesting, by talking about their experiences and giving advice, which changed my entire outlook on life. While teaching me the basics, they gave me a chance to do what I wanted to, pushing me to excel every time. Apart from learning about photoshop, lighting, editing and re-touching techniques, I was taught how to connect with people from the industry and I was given tips for dealing and working with other artists. I learnt how to look at my own images in new ways, in order to create the best folio – it was amazing to work with the Print Shop and the Resources Hub at PSC as it helped me to gain that professional edge when producing work and scheduling shoots… I can write an entire book about each and every teacher at PSC!”

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From Hiroki’s folio, while he was at PSC. You can order this stunning print, amongst his other work by clicking the image.


Although Hiroki loves Melbourne; mostly because of how lively and easy everything is, he’s found himself traveling to regions farthest away from it! Since graduating from PSC, he has done assignments in Tokyo, Toronto, New York, Shanghai, London and Paris. His schedule at the moment, as a professional commercial photographer, is jam-packed with producing work for high profile clients that he connected with by purely networking. “What clients want to know is what image I can create for them, with my own style.” Hiroki believes in the power of self-branding, as photographers are all entrepreneurs in a big way.

Here are Hiroki’s 4 golden rules for networking in the photography industry:

1. Make your ambitions clear to people you meet.

Tell them about who the ‘future you’ is. In my case, I told everyone that I wanted to shoot fashion editorials for Vogue Paris, and design international campaigns for Armani and Zara before going on to create one of the best art agencies in the world. Eventually, someone will be interested in you and will give you an opportunity to work towards your goal.

2. Create a folio and keep updating it.

Do you ever buy anything without knowing what it looks like? It’s the same rule with your potential clients. You won’t get jobs just because you are super friendly and knowledgeable. People want to see what they’re paying for, so showcase your skills in the best way.

3. Find the people you really want to work with and contact them.

If you keep persevering, they may feel inclined to meet you. By the time that happens, you should already have a great folio, which will make the conversation smoother.

4. Have your pitch ready.

Give clients a good reason as to why they would choose you from the sea of photographers out there. Think about defining your style and most importantly, focus on explaining your technique. Don’t talk about prices and pay. It’s about your work first.

Being professional in your approach and preparation will put your techniques to the forefront, allowing people to see your styles and have faith in your folio. For more information about developing your skillset in photography like Hiroki did, read our Full Time Studies Page.


Hiromi's professional work for the exclusive Design Scene publications in Australia.

Hiromi’s professional work for the exclusive Design Scene publications in Australia.

A Day with the PSC Photojournalism Class

Creative lighting on location was theme-of-the-month for Advanced Diploma Photojournalism majors in August.

Bianca Chisari and Ashleigh Wong photograph volunteer model Jacinta Revell at Southbank with assistance from tutor Nico Bernardi.


On Thursday August 20 Scott McNaughton served up some of the creative environmental portraits he produces day in and out for The Weekly Review and other Fairfax suburban publications. Age features specialist Simon Schluter followed with a slide show that included portraits lit with everything from seven speedlights to a data projector, car headlights and a burning rope soaked in kerosene.

Both photographers also conducted a show-and-tell with their location lighting kits. Simon Schluter’s most useful accessory? Gaffer tape, and plenty of it. Scott’s current addiction? Coloured gels. Best home-made snoot for a speedlight? Cut the bottom out of a neoprene stubby holder.

The entire PJ class then got a taste of press life during a full-day location flash workshop on Aug 22, in which they carried out a variety of editorial assignments in the Southbank area, working to mock briefs similar to those carried out by news and feature photographers on a daily basis.

Simon Schluter 1

Simon Schluter 2



Simon Schluter 3

A number of L2FT and L4FT students, along with several other volunteers, came along to be photographed in the roles of various professionals. Working in pairs, PJ students were given two assignments to complete in three hours, with specific instructions as to location, subject/s and the kind of photographs needed. In all cases the use of off-camera flash was mandatory.

Peter Williams and Amanda Shackleton with “street artists” Aisha Deoliveira and Ellyn Chang (both L2FT) in Hosier Lane.


PJ flash workshop version 3

After editing back at PSC, a slide show of the best work followed the 3:30pm filing deadline, with lively feedback focusing on the quality and creativity of the images and how well they addressed the brief.

[Written by Photojournalism Teacher, Bill Bachman]

For more information about our courses and subject outlines visit our Full Time Studies Page.

Adventure, Hard Work and Determination


Five years after graduating from PSC, international photographer Mathew Lynn gives us an update about the action-packed life of working in the field of photography.

Mathew Lynn is currently a freelancer who is picking up assignments with The Weekly Review, Star Weekly and Getty, in addition to being a contributor for The Yen Magazine, The Age, Makeshift, The Sydney Morning Herald and Foreign Policy. He is working around the clock, in the pursuit of returning to his life of globetrotting.

Graduating with his Advanced Diploma from PSC in 2010, Mathew immediately went on to accomplish paid photography assignments in Timor Leste, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Hong Kong. Using his skills at PSC, Mathew networked with staff and peers who referred him to jobs, adding breadth to his riveting portfolio.

Mathew Lynn, 2014. 'Young people dance while being sprayed with water. Town Hall, Yangon.'

Mathew Lynn, 2014. ‘Young people dance while being sprayed with water. Town Hall, Yangon.’

One of his earliest professional folio pieces involved photographing drag queens at commercial studios – and from that moment onwards Mathew was spear-heading opportunities left, right and centre.

“The contacts I made while studying, proved to be really useful – some put my name forward to volunteer shooting stills on a feature film ‘Balibo’. Even though the film tanked, I made more contacts who assisted me in getting contacts in Timor. Within a year of graduating from PSC, I found myself sitting in the President of Timor’s back yard drinking gin and tonics!”

Having an eclectic collection of work and taking up opportunities that led him overseas (particularly around Asia) has helped Mathew carve a niche for himself, dealing with clients all over the world. His last assignment on ‘Ageing in Singapore’ was presented to him by an independent and dynamic social enterprise, ‘Gone Adventurin’, which has been making waves with its community driven approach to storytelling and business marketing. Mathew’s project will soon be featured on their channel.

Mathew Lynn: 01 October 2014, Admiralty, Hong Kong.  'Occupy Hong Kong With Peace And Love' / 'Umbrella Revolution' protestors wave mobile phone LED's while singing in unity beside government buildings in Hong Kong. Protests began after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) came to a decision regarding proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system.'

Mathew Lynn: 01 October 2014, Admiralty, Hong Kong. ‘Occupy Hong Kong With Peace And Love’ / ‘Umbrella Revolution’ protestors wave mobile phone LED’s while singing in unity beside government buildings in Hong Kong. Protests began after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) came to a decision regarding proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system.’

Looking back at how he has grown as a professional commercial photographer and photojournalist, Mathew feels that getting a strong foundation in photography education was key in securing the work he gets today.

“I think PSC is great at teaching technique. The course is also commercially driven, which is useful – particularly in the way of editing, and toning images. “

As Mathew embarks upon another journey, capturing important stories across Asia Pacific, he advises photography students to diversify their work through different genres of photography and video.

Follow Mathew’s rich journey by reading his insightful blog: http://matlynn.blogspot.com.au  and keep updated with his new work on his website: http://www.matlynn.com

Read more about the full time studies you can enrol in at PSC.


The Week That Was: PSC and the MSFW

PSC had a thrilling week presenting events in collaboration with the Melbourne Spring Fashion week, on 30th August and 2nd September. It was a special occasion where we got to sponsor high profile names in the arts industry, truly making us stand out as a stellar institute where our staff and students are exposed happenings in the industry.

Commencing with the high-energy fashion photography master class, Ed Purnomo stepped in as our guest instructor, with his amazing team and received many keen photographers to workshop shots and styles with.Our guests learnt different poses and lighting styles for three fashion genres which encompassed shooting a “beach” scene (outside) using natural lighting and modifiers (diffusers & reflectors), as well as a full length studio portrait utilizing modifiers to sophisticate the light. Other techniques covered in the master class played with the effects of using strobes and flash lighting, whereby different coloured backdrops brought out certain qualities and degrees of illumination. Closer portraits were also touched upon, where a mix of flash, store and unconventional lights such as fluro tubing, phones and other reflective surfaces (such as sequinned dresses and compact disks) were all experimented with.



Ed Purnomo himself had a fun experience and we are so glad to have had such a talented and exclusive photographer amongst us. Learning how to work with models and practicing lighting techniques, were priorities in the master class, allowing those who attended to walk away with a whole new set of skills up their sleeves.

Following the hands-on master class event was our Image Makers Seminar, that spurred questions and conversations about the styles and intentions of legendary fashion photographer, Guy Bourdin. The event opened with a sneak preview of the documentary ‘When the Sky Fell Down : The Myth of Guy Bourdin’, which featured many of the fashion industry’s finest names (Edmonde Charles Roux, Jean Paul Goode and Jerry Hall), directed by Sean Brandt (producer, photographer). Susan Van Wyk (senior curator, NGV) was also present, giving an in depth summary of Guy Bourdin’s background and talking about characteristics of his work.

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Having worked with Guy Bourdin for 7 years as an assistant, Sean provided many personal anecdotes that added to the visuals presented in his raw and intimate documentary. Sean described Guy as an ‘anarchist’ in the world of photography, breaking all the rules and forming his own distinct style of the ‘allusive narrative’, expressing his awe at the same time by stating that ‘before Guy arrived, people were capturing moments – Guy created moments.’

Susan van Wyk too reminisced about the golden period of fashion photography, as she looked back on how showcasing such powerful artists of the yesteryears, still remains successful with young audiences today. Taking the example of the first Guy Bourdin exhibition unveiled in Australia, with the reopening of the NGV in 2003, Susan relayed how impressive it was to finally let his work be seen by the general public.

The Q&A session made the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week at PSC culminate into a thought provoking celebration of fashion and its incredible photographers. We had a great tie-up with the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and were extremely proud to give our guests the complete experience of being part of the fashion world. We hope to see many of you again for our other upcoming events, as PSC has definitely paved the way for ourselves as the frontrunner of everything scintillating in the culture capital; Melbourne city.

How Listening To Your Heart Can Bring Out Your Strengths & Lead You to Your Dreams


Born in Sudan and raised in Kenya before arriving in Australia, 1st year photography student Martha Abas sheds light on turning to photography and discovering her dream, while studying at PSC.

“Being able to take charge of how I want my pictures to look, feels really empowering. I firmly believe that, ‘a picture can say a thousand words’. I have always been passionate about photographing people rather than objects, as the atmosphere is more dynamic. I love interacting with my subjects and enlightening them about the ideas I wish to express to my potential viewers. “

Studying To Get Ahead

I think education always comes first and my family is very encouraging about this. They also firmly believe that women should be able to support themselves, plus have the skills and abilities that allow them to achieve great things in life.

Before PSC

I initially wanted to study psychology, however photography was where my heart was. Some found it difficult to understand my decision of becoming a professional photographer, as many people believe that there’s only a small chance that one can earn a living from photography. Despite what people think, my goal is to become a professional fashion photographer. I intend to improve my knowledge and craft of photography, and master my skills, as I develop my own style at PSC.


From Martha Abas’ Final Folio in 1st Year Bachelor of Photography


Highlights from PSC and Paving A Path to Success

Studying photography at PSC has made me realize the importance of staying positive. I get inspiration from everyone around me. I have learnt that maintaining a good attitude and working hard is a big part of being productive. Additionally, I have also learnt how to apply my knowledge and newfound skills in creating my portfolio; within time constraints. I believe that being active, rather passive and using my time in the most effective way, will make me successful. As a professional photographer in the making, I want my photographs to be my voice. I want to make revolutionary changes, which can take photography onto a whole new level. I like the fact that photography changes the way we see things. You actually experience quite an incredible transformation at PSC. You suddenly notice elements like light, shape, colour texture and details in people – everything around you starts to look different when you see the world as a photographer.

Heritage and Family

I’ve always known that embracing my heritage and culture was important, I grew up surrounded by it. It’s just part of my routine and who I am. It is also binding, without it my family wouldn’t be together. No one has had a greater impact on me, than my mother. She has always demonstrated amazing strength through the hardest times. She makes sure that I demand respect in my work, and I feel secure in knowing that she will always be there for me as long as she lives.

Planning a Journey in Professional Photography

I would like to graduate from Photography Studies College and get the job of my dreams; working in a modeling agency with makeup artists, hair stylers, designers, photographers and models from different places around the world. I’d also like to get married and become a mother.

Why I Love Living in Melbourne

At any given point in time you can pretty much guarantee that there will be a festival on in Melbourne, there are music, art and food festivals… a huge range of events. You never know what to expect to see from one day to the next, it’s such a wonderfully diverse city and there are so many restaurants and galleries. I definitely see myself living in this city forever, since Melbourne is full of many positive surprises.

Keep up with Martha’s journey in photography, as she strives to make her mark in the industry. Follow her Facebook Page ‘Naema Abas‘ at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Naema-Abas/843451305703150?fref=ts for more information.

To learn about our Bachelor of Photography course visit our website: https://www.psc.edu.au/full_time.html

5 Tips for Photographers: Launching Your Career



Amy Paton has had a steady career after her years at PSC, where she completed her Advanced Diploma. Learning about imaging, post-production techniques, working with clients and collaborating with a mentor, during the program has helped her to get a well rounded view of the photography industry. She currently works at The Warrnambool Standard as a photojournalist. Here are her tips for launching a career as a photographer:

1.  Network With Those Who Add Value To You

It’s as much who you know as what you know. Mentors are so important; the mentor I found in my third year ended up becoming a great friend and an equal . We now exchange tips and details about work. He refers me to jobs he can’t do and gives me great feedback about my photographs.

2.  Make The Most Out Of Your Time While Studying

The people you meet at Uni can help you out in the long run. Get to know people while you have the time. Make the most of guest speakers, industry placements and everyone you meet thanks to your teachers. Ask to assist or second shoot professional photographers who visit you, and observe them while they work. It also helps to take them out for a coffee, for a chat about the industry. People are always willing to help students, especially the keen ones!

3.  Always Say Yes

Never say no to any work. Even if it’s not in your special area of interest, as you end up getting another contact, another reference and an addition to your portfolio of work. Think about the future, when all these avenues will get you more assignments.

4.  Working For Free Is Not A Bad Thing

Do volunteer work (but tread with caution). I have reached where I am today, because I worked for free. Working for a professional football club and having the support of their media team,as well as showing how keen and committed I was opened so many doors for me – they couldn’t pay me (as much as I, and they, wanted to), but they promoted me as much as possible at the highest levels they could. This expanded my portfolio tenfold and allowed me to always be selected for paid jobs, thanks to the helpful staff. Many professionals warn against doing volunteer work, so you have to make a sound judgment call; go for projects where you’ll get something worthwhile out of it.

5.  Focus On What You Love And Stay Dedicated

Be passionate about your craft and your vision. It may sound redundant, but in a place like PSC (and really just the photography world) you won’t get anywhere unless you’re really keen and enthusiastic. The people you meet will support you so much more if you’re really excited about what you do. Work hard and don’t forget to put in the effort to have a great social media presence (Facebook and Instagram are key!), as well as a website.

You can have a look at Amy’s wonderful website and portfolio, by clicking on the image:


With these simple and very important tips, strengthen the foundation of the career you choose to build for yourself. Stay connected to the community of photographers and to your work, things will work out! If you’re interested in beginning your future with photography, you can also be a part of the PSC legacy like Amy. To find out more about the Advance Diploma in Photography that Amy completed, visit this page: https://www.psc.edu.au/ft_the_course.html