Trinity College Colac visits PSC for a Photography Workshop

Last week PSC sparked inspiration in the hearts of twenty year 12 students from Trinity College Colac – a secondary school that pushes boundaries with its extra-curricular focus. Students who came to PSC were those with media classes, interested in exploring different styles in photography, with the best college in Asia- Pacific.

Image by Taylor Ferne-Morris

Image by Taylor Ferne-Morris

Led by PSC course director, Daniel Boetker Smith, students were first introduced to the concept of ‘Instagram Photography’. He broadened their understanding about new frontiers of the art and medium, giving them a list of leading Instagram photographers to seek inspiration from, for the workshop session of the day.

‘Students chose from leading photographers like Chien Chi Chang, Stacy Kranitz, Victor Cobo, Boogie Photographer, and PSC’s Katrin Koenning to use as their inspiration for the workshop. We discussed the way Instagram can be a vibrant gallery for showing off your work, and that plenty of careers have been made off the back of Instagram. The workshop was really a starting point to test out different styles and approaches. Students were encouraged to take away some important messages about the power of the photographic image.’ (Daniel Boetker Smith)

Image by Taylor Ferne-Morris

Image by Taylor Ferne-Morris

Image by Taylor Ferne Morris

Image by Taylor Ferne Morris

Trinity College Colac teacher, Ryan Geary accompanied our students and was impressed by the outcome of the workshop:

‘The session was perfectly timed in our content and the students gained an enormous insight as well as skills which will benefit them as soon as next week.The session was informative, interesting and interactive which our students loved. After the initial shock of having to use their Instagram accounts they were soon coming up to me and saying how others were liking and commenting on their photography which also gave them confidence.’

Thanks to Maria Duarte, the communications and students officer for full time studies, images of students were reposted on the PSC Instagram account:

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This was yet another successful collaboration between our teaching staff and aspiring photographers from Australia. Secondary students from Trinity College Colac absolutely enjoyed the exposure they received thanks to spending a day at PSC. They received professional feedback for the work they jubilantly created, giving them a slice of the PSC life! We are looking forward to our next workshop in May.

“The workshop was a great opportunity to get back to basics, we just got out into the street and were shooting really raw and improvised ideas. We had fun, and the students really came away with the understanding that there is never a right or wrong answer with photography, you’ve just got to do what feels right.” (Daniel Boetker Smith)

Stella Nguyen on the Process of Building a Folio

Stella Nguyen, part time student at PSC and full time secondary teacher, won two silver awards at the AIPP Victorian State Awards. Currently running her own portrait photography business in addition to her other commitments, Stella was kind to give us a walk through her process of getting work AIPP-ready!

'Be Here with Me' - Image by Stella Nguyen

‘Be Here with Me’ – Image by Stella Nguyen

By Stella Nguyen:

Image selection
•My first selection was based on support from Craig Wetjen, fellow students at PSC, Instagram and friend likes and my personal favourites. The second stage of selection was based on those favoured or struck curiosity from judges at the AIPP AN INSIGHT INTO CREATING AWARD IMAGES & CRITIQUE NIGHT. •The third was combining both work I loved and what I thought might be unique enough for the judges.

Freak out and set a goal
Being second year I was intimidated by the judges and other photographers at the AIPP Info night. The work was amazing and I was in awe. Freaking out was good for me as it provided a challenge and pushed me to drive myself further. In short ‘I felt the fear and did it anyway’ with the goal and hope of achieving one silver.

I looked at past winners from AIPP to get a further understanding of what AIPP Judges would look for, of favoured ‘styles’ and also what images have been ‘done’ so I can consider my point of difference.

'The Mist' - Image by Stella Nguyen

‘The Mist’ – Image by Stella Nguyen

Test print
Test printing and refining were key as well as seeking feedback and advice. I test printed:
•- For paper selection
•- For different combinations (tri-typch)
•- To re-evaluate pretty ordinary first few prints and test print again

Working with Peter
Peter has a good eye and knows his paper stocks well so when I knew something wasn’t right with my prints Peter could pin point what the issues were and share his knowledge of how to edit for specific papers and his knowledge of AIPP and their expectations. Peter was a great guide to tell me when I went too far or need to go further. It built a great learning curve for me to edit for print.

Let go
At some point I think I had to realise that I had to let go and leave the print alone, there was no more at that stage that I could see or do within my knowledge of printing at that time.


To follow Stella’s photography on Instagram check out @wide_eyed_stella  – also read more about learning photography with us part time, here.

Featuring Jo-Anne Cripps

Jo Anne Cripps was recently given an honourable mention by the 9th International Color Awards (LA) for her photograph in the abstract category. This is an amazing accomplishment for Jo, as the category saw a total of around 5700 submissions! She has also been titled as the finalist for the landscape category in the Head On Photography festival and won two silver awards at the Epson AIPP Victoria State Awards, this year.

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps


Image by Jo-Anne Cripps, taken at Bingalong Bay, Tasmania

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps, taken at Bingalong Bay, Tasmania

Jo-Anne made the decision of quietening down her own business as a legal conveyancer to pursue her passion for photography, within a year of being at PSC. She did have bouts of self doubt, wondering if she had taken ‘too drastic a step’€“ but she knew that if she hadn’€™t applied to the bachelor program with us, she would have regretted it all her life:

“It’€™s about stepping out of that familiar zone where you know everything and follow a routine everyday. For the first time in my life I’€™m doing something that I really want to do; not because I have to do it. I’€™m surrounded by students of varied ages, who are my friends, my support system that I collaborate with at and outside of college.”€

Jo-Anne believes that her sense of maturity has been an important aspect in giving her the freedom to immerse herself in photography.

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps from her series 'Threigl Amser - Passage of Time'

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps from her series ‘Threigl Amser – Passage of Time’


Image by Jo-Anne Cripps, selected as a Finalist by Viewbug in the 'Celebrating Fashion' competition

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps, selected as a Finalist by Viewbug in the ‘Celebrating Fashion’ competition

Now in her third year at PSC, she has a deeper understanding of how her work communicates with audiences, thanks to the constant critiquing she has received in her classes. She was initially daunted by this process, but since shedding her apprehensions she has noticed that her work has evolved considerably. The result of her personal and creative development with the art has made her more confident in submitting work to competitions;€“ something she never really thought she would do.

“Competitions are great platforms for getting your work seen and critiqued by amazing professionals. Thanks to being at PSC I also realised that when I work with concepts I love, it shows in my work and the results are gratifying. It’s not about taking ‘pretty€™ pictures’, it’€™s about building bodies of work that are meaningful.”

Jo-Anne is currently developing her series called ‘€˜Colours of Australia’€™, which will take her travelling all over the country. She describes this as a playful series , quite different to her other project which is about the ‘Stolen Generation’€™- a personal subject which she’€™s extremely connected to. The inspiration for this project is her adopted brother, someone who has and will continue to inspire her.

Image by Jo Anne Cripps, from her first folio series at PSC

Image by Jo Anne Cripps, from her first folio series at PSC

“I’€™ve found something I want to do for the rest of my life;€“ as well as the impetus to do it.”

Jo-Anne advises people to think about what is really important to them rather than always focusing on what’s expected of them by others. She feels that if people followed their dreams, they will  be pleasantly surprised by the support from their loved ones. She urges us to ‘€˜take the plunge’€™ and see what’€™s out there.

As for her preferences shooting locations, Jo-Anne loves the rugged and rough conditions of South Island, New Zealand. She loves the peace and isolation in such places, because it gives her a lot of inspiration.

An image of Jo-Anne, working in her favourite environment.

An image of Jo-Anne, working in her favourite environment.

Her goals are to take a year off to develop her personal photography projects, before doing her masters, as she aims to teach in the near future. Jo-Anne’€™s tips for photographers are to put cameras on manual and stick with it, and go out to a variety of locations no matter what the weather has in store for them:

“Do everything you possibly can when you shoot, and let your style come through!”

Learn more about our courses here and follow Jo-Anne Cripps on her Instagram profile for updates @joceephotography .

Elma Gradascevic’s Plans for Photography

Elma Banner
Recently completing her Advanced Diploma (art major) in December 2015, Elma Gradascevic keeps herself busy with photography, after PSC. Working in the HR industry for more than 20 years, Elma decided to learn photography part time so that she had a creative outlet that she could express herself with. Essentially, she wanted a life change that would make her more fulfilled.

After conquering the challenge of building her technical skills within the first few months at PSC, Elma discovered a newfound ability to produce creative projects within short deadlines.

Image by Elma Grad

Image by Elma Gradascevic

“I never thought I had it within me to be so creative week after week and deliver results for each assignment – I surprised myself!”
– Elma Gradascevic

Making the most of the business unit our students take during their final semester, Elma constructed a solid business plan, combining her passion for photography and fashion. She is now following that through with her own venture of printed scarves – using her photography. She’s also developing a series called ‘Rodeo’ based on the community at Lang Lang and Stony Creek, Victoria. Quite varied from her usual focus, which is art and fashion photography (a style which she recently exhibited in the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre), Elma’s Rodeo series shows her varied range of subject matter.

Image by Elma Grad, from 'Rodeo'

Image by Elma Gradascevic, from ‘Rodeo’


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Image by Elma Gradascevic


This series will soon be published as a photobook; a medium which has been Elma’s latest inspiration as she currently manages the Boyd Studios (Southbank) – the same venue that hosted the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive.

APPA showcase at the Boyd Studios. image by Elma Grad)

APPA showcase at the Boyd Studios. image by Elma Gradascevic)

Elma produced her own photobook (titled ‘Sarajevo Roses’) last year as part of her digital class assignment with teacher Nic Kocher. She plans to revisit this photobook and work on it more, in the long run. The class gave her the confidence and skills to pursue her own personal book assignment after leaving PSC.

“I think photobooks are a wonderful way of sharing our images and stories. It is becoming a growing industry.”

'A DIY photobook manual and manifesto by Bruno Ceschel' - photography taken by Elma Gradascevic

‘A DIY photobook manual and manifesto by Bruno Ceschel’ – photography taken by Elma Gradascevic

PSC is driven to make students independent thinkers in the field of photography; encouraging them to expand their skills and self-publish to get their projects seen by the wider public. Under the guidance of Daniel Boetker-Smith (course director), our 2nd and 3rd year students have created their own photography books which are promoted and showcased during exhibitions – such as the upcoming NGV Art Book Fair (April 29 – May 1). Our students will be setting up their booth, where they will be selling photobooks created by students from our college.

Elma attended the NGV Book Fair last year and was awestruck. She bought her first ever photobook at the event and looks forward to this year’s showcase:

“I was overwhelmed by the variety and styles of the NGV Book Fair last year and cannot wait to go again this year, especially now, to see some of the students’ books on display.”

The Boyd Studios still hosts an eclectic collection of photobooks published by distinguished students and professional  photographers alike. Elma Gradascevic is enjoying her time managing this space every Friday (11am – 5pm) and still visits PSC, as teachers and staff members are always happy to give advice. This is one thing that Elma feels proud about, the fact that the campus is accessible to students and graduates as a creative hub, where they can still rely on their peers and mentors as they hone their talents in photography.

For more information about studying with us, visit our website. You can also follow Elma’s Instagram channel to keep up with her amazing photography: @elmagrad.


Emma McEvoy stuns Melbourne with ‘Sand Castles’

Last week, our very own PSC graduate (of the Advanced Diploma and Pathways program) showcased breathtaking work in the most unique space in the world. Emma McEvoy created a series around her trip to an abandoned diamond mining town in the heart of Namibia and exhibited her work in a house that was about to be demolished, in Melbourne’s quirky capital of Fitzroy. Filling up the house with sand to recreate the experience she had in Namibia, crowds of visitors were astonished by the creative presentation and the glorious work of Emma’s that was presented on the walls.

The exhibition was only open for four days and this was enough to get the attention of the most influential media names in the world. Here is a quick kaleidoscope of the wonder behind Emma McEvoy’s recent work (click to play):

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Emma was also interviewed by PSC senior fellow and award winning photographer, Michael Coyne (who was the lead photographer at publications such as the National Geographic, Newsweek and Time Magazine). Here’s a short podcast about Emma’s inspiration behind her series and why she chose to design her exhibition space in a house that was up for demolition:


Here’s what setting up the exhibition looked like (click to play):

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Within the first few hours of her exhibition opening, Broadsheet Melbourne (a leading online magazine that covers the latest news about Melbourne culture) wrote a story about her incredible exhibition concept:

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Not surprisingly, Emma was then interviewed by Stephanie Ferrier from ABC News! Here is the entire story:

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The PSC community support has been unconditional. I’ve never once felt like I need to conform to any particular style or genre, i’ve been free to express my creativity however I please & that encouragement has been invaluable in helping me get to where I am now. After the overwhelming response from this exhibition I might look at exhibiting it elsewhere in Australia and no doubt i’ll be off on another overseas trip soon to create a new body of work, possibly in rural China.
– Emma McEvoy

We are really proud of Emma’s awesome work and look forward to sharing more updates about her progress!

Celebrating PSC’s Winning Students of AIPP VPP

This year for the 2016 state-wide AIPP Victorian Epson Professional Photography Awards, PSC students submitted their work to one of the most prestigious competitions in the photography industry. 47 photographs from PSC received silver and gold awards, with students Neville Jones and Robert Palmer receiving notably high points at the awards – not to mention Allison Rose’s overall highest scoring point in print in the entire state!

The three top winning students all come from our part time group of classes, signifying the enriching photographic experience they receive from our award winning college.

PSC is excited to celebrate the achievements of all students at the AIPP awards, on Thursday (April 7) with a special toast to our talented students. Here are some thoughts from Neville, Robert and Allison:


Images by Allison Rose

Images by Allison Rose

“I was overwhelmed by the positive responses to my recent series “The Readymade” selected for exhibition over summer at PSC, then at the show for Emerging Women Photographers at Queen Victoria Centre as part of International Womens Day Celebrations & finally awarded the highest score for a print in the Victorian State AIPP Awards.

The series itself is a futuristic view of the ultimate consumerism, readymade babies, raising questions about the hollowness of technology, balanced against the natural sweetness of creation.  The language, imagery & colour palette reference the pop & dada movements.

The images were created as still life arrangements using a digital Xray machine as the camera, & then coloured in photoshop.  I was concerned in the first instance about where they would fit in the scheme of the AIPP awards.  Clearly they arise from an alternative process, but this avenue, in the AIPP awards is restricted to processes with an analogue output.  As a conceptual series, the images are not easy to interpret without contextualisation, again not part of the awards system, so I was uneasy about the reception in the illustrative category. Thanks to advice from (PSC teacher) Julie Wajs I printed a grid of the images to aid in the appreciation of the narrative.  Indeed 3 judges left the panel at the time of judging because they felt unable to contribute (my heart fell as I watched the live stream) and Julie Ewing, a grand master, stepped in.  She awarded the highest of the judges scores, but also gave an excellent explanation about what she believed the series was about, so I was very excited to hear that someone actually understood what it was that I was trying to say.  

The exposure & commentary has given me the further confidence to pursue conceptual art photography as a medium for me to have my say.   It is a rare privilege to be able to do this in any small way & this recent success has been huge in my purview.”

– Allison Rose

'Serenity' by Neville Jones

‘Serenity’ by Neville Jones

“I credit Neil Stanyer, my second year teacher PSC, for transforming my approach to photography. I commenced second year practicing photography as a technology-driven pursuit. By the end of second year I was seeing through the camera not looking at it.”

– Neville Jones

Image by Robert Palmer

Image by Robert Palmer

‘PSC has been instrumental in getting me here, at this level & experience of photography.’
– Robert Palmer

We will keep you updated about our celebrations and stories from our AIPP VPPY award winning students. To find out more learning photography with us part time, click here.



PSC Student Jo-Anne Cripps wins at the International Color Awards (LA)

Jo-Anne Cripps, a full time student in the 3rd year of the Bachelor of Photography program won an Honorable Mention at the world’s leading awards for the field of colour photography. She received this prize under the ‘Abstract’ category in the 9th International Color Awards (Los Angeles) during the last week of March. Jo-Anne is currently in the running for another prize with a very prominent photography festival, which we will share details of in the next few days!

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps


Here are some words from our amazing student-photographer, herself:

“During the past 2 years I have come to think of PSC as my second home. The encouragement and support from lecturers, staff and other students have contributed to my personal growth as a photographer.  The skills and knowledge I have gained has not only allowed me to understand ‘why’ I want to take a particular image but also ‘how’ I  visually want to convey the meaning of that image to the viewer.  I am majoring in Photojournalism and Documentary in the last year of my Bachelor of Photography. With the support of my lecturer, Katrin Koening, I intend to continue to develop my skills, both practical and personal and continue my growth as a photographer in a contemporary world. ”

Jo-Anne also won a silver award at the Epson AIPP Victorian Epson Professional Photography Awards for her image. We are extremely proud of her and are excited to share a feature on her this week!

Mastering The Foundation of Photography

Our Tier 1 students of 2016 are on an interesting path of developing their unique vision in photography with teachers Anat Cossen and Craig Wetjen. Introduced to the concept of constructing personal techniques in visual communication, students were encouraged to apply their styles and analyse a breadth of work from across the field.

Exploring areas of colour, light and composition our new group of student photographers were asked to develop a small portfolio of work that touched upon themes of ‘pattern and repetition’, ‘harmonious colours’ and ‘leading line’. Students came to class to have their work seen by their group, where elements were analysed and ideas about future photoshoots were brainstormed.

Image by Emily Skelton

Image by Emily Skelton

Image by Christina Tainsh

Image by Christina Tainsh

Image by Dan A'vard

Image by Dan A’vard

Anat also encouraged her students to make mix media collages to develop their understanding of communicating with imagery.


With Jonathan Shaw in the mix this month, we also had the privilege of taking part in an international online collaboration with Disruptive Media, Coventry University and Europeana Space, called #photomediations. Students enjoyed showcasing their collages online and playing a vital role in an international conversation about the technology of photography and ‘open access’.



During this time, Anat led her class to a Pat Brassington exhibition at the Arc One gallery, to immerse them in the current photography scene of Melbourne. Each student analysed one piece of work from the exhibition to further apply their practice of visual communication, with real world examples.


While students were looking at building their understanding of image design, they were taken on a hands-on exercise of lighting design with Craig Wetjen. The tier 1 class learnt about shape and form through lighting. Craig taught them different techniques that utilized ‘backlight’, ‘sidelight’ with reflectors and natural light.





Students transferred their understanding of lighting to their practice of image design, to successfully build a strong foundation in visual communications. We look forward to hearing about their assessments for their first module will go in the upcoming weeks! To know more about our curriculum, visit our website.

PSC’s First Buddy Lunch of the Year

PSC hosts buddy lunches for new students with their mentors. Students in their 2nd and 3rd years provide their support and wisdom, as they start a new chapter of finalizing their portfolios for their final assessments. New students get the chance to network and build life-long connections at our lunches.

They also have the chance to see how the work of their mentors have evolved over the years, as 3rd years showcase their previous assignment pieces. These lunches often provide a fun and reflective space for our students, who unite in their passion for the craft of photography.

Here are what some of our student mentors had to say:

 ‘The buddy lunches at PSC help new students to settle in. I think it’s inspiring to come together to think about our folios together in this way. It’s pretty cool because the mentoring gives them an anchor – they have 2nd and 3rd year students to help them out. We love to spend time with people at the college and like getting to know about what they want to do while they’re at PSC.”

– Alysha Jacobi

good tendai

“I’m excited about mentoring students; I’m taking it as another opportunity to learn from others while sharing my knowledge with them. I would like to teach photography in the long run, so mentoring is really special to me. PSC has been a huge change for me, personally. I was working in the finance industry for a really long time before I came here. I can definitely say that now, in my 3rd year, I’m starting to see my work come alive – it’s so exciting. PSC has been great because of its academic structure and support system. It gives you a good balance of the photography practice and business. It’s not just about studying photography at PSC, you learn to network.”

– Tendai Hatendi


“I plan to meet my mentees every four to six weeks to find out where they are with their projects and show them my work. It’ll be great to share feedback and ideas. I aim to help them with areas they need further development in, as I really want to encourage them to experiment with their work. Entering my 2nd year at PSC is exciting, because I know I’m going to dabble in every genre of photography I can while I’m here – I might try nature or fashion photography, and even portraiture. That’s what I love about PSC – the freedom to try out new styles and learn new things. The supportive network of teachers has been amazing; we get feedback from people who have active and successful careers themselves!”

– James Thorn


PSC also has industry mentor programs, where students in their final year of studies get to correspond with a practicing photographer from the field and get feedback from them . Learn more about our programs here. We look forward to seeing how our new students and mentors collaborate in the year!