Currently in her second-last semester at PSC, Advanced Diploma of Photography student Emily Skelton is already setting up her career; working with her local football club, as well as becoming a well-known figure around her hometown of Bacchus Marsh.
We caught up with Emily to learn more about her journey so far.
When you first started at PSC, what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
At the end of year 12 and the start of PSC I had this idea of being a famous fashion photographer, the one who takes incredible Vogue cover shots. I wanted to control the day, the shoot and get all creative, but as I started to learn at PSC it was becoming harder for me to see that for myself. My ideas started to change, I still wanted to do really creative things, but I wanted to be able to capture moments people would have for a lifetime.
What got you started in photography?
My mum and dad handing me a 35mm camera at the age of 2. That’s how it started, taking photos for mum and dad when they wanted to be in the picture. Mum has a particular photo in an album at home of herself and my sister, under the photo the caption says “photo by Emily”; I was 2.
I was never was really good at English and Math at school, so art was always my favourite subject. I was a very good painter, but I realise now that whenever we went out I would end up with the camera in my hands and I would be taking photos of everything from the ground, to the plants, to my family. Then as I got older I wanted to do more, so I would plan out photoshoots and get my friends to model for me. I still remember the first photoshoot I did; I borrowed a Canon camera off a friend, I pinned a white sheet up in my grandmothers granny flat with my friends in front of it wearing white t-shirts. We had bright-coloured paint and used it to paint my friends hands, then print it onto their face. I loved it and that for me was the beginning of everything, but I wanted more.
What has been your most rewarding moment at PSC?
Not that I’m big on grades and all, but receiving a mark which I didn’t think I would get really showed me that if I push myself more I can truly achieve what I want. Being a part of open days and career expos has also been really rewarding too, as I can tell people my story and my experience here, as well as being able to meet potential students and make new friends.
What is the most beneficial thing you have learned?
Before I came to PSC I was self-taught; I shot jpegs in my backyard on a little Sony camera. I have benefited from everything; starting with the basic stuff in first-year, to all the studio set-up now. I have learned how to capture an image with the correct light and what angles to shoot from, I have learned how to use my camera and control it so I can get the very best out of images. If you had told my high-school self this, I would not have believed you at all. This course and school has changed me for the better, I have grown so much in my work and myself and I have truly found something I love.
What was your most challenging moment at PSC?
Everything has been challenging in its own way and of course some things will be harder than others, some things take more time to learn, or sometimes you don’t have an idea and you have to work with what you’ve got and go for it.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on lots! I’m shooting every Saturday for the Bacchus Marsh Cobras (local footy club) which is a thing I keep growing and manage to get a new angle every week. I’m also working on building up my clients by shooting a few weddings. I have done a few jobs that have been printed onto glass and have now been installed into peoples new kitchens. I am always working on the next creative shoot I could be doing. It’s a good thing I have two sisters; one that wants to be a special effects makeup-artist, and the other who wants to be model. We are always coming up with new ideas and things we can work on together.
Where do you find your motivation?
Myself, and my life which includes my family and friends, as well as any events that happen.
Where do you want to take your photography?
Everywhere! I want to take it from within my hometown to overseas. I want to create or capture moments. As long as I’m creating and exploring the world with my camera; I’ll be happy. I want my photos to help people remember their moments in life because if you have an image, you know you’re not going to forget it.
Who/what inspires you?
Everything inspires me; I draw elements of life events into my work, from random creative ideas that happen to personal things that have happened. Watching movies also give me ideas as does the music I listen to.
How has your style developed?
Well my style has developed from shooting with natural light, with a white sheet in my backyard (which I still do) to setting up studio lights and controlling everything. My style has grown with me and we both have changed over the years as I try to find myself and where I belong in the photography world.
What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
I’m either at my local cafe with friends drinking coffee, or I’m at home sleeping, but sometimes I work with my dad.
What advice would you give to current students?
You can make it! Keep pushing and build up your foilo, believe in yourself and just keep working hard because hard work can get you anywhere.
To keep up to date with Emily, follow her on Instagram