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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.

The Who’s Who of the PSC Symposium


Welcoming the second PSC Symposium at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, are highly famous figures in the arts circuit. Our speakers are united in their interests in subject matters pertaining to ‘culture’, which is what our main point of discussion will be for the event. The concept of ‘Borderless Futures – Reimaging the Citizen’ points to a very crucial issue that affects everyone in our present day society, as populations shift about, lending a majority of people to live in places disconnected to their ethnic roots. Moreover, the role of photography and visual imagery today is more powerful than ever, as the individual now has total control over how he or she is represented. We look at the way visuals in the past have taught us to learn about our own histories, and question the protrayal of certain cultures by those who were given the power to capture identities.

At the PSC Symposium, the experts will take the floor, talking about their work and the question of what it means to be a ‘global citizen’ today.

Here’s our list of some people to watch out for:

Daniel Boetker-Smith


  • Co founder of Photobook Melbourne, Director of Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
  • Writes for Vault Magazine, Photoeye and Photofile
  • Winner of Bowness Photography Prize, Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography Award (documentary) and the Substation Art Prize
  • Curated two international photobook events for NGV (Victoria) and MCA (New South Wales)
  • Has been on the jury list for the Kassel Photobook Award in Germany

Anat Cossen

Anat Cossen

  • Born in Israel, where she exhibited work at the Tel Hai Museum of Photography
  • Certified in fine arts (she’s highly skilled in pencil sketching and interior design) receiving her MFA in Fine Art Photography from RMIT
  • She’s a professional commercial portrait photographer
  • Exhibited work at the Linden Gallery, Edmund Pearce Gallery and Open Space Gallery
  • Influenced by themes of ‘identity’ in her work

Philippa (Pip) Kelly


  • Creative producer for Asialink Artists in Residency Project Exhibition
  • Worked for ABC, SBS, Lonely Planet TV as producer/writer
  • Has a background in Anthropology (University of Western Australia)
  • Directed community on-screen projects for The Queensland Museum and Oxfam
  • Apart fro freelancing, she works as a filmmaker for The State Library of Queensland

Sanja Pahoki

VCA & MCM staff

  • Croatian born Australian photographer
  • Winner of 9 grants-awards including The Helsinki Studio Residency (Australian Council for the Arts), The Ian Potter Cultural Grant, The Australian Postgraduate award and the award for Critical Merit from the George Paton Gallery (University of Melbourne)
  • Her work has been exhibited more than 80 times, at venues such as Project Space (Melbourne), Sarah Scout Gallery, The Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) and at Centre Place (Melbourne) and the Melbourne Exhibition Centre
  • Her work observes elements concerning the idea of ‘self’, identity and anxiety
  • Currently is a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts and The University of Melbourne


Les Horvat

  • Commercial photographer with over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry
  • Winner of the Kodak Professional Achievement Award, the Ilford Trophy for Black and White excellence and various Silver Awards at The APPA’s
  • Established ‘Twilight Zone Studios’ as the centre of commercial photography in the professional world
  • Has had his work exhibited in Korea
  • Is currently a Senior Fellow at PSC


Alasdair Foster


  • Was Founding Director of Fotofeis (Scotland)
  • Former Director of Australian Centre for Photography
  • Has worked on various media projects as artist, curator, writer, editor, policy advisor, researcher and photographer
  • Current ambassador for the Asia Pacific Photo forum
  • Founding Member of the International Network of Photography Centres


Kristian Häggblom


  • Senior lecturer at La trobe University
  • Exhibited his work in more than 30 venues across the world; Tokyo, Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia and Los Angeles
  • Winner of 11 photography awards from The Nomura Cultural Foundation, The Leica Documentary Photography award (Centre for Contemporary Photography) and the Swiss Arts Council
  • Established and curated the RoomSpace gallery in Japan (Shinjuku)
  • Currently researching the role of photography in surveillance and its socio-political effects


Hugh Hudson


  • Lecturer and Information-Research Development Coordinator for PSC and Honorary research Fellow for The University of Melbourne
  • Writer of the 1800 edition electric catalogue for publications in the Autograph Collection (15th – 20th Centuries) for The State Library of Victoria
  • He has been published 36 times in Art magazines, journals and books concerning Renaissance and Medieval art (Antiques and Art, Paregon, Arth Monthly)
  • Specialist in Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in The State Library of Victoria, writing 11 records for the department’s research repository
  • A distinguished scholar, graduating with a Double Major, Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Art History, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Curatorship.
  • Researcher in subject matter pertaining to visual arts and culture in society, especially in issues regarding ‘cultural management’

Rita Lazaukas


  • Winner of 5 art awards including the Wodonga Hume Acquisitive Contemporary Award, The Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive and the Tallangatta Arts festival. She was also a finalist for 12 art prizes, for names like Citigroup Photographic Portrait Prize, Dominique Segan Drawing Prize, Hutchins Works on Paper and the Dobell Drawing Prize
  • She has exhibited work at Birds Gallery, Monash University Switchback Gallery, Beechworth, ArtSpace (Wodonga), The Art Gallery of NSW, The Bendigo Art Gallery, Maudespace and the Westpac Gallery (The Victorian Arts’ Centre)
  • She is currently the General Manager of the ‘Amazigh Cultural Tours’ program in Morocco, as a custodian of the arts-culture of Morocco.
  • She has had 20 years of experience working as a curator for well renowned galleries around the country
  • She is a visual artist who focuses on fine arts; her work is inspired by landscapes, cityscapes and architecture.


Bella Capezio

Isabella Capezio

  • Teaches at The Photography Studies College and co-runs the Ruffian Gallery (Footscray)
  • Designed and ran the Footscray Foto Focus intensive photography workshop
  • Organiser of workshops and competitions for the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
  • Her work adheres to cultural influences of Mexico, questioning spiritual practices and traditions.
  • She has published 7 photobooks which span her journeys to various countries (Cambodia and Ethiopia)


Claire Monneraye


  • Curator of Exhibitions as well as the International and Satellite Projects at the Australian Centre for Photography
  • Previously worked at the Centre Pompiduo and Reunion de Musees Nationaux (Paris)
  • Recently curated a collaborative exhibition with curators based in Berlin and Budapest, titled ‘Ex & Post – Eastern Europe Under the Lens’
  • Graduated in literature, philosophy, history with a Masters in Cultural Heritage Studies
  • The themes she likes to work with are representations of culture in society and the female identity

We’re sure to have piqued your interest and know that coming along to the Symposium will be an eye opening event! Read more about it here: https://www.psc.edu.au/symposium/ and don’t forget to book your spot:  http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=148035

Raquel Betiz Presents ‘Forget Me Not’ at the BIFB

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Raquel at her own BIFB Fringe Exhibit area at Ballarat, presenting ‘Forget Me Not’.


Raquel Betiz talks about her life at PSC and the inspiration behind her work.  Changing her career path from tourism to photography, learning the art has opened her eyes to a world of adventure and happiness.

She has also been chosen for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale calendar, which you can order from the event site. 

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Our Own Emma Rose on Being Selected for the BIFB

Emma Rose, our talented graduate of PSC who has returned to extend her journey with us through the Pathways Program, speaks about her experience in getting selected for the Projections Program at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale this year:
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

There have been 45 artists chosen, from 16 countries around the world.
My series, Fish Tank, includes 20 photographs exploring today’s rapidly shifting landscapes: the humdrum of daily routines, rise of solo lifestyles and the overall ease with which people are interacting with largely artificial spaces. As government surveillance heightens, there’s a looming presence and an overriding sense of isolation of the individual in an indifferent world.
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

I’m an Advanced Diploma graduate from last year’s fine-art major, with a background in journalism and theatre. My work has been significantly influenced by Melbourne’s distinct brand of architecture. I have a passion for people-watching and capturing fleeting everyday moments — particularly the dynamic between humans and inanimate objects and the modern landscapes they inhabit.
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale runs from August 22nd to Sept 20th, and the Projections Program loops on a big screen at the Ballarat Mining Exchange from 10am to 5pm daily throughout the festival.

A Rare Experience Awaits You at the PSC Symposium 2015


PSC returns to Ballarat for the second time for the grand Symposium opening on Saturday, 29th of August. This year, the theme is ‘ Borderless Futures : Reimaging the Citizen’ which may be deemed as controversial, but a current issue nevertheless. Discussions surrounding the power and role of photography in examining cultural identities in the face of globalization and movement, will be the centre of all discussions in the ‘Old Law Court Building’. The venue will be bustling with 20 guest speakers for the event, ranging from artists, lecturers and directors of various institutions.

Image by Katrin Koenning

Image by Katrin Koenning

Keynote speakers heading the two major panel discussions are Judy Annear and Nikos Papastergiadis, who are highly distinguished curators and educators in the industry. Judy has been touted as Australia’s most prolific writer on the subject matter of photography, working previously on publications with Art Network, Photofile, Art-iT Asia and Broadsheet. She has been the senior photography curator at the Art Gallery of NSW for 20 years. Nikos shares a rich history of being an influential figure in the industry. He is currently the director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures at the University of Melbourne, simultaneously leading projects with the Australian Research Council. Being the strategist for the government in the past, providing expertise on issues surrounding issues on cultural identities, Nikos has been an important writer, working on various publications since 1993.

Apart from our well renowned keynote speakers heading the theme of our Symposium, other guests of equal stature will look into different spheres of photography tradition, transformations, history and the presence of social media.

Very rarely do such significant events in photography occur. The PSC Symposium will undoubtedly be a momentous occasion attended by important artists and scholars who will converge to partake in incredibly important conversations.  It is a great opportunity to be a part of this and we encourage you to book your place here as soon as possible, due to limited vacancies. We look forward to meeting you there!



Exploring Stories with PSC’s Amber McCaig at the BIFB


Photograph by Amber McCaig


“I just love people and photographing people, but especially just real people and getting to know them by delving a bit deeper and trying to explore their environment and their life.”

PSC graduate Amber McCaig, is one of the 21 major photographers invited to showcase her most recent work at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Having presented her previous projects in London, Tokyo and Sydney, she now is set to launch her series ‘Americana Now’ on the 22nd of August in the Core Program of the festival. Amber is well-renowned in the photography circuit and remains to be a huge inspiration to the many students still studying at PSC – after all, she has been a finalist in the Renaissance Photography Prize, won 3 silver medals at the Canon APPA awards and 2 silver medals at the Victorian Student of the Year Awards!

Apart from having a rich portfolio while studying at PSC; experimenting in still life photography (which was as thought provoking, imaginative and symbolic as her portrait photography) and finding her niche, her career has had a remarkable turnaround as a result of achieving her degree. Amber is currently a producer for Andrew Richey Photography, and she manages Ripe Studios in South Yarra.


Amber’s ‘Americana Now’ series is an exploration of the quirks that people acquire and how they form attachments to certain ways of life that may seem unexpected to ‘outsiders’. Amber recently expressed that her purpose with the series was to question why certain people felt so strongly about the 50’s and 60’s (in particular), and why they wanted to “embody it physically and mentally”. Through her work, we are undoubtedly exposed to an unseen community of individuals who celebrate a shared sentiment of nostalgia. Amber’s work is insightful and daring, as we get a glimpse of the personal spaces of her subjects, whose stories unfurl before us, frame by frame.

Experience ‘Americana Now’ at the BIFB this Saturday and catch Amber herself at the Launch Program.

PSC is delighted to present …

A Spotlight on Fashion Photography at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

A Kaleidoscope of talented artists from our wonderful city will be showcasing their hard work and eclectic styles during the week of 28th August to 4th September. While the fashionistas and models get set to note the various who’s-who of the fashion industry, we know that the main character of the show is the ‘fashion photographer’; the one who captures the magic and keeps the memories alive, forever.

Being Melbourne’s foremost centre of photography education, PSC students collaborated in the 2014 Melbourne Spring Fashion Week on a unique exhibition with Nixi Killik  to create striking new images of her work in an urban inner city environment – see our earlier blog post for further details here and watch the behind the scenes video.

This year we’re proud to announce an even greater role by hosting 3 events as part of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, thanks to the recognition given by The City of Melbourne to carry this event forward.

On Sunday 30 August, we celebrate the amazing efforts of fashion photographers, by sharing high-level industry knowledge and professional expertise to the public, with our fashion photography masterclass (session limited to 10 people only) taught by the talented and extremely sought-after photographer, Ed Purnomo.  You can book your place for this workshop here.


Image: Ed Purnomo

Following this, on Wednesday 2 September, is ‘When the Sky Fell Down: The Myth of Guy Bourdin’, a tribute to French fashion photographer, Guy Bourdin; a preview of a documentary about the photographer who worked for names like Chanel, Bloomingdales and Gianni Versace and made waves with his fresh and daring approach to fashion photography. The director-producer of the documentary (from which the event is titled), Sean Brandt, will walk us through the journey of the brilliant artist, with rare footage and exclusive interviews, accompanied by senior curator of NGV, Susan Van Wyk and PSC Bachelor course director Daniel Boetker-Smith. Sean Brandt, who worked with Guy Bourdin during 1982 – 1985, was accepted as an exclusive director of Sundance Institute. His profiles include shooting editorials for GQ, Vogue (starring Pharrel Williams), L’Oreal and Harpers Bazaar.

Sean brandt

Image Sean Brandt

Finally, on Thursday 3 September, we present the third event in the PSC-MSFW series ‘Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next’ seminar by Magda Keaney; artistic director of Glassworks (Canberra). Magda will be presenting her upcoming publication ‘Fashion Photography Next’, which was exhibited at the FOAM Museum (Amsterdam) amongst other venues around the world. Her experience working at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, as well as the Fashion Space Gallery (as creative director) in London, truly makes her book an authentic account of the goings-on in the fashion world, as it highlights the current practices and economy of the industry, in the light of photography.


Images Magda Keaney

Seats are filling fast for these events; if you’d like to be part of it then don’t miss out, click the banner below to book your place. We look forward to seeing you there.


2015 Bowness Photography Prize Finalists Announced

Congratulations to PSC student David Bibby who has been announced as a finalist in this years Bowness Photography Prize!

The Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation and was established in 2006 to promote excellence in Australian photography. It has become one of the highest awards for photography in the country and receives hundreds of entries from renowned and up and coming photographers.

David’s image is from a folio series he produced as part of his Bachelor of Photography studies. Another image in this series received a gold award at the Victorian AIPP awards earlier this year. David was thrilled to hear the news,  ‘I’m amazed and very excited that this series has been received so well. This will be my first gallery appearance, and of course the next challenge is perfecting the print’.

Well done David!

Check out his stunning image and read his artist statement below.


Image & artist statement (below) by David Bibby

Fear of dark places gave our ancient ancestors an evolutionary advantage, by priming brains and bodies for a fight-or-flight response when faced with the threat of danger or the unknown. These primal fears also had a strong influence on our cultures. Our fear of darkness and of forests, as dark places that conceal the unknown, has placed them at the centre of many of our myths, legends and folktales. 

Despite, or perhaps because of our fear, we seem to have an attraction to the darkness and there is something intrinsically beautiful in many dark images. Maybe the darkness has become a refuge in the modern world for those things we can’t control, including mystery and imagination.

#PSCPenang at the Obscura Festival

The Obscura Photo Festival is not obscure at all. It is in fact, one of the most prominent events in the photography industry. Held in Malaysia for the fourth time, the festival attracts artists and photographers from continents far and wide. The venue is ‘George Town‘, Penang – a buzzing city that was once a tiny village discovered by a British trader in 1786. Adorned with the architectural remnants of the colonial era, and coloured by an amalgamation of rich cultures from the peninsula, the city is slow and laid back, giving you the feeling that everything is suspended in time.  With the onset of the Photo Festival, one can expect the pace to shift, with the flurry of workshops, exhibitions, talks and networking sessions all in store for the many visitors expected to attend.

We are especially excited about this, since our 2nd year Bachelor Program students are headed to the event. They’re being led by Daniel Boetker Smith, the course director of PSC who also heads the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive (APPA) and co-founded the Melbourne Photobook Festival, (the first photobook festival held in Asia Pacific) which was launched in Melbourne this year. He is accompanied by lecturer Isabella Capezio, who is an extremely active artist and photographer in the industry. Isabella has been responsible for activating Photobook competitions in countries like Cambodia and has done many workshops with APPA, as well as the Angkor Photo festival.

Exclusively held for PSC students, the Obscura Photo Festival has 3 amazing workshops in the pipeline, with Hajime Kimura, Sarker Protick, Wawi Navarroza and Leonard Pongo taking the spotlight.

Students will be there for the week from 9th August to celebrate the art and industry of photography, networking with established as well as emerging photographers and curators, from around the globe. We are excited about their trip and look forward to hearing about their experiences.

The Image Makers – Paul Batt

Photography Studies College
65 City Road
Friday 31 July 2015 
6:00 – 7:30pm 

We are pleased to invite PSC students, graduates and the general public to attend our Image Makers seminar with Paul Batt.

Paul Batt

Image by Paul Batt: Untitled Hostel Series 1999

Paul Batt is a graduate of both the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) photography departments and is currently a PhD candidate in Fine Art (Photography) at Monash University.

Paul’s work has been exhibited widely throughout Australia and overseas in both solo and group exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Australian Centre For Photography (ACP) and The Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) as well as receiving numerous national photography prizes and awards. Batt’s work has featured in a number of national and international publications and his works is held in significant public collections such as the La Trobe University Museum of Art (LUMA) and Monash Gallery of Art (MGA).

This is a free event however numbers are strictly limited. Bookings are required and can be made online via Eventbrite.