PSC Wins 2015 AIPP Tertiary Institution of the Year

We are excited to announce that PSC has won the Tertiary Institution of the Year award for the fifth consecutive year at the 2015 AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPAs). This is a fantastic achievement and a well deserved honour for our students and staff!

“This is such a wonderful achievement for PSC! These industry awards judge student work from all over Australia and for the fifth year running to take out the top national education award is such a huge endorsement of what we do and the fantastic skills and unique vision of our students and teachers. We are so proud of our amazing students who are the new, upcoming creative professionals of the future.” Julie Moss – Managing Director of PSC

Congratulations to all students and a special mention to Elena D. San Roman who received a gold award and produced the highest scoring print in the portrait category and Vicki Moritz and Daniel Pockett whose great results saw them as finalists for the Australian Student Photographer of the Year award.


Managing Director Julie Moss with some of the PSC team

The APPAs are held annually and provide a great opportunity for photographers to connect and showcase their images, challenge themselves and receive feedback on their work. Photographers from all disciplines compete in a variety of categories including portrait, fashion, commercial, documentary, illustrative and landscape photography.

PSC’s Katrin Koenning Named Instagram Icon by Time Inc.

Images by Katrin Koenning, from her famous Instagram account

Images by Katrin Koenning, from her famous Instagram account

Congratulations to PSC teacher Katrin Koenning for being featured in Time for her unique and inspiring work on Instagram!

“I think Instagram is a great space to reach a large audience; it’s a space that is non-elitist and inclusive.For me, it is also a space that allows me to experiment with ideas.” – Katrin Koenning
To celebrate Instagram’s fifth birthday, Time (the world’s largest weekly news publication) asked five influential photographers to share the Instagram accounts they can’t live without. Top photographer Alec Soth named Katrin’s Instagram feed as one of his top five, applauding her for her ‘consistent aesthetic bliss’. Her account is full of rich, stylised and luminescent imagery that has won the attention and appreciation of countless Instagram users.

You may read more about the article in which Katrin was featured, by clicking the image below:

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Katrin teaches the photojournalism major for final year students in our Bachelor of Photography program. She is also a curatorial adviser for Wallflower Photomedia Gallery and her work has been published in Photographers’ Sketchbooks (Thames & Hudson 2014), The Guardian, Marie Claire Magazine, GUP Magazine, FLAK Photo, Humble Arts, Burn Magazine, Firecracker and Der Spiegel. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times and has won a number of awards including the Troika Editions Format Exposure Prize, the Bowness Photography Prize People’s Choice Award, Australia’s Top Emerging Documentary Photographer, a National Geographic Award and the JGS Award by the Forward Thinking Museum. Katrin regularly exhibits both nationally and internationally, including at festivals such as the Athens Photo Festival, PhotoIreland, New York Photo Festival (US), Noorderlicht (NL), FORMAT (GB), Voies Off (FR), Gijon Photojournalism Festival (E), Athens Photo Festival (GR) and PhotoIreland (IRL).

It’s wonderful to have such influential and talented people as part of the community at PSC.  We look forward to more posts from Katrin!
To learn more about our full time courses, click here.

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.

Meet the teacher: Scott McNaughton

Scott 2

Whilst undertaking the Advanced Diploma at PSC, Scott began his career as a freelance photographer in community newspapers. Having graduated from PSC in 1999, Scott decided to put his new skills to the test by working on photographic projects in New York.

Later, upon his return to Melbourne, Scott joined Fairfax Media as a photojournalist … where he still works today. He has worked through the reinvention of photography with ever evolving technology and, after over 11 years with Fairfax, continues to thrive on the pace and stimulation of the industry.

These days, Scott shoots full time for Fairfax Media and of an evening he returns to PSC to share his vast experience and skills with our part time students. Scott’s key role at PSC is delivering the part time creative camera and capture unit – the essential key to building strong technique and professional practice – along with the location lighting and people photography units. Drawing from his years of industry experience, Scott provides guidance and feedback helping students to explore their photography further, creating a dynamic portfolio of images.

We asked Scott what his favourite part of teaching was and he replied “I love working with the students on location where we go out and put into practice everything we’ve talked about in class. There’s this epiphany where it just clicks – that’s awesome … There’s also the sense of community you get when studying with like-minded people. The team I work with at Fairfax all happen to have studied at PSC, it’s like a hub of PSC graduates! It’s so true that those networks and connections you make in class carry through to the working environment.”

Scott believes photography is a craft and it needs to be taught face to face so that mastering of skills can be passed on, for it to remain a craft.

When not shooting for Fairfax or teaching at PSC, you’ll find Scott trawling the streets of Melbourne with his trusty black and white film camera in hand, looking for those decisive moments. Scott’s personal work focuses on communicating stories through a visual medium, creating a strong storyline and distinctive body of work.

He finds that “whether it’s shooting a political funding announcement or avoiding flying golf balls at an underworld funeral, everyday is as challenging as it is rewarding.”

Selection of Scott’s images below – you can see more of Scott’s photography at:

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The Image Makers – Ross Coulter

Photography Studies College
65 City Road
Friday 29 May 2015 
6:00 – 7:30pm 

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


Ross Coulter is an artist who uses photography, video, sculpture and painting in his practice. He explores notions of levity and gravity through poetic gestures.

As the 2010 – 2011 Georges Mora Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria he released 10,000 paper planes into the Domed Reading Room. He is currently constructing a photographic archive titled “Audience” that involves photographing an audience gathered in a gallery in which there is no art, watching a performance that doesn’t exist.

Ross has participated in exhibitions and residencies both in Australia and internationally and has been the recipient of a number of grants and prizes including the Keith & Elizabeth Murdoch Travelling Fellowship, the Australian Postgraduate Award, Arts Victoria (Creation) and from the City of Melbourne. He completed a BFA with Honours (Photography) (2004-2007) and a Masters of Fine Art (2012-2013) at VCA. He is currently a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary.

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

Vale Barry Thompson

Vale Barry Thompson

15.12.1944 – 2.4.2015

Unfortunately we have some very sad news. Our much loved teacher and Industry Liaison Coordinator Barry Thompson passed away just on Easter after a long illness.

He was such a loved and respected teacher here at PSC for more than 20 years – always so full of pizzaz and creative spirit!

He introduced PSC’s Industry Mentor Program and worked tirelessly to link students to the photography industry. He was passionate about assisting students to develop their careers and maintained ongoing links with our graduates and the industry.

His art and art practice was an essential part of his creative life as was his teaching and his connection with students  – it was so integral to who he was.

It’s a very sad time for all of us particularly those staff who worked so closely with Barry for so many years, and all our many students and graduates.

PSC is hosting a Memorial Service to celebrate his life. This will be held next Thursday 16 April 2015, at St John’s Southgate, 20 City Road, Southbank 3006, commencing at 11am with refreshments to follow afterwards at PSC, 65 City Road, Southbank. All welcome. At Barry’s request – wear something red.


The Image Makers – Ahmad Salman

Photography Studies College
65 City Road
Friday 24 April 2015 
6:00 – 7:30pm 

PSC students, graduates and the general public are invited to attend our Image Makers seminar with Ahmad Salman.

Ahmad Salman

Image from: ‘Tanah Yang Hilang’ (The Lost Lands) by Mamuk Ismuntoro

We are delighted to welcome Ahmad Salman, an independent photo editor and curator from Jakarta to discuss contemporary Indonesian photography. Ahmad is the founder of Buku Fotografi Indonesia (Photobook Club Indonesia), a venue for the exchange of information for photographers, publishers & Indonesian photobook enthusiasts. Buku Fotografi Indonesia is active in a number of ways through the development and promotion of photobooks – by Indonesian photographers; about Indonesia by non-Indonesian photographers; and works/academic studies on Indonesian photography. Especially for PSC Ahmad has curated a special selection of contemporary photography from Indonesia, and will be discussing the past, present and future of Indonesian photography. This is Ahmad’s first visit to Melbourne and we are very happy to be his hosts.

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

Students Learn to Communicate Without Speech

Working as a photographer often requires the use of body and sign language to help create rapport and communicate successfully. This is especially true when working with people who don’t speak the same language as us or with people with a disability. In both cases it is not sufficient to use only speech as a tool for communication.

In a workshop run by Erin Levesque from Milparinka, second year Advanced Diploma students learn what it feels like not be able to use speech to communicate. They followed this experience with exercises on how to use sign language and gesture to help overcome such communication barriers.

This workshop was part of a subject called: ‘Establish Photographer/Client Relations.’ In this subject students learn, through practice and theory, about how to successfully fulfill a brief. They do so by being paired with non-for-profit organisations in their community. This often requires students working with people with disability or people with English as their second language. There is also an emphasis on social documentary photography and the importance of empathy and communication in practicing as a social documentary photographer.


Images L-R: Flo experiencing what it feels like to try and communicate with Bianca without using speech; Erin introducing the Makaton sign cards for students to communicate with each other; the different gestures and their meaning; Erin talking about how sign language relates to photography; Harrison, Laura and Justice performing a clap as used by the deaf population; Roland (teacher) presenting his sign language sentence; Harrison presenting his sentence.

PSC Teacher Wins Australia’s Biggest Photography Prize

PSC is delighted to announce that Bachelor of Photography teacher Hoda Afshar has won the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. From 2500 entries the judges shortlisted 44 images to be exhibited at the NPG in Canberra. The exhibition opened last Friday and will be on display until the 8th June and will then travel to galleries all over Australia.

The winning image is from a series called ‘The Smell of Narenj’ that Hoda made during a recent trip to her country of birth, Iran. The photographs in this series reflect her personal view on contemporary Iranian society—a country whose reality is often either misrepresented, or hidden behind a heavy curtain. Hoda’s photographs do not claim to expose this reality; they are merely an attempt to capture the Iran that she knows — a knowledge that has been affected by the sense of nostalgia created through the distance caused by her migration to Australia. Her work deals with the impact of Iran’s complex history in the uncertain contemporary conditions of political life in Iran.

Hoda moved to Australia in 2007 and pursued her passion for photography. In 2010 she started a Masters in Fine Art at Curtin University and expanded her research into a PhD programme. Her work investigates the discourses around contemporary social issues including globalization, imperialism and power relations, displacement and post-identity politics. Her artwork also attempts to open lines of communication in a world both homogenized by global economy and unsettled by mass migration.

We are very proud of Hoda, a valued member of the PSC family, this is a great achievement that situates her at the forefront of contemporary photography in Australia.

Congratulations Hoda!


‘Portrait of Ali’ by Hoda Afshar (2014) – Winner of National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015