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.

Research
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 .

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!

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:

_DSC3363
 ‘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

_DSC3351

“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!

PSC’s Industry Engagement with The Age

Many of you may be familiar with the way we create opportunities for our students as they hone their talents in their specific areas of photography. One of the most notable Industry Engagement Programs at PSC is our tie up with The Age newspaper. Specifically organised for those in the photojournalism major, the internship gives selected students a chance to work with staff photographers from The Age, as well as the experience of working ‘independently to produce a range of published work in various sections of the paper’.

Our part time students, Daniel Pockett and Adrianne Harrowfield, were chosen in 2015 as a result of their hard work and rich folios. Working over the period of December to January, Daniel and Adrianne had their work published in print and online. They immensely enjoyed the opportunity of working towards deadlines and receiving ‘valuable mentoring from established professionals at both the photographic and editorial level’.

Salona Chithiray – a PSC graduate who also studied part time and was selected for this exclusive internship with The Age in 2014, directed, filmed and edited this year’s highlights. Here’s a snapshot of the exciting experience that PSC offers:

PSC’s industry opportunities provide work experience to those who are passionate about the craft, throughout their time here. We aim to give students the real-world exposure they deserve, allowing their amazing talents to be shared with those in the field of photography. Our aim is to support our students as they carve out successful and prolific careers for themselves. For more information on our programs, visit our website.

[Source: Bill Bachman]

Conceptualising a Women’s Day Exhibition with Julie Wajs

Teacher and head curator at PSC, Julie Wajs takes a fresh approach to curating an exhibition for one of the most important days of the year. For our ‘Women in Photography’ focus this month, she gives us an insight into the care taken to organise ‘Our Stories… Our Vision…’ . This is a celebration of International Women’s Day with works selected by PSC’s talented pool of female photographers. These are currently being exhibited at the Queen Victoria Women’s centre.

Here are Julie’s thoughts about the event and her approach to curating the exhibition:

For International Women’s Day our exhibition at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre had to be a selection of work by our female students across different majors of the college. It’s always good to have a bit of a mix in the scheme of things stylistically, especially in such a public space that has a historical aspect to it. We were very conscious of the fact that the centre supports women in all areas of life; both politically and emotionally, and the work chosen for this had to be reflective of that. There’s always a sense of responsibility when putting any exhibition together – you definitely have to be sensitive to the space you’re in.

By Elena D San Roman

By Elena D San Roman

Selecting some of the bigger pieces of work by students and graduates, the subject matter in each series deals with personal, political and fashion-related issues in some way, mirroring the perspective of women.

Margaret Lim

By Margaret Lim

What makes this exhibition interesting is the fact that it ranges across students who study full time and part time at PSC, which means that we are looking at work produced by a cross section of different generations. It’s a great way to see how a wide age group approaches certain topics differently, or sometimes in very similar ways.

By Emma McEvoy

By Emma McEvoy

I hope those who come to the exhibition are provoked into engaging with the work and having an opinion about them. It’s important for us to get people to think about some of the aspects that these photographs are touching upon.

To be a part of the exhibition, visit the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre on 210 Lonsdale Street, on 9th March at 6pm.  You can hear more about Julie’s process of curating here

Shing Chia on Connecting with People and Getting Published

Shing Headshot

Shing received his first SLR Camera (a Canon 300 series model) as a teenager and was always on a quest to take excellent photographs. Years later, he enrolled himself at PSC with the aim of fulfilling this dream. During his final year of studying part time, Shing had the wonderful opportunity of getting his work published by Royal Auto Magazine (RACV). Creating a series of images at PSC to submit to Royal Auto, he was selected by the editor to work on various assignments for the magazine.

His first piece turned out to be an interesting interview with RACV model-plane-enthusiast Bill Bloodworth. Shing made a short video on this personality, which has just been released on Youtube:

Shing enjoyed having the artistic freedom to manage shoots according to his vision, while working for Royal Auto. He was able to create concepts and think of solutions for each assignment, on the fly. After executing the style and vision he learnt to develop at PSC, while working for the magazine, his hard work and uniqueness paid off. Royal Auto chose him to shoot an important heritage feature on RACV vintage cars that was produced in their digital edition of December 2015.

Here’s a video he produced for the publication:

(You can access the photographs and article, by downloading the Royal Auto magazine app.)

Shing currently works in the IT infrastructure team for a business school. His motivation for never giving up on his part time studies was the drive to learn from those who changed his perspective:

“Producing great photography, telling stories and striking an emotional connection with your viewers is important. This is something that my lecturers at PSC taught me. If the picture doesn’t connect with anyone, people won’t feel like seeing your work- no matter how great your technique is.”

Image by Shing Chia

Image by Shing Chia

Shing has a deep interest in covering people stories, which he knows is the highest mountain to climb – yet the most satisfying. His advice for taking portrait shots, is to try talking to your subjects and engaging them in a conversation that reveals who they are, before taking your camera out.

Image by Shing Chia

Image by Shing Chia

His ‘Master and Apprentice’ series is a testament to his passion of photography. It is a personal project that was further developed at PSC and focuses on old trades that are disappearing from society. During the course of developing this series, Shing felt his respect grow for the old fashion methods of creating things. He admires the tenacity of business owners from previous generations who struggled against all odds to make their dream a reality, and pass down their skills to younger generations. The project is one that is constantly evolving; Shing is now capturing trades that have ‘significant histories’.

Image by Shing Chia

Image by Shing Chia

For Shing, people are extremely fascinating to capture. It makes perfect sense, since he’s a well traveled person who has experienced the joy of building connections with those of varied cultural backgrounds. Shing was born in Borneo and moved to Singapore at the age of 11 to live with guardians. He then migrated to Tasmania, along with his family and moved to Melbourne in 1996.

Image by Shing Chia

Image by Shing Chia

Shing is currently very busy with clients since completing his studies from PSC. He is working on developing a new website at the moment, and we wish him all the best for his future endeavours.

To learn more about Part Time courses beginning on March 9 at PSC, contact us.

Student Feature: Mathew Molloy

Our inspiring feature for the weekend is Mathew Molloy, our Advanced Diploma student in Stage 3. Mathew’s work largely revolves around themes related to liberation from anxiety and freedom. He is a fine art and fashion photographer who develops images that speak about ‘the power and beauty of emotion that exists throughout our being.’

Image by Mathew Molloy

Image by Mathew Molloy

Here is a little Q/A with Mathew:

Describe your first impression of PSC:

I was so blown away by the students’ work hanging on the walls on that first Open Day.

What do you like most about PSC?

I would have to say that it put me in an environment where I was surrounded by like minded people, all heading towards the same goal. 

Image by Mathew Molloy

Image by Mathew Molloy

What is your favourite class and why?

Studio. I love working in the studio where I am free to manipulate the light towards the outcome I am after. 

How different is your photography and conceptual skill now, compared to the first week of the course?

My photography is now at a stage where I have the confidence to shoot anything for any client.

What’s your dream job? Where do you hope to be ten years from now?

I am fortunate enough to have some good clients at the moment, but I would love to gain some more international clients. I hope to have a great international clientele allowing me to work all over the world. 

What advice would you give to future students?

Be brave in the concepts that you are going to produce. You will not standout from the crowd if you are going to base your work on concepts or styles that have been done time and again. Work hard to find and refine your own photography style, that way you will be much more comfortable with the work you produce. 

Image by Mathew Molloy

Image by Mathew Molloy

Meet New PSC Student Louise Chen!

Louise Chen
“My first day at PSC was brilliant. I enjoyed my classes and felt that the teachers were open to answering questions and spending extra time with us. I hope to conquer the technical aspects of photography in my course, as I plan to major in Photojournalism.” – Louise Chen, our new Advanced Diploma student has recently started her course at PSC and has spent years working as a volunteer photojournalist for The Green Left Weekly. We’re excited to see the work that Louise develops at PSC and encourage you to follow her Instagram account to see her wonderful images.