2017 Graduate Feature; Keely Farrugia

Today is it! Our final 2017 graduate feature before the graduation ceremony tonight.


Art photographer Keely Farrugia sat down and spoke to us about her three years at PSC.


Keely Farrugia, 2016


Hey Keely, after three years it’s all come to an end; when did you first start getting into photography? Why did you pursue it?

Well, when I was a child, I was always playing with the family camera. I’d often be in the backyard photographing plants, bugs and magpies, there was never a concept as too why, I guess I photographed whatever popped into the backyard and made it interesting. I was even more enthused by my friend’s father who happened to be a professional portrait photographer. This spiked my interest further when I got to hold his camera (Canon EOS 1D Mark IV), I was given the opportunity to photograph his daughters and watch over some of his portrait sessions. This was my first inspiration to become the photographer I am today.


Did you imagine you would become a portrait photographer like him?

Upon entering PSC, I aimed to be a creative fashion photographer. I had the goal of bringing a whole new concept and influence to the commercial/ editorial industry but also having the dream to one day be Annie Leibovitz’s assistant. I believe the most beneficial thing I’ve taken in so far is; it doesn’t hurt to slow down. Whilst learning how to drive a manual car, my great instructor said “You don’t have to go so fast as long as you get there at your own pace, everything will be fine”. I’ve lived by those words ever since, and as the days go by I’m just taking my time and enjoying life at my own pace.


Was that a challenge for you? Figuring out how to slow down?

No, the challenging moment was standing in front of people and talking about my work.

My most rewarding moment was receiving silver award in the APPAs and making friends during the course.


How did your style develop over the years you spent here?

To be honest I’m still trying to figure out what exactly is my style. It’s a work in progress, I’m inspired everyday whilst browsing through Pinterest and always finding a new challenge or wanting to appropriate an image. My style is all over the place, ask this question in 10 years, maybe I might have an answer but for now I’m still searching.


Keely Farrugia, 2016


What was your graduating folio about?

My graduating folio was literally about Breasts. It’s a debatable topic going on right now whether you know about it or not. My folio focused around the controversial issue of breasts and breast feeding in public. An exploration of society’s multiple outlooks on the female breast, using the body part as a confrontation towards public, social media and censorship but most importantly how it’s differentiated against it’s natural purpose. This idea came about, when scrolling through Facebook and watching several videos of social experiments of breastfeeding in public and the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign spiralling to an internet phase. I decided to take this on, in the form of a fine art project, at first it did start out as a joke but after thorough research and careful imaging there was a sense of guilt in the end. The amount of insults and injustice that attacks the female breasts was beyond what I first imagined but it pushed the project forward to show the viewer how natural and pleasant breasts can be rather than a sexual object.


Do you have any advice for current students?

Pinterest is your friend, use it and abuse it. Inspiration is the most important thing, if you don’t have it, how are you going to meet your goal without it?


What have you been up to since you left  PSC?


I’ve been picking up on film photography, using my Pentax Spotmatic and Ilford 400 film. Recently I’ve been photographing portraits and spiders, using double exposure technique. It’s weird and random, I know. Whatever floats your boat, so far I’m sailing into a new direction of interest. Challenge accepted.


Brilliant! So when you’re to taking photos of spiders on film, what do you do?

I either browse Pinterest to find motivation and/or inspiration or read a Jane Austen novel. Sometimes you find creative ideas and influences in the most inconvenient moments.


What inspires you?

I’ve probably said this twice now but anything and everything on Pinterest inspires me, although when talking about photography I’m always inspired by Annie Leibovitz, Cindy Sherman, Carrol Jerroms and Richard Alvedon. Everyday I’m truly inspired by my parents putting others first before themselves, going out their way to make my brother and I happy.


Do you have a dream job or shoot?

I have not given up on one day being Annie Leibovitz assistant, I vow to make it happen.



If you want to see what else Keely has been up to, check out her Instagram 


Keely Farrugia, 2016

2017 Graduate Feature: Tom Rogers

Today we are catching up with Tom Roger graduating photojournalist.


Tom Roger, 2016


What got you started in photography?
Back in high school, one of my teachers showed us the darkrrom process and I instantly fell in love with the process, how you can take a piece of paper and dip it in some chemicals and magically these forms and lines and tones and all of it evolves and creates an image right in front of you.


When you first started at PSC, what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
I was definitely going to be a National Geographic photographer tackling dramatic social issues around the world.

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned?
 To trust your instincts and to be bold with decision-making.


What was your most challenging moment at PSC?
 Learning to drive myself along and shoot freely in my own specific way rather then leaning on tutors and photographing in a way to try and please them.


Tom Roger, 2016


What was your most rewarding moment at PSC?
Making my final photobook. I love the process, I love the finished outcome and I was proud of how far I’d come.

How has your style developed?
I’d stopped trying to be other people that I thought I wanted to be and just photographed from my heart and what was true to me. I know now how best I work and how to get what I want rather then try and emulate someone else.

What was your graduating folio about? How did you arrive at this idea?
My graduating folio was about searching for intimacy within myself whilst maturing into adulthood, experiencing the world around me. 


Tom Roger, 2016


What are you working on at the moment?
A couple of smaller projects, one continuing on from my graduating folio as it forms a kind of diary for me personally as well as a documentary on the hospitality scene in Melbourne.

What advice would you give to current students?
Just shoot the c**p out of the world and trust your tutor. Katrin was endlessly helpful and I can not speak more highly of her and how she helped not just me but for everyone in our class.

What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
I’m working behind a bar saving to do a Vietnam photo trip and then a European travel.


Tom Roger, 2016

Where do you find your motivation?
Everywhere from seeing other peoples images and stories on the internet to just walking down the street and discovering something new and unexpected, I want to share what I see with others

Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by those around me, everyone has a story and everyones story deserves to be shared.

What is your dream job/shoot?
I would seriously love to be on long term assignments documenting society, whether it be social issues, minorities or just interesting people. I want to be immersed in something that’s different to my form of normal and to share that with the wider community.


To keep up to date with Tom, follow his work on Instagram




Tom Roger, 2016

2017 Graduate Feature; Morgan Hancock

Today’s graduate feature is photojournalist Morgan Hancock who has taken up a position at The Standard; a fairfax newspaper delivering the latest news and events in Warrnambool and south-west Victoria. We asked him a few questions about his time at PSC and now working in the industry straight out of study.

Morgan Hancock, 2016

What got you started in photography?
I got started in photography during high school, I took it as an elective as I had always enjoyed taking photos, during the school year I quickly realised how much I loved photography, and the creative scope that it allowed for.
When you first started at PSC, what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
When I first started at PSC, I imagined that I would become an all round better photographer. I had always enjoyed photographing sport so I wanted to see myself as a sport photographer, having completed my degree it made me a better photographer in every aspect.
What is the most beneficial thing you have learned?
PSC taught me a lot of time management skills, as well as thinking outside of the box which is ultra important in the photography industry.

Morgan Hancock

 What was your most challenging moment at PSC?
The most challenging moment at PSC would be the very beginning; I found it quite hard to get my head around all of the new aspects, including thinking of a folio, getting used to how PSC works and getting to know all of the new faces.
What was your most rewarding moment at PSC?
The most rewarding part was right at the end, when it was possible to have a look at the folio that I had created in the final year, which was a culmination of hard work over the prior years.
How has your style developed?
My photographic style has developed into a lot more of a documentary style. When I first began, I had attempted to create documentary works, however at the end of the three years my style was certainly a lot clearer.
 What was your graduating folio about? How did you arrive at this idea?
My graduating folio was based around spending a year inside a football club; this came about from my huge passion for football, and the simple fact that it quite often isn’t documented in such a way.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working at the Warrnambool Standard as a photographer, I am also working on some personal projects on the side; ranging from more sport photography work, to photographing abandoned sites.

Morgan Hancock

What advice would you give to current students?
I would tell them to enjoy the challenge, and make the most of being able to choose their own folio ideas.
What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
When I’m not taking photo’s there is a high chance that I will be off watching sport, or exploring a new place.
Where do you find your motivation?
I find motivation from constantly looking at other photographers work; I love spending time looking through world class photographers’ photos. Nothing motivates me more than flicking through a magazine or Instagram, and seeing images that I can have the opportunity to create.
Who/what inspires you?
I am mainly inspired by the dream that I can one day spend my time traveling and photographing sport, whilst creating jaw dropping images.
What is your dream job/shoot?
My long term goal has always been to work at a newspaper and/or an agency like Getty Images. My dream shoot would be the opportunity to cover the Olympic Games.
See more of Morgan’s work here on his website 

Morgan Hancock

2017 Graduate Feature; Emma Watson

Today’s graduate feature is on bachelor art student Emma Watson, yes you’ve heard her name before; she was a part of the ‘Element’s exhibition that was on display for the month of March at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. Once again not the actress!


Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016


Hey Emma, your final folio ‘Folding’ has been seen and spoken about quite a few times, but going way back; when you first started at PSC what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
To be honest I wasn’t entirely certain. I suppose at an earlier point during PSC I envisioned myself to be a major documentary photographer that travels the world. However, I soon realized that ideal didn’t match my personality or style in the slightest and that my work had to be a lot more silent and minimal.


How do you describe that style?
It’s a lot more coherent and specific to a narrative. Unlike when I first started where everything I produced was a bit higgledy piggledy, I now feel confident that I can produce a body of work that I know will reflect my personal style and story.


What got you started in photography? Was it the higgledy piggledy?
It’s always been second nature to have everything I experience in my life captured through a lens. Photography has always been a part of my life, in fact you’ll struggle to find a time that hasn’t been documented. I’m simply continuing on with what I’ve always known.


Emma Watson, ‘Folding’ 2016


What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
Mostly I read a lot of fiction. I find it to be a great source of inspiration for new ideas and just a great way to escape reality. It keeps me fresh and broadens the boundaries I unknowingly place on day to day situations.


What are you inspired by?
Books, documentaries, movies, diaristic photographic projects, really it’s anything that can change and challenge my point of view.


What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m in the early stages of trying to organize this concept of an online collaborative project where anyone can partake and submit their story/images. It’ll be a community for self expression, somewhere to be heard instead of ignored concerning specific topics. As I said it’s more of a concept than anything else at this stage.


Where do you get your motivation?
I find motivation from my past and present life experiences. All my work is very personal so naturally I draw everything I’ve and seen and felt to help me clarify a visual representation. It’s actually a very therapeutic process.

The chance to collaborate is a pretty big advantage of being at a place with like minded people, would you say that was the most rewarding part of PSC?
Actually, it was a day during my 3rd year where I confided in my beautiful teacher Hoda about the true meaning behind my work. It may sound as quite a small reward but it pushed my work into areas I wouldn’t of otherwise attempted or considered.

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned in your three years of study?

Naturally I learnt a great deal about the technicalities of photography, but I found that I learnt more about myself than anything else. I’ve now found so many different ways of self expression when words have previously failed me and by doing so have gained a much more profound sense of self and empathy for others.

What was the most challenging moment for you at PSC?
Without question it’d have to be me trying to break down those barriers I’ve built up within myself. The trick I’ve learnt for majoring in any art degree is allowing yourself to feel that vulnerability, to be utterly exposed and honestly raw within your concepts and self. It’s much easier said than done.
Can you give any advice to current students?
You’re going to face a moment when it feels like the world is out to get you. You’ll either lose your files, have no money for printing, or simply can’t break that mental slump of frequently trying to produce new ideas. The best advice I could give to someone at that time is to just ask yourself one question, am I doing this for the love or for the practicality of photography? Because if it’s for the practically you’re going to stop once you’ve reached that goal but if it’s for the love you’ll always continue on with the work.
See more of Emma’s work here

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016

Graduate Michael Embelton

We are very happy to hear from one of our graduates; Michael Embelton who completed the Advanced Diploma part time and is now working in architectural and product photography.

We sat down with Michael to have a chat with him about his experience here, and what he is doing now.



What got you started in photography?

I spent 4 years traveling and found taking photographs a great way to meet the locals and learn about the culture. I am quite shy so it gave me an excuse to engage others.


Why did you decide to study at PSC?

I had been working all my life for architectural design firms in one capacity or another but was no longer fulfilled. I then started photographing the projects I worked on, and really enjoyed it, so one day I walked out of the office and never went back.

The best decision I ever made.


How did PSC help get you where you are today?

There are a lot of photographers out there that went to PSC and understand if you graduate you will have a good understanding of the basics of photography and have something to offer as an assistant

The best thing about PSC is working with like-minded enthusiastic people.


How do you balance your commercial and personal work?

A majority of my work is architectural, and product photography, so I try to do at least one personal job a month. They range from fashion, to folio shoots, but the ones I really like are the unusual ones, like suspending models from scaffolding, or shibari (you’ll have to look that up).


What are you working on at the moment?

My next shoot is a Vogue style lingerie editorial and an outdoor version of my suspension shoot. I am also building a studio at home. I have finished the  MUA studio, change room, and cyclorama, and am now working on a number of different walls to use a backdrops.

My idea is to be able to offer a choice of backdrops all at the one place. i.e. cyclorama, old and new timber, brick, venetian blinds, etc. as well as outside locations.


Who and/or what inspires you?

Absolutely everything.

I am always writing down ideas. After a while you tend to see the world TTL. My greatest inspiration comes from the passion of others. Whether it be, models, MUA’s, or actors, everyone inspires each other. Photography can be lonely sometimes, so when you get an opportunity to collaborate, take it.


What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?

Doing what I love and surrounding myself with creative people. Everyone has a story, it is your job to find it and bring it to the surface.


What advice would you give to current PSC students or people thinking of enrolling at PSC?

  • Shoot as often as possible.
  • Always push the boundaries.
  • Don’t just take 200 shots and hope that one turns out, pretend your using film and make each shot count.
  • You learn from your failures, so do not be afraid to fail.
  • Never say ‘I will fix that in photoshop!’
  • Shoot self portraits.
  • Less is always better.
  • Marketing is everything.



See more of Michael’s work





PSC Teacher Julie Wajs – Exhibition & book launch next week!

You’re invited to join us in celebrating the World Of Difference exhibition and book launch at Media House Gallery, The Age Building (655 Collins Street) next Thursday evening (2nd of February) from 6pm – 8:30pm.

In January 2016, PSC teacher Julie Wajs travelled to Cambodia with World Of Difference, a charity established by Bronwyn Stephens who is a member of the Rotary Club of South Melbourne. The charity takes tours to Cambodia to introduce people to some of the many development projects that Rotary has helped facilitate there. Julie saw first hand the results of the work that World of Difference has done with villagers living in rural Cambodia. On her return to Australia she decided to put a book together for World of Difference to sell, to help raise funds to continue the work they are doing in Cambodia. Michael Short is The Age‘s chief editorial writer, as well as a columnist and opinion editor for The Sunday Age. In 2010, he created The Zone, an ideas and advocacy forum in The Age and across Fairfax Media’s online platforms. He is a board member and ambassador of a number of organisations, and is a frequent public speaker and moderator. Michael also did a trip to Cambodia and wrote several articles about the work that Bronwyn has done. His words have helped give context to Julie’s images.

We would love to see you there to support the fantastic people who have been working hard to support this great cause!

by Julie Wajs

We also spoke with Julie last week to hear about her experiences in Cambodia and she told us about the efforts to make a lot of the communities in Cambodia self sufficient by helping provide access to clean water, building a school and training teachers to help with the lack of education in the communities.

Julie travelled with a group of doctors, who were able to provide medical checks to people in need while she was able to take photographs and document the entire trip.

by Julie Wajs

In addition to the book, Julie has also put together an exhibition, with sponsorship from Ilford Paper and the PrintShop@PSC. The book and exhibition prints will be sold on the night, with all proceeds going to straight back to World Of Difference to continue training teachers and providing resources directly to those in need.

At PSC, Julie teaches the commercial major in both the bachelor degree and advanced diploma courses and has also been responsible for putting together our massive mid year and end of year exhibitions which is a huge job in and of itself!


Second year bachelor students prepare for their photobook exhibition

Our second year bachelor students are currently preparing for their photobook exhibition – this Friday the 25th of November at Magic Johnston Cultural Complex in Collingwood from 6pm – 8pm. Come along and see some incredible new photobooks and photographic prints!

“The most rewarding thing about studying at PSC is being able to discuss and share work with such a diverse and talented range of people whether they’re teachers or other students.” – Anastasia Jackson


by Fuad Osmancevic

by Fuad Osmancevic

“Having been encouraged to become independent thinkers, I’ve been able to push myself thanks to my lecturers.” – Fuad Osmancevic


“I think PSC has given me a chance to push my own ideas while also developing my skills and style. It’s really broadened my knowledge photographically, not only in a technical sense but also in regards to what is happening in contemporary photography around the world right now.” – James Bugg


“The most rewarding thing about studying at PSC is being in such an incredible environment that encourages creativity and exploration. The wealth of knowledge from both the staff and fellow students is invaluable.” – Sam Forsyth-Gray

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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Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 5.02.43 PM

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)

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!

Daniel Boetker Smith & Ying Ang Represent PSC / AP Photobook Archive as Keynote Speakers in NZ

New Zealand is having its first photobook festival in history; ‘Photobook New Zealand 2016’. Independent and established photographers as well as publishers from Mexico to Asia will be exhibiting their collections. PSC course director, Daniel Boetker Smith and PSC teacher Ying Ang, will be the prime keynote speakers for the event, presenting their expertise in making and distributing photobooks, as well as marketing them across the world.

Daniel Boetker Smith

Daniel Boetker Smith

As many of you may already know, Daniel also acts as  the Director of Melbourne’s Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive – not-for-profit, open access archive of self-published and independent photobooks that has grown to a total of 1000 books. Daniel will be bringing over a broad collection from all parts of the Asia-Pacific region, most never seen before in NZ. He will talk specifically about the recent emergence and development of the photobook in the Asia-Pacific region focusing on a number of collectives and organisations making a mark internationally.

Gold Coast Photobook by Ying Ang

Gold Coast Photobook by Ying Ang

Ying Ang’s own photobook ‘Gold Coast’ was the winner of the New York Photo Festival book prize and the Encontros Da Imagem book prize in 2014. Also nominated for the Prix Pictet Prize in 2015, the book will be presented at the festival. She is a prolific photographer who has had her books listed in Flak Photo, Lensculture and Magnum Photos. Also acting as the curator for the upcoming Obscura Foto Festival in Penang.

We are delighted about our students having access to such influential mentors in the industry. Daniel and Ying both have prolific careers in the field of photography and are happy to guide those at PSC when it comes to enriching their artistic abilities and careers.