PSC’s Busy Month of August Continues with the BIFB and Symposium

Amber McCaig: 'Americana'

Amber McCaig: ‘Americana’

As a major festival sponsor of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, PSC gets ready for another season of exhibitions and panel discussions, creating a buzz in the photography industry worldwide.

Our very own Print Shop at PSC has been busy with their sponsor duties printing the works of artists Yurko Dyachyshyn and Amber McCaig (PSC graduate) opening in the BIFB Core Program, along with emerging artist and PSC student Raquel Betiz exhibiting in the Fringe Program this year! The artists chose our own Print Shop thanks to a rich list of clientele and numerous referrals. Printing such large scale work for the various exhibitions required a high level of expertise to transform small images into spanning pieces, using test prints of each photograph to get more clarity in definition and colour. Furthermore, artists had to consult the Print Shop about the choice of paper for their work, to get the perfect look that would allow their subjects to come alive. The Print Shop at PSC is a prized centre for photography printing, playing a major role in our sponsorship of the BIFB 2015.

The BIFB photography festival is held for a month every second year, featuring established and emerging photographers from Australia and around the world – some of whom are graduates and current students of PSC.

During the course of the next week, the PSC blog will be focusing on the stories and works of our graduate students Amber McCaig (winner of the last BIFB Folio Prize), Jenny Hodge and Marie Watt (of the Bachelor Pathway), along with current students Emma Rose, Ian Kemp and Raquel Betiz, plus our first year coordinating teacher of the Advanced Diploma course, Craig Wetjen – who are all being showcased at the BIFB. It is an honour for us to see the developments and achievements of these amazing artists and we look forward to hearing about their experiences at the event.

In addition to playing such an important role during the Biennale, PSC is delighted to host our own Symposium event on the 29th of August, at Ballarat. Laid out for the Symposium is a series of thought-provoking panel discussions, titled ‘Borderless Futures – Reimaging the Citizen’, lead by industry renowned and respected keynote speakers Judy Annear and Nikos Papasterigiadis.


About the Ballarat International Foto Biennale:

Officially established in 2009, the BIFB is one of the most important events in Australia, dedicated to promoting the best photography from the region and beyond. The Core Program in the BIFB presents 21 prominent artists in 7 locations around the quaint town, while The Fringe Program exhibits around 300 emerging artists. The participating venues (totalling to 80 this year), will be bustling with artists at seminars, talks, workshops, competitions, video installations, documentary screenings, book signings and portfolio reviews. The BIFB aims to spark conversations about trends and bountiful opportunities in photography.

To be a part of the huge event, visit the BIFB page and book a place for yourself at the PSC Symposium.

National Geographic’s Jason Edwards Gives PSC Students Career Advice


One of the first Australian photographers to be accepted into the National Geographic, Jason Edwards has been traveling the world, filling up pages of various portfolios with breathtaking stills of wildlife. Deemed as one of the most prolific ‘natural history’ photographers in the world right now, he has won accolades from publications such as BBC Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveller, The New Yorker, not to mention the Australian Geographic Society Pursuit of Excellence Award, as well. Being an ambassador for Tourism Australia and a highly active educator in the fields of environmentalism, indigenous culture and photography, he took some precious time out of his hectic routine to give PSC students career advice, about carving a place for themselves in the dynamic and competitive industry. Students were astonished by their sheer luck of having such a distinguished guest speaker, and received a lot of insight about his workflow process, as well as certain copyright and business strategies to keep in mind. Jason provided information about the World Nomads Photography Competition (that he judges) in which winners are given a travel scholarship to accompany him on his assignments. We hope photographers from PSC get to be a part of this, and we really thank Jason for his time. Last but not the least, we give our gratitude to Elli for organizing such an insightful and memorable talk!

Minister of Training and Skills Visits PSC

PSC was absolutely delighted to host the Victorian Minister for Training and Skills the Hon Steve Herbert yesterday. The visit was organized by the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, (ACPET) which planned a tour of its member institutions in the CDB area.

Minister Steve Herbert

Minister Steve Herbert was delighted to be met with such enthusiasm by the welcoming party, of students and staff. Being a former teacher himself, he was absolutely in his element when he conversed with students; taking the time to relate to them on a personal level, sharing anecdotes and asking them profound questions about forming life-long bonds with fellow classmates. The Minister immediately recognized the close-knit nature of our community, as he witnessed the beauty of an entire institution filled with like-minded individuals who create unique and meaningful projects.

PSC and Minister Steve Herbert

He was then taken around the college, starting with the Resource Hub where he was delighted to see such a large collection of photography-related publications. At the print shop, he took the time to discuss the intricacies of printing techniques and the busy schedule of students as well as clientele with Production Manager, Peter Hatzipavlis. The Minister was taken by the ‘Portrait of Ali’ hanging by the desk, noticing the talent of PSC teacher Hoda Afshar, who won the 2015 National Photographic Portrait Prize for this photograph.

The Minister then took a tour of the digital centre and various classrooms. He was intrigued by the discussion of future projects planned by the 2nd year students. He established a deep connection with the emotional intent behind each student’s chosen topic and definitely left the classroom feeling very inspired.

The tour finished off with a stylish photo-shoot in the PSC studio where Minister Herbert got various portrait shots taken and had fun posing with students and staff. He bid farewell, remarking that he would love to look into taking up photography after retiring from politics.

PSC students and Minister Steve Herbert

Graduate Update – Amy Paton

An integral part of our students learning at PSC is developing the skills needed for real work opportunities and creating networks within the photography industry. It’s great to be able to share their stories and see them rewarded for their efforts out there in the industry!

Photojournalism graduate Amy Paton has just started working for the Warrnambool Standard and shares her experiences below.

Amy Paton

My name is Amy Paton, a 2015 graduate of PSC having just completed the Advanced Diploma of Photography, Photojournalism Specialisation.

I found out about the jobs at Fairfax through my Photojournalism teacher Bill Bachman and another photojournalist (who happens to also be a former graduate of PSC) who was good enough to pass on that Fairfax Regional had positions available. I immediately applied, was lucky enough to go along to an interview and got the job!

I started at the Warrnambool Standard Newspaper in June, having moved down from Melbourne and into a share house just off the main street, very close to the office. So, a tree and sea change plus a new job all together!

I’ll eventually be one of three photographers at the paper. As part of my job, I get a new iPhone 6 and a laptop for work purposes!

It’s a 0.8 of a full time position, perfect for me. I will be working four days a week, including two weekends on and then one weekend off.

Every day at 9am we have a staff meeting to bounce ideas around for that day and assign tasks. Apparently I’m welcome to contribute to that meeting, but I may just watch for the first few until I settle in.

After the meeting I go out, shoot a few different jobs, come back to the office to edit and file… then I can head home.   Sometimes I edit and file on location instead of going back to the office – the convenience of technology.

There’s a lot of editorial work, so environmental portraits, light on location and such – glad I learnt all about that at PSC! They asked me in the interview if I was okay with seeing death and other disturbing scenes, so it’s likely I’ll eventually be sent out to cover the breaking news.  

As part of my role, I also have the opportunity to write some articles to go with my photography. The Write for Publication unit we did last year as part of the Photojournalism Specialisation will come in handy!

There will be a lot of sport to cover with the Warrnambool Standard so I’m grateful for the experience I gained with my folio on Northern Blues VFL football club! [Amy’s 2014 Photojournalism folio was about a suburban VFL football club]

Future plans are to try to pitch a review of a big music festival I’m attending in a month, see if I can get a media pass and some photos I can use too!  Otherwise… watch this space!

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

PSC Student & Staff Featured on Landscape Stories

PSC Bachelor of Photography student Jordan Madge and teachers Ying Ang, Katrin Koenning, Hoda Afshar and Daniel Boetker-Smith have been featured on the ‘Australia’ issue of the influential international photography website and blog Landscape Stories. Congratulations all!


Image by Ying Ang from her award-winning book ‘Gold Coast’ (2014)

The Image Makers – Yervant Zanazanian

Photography Studies College
65 City Road
Friday 27 March 2015 
6:00 – 7:30pm 

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

Yervant Zanazanian poster

Yervant is a master craftsman, his experience and abundant knowledge of photography stems from early childhood as he watched and learnt from his father who was royal photographer to the Emperor of Ethiopia (East Africa). Yervant mastered not only capture but also darkroom techniques from a very early age and became an early pioneer in digital imaging.

Yervant’s signature style in his capture is internationally recognised and he has maintained a leading role in creating new trends within the traditional world of wedding photography for over 25 years. His work is best described as ‘Fashion meets Wedding’. Yervant is a sought after educator and presenter at photography conferences globally.

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

LOUIS PORTER makes flying visit to PSC

Last night PSC had the great pleasure of welcoming Louis Porter to talk about his work.
Louis entertained a packed audience with his candid and intelligent descriptions of his projects and working processes. Louis works across both documentary photography and the use of found images and objects – creating what he calls his ‘Small Conflict Archive’. He also spoke about his commercial work, his photobook publishing experience and the importance of collaboration as a contemporary photographer. Louis is currently based in the UK, and is only in town for a few days, so we are very grateful to him for making the time to come chat to the PSC community.

Louis’ work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK, England, Canada, Austria, China and Australia including exhibitions at the Monash Gallery of Art, Stills Gallery, the Centre for Contemporary Photography, and the NGV in Melbourne. His work has also been shown at several international festivals including: The Brighton Photography Biennial, The Noorderlicht Festival (NL) , Copenhagen Photography Festival and SiFest (IT). In 2012 he established his own publishing imprint ‘Twenty Shelves’, its first publication ‘The Anatomy of Business’, won the inaugural Most Beautiful Books Prize – Australia/New Zealand 2013, and his next publication ‘Conflict Resolution’ was shortlisted at the Kassel Fotobook Festival, 2013. He is a part of the Artists Book Collective (ABC).
Thanks for dropping by Louis!!!

Found out more about Louis –

Louis Porter 1

Louis Porter (left) with Daniel Boetker-Smith, BA Course Coordinator at PSC

Louis Porter 2

PSC Weekly Wrap

STUDENT: Elma Gradascevic, Final year, Part time
ASSIGNMENT: Work in progress – folio concept
COMMENT: The photo was taken at Chelsea beach, I live two doors from the beach so I consider it my backyard. it is my surrounds and my dress, I wanted a personal self portrait for myself that links with self identity.  I prefer portraits that don’t show me, but suggests it is me.  I consider myself a spiritual person and this photo embodies that for me.

sarah for invite elmaxx_10

Guest Lecture – Andrew Chapman & Melanie Faith Dove

Join us for an evening with Documentary Photographers Andrew Chapman and Melanie Faith Dove at 6:30pm Wednesday 23 October.

The lecture is free but numbers are limited – call Reception on 9682 3191 to book.