Article provided by Bill Bachman, PSC’s Advanced Diploma photojournalism major
On Wednesday 31 August 2016 at the national Nikon Australian Professional Photography Awards held in Melbourne, Photography Studies College (Melbourne) took out for the 6th consecutive year the prestigious national award for excellence in photographic education the 2016 Australian Institute of Professional Photography Australian (AIPP) Australian Tertiary Photography Institution of the Year.
These major industry awards are held annually, acknowledging excellence and outstanding achievement in photography and bring together professionals, institutions and students Australia wide to compete on the national stage. PSC students’ excellence was clearly on display with their absolutely outstanding work achieving gold distinction, silver distinctions and silver awards!
To add to the award excitement in a further brilliant achievement PSC’s final yearBachelor of Photography Student Tayla Nuss-Soeharto took out the prestigious 2016 AIPP Australian Photography Student of the Year. Tayla was delighted with her award and thanked her talented teachers for encouraging and supporting her to always do her best, allowing her to find her creative voice and produce her award winning series ‘pop, crack, bang’.
In a further outstanding success on the night Julie Moss PSC’s Managing Director was acknowledged for her over 30 years of high achievements, contribution and exemplary service in photography and photography education receiving the prestigious AIPP Honorary Fellow Achievement Award. This is an exceptionally important and prestigious honour for an exceptional educator.
“The college is an amazing institution made up of wonderful staff and amazing students. This is a wonderful industry and the AIPP is a wonderful institute so full of passionate, creative people. Its awards system sets standards for professionals and students to aspire to. It’s been a privilege to be a part of it for so long – being able to contribute to the education of photographers through the college has enabled me to give expression three things I’m passionate about: photography, education and community.” – Julie Moss
These awards follow closely PSC’s stunning results as the highest scoring institution for Creative Arts in Australia in the recent Student Experience Survey (SES). This survey was undertaken as part of the national Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)www.qilt.edu.au for the Australian Government.
In the spirit of the annual Obscura Festival of Photography that is opening on 19 August (in which our second year students are heavily involved in), we met up with one of our international students who is actually from Penang. Antoine Loncle is a first year student in the Bachelor Degree program who moved to Melbourne six months ago. He had never been to Melbourne before that and was almost going to pursue his higher studies in France, as he is half French and very familiar with the region. He settled on Melbourne because he wanted a change, and felt that in comparison to other colleges and universities in Asia-Pacific, PSC had the best to offer.
He applied to PSC by sending his folio online, and receiving hands-on assistance from the PSC team. When he finally starting attending his classes after getting accepted, he was truly pleased with his decision.
“Studying at PSC has exceeded my expectations – especially considering the facilities with the Studios and labs. The environment has been great with inspiring prints hanging everywhere. The Teachers are very approachable and I get along with them really well.”
The art of taking photographs is in Antoine’s blood. His grandparents had an avid interest in photography, which got passed down to his parents and emerged strongly in Antoine – who transformed the hobby into a professional endeavour some years ago, when he was part of Malaysia’s rock music circuit.
I started playing in a band some years ago as a drummer, and I would hear complaints about how there were never any photographs of us. So I bought a camera and began taking photographs during gigs, extending my approach to clicking other bands – which then started getting me photography work in the music circuit. People started calling me to take photographs of different bands in events and concerts. I started my Facebook page (Frenchies’ Photography) and that really expanded my professional scope.
This is something that I’ve started up in Melbourne since being here. I find out about bands touring Melbourne and email organisers about providing my photography services. So far this has been quite successful. I recently covered the Melbourne International Jazz festival, which landed me more assignments.
Before coming to PSC I had no idea about file management, which has been extremely helpful, especially when I go to a gig and shoot thousands of photographs. It’s given me the ability to work professionally in a quick manner, and deliver results almost overnight to my clients. Studying here has enabled me to think like a photographer and attain the skills of a project manager. My workflow is so much more streamlined now, allowing me to get better turnovers.
I guess the really important thing about getting photography work, is the ability to be friendly and down-to-earth while networking. It’s about establishing connections as you meet new people.
With all the events lined up, Antoine is going to be really busy. You can follow his Instagram channel @frenchiesphotography. Stay updated on our Facebook page to find out the latest on our students’ involvement at the Obscura Festival. You can also book an appointment with us to get a personal tour where you can learn about our full time programs.
Some of you have probably met Luke Rush before, either on campus or at last year’s Open Day at PSC. He’s a creative and motivated 2nd year student, who has produced a variety of work under the genres of commercial and fine art photography. Luke will be at open day again this year, and as a way of introducing him to our visitors we took a moment to interview him. Here’s what he had to say about his journey at PSC:
I’ve loved every minute of being at PSC. My highlight has been the most recent assignment I did where I created a nude art folio and got the best mark ever for my work – a High Distinction. I’ve always had an interest in fine art. I’ve been inspired by artists I’ve learnt about since studying at PSC. The dream job would be to work at Vanity Fair or Vogue – a good fashion editorial magazine, and I would like to pursue fine art photography in my own time.
I attended TAFE and did a visual arts course, instead of doing year 12. Photography was a small part of it – and I was encouraged to pursue the subject further when I started applying to universities; PSC was my first preference. I was beaming when I visited the college, I was taken on a tour of the buildings and then had an interview with Craig Wetjen, which went really well. I apparently had the biggest folio ever – a collection of final work from my year 10, 11 and TAFE folio plus the 12 images required for the interview.
My high school was an all-boys college in Geelong. It was really sports orientated but our arts department was equally prestigious and called for high quality work. While I was in school, I shifted between photography and fine art, as I loved creating images as well as painting and drawing. Even till this date, working on mix-media projects is something I appreciate doing.
I really enjoy being at PSC and learning from tutors who are practicing photographers – they haven’t just come out of university with a degree in the discipline, but they actually create work that they exhibit and also bring to class some times. The guide us in ways that help us to fine tune our vision. We come up with ideas and they help us to build progress, giving us advice on the technical and practice side of it.
I live by the philosophy that it’s important to have a career in something I’m going to love and enjoy for as long as I can work. Photography doesn’t have a retirement date; you can keep going with it. It’s a way of life; something that I can also meet people through and network with.
I’m part of creative groups on Facebook – most of them have thousands of people in them from Australia and around the world. It’s about getting exposure, so I’m constantly posting things and taking part in conversations. The industry is competitive, but once you’ve put the work in and built a good folio, you’ve got a great basis to work on.
I feel confident about getting work after PSC – after all it’s an award winning institution and everyone knows about the quality of education and training we’ve received here. However, I also know that having a good folio matters at the end of the day.
We thank Luke for sharing his thoughts with us. If you’d like to know more about his experience, feel free to ask him at PSC Open Day, this Sunday 14 August. You can follow Luke on Instagram @lukerushphotography and register yourself for the event here: http://bit.ly/2b5A5Vl
“I live in the countryside, in a place called Nug Nug which is in the North East of Victoria. I’m currently doing my Advanced Diploma in photography at PSC – as I’ve always loved photography. For someone who has been telling her children that they can do anything they want to, I thought it was time I took up the opportunity to pursue my passion.”
Anne McCallum is in her first year at PSC and is finally honing her creativity in the arts. She describes her inclination towards photography as something that was passed down to her by her mother who was a singing teacher and artist, and her father who ‘always had a camera in his hand’.
After years of working in a variety of industries such as nursing, hospitality and retail, Anne has recently been exploring her interest in visual communications and image making. As a result of her quest for finding an environment which would help develop her artistry, Anne researched schools in Victoria and visited PSC.
“I looked at a few places but just kept coming back to PSC. The atmosphere is so welcoming and friendly, that I felt inspired to jump into the deep end and take up full time studies here. Now that I’ve started, the tutors are very nurturing and they want you to do the best you can do.”
Despite having a busy lifestyle and being the mother of five, Anne listened to her heart and made a commitment of travelling down to Melbourne for her classes. The lifestyle of moving back and forth between places isn’t new to her. Ever since she left Scotland as a child to reside in Australia, she has been travelling all over the region which has made her extremely adaptive.
“It’s been a very interesting semester and I have enjoyed a steep learning curve, as the course is very practical and challenging in a good way. The experience of learning here is so diverse, giving you a wide range of genres in photography to explore. The major lesson I’ve learnt is that it’s important to believe in yourself. I was initially worried about ‘not reaching the standards’, but I’ve overcome that since being here. I now feel like there’s nothing I can’t achieve.”
Come to PSC Open Day and meet Anne, who will be happy to discuss her experience with you and offer you insights about studying photography. Anne and her husband currently host the Nug Nug Wah Homestead, which you can check out here, you can also follow Anne on her exciting Instagram channel @nug_nug_wah_homestead. Feel free to contact us and learn more about our full time options.
‘I love photography – it’s creative and every day is so different. I love capturing new sights, environments and travelling. Since being at PSC I’ve learnt so much about lighting, colour and composition, which has changed my outlook on the art and how we construct visuals.’
Kristina Valdez is in her 1st year of the Bachelor Program and is really enjoying her life as an emerging photographer. Coming from a high school that didn’t have any subjects or electives in photography, Kristina was not deterred from pursuing her passion. She built her folio from her visual communications class and went out of her way to develop an understanding of photography, to create a wonderful series of work that would catch the attention of teachers at PSC.
She met the course director of the college, Daniel Boetker Smith, and describes her interview as a ‘fun discussion about photography, with a friend’. Although Kristina wanted to join PSC to become a fashion photographer, after her interview and folio presentation Kristina got underway with her first semester assignments and discovered her love for landscape photography.
Kristina is so thrilled to have joined us, her family and friends were really supportive as they know she’ll lead a happy life doing what she loves. Her journey to PSC is also quite a fated one, as after enrolling she remembered visiting our city campus during an excursion when she was in year 9!
Darren Tan moved to Melbourne from Singapore 3 years ago to do his undergraduate in graphic design at RMIT. After graduating, he realised his heart was more in photography and aspired to continue further studies in a discipline he actually loved and wanted a career in.
“I came to the final year exhibition at PSC in 2015 and felt that the work was really impressive. I’ve just completed the first semester, and even after doing some photography of my own over the years before joining PSC, I’m amazed at how many new things I’ve been learning in every class. It has been a great six months.”
Darren was always drawn to the multifaceted nature of photography, as an art. He would previously attend live gigs and concerts to photograph bands. After being exposed to different shooting environments at PSC, his skill-set has broadened and now he can conduct his own photoshoots in the studio, as well as on location.
“Being in an environment where everyone else is a photographer really helps as you’re surrounding yourself with like-minded people who speak the same language as you. This forces you to grow as a creative person.”
Apart from studying with a strong class of passionate creatives, Darren has been deeply inspired by the artists introduced to him in his course. He has found a new sense of joy in studying the work of others, taking the time to think about each photograph and writing about his discoveries. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with images and don’t spend more than half a second looking at each one, concentrating on the subject matter, technique, intention and style of each artist he studies about, has made a huge impact on how he views the world.
“Since being at PSC, my understanding of photography has changed. I used to think it was all about making pretty pictures, but now I see photography so differently. The camera feels like an extension of my mind and my images are becoming more autobiographical, it’s like I’m making sense of the world around me.”
Darren was recently selected as a finalist for the Bowness Photography Prize, which will open up into an exhibition on 1st September. He was surprised to be chosen, especially since his submission was in a genre of photography he never extensively worked with before. Fine art photography has become Darren’s passion at PSC and has spurred him to develop a range of ideas that are largely autobiographical and that touch upon significant questions he has asked himself during his life. His selection at the Bowness has therefore been very encouraging. Darren yearns to have his photography shown to the public as much as possible, as he feels that growth and development happens as a result of receiving constructive feedback. Getting used to this process at PSC has been another highlight for Darren.
“I enjoy the smaller class sizes as I get to have a lot of one-on-one time with lecturers. Thanks to this high level of interaction, I get more feedback which has been important in developing my art and getting my work noticed.”
We are happy that Darren found a sense of belonging at PSC and is showing great potential in the field of photography. At PSC, our strong creative community provides a great springboard for those who wish to excel in visual communications and gain recognition for their unique styles. For more information, visit us at our PSC Open Day on 14 August and learn about our degree, diploma and certificate programs.
Bella Johnson is currently in her third year of the Bachelor Program. Originally from Bendigo (Victoria), she was encouraged to learn photography at PSC by her year 12 teacher who considered the courses here to be the best in the industry. Upon visiting our campus with two other friends from Bendigo, Bella was awe-inspired by the work on display around our buildings and loved the friendliness of staff, as well as students.
Joining PSC was the obvious choice for Bella who knew that her passion for image making would take her on an exciting journey. She commuted from Bendigo to the Melbourne CBD for 6 months before moving to the eclectic neighbourhood of Brunswick, and has since centred her focus around photojournalism, which is her chosen major.
‘I’ve always blurred the line between art and documentary photography. The idea of travelling always fascinated me, as a result I now regard lifestyle-travel photography as a genre to work towards.’
Bella was one of the lucky students to attend the Obscura Photo Festival (Penang) last year, as part of her learning at PSC which enables 2nd year students in the Bachelor Program to participate in the global dialogue of photography, while they meet international photographers. Along with her travels around the eastern coast of Australia, Bella enjoys capturing life in forlorn places as well as the spontaneous moments enjoyed by Melbourne’s youth.
Bella feels more connected to the work she produces through analog photography, which makes her style distinct. She usually works with digital photography for her clients – one of which is ‘Don’t Flop’ Australia, the country’s first rap battle performance company that features artists from America and the U.K. She was also a silver award winner at the Epson AIPP Victoria State Awards this year.
‘My style has definitely evolved since being here. The teaching staff couldn’t be much better than the ones at PSC. I’m currently learning photojournalism from Katrin Koenning – who is amazing. At PSC the great thing is that you’re learning from those who have really successful careers in photography.’
We look forward to seeing the growth of Bella’s work and welcome you to our PSC Open Day on 14 August, where you’ll have the chance to meet Bella. You can ask her questions about what it’s like to study at PSC and start your life as a photographer. Find out more about our Bachelor Program and credit transfers: http://psc.edu.au/full_time.html
Jason Bran- Cinaed has recently completed his Bachelor Pathway Program at PSC, submitting his final folio assessment last month. He is currently in the process of developing his work for the upcoming exhibition ‘Pathways’ with his classmates in the Photography collective, Project 17.
As a way of celebrating his time at PSC, we asked Jason a few questions about his experience of studying with us:
Why did you decide to enrol in the Bachelor Pathway at PSC?
I had my eye on the bachelor degree from the time I signed up for the Advanced Diploma back in 2011. For me, it was not just about getting the required education around the practical skills and conceptual development of photography, but an education in the broader art work and how photography fits as a medium and craft.
If you were to pick one thing, which stood out for you in terms of the overall experience, what would that be?
The freedom to experiment and explore.
During the Advance Diploma I was really focused on developing my skills for the commercial world. However, while I was doing a Commercial major in my final year, I began to shift toward a more commercial/artistic focus in my images. This is where I found myself really beginning to grow and flourish as a photographer and engaging with what I was creating. My head, my heart and my eyes were finally aligned.
So when I began the Pathway I made a very conscious decision not to limit my vision and creativity. I allowed myself (and was encouraged by my tutor Kate Robertson) the freedom to explore and experiment with different ideas, processes and styles. Having an entire year to conceptualise, create and evolve a body of work is a completely different experience to the Advanced Diploma. Therefore, it’s so important to give yourself the freedom of experimentation and exploration so that you gain the most from the time.
What was the most rewarding achievement/learning development that you are taking away from this experience?
As a mature-age student with little formal education and no real arts background, I found the academic elements of the Pathway to be equally challenging and rewarding.
However, creating an incredibly challenging and deeply personal body of work, of which I am proud and excited to be showing as part of an upcoming exhibition at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery, has been the highlight of the past 5 and a half years.
What motivation/reason would you give current students that are considering enrolling in the 2016 Bachelor Pathway?
If you are looking for an academic challenge, combined with an opportunity to put the skills and knowledge gained during your Advanced Diploma into practice, then this is the path for you. The beauty of this Pathway is that you’re never sure where it will lead you, but the more you put in, the more rewarding the journey will be.
We look forward to seeing more of Jason’s photography as he progresses in the field. The PSC community is glad to play a role in deepening the interest and enriching the portfolio of those who are passionate about photography. To find out more about how you can further advance your skills and understanding in the art, feel free to see more details about our Bachelor Pathway Program.
As most of you know, our very talented teacher and coordinator Katrin Koenning is touring Europe, having visited Germany and is now making her way to France to attend the launch of her first book, ‘ASTRES NOIRS‘ (in collaboration with Bangladeshi photographer Sarker Protick) at Le Bal in Paris and at the Les Rencontres d’Arles (the biggest photography festival in the world).
The book has been published by the Paris based publishing company, Chose Commune, one of the most exciting photobook publishers in the industry. Fortunately for us at PSC, we have our very own copy of the first edition in The Hub for you to see! Additionally, you can also buy your own copy at: http://www.chosecommune.com/book/astres-noirs-trade-edition/
Here is what Chose Commune had to say about ASTRES NOIRS:
“Astres noirs is the debut book for both Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick, artists who live thousands of miles apart whose peculiar photographic wanderings create a hauntingly beautiful dialogue. This book presents photographs taken on mobile phone cameras, devices used to capture their everyday in an impulsive and almost obsessional way, documenting life from their doorsteps to far afield. Their photographs capture the commonplace such as water stains on asphalt, dust clouds and rays of light, and transform these into mesmerising frames – elusive fragments that evoke an imaginary creature, a milky way, a phosphorescent silhouette. Presented together, their combined voices lead us on a journey into unexplored territory, somewhere between the everyday and paranormal, between night and day. Amongst enveloping darkness, lightness is revealed, dazzling and miraculously caught by discerning eyes.”
We are all so proud here at PSC, and look forward to seeing her achieve many many more great things. Here is a sneak preview of the exquisite work in ASTRES NOIRS:
Katrin’s work is also currently being exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne as part of the ‘CCP Declares: On the Social Contract’ exhibition, curated by another of our lecturers Pippa Milne. Open until the 10th of July.
To find out more about how you can be a part of Photography Studies College (Melbourne), click here.