Photography masters delivers real-world opportunities in a global ecology

Photography Studies College fosters career-ready graduates and supports the sector on an international stage.

Melbourne is springing back to life with the recent launch of PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography, cementing its reputation as Australia’s city of photography.

Behind great photographic works stand dedicated photographers and institutions committed to supporting the next generation of talent. One prominent example is Photography Studies College (PSC), Australia’s only specialist photographic institution and unique in the Asia-Pacific region.

PSC’s Master of Arts Photography program delivers real-world industry opportunities and a mentorship program that pairs current students with global industry leaders. Demonstrating the value of ‘smaller is better’, PSC students can gain one-to-one support that’s tailored to their needs and facilitates relationship-building through an international network.

PSC Dean of Studies Daniel Boetker-Smith said: ‘One of the things we identified is that people doing a Masters in Australia feel as though they want to be connected to what’s going on internationally.

‘Particularly with photography, it is really important that students are locating or negotiating their work in the context of an international photography scene – that’s across Asia as well as Europe and America.’

PSC is also deeply engaged with the local arts ecology. This year it is an education partner and sponsor of PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography; PSC will also be hosting the Photobook Weekend 21 – 22 May.

Current PSC MA student, Rachel Main, is exhibiting in the New Photographers exhibition at James Makin Gallery as part of PHOTO 2022 alongside PSC graduate, Olivia Mròz.

Main said: ‘The decision for me to do the Masters at this point in my career was a very personal one. I experienced some big changes in my life and as a result I re-evaluated where I was at and where I wanted to be.’

She said that PSC’s intensive curriculum, paired with established lecturers, are helping drive her practice to the next level.

‘The Masters program at PSC has enabled me to advance my practice through engaging with dedicated teachers and a comprehensive curriculum. I feel supported and comfortably challenged to further develop my practical skills and thinking, allowing for new ideas and ways of working,’ Main explained.

Masters student Rachel Main and Krump dancer Troi shooting in the PSC studio for exhibition ‘New Photographers’ as part of PHOTO 2022. Image supplied.

Main has been mentored at PSC by socially-engaged artist Anthony Luvera, who is currently based in London, and said that being supported by professionals with global connections is extremely valuable.

‘Anthony encouraged me to think more deeply and widely about my project and more broadly about my practice and methodologies … it was great to be able to draw on Anthony’s extensive experience as a collaboration-based practitioner situated in the UK.’

Recent mentors include: Jesse Marlow (Australia), Noémie Goudal (France), Ian Teh (Malaysia/UK), Juan Brenner (Guatemala), Max Pinckers (Belgium), Kazuma Obara (Japan), Jan Rosseel (Netherlands), Melinda Gibson (UK), Joanna Piotrowska (Poland), Felicity Hammond (UK), Anthony Luvera (Australia/UK), and Jack Latham (UK).

In addition to Main’s participation in PHOTO 2022, Masters lecturer Dr Hoda Afshar, MA course leader Dr Kristian Haggblom, and lecturers Tom Goldner and Harriet Tarbuck are part of the festival program of exhibitions, talks, workshops and events.

PSC is now accepting applications for the Mid-Year intake starting 3 August 2022. To apply or find out more about PSC’s Master of Arts Photography, send an enquiry via the PSC website and they’ll be in touch to answer your questions.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.