Meet Steph Doran, our Advanced Diploma graduate of 2012. Since completing her studies from PSC, she has worked extensively in the fashion industry as a strong and emerging photographer. Winning assignments with Blue Tree Studios in Melbourne and getting her work featured on the front cover of Freque Magazine, Steph has managed to carve a successful career in photography as she finds herself travelling between Melbourne and Sydney, with her eyes on the European market.
In her interview with PSC, she gives us the complete picture on getting a photography education and securing a wide variety of clients. Read about Steph’s journey and her tips on getting work exhibited!
What do you miss most about PSC?
The thing I miss most about PSC was the sense of family and the support network. The access to instant feedback and review is priceless. I'm lucky because I work in a studio where everyone is very open about their folios and willing to share advice or opinions. Being forced to show your folio to others fuels you and motivates you.
Tell us about how your subjects at PSC helped you as a photographer
The main subjects that helped me as a photographer were the conceptual-based ones. Having a solid understanding of metaphor and symbolism has remained a key element of my personal work. I used a lot of studio light and retouching in my work. Learning to read and deconstruct lighting set ups has been an integral part of my career, even as an assistant. Clients often have reference of how they want something to look, and the amount of times I have had to recreate a lighting style on my feet (and in 5 minutes) is countless.
How has photography allowed you to become a ‘better’ artist?
That's a hard question. I suppose with photography, you have to think about exactly what you want to say. Because we are so used to seeing imagery, and everyone has a camera, you really need to create strong, impactful images to stand out from the rest. Using digital photography as a medium has forced me to be more creative, and to have more of a solid idea or backstory to each image.
Tell us about how you got your most recent client/assignment
I actually booked my latest campaign through Instagram! The job was to shoot some editorial style images for a fashion designer, which would be used to promote the brand and also to promote a fashion event being held later this year. The designer saw my work on Instagram, liked my style, and got in touch through that social platform. Doing social media related marketing can be a chore, but I'm continually surprised at the type of work it brings me.
What series or piece of artwork are you developing right now?
At the moment I have a few restaurant and food related jobs on the go, numerous unreleased fashion editorials, as well as lots of portfolio shoots for models' books. But I'm always working on developing new concepts and ideas. I've got this long term project going that is an extensive portrait series on cosplayers in Melbourne, which I'm hoping to turn into a book (eventually!) I think its really important to continue doing personal work. It stops you from falling into a cycle of repetition, and also refreshes your thoughts.
Where do you plan to travel?
I think Melbourne is a good base for artists. My goal is to be shooting in London by the end of next year.
Can you tell us how to get your work exhibited in 4-8 ways?
1. There are lots of small group exhibitions that are always seeking submissions. Sometimes a small fee is involved, but other times it is free to participate.
2. Approach small cafes or bars, particularly ones that already have artists' work showing, and see if they would be willing to display your work. You might even be able to sell it if a patron likes it!
3. Enter a print competition which exhibits the entrants' work. Comps like the APPAs, or Kodak Salon get a lot of attention.
4. Hold a group exhibition to share the costs of exhibiting. Then promote like crazy.
5. Enter the RAW Awards, which is held in every state. I exhibited at RAW Melbourne last year, and not only sold some of my work, but booked a few jobs from the event too.
6. Submit your work to magazines! Getting published isn't exactly the same as showing your work in a gallery, but it is a great way to gain exposure and get your images out there.
Follow Steph’s photography by visiting her Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/StephDoranPhotography and Instagram Account: @stephdoranphotog .
For more info about the Advanced Diploma, click here: https://www.psc.edu.au/full_time.html