PSC's first year Bachelor of Photography student Madison Leonardis, is studying what she loves, with the full support of her family who are teachers. She reveals that she initially feared that PSC would have a competitive environment, which she quickly learned is not the case. Madison also tell us why she feels at home on campus, and is constantly inspired by her teachers and peers.
Photo of Madison Leonardis at Testing Grounds.
When did your passion for photography begin?
I first found myself drawn to photography when I was in year 9 living in Geraldton in Western Australia and, traveling around Perth on a holiday with some friends. We went to these amazing waterfalls and one of my friend's brought her Canon DSLR. She was taking photos the whole time. I was doing the same with my iPod and loved it! That day I realised how much I loved taking photographs and considered it as a possible career.
When did you get your first camera?
My family have always had a Canon DSLR because my mum makes photo albums and does scrap booking. So I can remember using a camera and a video camera when I couldn't have been more than seven. I got my first point and shoot camera for Christmas when I was 8 years old. I still have that camera in a trunk full of old nick-knacks and treasures.
Photo by Madison of a band member from Atroix.
Why did you decided to do a Bachelor of Photography?
I decided to do a Bachelor of Photography because I know I love this art form. It's a tool for creative and informative documentary – and I wanted to pursue it as a professional endeavour. And growing up in a family of teachers meant that education has always been highly valued and regarded.
Did you get the support of your parents?
I have the full support of my amazing, loving parents in my decision to study photography. They love that I'm following my passion. They have told me in recent months how lovely it is, to see me so happy, about my studies.
Madison holding her Minolta film camera.
Why did you choose Photography Studies College?
I chose Photography Studies College because of its specialisation in photography, and amazing reputation. But it was when I began the enrolment and orientation process that I found that everything I'd heard about the college's community spirit and welcoming environment was remarkably accurate. I feel so at home on campus and so encouraged by my lecturers and peers; and not only from first years like myself, but second and third year students as well.
What was your biggest fear before starting at PSC?
My biggest fear before starting at PSC was my skill level as a photographer and the possibility of a competitive environment. I could not have been more wrong. Because I had next to no training in the field, I was expecting to start behind the rest of the class. However, the course started at the very beginning, and taught us the basics of photography.
Madison in our library with her friends at PSC.
Tell us about your band photography?
I currently do most of my work with bands and rehearsal studios. I attend rehearsals in a Box Hill recording space and at Frequency Recording Studios in Ringwood photographing bands. Studying at PSC has really given me the confidence and the technical skills to take my photography to the public sphere.
You are now getting paid work too, right?
Working with clients is something I enjoy but without the knowledge and skills I have now, I would not be confident enough to charge for my time and work. If it wasn't for the encouragement and feedback from my teachers, I would probably be working for free and calling it 'getting experience.'
Photo by Madison of the band Atroix.
Do you know what you want to specialise in later?
I have not decided what I would like to specialise in yet, but at present I am leaning in the direction of photo documentary and journalism. I love telling a story with my photographs.
What do you like the most about studying at PSC?
There are so many things I love about PSC. But I think the fact that the lecturers are practicing photographers gives each class a strong sense of practical reinforcement. The small size of the college and community is one of the things I enjoy the most about PSC.