Student - Filomena Rizzo
How long were you into photography before starting the course?
I would say I have been into photography since my children were born - some 8 years. But more seriously about 6 years ago when I decided to formalise my learning and enrol in a Photography course.
What is the main piece of advice you would tell someone interested in photography?
Never stop learning, keep pushing boundaries. In a world that's saturated with images & image makers - you need to be constantly pushing through boundaries. Stay true to yourself & follow your gut.
What advice would you give someone starting this course?
I would suggest you sitting down & working out exactly what it is that you're wanting to get out of the course. Having a chat or 3 with Paul & asking as many questions as you can. It's a decent investment & I think you need to determine that doing the course will be beneficial to the direction you are wanting to go with your photography practice.
How did you find learning with others of a similar ilk?
Studying/learning with others of similar ilk is fantastic. Whilst we all identify as photographers, each person that looks at your work or hears your ideas can give a very different point of view which you hadn’t considered. Having your ideas heard or your work is seen by people you respect is a wonderful way to move forward.
What goal did you have for yourself starting this course?
My goal was to get a new body of work underway - I wanted my idea to be heard - & then develop a clear strategic plan as to how I was going to execute this. & then of course nutting out all the things in between like test shots, location, people, etc.
How has your work progressed since the mentorship?
I find that my work at the moment is progressing slowly. There’s a lot to consider before you pick up the camera & start shooting. You need to be patient and ensure you have enough research behind you. Whilst its a slow process for me, I am finding my decisions more considered.
How did you find the workload?
I found the workload doable. But I find myself constantly re-visiting my objectives, or doing further research ensuring that I am on the right track.
What did you NOT expect to gain from the mentorship program?
I didn’t expect to gain so many skills in researching an idea.
In terms of recent achievements:
I was Highly Commended in the 2018 National Portrait Prize - for my image ‘My Olivia'.
Interview by Caitlyn Hurley and Nate Warburton