Bespoke Professional Development Workshops


Have you heard about our bespoke workshops? Lately at The Centre for Creative Photography (CCP) we have had a lot of interest in our commissioned professional development workshops for councils, business and community groups. Typically, a manager will be looking to improve the quality of marketing collateral, with a positive and productive team-building day being a welcome bonus.

Digital technology has changed the way we work and many organisations produce communications and marketing content in-house. A trend we have seen in recent years is that employees at councils and businesses are called on to take promotional photographs for social media, websites, newsletters, bulletin boards, annual reports and the like.


The photographs may be headshots, portraits from the community, “action shots” of the organisation at work, documentation of projects, pictures of facilities and equipment, and so much more. With set budgets and tight turnaround times, it is perfectly understandable that an organisation can’t justify bringing in a professional photographer to document every image.

However, a pitfall that groups often come across is that the staff are recruited just because they own or have access to a camera. The fact they may have little or no photographic training can make for some easily-avoidable mistakes. Poor lighting and composition, unclear directions to the person being photographed, low-resolution files that are badly pixelated, can all confuse a message and contradict the positive and professional impression you are trying to create.

The good news is these problems can easily be solved with a small amount of specific training.


The CCP specialises in photographic education and we have been doing so for 21 years. We are Adelaide’s only private provider in this area and thousands of students have entrusted us to provide their Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications, or individual units of study.

With this reputation established many organisations have approached us to train their staff and volunteers. We can tailor photographic workshops in any field of photography, tailored to your requirements, for individuals or groups of almost any size.

With our crew of eleven expert lecturers with decades of industry experience, working in the CCP’s professional facilities —including well-equipped classrooms, digital suite, studios and darkrooms—we can provide guidance in any area. For two hours or for multiple days, the CCP delivers precise, informative and entertaining photographic training.

Common photography needs for these groups include basic camera skills, headshots, portraits (candid and posed, groups or individuals, at the workplace and on location), visual and digital literacy, product photography, problem-solving unusual lighting situations (e.g. awards ceremonies), product photography, basic post-production and optimising for print and web.


CCP has provided a wide range of private tuition workshops for clients such as The Government of South Australia (multiple departments), local councils from across Adelaide, the Department of Defence, ACH Group, Adelaide Festival, Flinders University, the South Australian Tourism Commission, and innumerable South Australian schools, small, medium and large businesses, youth and employment services, and more.

If you have any photographic training requirements now or in the future, please feel welcome to contact the Centre for Creative Photography on 83540839, and our staff will be happy to discuss planning a session that meets your requirements.

Why study Introduction to Photography at the CCP?

 Photograph by Kylie Bockman

Photograph by Kylie Bockman

We have a fair amount of students study with us that have a lot of camera knowledge before studying at the CCP. This week we set out to ask them exactly WHY they chose to study at the CCP. And more specifically, why would they choose to study Introduction to Photography?

“I was taught manual but only really in terms of numbers and meters , I didn’t really know how all the working parts exactly coordinated together or what each setting did.” sais Claire Cosh who has recently completed an Introduction to Photography at the CCP.

”I felt to take my photography to next level I needed to be confident I had a full understanding so I could make better technical choices in camera”

 Photograph by Beth Schultz

Photograph by Beth Schultz

Often we hear people worry our Introduction to Photography course will be too basic for someone who might already have some experience with a camera. While in some cases we agree, more often than not we heard regret from students who decided to move onto the later classes before tackling Intro.

"I started Camera Portfolio 1 but chose to go back into Introduction to refine my skill set. I was actually surprised at how little I knew about photography and what I didn’t know about, I’m so glad I went back and studied Intro” said another student.

As lecturers here at the CCP we really love our introduction to photography course. Built by real life professional photographers, it has been refined and perfected over the 21 years we have taught it at the CCP. As a registered training organisation our courses must stand up to the photographic industry’s rigorous demands, and we are so confident in it, we believe it’s one of the best out there.

With all of the combined years’ experience of our lecturers, we know all about the pitfalls and potential gaps in a photography education. Gavin Blake, the Founder and Director recalls from his own learning experience: “An ‘F stop’ stands for Fraction - I didn’t know that for such a long time, and it was a shame because it’s fundamental. Small pieces of information that actually explain the greater whole of how things fit into the bigger picture can make a huge difference.”

Gavin built the first incarnation of the Introduction course from the ground up, including all the knowledge he wished he was taught at other institutions. Anyone who has ever seen Gavin’s first day demonstration of the Camera Obscura will agree - learning these basic fundamentals breaking down what it is we are really doing every time we take a shot. Learning what a camera is brings the magic into this machine we all own and carry around every day.

 Photograph by Amelia Vorrath-Pajak

Photograph by Amelia Vorrath-Pajak

CCP Lecturer Gee Greenslade agrees: “I had no idea what the various exposure options were, spot, evaluative or centre weighted until I had been in the profession for a good 10 years. I came to the CCP to teach digital retouching, however I never anticipated until I sat in on an Introduction class that I would learn so much from Mark Goddard about basic camera skills I had just missed out on the importance of”.

We hear things like this constantly at the CCP, especially this past week as we have geared up for assessments. Even from those who thought they knew their camera well, we are always pleasantly surprised to be reminded how much new information they have taken away from the Introduction to Photography course.

Claire Cosh had taken on a few photography jobs before studying with us. She said the most important skill she learned in Intro was “trying different settings like shutter and aperture priority because I literally only knew how to shoot in manual LOL. I thought having full control of the camera was the only way to really trust it so it was good to open my mind to some handy alternatives to use in a tight environment”

We have two Intro courses running in Term 4. Monday nights at 7pm and Saturday morning at 10 am. We don’t mean to toot our own horn (well, arguably this whole post has been about tooting our own horn), but we think Intro rocks. We believe in giving photographers the best foundation possible and we would love for you to join us.

If you have any questions at all please always feel welcome to contact us, we’d love to have a chat.

 Photograph by Martine Lanser

Photograph by Martine Lanser

2018 Open Day Sunday August 12



Open Day 2018

WHEN: Sunday 12 August, 11:00am-3:00pm
WHERE: 138 Richmond Road, MarlestoN
REGISTER: Registrations required for catering purposes.

Never touched a camera but want to learn?
Professional photographer wanting to up-skill?
Need access to some of South Australias best studio spaces?

Peek behind the scenes at our boutique photographic school to get a feel for what it's like to study or work in our studios! With special guests Olympus showing us their new range of cameras and loads of demonstrations from past and present students, join us on open day!

All are welcome! Please feel free to pass this information on.

Current and past students, we invite you to come along and show your family or friends what your photographic study has been all about.

  • Tour CCP facilities
  • Participate in darkroom and studio demonstrations
  • Meet our wonderful lecturers
  • Talk with current students about studying at the CCP
  • Hear from graduates about their career paths and art practice
  • Learn about our courses, workshops and masterclasses

Please view the schedule below for a detailed running order of the day.

You can contact the CCP on 83540839 or if you have any queries at all.

REGISTER: Registrations required for catering purposes.

Running Order:

All day events:

General course information, overview and costs // Meet Aaron Blake, Manager
View current photography exhibition // Meet some of the artists currently showing
View photographic portfolios // Meet graduates and current Diploma students
Subject information and meet lecturers // Photoshop units
Demonstrations, subject information and meet lecturers // Studio units
Subject Info and meet lecturers // Camera, Photographic Concepts, Photographic Design units
Studio Fashion Demonstration // See the studios in action
Darkroom Printing Demonstration // Rhys Guster, Rohit Warudi, Jeremy Ng and Tanvir Kanwar
Olympus Demonstration // Try out the latest Olympus cameras with Karl Ludik and Aaron Harrivil

Announcing the 2018 Semester 1 VET Award Winner Tiana Potts

Tiana Potts from Prescott College has been announced as the Semester 1 Most Promising Young Photographer in 2018. To celebrate we have asked her six questions about her work at the CCP. 

Each semester we award one high-achieving VET student who has completed our Creative Camera A and Creative Camera B courses at the Centre For Creative Photography. These courses are specifically designed for any high school student wishing to complete photography as part of completing SACE. They run every Friday from 9am -12pm. This award is given to a student with solid attendance, a good work ethic and originality.

Runner up students were Jarrod Swadling (Seaton High School) and Harrison Oke (Concordia College)


How do you feel about winning the VET Award? 

I am extremely happy to have won this award. This award is reassuring that I have made improvement and further developed my photographic skills throughout the semester. 


Cabbage Leaf .jpg

How do you think this award might benefit you? 

I feel as if this award will continue to encourage me in the future to work hard and pursue my photography career. 


Jetty Ruins B&W tiana-potts-vet-awards.jpg

What would you like to do with your photography now and in the future? 

For now, I will continue to expand my photographic knowledge and skills and continue to explore different sorts of photography. While continuing to look for opportunities which will expand my photography portfolio. In the future, I plan to start my own photography business and I would love to teach photography too. 



What sort of photography do you most enjoy? 

I find it really hard to say I enjoy one sort of photography more than the other. Because I like exploring all sorts of photography to extend my photographic knowledge and skills. However, I really enjoyed tableau photography which was explored during the semester, the reason for this was because I was able to use figures, which I saw everyday and use it to be creative and turn the figures into a realistic situation which I could photograph. I also enjoy taking landscape photographs. 



How have you found the courses at the CCP so far - how have they helped you technically and creatively? 

The courses at CCP have greatly improved my technical skills in operating the camera and expanded my knowledge of the different types of photography along with exploration of different photographers. I have also been able to expand my skills to use Lightroom for editing of photographs.


Space Man.jpg

Anything else you would like to say about the course, the CCP, your lecturers, studying VET?

The feedback provided from Gee throughout the semester was extremely helpful and insightful which helped me improve my photography skills. Along with feedback provided from Gee all of the CCP staff were always willing to provide feedback for my photographs. While I found the classes pushed me to think creatively and step out of my comfort zone to photograph things I wouldn’t normally photograph. 


Thank you Tiana! What a fabulous Semester you have had! Well done to our runner up photographers Harrison and Jarrod as well!

Enrol Now and Win a Portfolio Review!

The CCP are giving back to our students as you enrol for Term 3. Early enrolments are going in the draw to win one of several one-on-one portfolio reviews with AIPP Awards judge, two time Australian Illustrative Photographer of the year, and CCP Lecturer Gee Greenslade.

Valued at $132, this personalised session gives you the chance to develop your portfolio further, outside of class assignments. You will receive valuable feedback from a photographer working in the industry, who also happens to be Adelaide's premier photo-illustrative artist.

Every week the first 20 people to enrol in a class for Term 3 will be put into the draw to win. Didn't win during your enrolment week? Your entry will roll over from week to week, meaning the earlier you enrol, the more chance you have to win. There are six portfolio reviews up for grabs leading up to Term 3. 

Remember you can enrol online with full payment, in person at the CCP, or by sending in your enrolment form (PDF here) with details for full payment or the $100 deposit. As always, please read the Enrolment Conditions.

The first winner was Rohit Warudi, Congratulations!
We have been in touch with Ro, who is a very talented, dedicated and enthusiastic student nearing the end of his Diploma. Ro is really excited about the portfolio review and can't wait.

Keen as a bean to get involved? Check the course schedule here or enrol in courses here!

Enrolment Policy Update

CCP offers by far the most flexible study options of any local photography programme, art school, and probably accredited school of any kind. We understand that most students work full-time, and many students have commitments with kids.

Students can study part—time, with after-hours classes and facility access, and a broad range of elective subjects. Students can study as little as one subject per term, and can take a term off if absolutely required.

This will always be the philosophy of the CCP as it is for the benefit of students, in concert with our mission to teach and promote the highest level of photographic practice.

These policies were designed to allow great flexibility to students, however there is also an expectation of consistency in students' commitment. Most students understand the intention of our flexible policies and undertake one subject per term, every term. Others pursue a heavier workload including full-time study. We very much appreciate these students' understanding of the spirit of the CCP's flexible study options, and this majority of students will not be affected by the following updates.

In recent years though, too many Cert IV and Diploma students have understood flexibility to mean they can complete a qualification with as little as one subject per year. This is not sustainable. The following updates formalise the spirit in which the flexible policies were designed.


Important: Two updates to enrolment policies


First Policy Update: Maximum three-year qualifications

• CCP is implementing a three-year time limit on completing each qualification. Both qualifications, the Certificate IV and the Diploma, consist of nine subjects. Students can still take one subject per term, and take one term off per year if need be.

• CCP students can choose to not complete an entire qualification, and that is not
changing. But those students who are undertaking the qualification, or even leaning towards doing so, must adhere to a reasonable study plan. This is in students' best interest given that the Training Packages do change, and the individual competencies for each subject are subject to more frequent change. More on this below.

• There will be students who are already nearing or have exceeded the three-year limit. These students will not be adversely impacted. Our guidance is to maintain at least a one-subject-per-term study load and CCP will provide academic counselling if needed, which may involve tracking your progress across updated qualifications post-2019/2020.

• Students might not complete within three years for understandable reasons e.g. long-term illness, moving elsewhere—please keep CCP apprised of such circumstances. These students can re-enrol in the programme. Despite the time limit, of course no student will ever be turned away. There may be negative consequences—in this over-three-year situation a student would likely be re-enrolling in a different award programme (more on this below). CCP can help, and provide students with resources to track academic progress if transitioning to a new qualification, but may not be able to track every student.

Why This Update?

• This is not so much a change as a codification of the spirit of the CCP's flexible enrolment policies. The intention of offering part-time and after hours options has been for Certificate and Diploma students to be able to take one subject per term—not one subject per year. The system was never designed for Certificate and Diploma students to take the better part of a decade to complete each qualification.

• There is a time limit of sorts on completing your qualification. The qualification Training Packages are reviewed every four years. The changes can be big or small. Last time, reconciling new packaging rules with our course structure meant the Certificate IV went from eight subjects to nine.

• The next review period is at the end of 2019, and there is usually a one-year Transition period for currently-enrolled students to complete the qualification they enrolled in. Doing the maths, you can see how a student commencing studies now in mid-2018 would actually have less than three years to complete the current qualification. We will keep students updated and give plenty of notice of these changes and Transition periods once we know. We will advise students to complete qualifications within the Transition period.

• Transitioning from an old to a new qualification academic tracking is required and can be complex. We are not able to track every student and the burden of mapping your transition may fall on you.

• Tracking students across changing qualifications, while also taking into account more frequent changes to the individual competencies that make up subjects, creates an unmanageable administrative burden.

• When scheduling classes, CCP takes into account the subjects that current students need, and creates a timetable suited to the maximum number of students possible. Inconsistent enrolment has negatively impacted many students' study plan, and makes schedule planning problematic.

• The CCP course pricing is based on past patterns of most students undertaking one subject every term, as intended. The formalised three-year qualification time frame will hopefully allow for a slowing of the rise in tuition fees. If the pattern of students taking more time off persists, course fees will rise faster to maintain services.

Second Policy Update: No more "pencilling in" or waiting lists

• This is more of an amendment to our practices than policies. We can note students' interest in a class. But this will not hold a place in the class.

• The only way that a place in a class will be recognised is by enrolling with full payment, or the $100 non-refundable deposit. Students can enrol online (online only accepts full payment), in person, or with a PDF enrolment form (new student form PDF).

• If enrolling "offline", you can secure a place with just a $100 deposit. No further payment is required until the term starts. The only catch is missing out on the $40 early payment discount. Fee by Instalment is also an option. As always, read the Terms & Conditions before signing.

Why This Change?

• We are sorry about this; "pencilling in" has become a sort of CCP tradition. But, sad to say, people are taking advantage. Far too often we have held a place for a student who will wait until the last moment to tell us they cannot attend, or they just don't show up for class.

• Pencilled in students who have not shown up have sometimes caused other students to miss out on a place in a class, when that place was the last available. This is unfair. In other cases, classes have been closed because students did not even mention their interest until days before the term start.

• This also disrupts the budget for the term—keep in mind that with four terms per year, the CCP only pays the bills four times per year. Late enrolments and "pencilling in" wreak havoc with our planning, from quarterly budgets to long-term aspirational goals, and it has gotten worse in recent terms.

• Gavin and Aaron spend an inordinate amount of time chasing up students, especially during the term break, to remind them to enrol for the next term. This is critical time that should be spent planning and making improvements to the CCP. We can no longer afford the time chasing up and reminding people of the term's commencement. Continuing your education is your responsibility –please be proactive.

• We literally cannot plan anything without certainty of class enrolments for the upcoming term. We need to know as early as possible how the budget is looking for the quarter. Our fee-for-service business model dictates this because the CCP is unable to access any Government funding whatsoever.

• This year we will undergo re-accreditation, which involves a mandatory audit, and requires a huge amount of time managing compliance. We are a small business and will not have time to handle the usual chasing up students and reminding you to enrol. Please help by enrolling for Term 3 and 4 promptly.

• As has been explained above, the qualifications are updated every four years and the "building block" competencies that make up subjects are updated more frequently. The qualifications can undergo major changes, with adverse impacts to students. Tracking students across changing qualifications is also a huge administrative burden. Prompt enrolment and a consistent study plan assist by making administration operate smoothly.

• With surety about the budget, quarterly and annually, we can make longer-term plans. These plans will make the CCP ever better for everyone going into the future. We truly want CCP students to feel this is your school—Gavin often says at the term's commencement that "without students we don't have a school". To bring you along on the journey, we have published a blog post, Onward:  Building the CCP Together, outlining a vision for our future plans, which will be achievable with a solid and consistent study body.

We're all in this together. The CCP is your school, we want it to be the greatest school possible, and we can't do it without you.

The Term 3 schedule is now published 1/ Enrol now online

Onward: Building the CCP Together

On 10 May 2018, the CCP turned 21 years old. The May 10 date celebrates the day of the first CCP class ever held. That class had six students, now the CCP is the largest photographic department in South Australia with hundreds of students enrolling in courses every year.

These 21 years are extraordinary considering we are a small business, and an arts organisation at that. So many arts organisations, galleries and similar ventures open and close in a matter of short years or even months. As a business, the CCP has remained viable, and as a school we have remained accredited, to offer a very high level of service to our students. Maintaining this requires constant work.

These years have seen many changes at the CCP, the result of countless hours imagining, planning and modifying those plans over time. All that has been achieved, we couldn’t have done without you, our students. The CCP is always growing and improving and that means the planning never stops as we plan for new classes and services.

We like to say that “without students we don’t have a school”, that is, the CCP could not exist without our students. We want students to truly feel that the CCP is your school. In that spirit, we welcome the CCP community to read on about some of our plans, short-, medium- and long-term.

Please forgive the dot points, but there is a lot to get through – and this list doesn’t even include the many other items too small or too behind-the-scenes to warrant mention here.

As the CCP benefits from no government funding at all, we always have and continue to be funded by our students. We thank you for your continuing support as we continue to build the CCP together.

The Term 3 schedule is now published // Enrol now online

Plans for the curriculum

  • New courses for the Cert IV and Diploma programmes
    • One topic we will offer is video. To teach video we need to include post-processing which requires upgrading the digital suite.
    • We plan to offer a business course – not just a workshop; a term-length course that can count towards your Diploma. That said, don’t miss the fantastic annual Transitions Masterclass.
    • We continually update all lectures delivered in classes, and want to spend more time doing this. Gavin dearly loves writing new lectures and planning more subjects.
    • Gavin regularly meets with members of the photographic industry to further extend the CCP’s links to working photographers, but he can’t always make as much time as he’d like. This industry consultation is largely why Mark Zed and Gee Greenslade have recently joined our teaching faculty, it helps keep our courses current and leads to planning new workshops and other initiatives.
  • Workshops to supplement your skill sets
    • Running a commercial photography business
    • Running a fine art business
    • Architectural photography
    • Newborn photography
    • Bridging courses for Cert IV/Diploma students. Photoshop is an area of specific interest and we also want to create opportunities to get students into the Darkroom and Studio as early as possible to accelerate your technical development.
    • More darkroom and alternative processes classes. The CCP is one of just a few institutions that still has a darkroom, and we love making the most of this – especially with interest in “historical” and alternative processes growing in the past few years.
  • Digitising all of the reference images for classes. Given we have about 20,000 slides, this will be a major undertaking and will likely require a dedicated person to do this.
  • Guest speakers – students would benefit hugely to hear photographers talk from a fine art background, or from a business perspective. Students may like to hear from potential future clients – people in advertising, from galleries, from commercial clients from all walks of life.
  • Investing in new student resources. A CCP textbook has been an on-and-off topic of conversation for some time. We’d like to support students with more online resources.
  • Postgraduate support programmes, and further active promotion of our world-class graduates.

Plans for the space

  • Upgrading the Digital Suite computers for improved performance, and to be able to run video courses – which require editing capabilities.
  • Replacing the projectors in all classrooms with HD projectors or displays.
  • Improving disability access for all facets of the CCP; access and egress points, bathrooms, classrooms and equipment as appropriate.
  • Heating and cooling in the studio. We would love to do this, but it will be expensive to install and run; we definitely need to be able to budget for that. At the very least we want to install whirlygigs to extract heat in summer or wall-mounted fans in each studio.
  • Creating additional storage space, which is necessary to make as much open floor space in the studio as possible.
  • We would like to re-paint much of the school; there’s a lot of grey. But as anyone who has done any painting knows, it’s an undertaking – we have to budget for this to take a lot of time, planning, and bumping in and out.
  • Planning for environmentally-friendly practices – installing solar panels to reduce our carbon footprint, and investigating water-saving measures for the darkroom.
  • The studio gear works really well but always requires maintenance. There are always more pieces of equipment to add to the collection for students to learn with.
  • Refurbish the student kitchen and lounge. This isn’t exactly mission-critical. But we really do want every aspect of the CCP to be as good as possible for you students, and for the facilities to be practical, tidy and pleasant to work in.
  • Improvements to the office space could even be included on this list. As Gavin always says, CCP lecturers really are wonderful and the most dedicated crew he has ever worked with. They made do at the old CCP when we didn’t even have space for class prep—the photocopier was in the studio area! As time goes on these miracle workers truly deserve an enjoyable, functional, comfortable space in which to put together the best courses imaginable.

Plans for the CCP as a business

  • We need to reduce time spent reminding current students to enrol for the next term, so we can put more resources, including time, into attracting more new students. With higher growth in new student enrolments we can slow the increase in course fees, or hopefully even reduce fees.
  • Put more resources into promoting studio hire. The CCP is one of the best studio spaces in Adelaide and ensuring it is a preferred resource centre for the photographic community is core to our mission statement. It is a joy to have CCP graduates return to work in the studios for commercial client work. And again, growing this part of the business means lower course fees and even better gear.
  • We need more time to maintain compliance and update administrative “stuff”—this very much links with the need to reduce time spent reminding students to re-enrol. Administration isn’t inspiring or very interesting but it is a prerequisite for the school remaining accredited and functional for you.

Plans for Student services

  • We want to open a new role, a dedicated front of house person. This will mean better service for students on a couple of fronts – most visibly, all email and phone enquiries can be handled near-immediately, and more time can be spent helping students undertaking homework in the studios and darkroom. Behind the scenes this will mean that management and faculty will be able to spend far more time running the CCP, which includes implementing the improvements on this list (and more).
  • Similar to the above point, we aim to pay a staff member (or maybe a student) to keep the place open Saturdays for studio and darkroom usage during the term.
  • We are always looking for ways to add more value for existing students. This could mean bridging courses and out of class support. Our lecturers could provide business mentorship to students; we could proactively explore exhibiting opportunities for aspiring fine art photographers.
  • It would be great for lecturers to be available to students outside of class time, beyond the extensive email support they already offer to students.
  • We prefer to have studio assistants in all studio classes, not just the full classes. Ideally, we would pay one or two graduates or Diploma students to assist in studio classes. We love supporting CCP graduates with work, and we know students love taking their education full-circle and helping others.
  • Sometimes we also just want to spend a little time on the simple things – we’d like to organise more social events for students to spend time together. There is already a lot of interest in the recently-announced “Darkroom Club”. Initiatives like this, as well as exhibition openings, gallery visits and parties have the benefits of networking and professional development… but they’re also just a lot of fun. A creative career isn’t always easy, and you have to make time for fun, with a good group of friends for support.

Plans for the Light Gallery

  • The CCP’s exhibition space, the Light Gallery, is the only fine art gallery in Adelaide that is dedicated exclusively to photography. If it’s the only one it deserves to be great. We’d love to put in new lighting, maybe raise the ceiling, perhaps expand the space somehow.
  • To sustain a high-quality functioning gallery, we need to be able to put in more time and money to maintain a brilliant exhibition programme, with an at least part-time gallery curator.

Big-picture plans

  • It would be wonderful to offer a CCP scholarship. We would love to raise the profile of photographers in Adelaide by offering a CCP art prize for photography. Such proposals require planning, partners, judges, and time to get a great deal of soft infrastructure in place. Certainly, an ongoing source of additional revenue would be required for the scholarship.
  • We want the CCP to exist forever. Long past our lifetimes. With this in mind, the CCP may well be better suited to a not-for-profit model as is the case with most independent schools. This would mean establishing a board, a fundraising exercise for the gallery, perhaps even a foundation for the educational and scholarship programme. Building this, needless to say, would be a huge undertaking of an order of magnitude greater than even all that we have accomplished over the past 21 years.

We literally cannot even think about this kind of future without a solid foundation of consistent student enrolments. This all starts with you and the CCP, today. We cannot do any of this without you, and we’re all in this together. Thank you all so much for joining us on this journey.

The Term 3 schedule is now published // Enrol now online

It's Awards time! What are the SAPPAs Anyway? (South Australian Professional Photography Awards)


Every year the best and the brightest in South Australian Photography gather together to decide the South Australian Professional Photographer of the Year. Later on in the year they follow it up with the Australian Professional Photography Awards. It is considered one of the most prestigious and rigorous competitions in the industry. Think of it like the Oscars - but for photography! 

But how does it work? How do you enter? We get asked a tonne of questions here at the CCP, so in the lead up to the big event we thought we might take some time to create a handy-dandy frequently asked questions.

 Photograph by CCP Student and South Australian Student Photographer of the Year 2017 Diana Fernie

Photograph by CCP Student and South Australian Student Photographer of the Year 2017 Diana Fernie

What is SAPPA?

SAPPA Stands for the South Australian Professional Photography Awards and is run by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (the AIPP). State awards are sponsored by Epson.  It is held over two to three days mid way through the year. It is a live judging - meaning unlike other competitions you can come and see your work as it is judged and meet a bunch of the folks who enter. It is sometimes live streamed around the world. Judging is also anonymous, meaning that your name isn't attached to the work you put up as it is being judged and no one knows who made the work until the awards presentation at the end. The idea being that by removing the names it helps judges make unbiased decisions about your work. 

 2016 Australian Illustrative Photographer of the Year award winning image by CCP lecturer Gee Greenslade 

2016 Australian Illustrative Photographer of the Year award winning image by CCP lecturer Gee Greenslade 

Who Are the Judges?

Judges are picked from people who are awarded Associates and Masters awards through the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, past winners of the awards and industry leaders. They have gone through a rigorous judges training process that supports judges in giving clear constructive feedback about the photographs they will be seeing. 


 Lecturer Mark Zed's Gold awarded image

Lecturer Mark Zed's Gold awarded image

Why enter?

The SAPPAs and the APPAs are Australia's only competition judged from the print, meaning you are in complete control of how judges see your work. It also  provides the only platform for alternative and traditional process photography. The SAPPAs aren't just about entering to win (although the kudos is pretty great!). As any past winner will tell you, it's more about the journey  than winning awards. 

People love the feedback at the SAPPAs as well as discovering where they are at professionally.  Being the state awards there is often a little moment for a great comment on each piece of your work.  The awards are a great hub to meet and greet all the industry's best as well as make new friends! It's said that the greatest hints and tips on how to make it in the photography world come from the networks made at APPA and SAPPA.

You can also volunteer for print handling, breakout and assisting roles to get a front and center view of all images and comments as they happen. 

 CCP Alumna Kelly Champion's gold award winning photograph

CCP Alumna Kelly Champion's gold award winning photograph

How Do I Enter?

Check out the Epson Professional Photography Awards website for all the rules and details. It can be overwhelming, but don't worry! We have plenty of events and people on hand here at the CCP to help. Please don't hesitate to ask us anything you need to know! We happen to have a bunch of AIPP Awards veterans working and studying right here at the CCP!
This year's entries close Thursday 7 June 2018


 Kelly Champion's image from her Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year winning portfolio

Kelly Champion's image from her Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year winning portfolio

What should I choose to enter?

This is a hard question to answer, because there are so many different answers. First things first; make sure you read the rules of your category and that the images you have chosen comply. Secondly; what do you want to say? Imagine you have never seen your photograph before. What would someone say about it if they didn't know you or the stories behind your images? Images are only judged with captions in some categories and even still they are very short. So your image needs to speak for itself and really tell the story you want to tell. We highly recommend showing a bunch of people and asking for their honest opinions before you enter. Make a list of what they have said about that work and what their favourites were. Often you will find there are a few clear standouts that people love. 

 Gee Greenslade's Gold award that contributed to her Australian Illustrative Photographer of the Year portfolio in 2015

Gee Greenslade's Gold award that contributed to her Australian Illustrative Photographer of the Year portfolio in 2015

So I have entered... what now?

Hold your horses and wait till the 18th and 19th of June. Judging usually starts around 8am, so pop on down the Marden Senior College when your categories are being judged. The judging schedule usually gets released a few days out from the awards, so keep days as free as possible! There are plenty of social events and print judging to keep you occupied even when your work isn't being judged. Why not volunteer to check out the work up close and find out how it all works? Follow the link to nominate yourself as a volunteer

 One of Diana Fernie's images from her Student Photographer of the Year winning portfolio

One of Diana Fernie's images from her Student Photographer of the Year winning portfolio

How do the awards get judged? 

Here is the interesting bit! You can have a look at previous online judging at the AIPP Awards Youtube to see how it all works in action. There are five judges who each give a score between 60-100.

So what do the scores mean?
80 – 84 Silver award range.
85 – 89 Silver Distinction award range
90- 94 Gold Award range
95 – 100 Gold Distinction award range

These scoring ranges are for when a judge believes that the work goes beyond what we produce for clients every day. It's when they see something really special! The most common awards given out are Silver awards, meaning that the judges can see some room for improvement in the images but believe that the photographer has gone above what should be considered normal professional standard. 

Gold awards are harder to get and many photographers can go years before they get one! These awards are reserved for those super special images that make the judges go "WOW!"

The words the judges are trained to think of when they are looking for gold images, goes something along the lines of "superior craft, imagination, innovation and skill" - so you often hear judges quoting those words when they talk about the images. 

It gets a little bit more in depth than that, so if you want to read up on all the rules and find out more go to:
State of South Australia rules and awards information:
National Awards rules and awards information:

 Mark Zed's award winning image of Mid North SA

Mark Zed's award winning image of Mid North SA

We hope this entrée to the SAPPAs has demystified the What, Why, Who and When questions - now the rest is up to you! We strongly encourage you to enter, it really is all about the journey, personal growth and the people you meet. And of course it's great to receive awards, which CCP students have a habit of winning. We're here to help, and we hope to see you at SAPPA 2018.

Announcing the 2017 Semester 2 VET Award Winner - Aleesha Stone

Aleesha Stone from St Michael's College has been announced the 2017 Most promising Young Photographer. To celebrate we have asked her six questions about her work at the CCP. 

Each semester we award one high achieving VET student who has completed our Creative Camera A and Creative Camera B courses at the Centre For Creative Photography. These courses are specifically designed for any high school student wishing to complete photography as part of completing SACE. They run every Friday from 9am -12pm.


Runner up students were Evan Corbett (St Michael's College) and Lauren Schwarz (Cornerstone College)

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1) How do you feel about winning the VET Award?

I am extremely thankful and honestly shocked! Many of my peers are amazing and hold a lot of skill in different areas of photography as well, so I’m just really happy and thankful to have been chosen for this award.

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2) How do you think the award might benefit you?

I feel as though this award will help me in finding a career path in photography in the near future.

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3) What would you like to do with your photography now and in the future?

For now, I’d love to improve my skills with portraiture. In the future, I’d love to start a business in photography, specifically landscapes.

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4) What sort of photography do you most enjoy (e.g.: portrait, architecture, landscape)?

I personally enjoy portrait and landscape photography. Portraits allow me to push my creativity to its limits. I love using light, action and colour in my portraits. I also travel often and I love being able to show people the beauty of Australia’s outback through my landscapes. 

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5) How have you found the courses at the CCP so far - how have they helped you technically and creatively?

The courses at CCP so far have helped expand my knowledge of photography and technical components such as workflow and the use of Photoshop and Lightroom. I have also learnt new techniques and skills, which has allowed me to view the world from a more photographic perspective.

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6) Anything else you would like to say about the course, the CCP, your lecturers, studying VET, etc?

Naomi and Chris have allowed me to work creatively and to push myself to the limits, which I am extremely grateful for. Their assistance throughout my courses has helped me immensely in achieving my learning and photographic goals. 

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(More than) 10 Questions: Award-winning Graduate Lucy Spartalis

This week’s chapter and the final instalment for this year’s 20 year CCP birthday celebrations is certainly “old school”. Not totally old school in the CCP at Stepney sense, because Lucy Spartalis started here with the new award at the CCP in Marleston not long after we’d moved here in 2004 with Lucy commencing her studies two years later in 2006 with a single Introduction to Photography and going pretty much full time after that. 


“Old school” however because Lucy I know still shoots film for her preferred personal projects and Lucy also has a strong aeons-old friendship with two Stepney and therefore “old award” former students Mark Zed (who now lectures here), and Bianka Feo (CCP class of 2004) who actively encouraged Lucy to enrol for study at the CCP. Funnily enough, I believe that while here, Lucy also befriended another CCP (*citation needed) legendary former student and now lecturer, Jessica Eckermann with Lucy photographing Jess’ wedding in 2010 – such is the family-like atmosphere that rolls here at the CCP.

I first encountered Lucy as a student in Term 3 2006 as an Introduction to the Darkroom student where she excelled with the chemistry and output. I reconnected with Lucy’s work in her Camera 1 class the following Term where again I was impressed with the breadth of her image making, and already then Lucy was showing a very strong interest in photographing people. By then I was intrigued with the Spartalis persona because clearly this was a person who in my opinion had the potential for greater things as indicated by her work, personality and drive and I was again graced by her presence as a student of mine when we were together for some of her Diploma subjects after qualifying for the Certificate IV in 2006.

Lucy graduated from the CCP in 2008 with her Diploma in Photoimaging and since then, her career has gone great guns and it’s one of life’s professional pleasures to be following past students’ careers vicariously and also when they keep in touch with their current exploits. I barely see Lucy these days since moving to Melbourne in 2009, however it’s always a pleasure to catch up whenever Lucy is back in town and I can be fitted into her hectic schedule.

With my association with the CCP, I feel incredibly privileged to share peoples’ lives, their trials and tribulations, their successes and frustrations and my relationship with Lucy is no different – Lucy is certainly living her dream and although former students often thank me  “for making it all happen for me”, I always have to remind them that they actually do it for themselves and we at the CCP are merely along for the ride. Yes we make doors to open available for everyone, however it takes fortitude to open it…and Lucy Spartalis has opened her door very wide.

Award winning photographer, destination weddings, someone to keep on your radar and now well a travelled wonderful friend, Lucy Spartalis has the floor with her pearls of insight to take us into the new year with (more than) 10 questions.

What first interested you, or made you fall in love with, photography?

Honestly, I couldn’t say. All I know is, I was obsessed with taking photos of my friends, long before that was the norm due to everyone owning a smartphone. Through school camps, sleepovers, weekend adventures – I constantly needed to document our lives – seemingly more so than anyone else I knew at the time – all on little automatic 35mm point and shoot cameras. I knew very little about photography as a teenager – it was never offered as a subject at my schools – but I felt an inherent need to capture and save moments, and to share them with everyone around me.

Why did you choose to study at the CCP?

A couple of my closest friends (Mark Zed and Bianka Feo) had already studied at the school, and I’d visited the tiny Norwood studio a few times for their exhibitions and to help with shoots. I was immediately drawn to the laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, and all the kooky and warm characters working and teaching throughout the space.

At 24 years old, I’d been working in record stores around Adelaide few a few years and was getting restless. I’d studied in a few different areas already, but hadn’t found something that nourished and excited me enough to pursue it long term, so – mostly out of boredom, and partly through a tiny secret hope that I’d actually be awesome at this – I signed up for the Intro to Photography class. Within two or three sessions I was hooked, and it was all over. This was what I was going to do.

Are you making personal work?

Sometimes, although not nearly as often as I’d like to. I mostly shoot for myself when I travel  (and haven’t brought piles of editing with me, which is rare). When I occasionally do get the chance to actually be ‘on holiday’, everything finally slows down, and I pull out my Yashica TLR and start shooting on the street. Landscapes, still life, street portraiture – whatever I see that pulls me in through interesting texture, form or striking light (I shoot almost exclusively on B&W film – usually Ilford HP5 or Tri-X – so colour doesn’t often come in to play here).

A couple of years ago I held a solo exhibition of my film works, ‘Spain on Film’, at the CCP. I keep meaning to put together a Melbourne show, but finding the time amongst all my wedding shooting, editing and travelling gets in the way (excuses, excuses).

What inspires your work at the moment?


The works of stylistic filmmakers and directors such as Derek Cianfrance, Spike Jonze, Nicolas Winding Refn, Charlie Kaufman and Lars Von Trier – filled with breathtaking visual sequences and symbolism, where pausing on any frame reveals a composition worthy of hanging on a wall.

Television shows like ‘Chef’s Table’, where each episode tells the story of a world-class chef – a driven and passionate artist whose sacrifices and single mindedness have helped them to change the way we think of food, and our expectations of what a dining experience can be.

Nature. My partner and I have recently purchased a home (which doubles as our studio) in the leafy and tranquil Dandenong Ranges, and are currently obsessed with planning, planting and developing our garden. I’ve never been a green thumb before, but opening my eyes to the universe of unimaginable plant and flower species is proving to be more exhilarating than I ever thought it would be – and the process of planning a rich visual composition so many years ahead of when it will come to fruition is a crucial lesson in patience and dedication.

Almost everything I see inspires me in some way – whether through colours, concepts, movement or philosophy – it all plays into my own way of seeing, and therefore into my own work.

What have you done since you studied at the CCP,  and what are you doing now?

Worked like crazy. I started out shooting everything and anything – outdoor living constructions, kids on Santa’s knee, the inside of renovated cinema complexes… then slowly the music photography jobs (my biggest passion since starting photography) and weddings started to trickle in. Weddings weren’t something I ever saw myself doing (when I was studying, 99% of wedding photographers were rocking the cheesy, dutch tilt, Vaseline-lensed approach); but eventually an old school friend asked if I could shoot her day, followed by a cousin, and then a work mate. I realised my obsession with documenting people lent itself perfectly to this field, and also realised I was having fun with it.

Cut to 10 years later, I’ve been in Melbourne since 2009, and now work with my filmmaker partner (and lover-man) Alastair Innes, forming the duo She Takes Pictures He Makes Films. We regularly travel around Australia and the world, capturing unique and adventurous wedding celebrations – up to 40 of them per year.

How has photography changed since you commenced your studies?

Whoa. It’s changed in a million ways. iPhones were only announced while I was studying at the CCP and it took another few years until everyone had a smartphone with a high resolution camera in their pocket. Since then, even the most inexperienced shooter has become adept at taking a pretty decent photo (given the right conditions), and always has the equipment on them to do so.

Then Instagram introduced filters, and people worked out how to make their images look artistic, or surreal, or simply just better than reality – all with one tap of the screen. In the two years before this all exploded, I’d gotten into shooting on toy 120mm cameras like the Holga, creating dreamy square-format images (what?! So unusual! Who takes square photos anymore??). Instagram made this style of image-making accessible to everyone.

The education available to photographers has exploded in this time as well. At least 50% of the photographers I know have now either spoken at conferences, or held their own workshops – and with the enormous waves of new shooters entering the industry every year, there’ll never be a lack of demand for such things.

I could go on. Like any technology-based trade or hobby, things are growing at an exponential rate.

How has photography changed your life?

In every way possible. I never thought I’d be able to travel as extensively as I have, and it’s all thanks to photography. I met my photographer/filmmaker partner because of it, and we’ve created an incredible life together, one that allows us to do exactly what we want to do (most of the time).

I see things so differently now. I appreciate light in a completely new way, and understand more clearly how colours affect our moods and reactions to things.

I’ve met so many talented people in the industry; some have become my dearest friends.
If it wasn’t for photography I don’t know where I’d be.

How have you changed since you were a student?

My confidence has grown every year, of course. I’ve learned how to only take on projects that bring me joy, and am only now learning how to find a balance between work and play.

Which photographers – past or present – have been major influences on your work?

Annie Liebovitz, Erwin Olaf, Gregory Crewdson, Elliot Erwitt, Vivian Maier, Autumn De’Wilde, my friend Dan O’Day… this list could go on for a very long time.

Any surprises – good or bad – as you have progressed in your career?

I’ve discovered I’m quite a perfectionist, which is good and bad. It helps to create great work, sure, but I’m very hard on myself. I’m learning now to go easier, but it’s been quite a journey to get to this point.

Also – I discovered I have an incredible work ethic, so long as I work for myself. Who knew?

Do you have any advice for student photographers?

  • Assist anyone you can, even if they shoot in a totally different style to you – you will still learn something from the experience.
  • Regularly take the time to reflect on what imagery is inspiring you, regardless of where it’s from – cinema, photography, design, nature.... Collect it and carefully analyse why you love it. What elements do the images have in common? What is it about them that makes you feel something? I’ve learnt so much about my own vision through regularly doing this.
  • Work hard. So much harder than you think I mean. Make loads of personal sacrifices for the first few years of your career – it will pay off in spades.

What is the best job you've done since you've been working in the industry?

Shooting overseas is always a thrill – the light is so surprisingly different as you move around the globe, which gives me such a boost of inspiration. At the same time, some low-key celebrations in Aussie back yards have been just as incredible stories to capture and be part of. I don’t think I could narrow it down to even a top ten, honestly.

What are your passions outside of photography?

Right now, besides setting up our hills home and pottering around the garden, I’m delving into ceramics – making lots of ugly, weird, nobbly things and filling our house with them. After years of almost always working for clients, striving for perfection or beauty, I’m relishing the chance to just make weird shit for me; getting my hands dirty, clay under my fingernails, playing like I’m in kindergarten. Alastair and I are about to convert our garage into a photo/ceramics studio, so if you need me I’ll be there, making bumpy plates with eyeballs in them.

See more from Lucy at her website,, and her at collaboration with her partner, She Takes Pictures He Makes Films.

Merry Christmas from the CCP crew!

From all of us at the CCP, we wish you a very Merry Christmas! We hope you enjoy fun and safe holidays, and have a wonderful start to the new year.

The CCP will be closed for the holidays from 5pm Thursday 21 December and we will reopen 9am Monday 8 January.

Thank you to all of our students for another wonderful year. Term 4 assessments just wrapped up on Saturday; the artwork you make truly is an inspiration to keep doing what we do.

Special mention ought to go to the students who contributed photographs to the annual student exhibition Ghoti XXI. Every single piece is excellent and most are for sale. The show will be up until Fri 9 February.

Cheers and we look forward to seeing you in 2018!

(More than) 10 Questions: CCP Lecturer Mark Goddard

Today’s chapter is a very early former student who of course now teaches here. His past relationship has seen him wear many different hats at the CCP; student, front of house, darkroom and studio gallery committee member, exhibition installer, manager and maintenance person (most of us actually still do this out of class time). It’s a pretty inclusive and exhausted way to have worked your way around life here!

Mark Goddard first walked through the door at the Stepney CCP in 2001 doing two subjects as an Introduction to Photography / Camera 1 student. He then fairly meticulously worked his way through 2002 earning his Certificate II in Creative Photography. In this time Mark was photographed for an advertising feature on the CCP as a Camera Portfolio 2 student:

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Mark returned in 2003 to commence his Certificate IV in Creative Photography which was superseded by the current Certificate IV in Photography about the same time we completed our move to Marleston around 2004. In this time with his studies here, Mark especially distinguished himself with darkroom work which he became infatuated with and to this day, he still works with film – certainly a person after my own heart.

Very early on in his student days I recall when Mark discovered the images of Paul Caponigro and became transfixed on this man’s work – I believe this was when he was studying Camera 2 and naturally I encouraged him to send the guy an image and a note of thanks for the experience… he deliberated, and deliberated, crafting a “note” of the highest order to this “treasure” of Black and White photography.

Eventually (I think about six months later), Mark was ready and off the print went with his note of approbation, only to receive a reply from “God” himself about three months later, with a very sincere note of gratitude along with a signed monograph of Caponigro’s images much to Mark’s absolute delight – it is still a cherished possession in his library and certainly illustrates a lesson learned.

By the time we’d moved to Marleston, our current location, Mark was well and truly working around the CCP as a studio assistant while

continuing his studies into the Diploma program amongst other free-ranging duties such as facilitating the first fit of the new-look CCP before we’d made the move, finally settling into his current lecturing position soon after graduating with his Diploma in 2006. In the 10 years Mark has been on the floor, he’s added yet another dimension to his skill sets and has become a very valuable and popular member of the teaching staff – that’s not only 10 years of teaching the great unwashed so to speak, but collectively Mark has spent fully a third of his life associated with the CCP and he’s not going away in a hurry if I have anything to do with it!

We’ve shared a lot of beers over the time and done a lot of things together. Mark has seen Aaron grow into the reprobate he is now and probably facilitated some of the behaviours, while I’ve observed Mark become the good friend and dedicated artist and educator he now is. With that I hand you over to Mark Goddard and his answers to (more than) 10 questions about Art, Life his Inspirations and Aspirations… Mark Goddard, come on down.


What first interested you, or made you fall in love with photography?

Photography got its hooks into me as a teenager when I developed my first roll of film in high school. Learning how to use the camera happened over a number of years, but it was the desire to properly document the places I travelled that made me better understand the possibilities of photography.

Why did you choose to study at the CCP?

I wanted to see how much I could learn about photography beyond self-tuition. The CCP offers flexible learning options, which agreed with my circumstances at the time. I knew the courses on offer would engage me and I could grow as a photographer.

Mark's "A Short Walk in China" series, a few images of which are above, was one of the earlier bodies of work he was pretty happy with. Note (reading the tea leaves a bit) an early example of street photography which is a current passion, and an image perhaps referencing a favourite Michael Kenna photograph of Venetian gondolas.

Are you making personal work?

I have spent the last five years almost exclusively doing street photography. Natural and urban landscapes was how I started out, so I decided to go to the other extreme and make images about the people I see on the street and the interactions and dynamics that can be captured.
I’ve recently returned to photographing natural and urban landscapes, largely because of the other hat I wear as a landscape designer.

What inspires your work at the moment?

I’m always assessing spaces, whether that’s a residential garden, entertainment or commercial site to better understand how we interact with them and how they can provide a positive experience for people inhabiting them.

What have you done since you studied at the CCP, and what are you doing now?

I initially built my fine art photography practice by exploring the natural and urban environment looking for the beauty within mundane and abstract objects in nature. This resulted in my first solo exhibition ‘emerge’ in 2004. My second solo show, ‘Nocturnal’, held in 2011 explored the qualities of light after dark using moonlight or available street lighting. From 2012 to 2017, my street photography has been a huge focus to see what sort of images and interactions could be captured. Possibilities arise when you open yourself up to seeing things differently.

Mark's beautiful and contemplative "Nocturnal" exhibition was celebrated with a fantastic opening night at Murray Bridge Regional Gallery in 2011.

How has photography changed since you commenced your studies?

The biggest change is the growth of digital vs the traditional film process. Digital provides the comfort of instant feedback and easy access post production. Film photography is on the way back, which is great for those who prefer the hands-on approach using chemical processes.

How has photography changed your life?

It’s made an immense difference. My life before photography was all about sport and physical ability, personally and career wise. Through photography, I have realised another side of who I am beyond just being physical. The creativity involved in finding interest in places otherwise overly familiar to me has been terrific. I also feel I have become very tuned in to what makes a photograph work or not work.

Being a photography lecturer at the CCP has given me confidence to speak comfortably in front of groups of people. It’s also defined a greater understanding of a broad range of photography styles and what makes for a compelling photograph. My photographic eye has given me very good visual and spatial intelligence, which informs my landscape design practice.

How have you changed since you were a student?

It’s been 16 years since the beginning of my studies at the CCP and a lot has changed. I have two careers that complement each other which I continue to develop further. (Pardon the film pun).

Which photographers - past or present - have been major influences on your work?

The two I respond to most are Paul Caponigro and Michael Kenna. Both are masters at capturing images in the urban and natural landscapes. I connect with every part of their practice from using traditional film and printing, to the spaces, images and compositions themselves.

Who are the people who have shaped your work and career?

A lot of people have helped shape my journey. The students I teach at the CCP are as equally as important as they are all very passionate about their pursuits in photography, which inspires me too.

Is there a person (from anywhere, dead or alive) you admire most?

Michael Kenna. His work helped me define a deeper understanding of my own work. His compositions are outstanding. A lot of his work has a very strong element of time in them using long exposures. His Japan series has been the most engaging for me. The minimalism the work inspires is sensational.

Is there one iconic image which has most impacted on you and your work?

There are two. The first I saw in my first term of study. It’s an image by Paul Outerbridge Jr titled ‘Cheese and Crackers’. My limited conceptual understanding of what made a photograph compelling was at odds with the subject matter. I visually connected with the ordered layout and began to understand the importance of lighting, composition and concept.

 Cheese and Crackers Paul Outerbridge jr

Cheese and Crackers
Paul Outerbridge jr

The second image is by Michael Kenna. I found this image ‘Gondolas I, Venice, Italy’ absolutely captivating with the contrast of the blurred gondolas bobbing up and down on the tide against the stillness of the poles they’re berthed against. Whilst lecturing night photography in Pt Adelaide, I came across a potential scene that I directly attribute as being inspired by this Michael Kenna image. I decided there and then to do a night photography series with the image ‘Pt Adelaide Inner Harbour’, (third image in the series) being one of the last I photographed for the ‘Nocturnal’ work.

 gondolas i, venice, italy michael kenna

gondolas i, venice, italy
michael kenna

Any surprises - good or bad - as you have progressed in your career?

No surprises really, other than realising how much photography has influenced my understanding of what a great landscape design is or can be. For example, a lot of gardens don’t follow any compositional rules which underutilises the potential to value add and look great.

Do you have any advice for student photographers?

Be passionate about the style of photography you’re interested in and pursue it relentlessly. Join the AIPP as a support network but also consider doing a business course for business practice, pricing and marketing purposes.

What is the best job you've done since you've been working in the industry?

I don’t have a memorable job to mention. I prefer the long-term process of creating a body of work through conceptualising, photographing, editing then presenting. I enjoyed my ‘Nocturnal’ series the most as night photography was such a different time to explore.

Any funny anecdotes from your experience in the industry?

Not anything funny, but I’ve had interesting moments when caught photographing on private property. The situations never came to more than a brief confrontation before being asked to leave with tail between the legs.

What are your passions outside of photography?

Always loved cycling and bushwalking but don’t dedicate enough time as I am busy designing landscape gardens. I love to travel. My last trip to New York City involved street photography and photographing the ‘High Line’. This is an elevated garden almost two and a half km long and built on a disused train line that winds between buildings from W34th street to the Whitney Museum near W13th street.

To see more of Mark’s work, visit his website, follow his Instagram @mark_s_goddard.
His professional landscape design services also can be found at Mr Goddard Landscape Design with design and horticulture imagery on Instagram at @goddard_mr.

(More than) 10 Questions: CCP Lecturer Chris Holmes

This week’s chapter in the history of the CCP is a more recent alumnus who has also started lecturing here, and that is Chris Holmes. Chris commenced his studies here in 2012 and graduated with his Diploma four years later when he commenced his teaching position.

Chris was a very popular and helpful student with his peers, and now as a lecturer, his cheeky and self-deprecating humour (which I totally get and love) had him lovingly labelled as “sassy and uncooperative” by one student last term.

When he’s here at the CCP, Aaron and I both love to tease him mercilessly and as a great sport, Chris gives as good as he gets, adding to the “back room banter” in our staff refuge which is pretty much what goes on between lectures when they’re not teaching classes.

What I really enjoy about the mix of lecturers at the CCP, is the diversity of skills, personalities and teaching styles each person brings to the task at hand and as such, Chris is no different. He has settled in very nicely with a range of camera, digital imaging and soon to be studio subjects.


He’s proven to be a very popular lecturer with the students as well thereby retaining the idiom he established when he first studied here. I also enjoy the creative bent Chris brings to his personal and professional work with “Scenes from a Shower” being his latest artistic endeavour and I think he very aptly summed up his approach to this fun series of portraits when he stated:

What I want you to find in this work is a unique reflection of the person, an image that tells us a story without contriving the final look. Most of my portrait work is studio lit, retouched

and enhanced for commercial use. This series is the antithesis of my usual approach and presents raw, desaturated, warts-and-all images.
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Chris Holmes, I salute you, you are another valuable addition to the CCP crew and I’m very pleased you decided to tolerate me a bit more and become a part of the crew… over to you my friend.

 Photograph by sam oster :: silvertrace

Photograph by sam oster :: silvertrace

MORE THAN 10 QUESTIONS: Chris Holmes (Creolumen Photography)

What first interested you, or made you fall in love with, photography?

As a young’un, I was one of those annoying pull-everything-apart children, always interested in how and why things worked the way they do. Somehow, I got my hands on a camera to pull apart, put back together.  Well, I didn’t know how to put it back together (like many of our household appliances) but this ignited my interest with the camera, the workings, the technical mechanics and lastly the creative allure.

Why did you choose to study at the CCP?

To be honest, at the time, it was probably a better option than joining a camera club, I think I recognised the need to learn some technical proficiency before I mastered the art of it. Google ranking put the CCP first, and having worked in Vocational Education myself, I recognised the value of this place.

Are you making personal work?

Tough question… yes and no. Mostly my work is paid (commercial work). But, I do get opportunities to involve myself in a project here and there and shoot some work just for me. My last commercial job ended up being poorly paid but highly rewarding as far as creativity, so that ended up as personal work! Early this year, I finished shooting a personal portrait series (Scenes from A Shower) which was amazingly creative and super fun.

What have you done since you studied at the CCP, and what are you doing now?

From studying, I now teach at the CCP. I also have my own photographic business ‘Creolumen Photography’ and work at Cog Creative Studio (Norwood) with other amazing creatives. I also work in Quality Management (the least connected skill to photography) so I also help out the CCP where I can to support their relentless need for compliance management.

How has photography changed since you commenced your studies?

Well, I’m new gen photography 101 – so I guess things are settling a bit with all this evolution from film to digital. I teach the digital subjects, so I’m a techno nerd that enjoys days tucked away, editing in the dark on a computer. I did study film and darkroom and they still resonate as a beautiful art, but I guess for the most of us, we’re all developing new digital skills and competencies. They say, necessity is the mother of invention – I think this applies here!

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How have you changed since you were a student?

Yes, my hair is much whiter and I devote more time to complaining like an old person! But seriously, I’ve developed my own sense of confidence in photography. I’m not as intimidated by the camera, the technology or the client! I’ve become more curious to technological changes and commit to always developing skills. These are new curiosities I have developed since study. 

Which photographers - past or present - have been major influences on your work – and why?

I always ask my students this question (Camera 1 – shameless plug). It’s important to find your photographic heroes and learn from their style and approach. Past photographers of inspiration would be Olive Cotton, Imogen Cunningham, Weegee and Margaret Bourke-White – all pioneering photographers that thought outside the box that inspired me to be more creative with my style.

 Note: just look at her amazing nerves-of-steel to shoot this: Margaret Bourke-White, female pioneer, braver (with less vertigo) than I’d ever be.

Note: just look at her amazing nerves-of-steel to shoot this: Margaret Bourke-White, female pioneer, braver (with less vertigo) than I’d ever be.

Present would include Sam Oster – her highly developed technical ability juxtaposed with an incredible sense of artistic vision, she inspires me want to shoot and treat clients just like her. Mark Spaven, for you I have great respect for teaching me the technical art of the studio – your skills and excellent teaching ability gave me the confidence I have to develop my love for studio photography and spark my ongoing love for commercial work.

Who are the people who have shaped your work and career and why?

As above, the aforementioned photographers and also every other person who I’ve worked with, studied or collaborated with. Every time I’m around somebody, I learn from them. We should never be so arrogant or ego driven to discount the value and opportunity every person brings to you, good or bad.

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Any surprises - good or bad - as you have progressed in your career?

The competitive nature of the industry! Getting consistent work is hard, the long hours, the dedication needed to accommodate clients and their expectations and unseen rewards when the client loves what you do.

Do you have any advice for student photographers?

Listen to others. Never be too eager to ‘showcase’ your skills, never be afraid to ask questions and absorb the information and perspective of others. Be ready to assist, be helpful and respectful and turn your damn phones off!

 Light Painting and digital retouch is a keen combination of skills often experimented with.

Light Painting and digital retouch is a keen combination of skills often experimented with.

Any funny anecdotes from your experience in the industry?

Seriously! I spent two years shooting ‘Scenes From A Shower’. That was always going to result in some stories, nothing too much happened, but the really interesting stories I can’t really disclose here – it wouldn’t be respectful.

Apart from forgetting equipment, calling your clients the wrong name and turning up to jobs on the wrong day and time, nothing too much!

What are your passions outside of photography?

I work nearly full time in Quality Management, I run my own photographic business and I teach. Outside of photography… sleeping? Gin drinking? Something more noble, I volunteer my services to the RSPCA, that I love! I’d like to be a professional cat and dog cuddler (is that even a job?). I have great devotion to my two rescue-cats from the RSPCA.

 Photographing horses for the RSPCA is always a great experience, this is the one that didn't bite!

Photographing horses for the RSPCA is always a great experience, this is the one that didn't bite!

(More than) 10 Questions: CCP Lecturer Mark Spaven

Close to home again today this episode features a much loved lecturer at the CCP Mark Spaven who has been teaching our studio-based subjects since 2009, well after we’d moved from Stepney into where we are now at Marleston. I first got to know Mark as he started becoming a regular renter of the studios here; he struck me as a straight shooter. When Mark made an observation to me about his confidence that he could make a positive contribution to our education program, I was interested.

You see, I am approached fairly often by people who feel that teaching here would be a good thing, and surely it would be. However when it isn’t clear that the hopeful lecturer can actually contribute and add to the unique program we offer at the CCP, the conversation won’t go much further. This institution is after all a living enterprise responsible for the future of a lot of students here in our community, and I truly believe that members of the faculty here are more than just mouthpieces espousing information to the “great unwashed”.

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The resonance Mark Spaven tapped when he told me that he wished to contribute to our program here illustrated his desire to become a part of the crazy family collective we call the CCP crew. Of course it’s never as simple as just rocking up to class and teaching, firstly as I informed him, he required the mandatory qualifications of Workplace Assessor beyond his obvious skill set and training in photography. Naturally he was already working towards this qualification – another positive impression and another box ticked.

And so over a beer or two, we talked about photography, life and just what it meant to be a teacher – the last point being especially salient because Mark’s wife was a secondary school teacher (and still is) and so it came to pass, I decided to mentor Mark in the specifics of teaching and “cat herding”. He became my studio assistant when I was teaching my classes all while he was completing his Workplace Assessor qualifications. We ended each class in the evening at my place where I made him a light dinner which we washed down with a beer or two. This provided an excellent vehicle to de-brief about the particular evening’s class and various observations about positives and problems.

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It was always an engaging conversation which naturally meandered into rock and roll, life and just growing up in our generation. I think this brand of fun continued between us for about six months until of course Mark Spaven was ready to fly the coop and be let loose upon the CCP students solo and I left him with the sage advice to “make it your own” because of course this is what is required to separate fact from fiction – especially if you are the one delivering the day’s lesson.

Mark in his time here has certainly made the classes he teaches his own and he has become an extremely valuable member of the teaching crew at the CCP. Just as important, Mark is an engaging lecturer, a great person and a good friend and I enjoy his self-deprecating humour which is totally refreshing. We still get to share the occasional beers together and I enjoy going to see his band at their live shows whenever possible because they are actually really excellent.

Mark’s students also love having him around in class and this is obviously important as a lecturer and I know Mark derives a lot of satisfaction from being at the coalface so to speak. And with that I introduce another chapter in the history of the Centre for Creative Photography at 20 years… Mark Spaven over to you.

 Portrait of Mark Spaven by a CCP student (Apologies to the student for forgetting your name - if this is your image please let us know so we can credit you!)

Portrait of Mark Spaven by a CCP student
(Apologies to the student for forgetting your name - if this is your image please let us know so we can credit you!)


What first interested you, or made you fall in love with photography?

My parents moved our family from Canberra to Coffs Harbour, and then to Brisbane during my formative years. I knew nobody, and with my first pay packet I bought a RICOH range finder with a fixed lens. It gave me something to do and, using some fencing wire, I made a ring binder book out of my images. My second purchase was a sound system and my third, a car that I immediately drove back to Canberra upon receiving my driver’s licence. Four years later, still living in Canberra, I qualified as an Optical Mechanic. I then travelled overseas for two years. I hadn’t used the camera since Brisbane, so I dusted it off and took it travelling with me. When I arrived back in Australia, I lived in Sydney and showed my Kodachrome slide images from the trip to anyone that was interested. Everyone kept telling me how much they enjoyed the pictures; and I think that may have planted an unconscious seed. After two years in Sydney I came here to Adelaide and realised that I did not want to work in Optics long term. I decided that I would become a photographer. I enrolled in a TAFE course for photography and worked as a freelance optical mechanic while studying.

Are you making personal work?

I am making videos and posters for the band I now play in, in fact I have an animated clip for one of our original songs now playing in the current faculty exhibition at the Light Gallery. Why not drop past and see it – I think it’s a lot of fun and Gavin and Aaron make a cameo appearance... and if you can't make it in this month you can always check out the video here.

What inspires your work at the moment?

Teaching inspires me actually. I think I burnt out with photography a while ago; I worked as a creative on demand for 25 years and believe me when I say that running your own business without any safety net is tough. I loved it, but I am now really fortunate to be able to continue my career with teaching. It’s gratifying to pass on my experience.

What have you done since you started at the CCP, and what are you doing now?

Well I bought the camera first then the sound system. So of course I am now into song writing and gigging with GRID THE BAND. I still have clients that I shoot for; it’s just that I’m not looking to expand this enterprise any further.

How has photography changed since you started?

Wow, in many ways, the anxiety of waiting an hour and a half for a film transparency clip test, then that time again waiting to pick up the film at Duckpond (who merged with Atkins Technicolour a while ago), all while hoping you got the job done on time. We used to build film images in the studio while shooting Polaroids, a very slow and considered process and you were treated with a lot of respect and sometimes awe. I was shooting a lot of 5x4 for commercial usage. Trying to manipulate images with no Photoshop, I did a lot of art work for sets and also on images to stylize them. I think manipulation in Photoshop and the high ISO settings making low light more manageable are huge changes.  

How has photography changed your life?

Well, it really made my life. I started shooting bands, dancers, artist and actors. My first studio was shared with a dance company who were working with live musicians, I lived upstairs with one of the dancers, who I later married, and the studios were downstairs. It was a beautiful two-storey building cheaply rented to us by the government. They had cleared the site of businesses before we moved in, as they had bought the Hindmarsh site for what is now the Entertainment Centre, leaving most of it vacant for a few years. It was a very bohemian lifestyle, tap dancing classes Monday nights, we rented space to artists and got involved with the local community on that side of the city. It was the beginning of my metamorphosis from a country boy into a city boy. I’ve had had a lot to do with horses, rodeos and country life in my past and a lot of my friends were on farms in my early years.

Which photographers - past or present - have been major influences on your work?

I started looking at English photographers like Bill Brandt and Michael Cline, all the black and white shooters. I loved the European light and their take on form and composition. Then once I acquired some serious overheads I was looking at a lot of magazine editorial as I had to actually make some serious money.

Who are the people who have shaped your work and career and why?

Joe Disario gave me my first big break. I had signed the lease on a large commercial space off Port Road, and I had nothing. I borrowed $1000 off my dad, bought a 5x4 inch view camera and signed a lease with six Italian business men, all related to each other. I negotiated three months free rent with them and thought if I didn’t survive the three months then what would I have to lose, nothing... although, I did have a recurring dream about a pair of cement boots and a subsequent sinking! I bought some very cheap flash heads and made soft boxes out of foam core. I then shot some commercial images which I took around to art directors. Joe gave me the LE GROG catalogue, then Pizza Haven. I also shot some big furniture catalogues for him. I was on my way as the money started to flow in. I sublet the studio to some film makers and began building the space into purpose built studios.

Do you have any advice for student photographers?

I was working with advertising agencies and graphic designers; I then teamed up with some designers, an illustrator and a writer. They moved into the studios with me and we set up a production company. We began working with direct clients which gave us control of the creative process; we had a round table approach. It was a great time and we did some really nice work together. I also took on a lot of different types of work, from very creative to basic retail. Now there seems to be a lot of crossover happening with visual communication and as such I would advise students to try and be versatile across graphics, web design and photography through association or training.

What is the best job you've done since you've been working in the industry?

Put it this way, it was perceived as the best job according to my friends. A company called Multivision helped me with an audio visual production that I was working on with a dance company. I showed the final production to Rob Brookman, from the Festival, using Mulitivision’s facilities and equipment. Multivision happened to have a job with the Grand Prix which they offered me. I shot rapid still images of the track volunteers and Multivision made a large multi-screen presentation, shown outdoors, using banks of slide projectors. It was shown outdoors at the after party to Tina Turner’s hit, Simply The Best. I did it for several years and had a pass to go anywhere I wanted. I even got a regular high speed turn around the race track in the clearing car with flags flying. I never shot one car during the entire time I was covering the event.

Ironically, the only race I didn’t photograph was the first race, but I did work there as a barman in the one and only beer (Coopers) tent on site. Saturday was fine but on Sunday race day, myself and four other barman served 250,000 patrons (not all buying beer, but still!). First we ran out of cups, and then the beer wouldn’t pour in the 40+ degree temperature. We couldn’t even get stock into the tent because the crowds were so thick. I started at 9am, and had to fight my way through, it was insane! We were surrounded the whole day by an angry mob that had lined up waiting for hours. Every order was a full tray and half the time we couldn’t serve them. I really thought they were going to jump the trestles and kill us! So there you have it, my best and worst jobs were both at the Adelaide Grand Prix!