“We try to help the students recognize or find their personality,” he wrote, “The person’s personality is the essence for us. Only through that recognition can photography be created, and never the other way around. Many photographers go about it the wrong way and make the medium the highest priority in their lives. They let a thing rule them, instead of understanding it. But one can only reach understanding by learning to recognize oneself. This is why self-knowledge is the main focus of our work.”
— Michael Schmidt

I recently read this article and it stirred in me an enthusiasm to think about organising a year-long photography workshop that looks at photography beyond technical aspects, focusing on a more personal approach.

I have taught a few of these year-long workshops at PhotoAccess, but after a few consecutive years felt that I needed a break from teaching. Well, this article certainly has come at a great time and now I'm ready to see if there is interest from a few photographers to undertake this workshop in 2018.

I made a facebook post about this last night, which I have pasted below. If this is something that you may be interested in, please drop me a line. More information will be available in coming weeks about the proposed workshop plan.


I'm contemplating running a year-long personal photography workshop here in Canberra in 2018. I'd like to keep the group small, say 5-6 people, and am interested in working with photographers who want to explore their lives, their environment and most importantly themselves through photography (by this I mean finding out what really interests you with the medium and how to make your pictures your own).

Ideally, we'd meet about 10 times over the course of the year, and each participant would be working on a long term project, as well as having to complete 'mini assignments' between meetings that would introduce important elements of photography such as portraiture, working to a brief, lighting and so forth.... We'd also look at presentation, including printing, curating a show, books, websites, etc etc. Only ideas at the moment but I'm feeling good vibes about this. And at the end we'd put on a great exhibition of all the work.

Participation would be based on a portfolio of 12 themed images and an artist statement. This would be a workshop that pushes you, challenges you and perhaps pushes you into uncomfortable places. But the idea would be for you to really see what you are capable of.

My extensive library of photography books would be an open resource for all participants to borrow during the course.

I'd like to keep the course under $2k per participant, or around $200 per day-long workshop.

Please comment if this is something you would be interested in.

This is a link to my recent exhibition 'Next Generation: Solomon Islands after RAMSI' which was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade this year.