Mike always had a keen interest in photography, but wanted to explore the technical and storytelling skills required to turn his passion in to a career.
RMIT gave me the confidence in my technical ability to be able to walk in to a new setting or a new country and feel comfortable on my feet while taking photos.
“A lot of photography, especially taking portraits, is about staying calm and keeping your subject at ease. Being able to walk into a room and concentrate on building a relationship with someone, rather than worrying about how I’m going to shoot in that space, allows me to create better images.
“I’m currently working on building my arts practice, which is taking the shape of documenting the lives of asylum seekers and refugees who are living in Indonesia; those who are stuck there as a result of the flow of boats to Australia having stopped.
“I’ve received the Perth Centre of Photography portrait prize (Iris Award) and been a finalist in Incinerator Gallery Art for Social Change Award with this current body of work, but the biggest achievement is speaking to people who have come to Australia through the same channels as those who I’m photographing, and having them tell me that they see their story in my work.
“The industry can be hard to break into, but RMIT gave me a very solid technical grounding along with the problem solving skills that are required to make it.
“We had a number of visits to and from different industry workplaces which also gave me a great understanding of what the real world was like.
“Eventually I’d like to return to study to do a masters and later work as a lecturer to help support my creative practice.”