We have a chat to CATC student Mona Taklani about her transition from study to work.
When did you first become interested in photography?
I think I was 6 or 7 years old when I took my dad’s old analogue camera and started to shoot everything in my way. But the real interest came in high school when there was this big hype round all the supermodels like Naomi, Linda Evangelista and all the rest in the ’90s.
What do you like to photograph?
I would like to say fashion photography, but at the same time I love travel photography and surf/skate. So I think all of that!
Do you think it’s valuable to learn how to shoot and develop film in the digital age?
I love the analogue look, and I wish I had a darkroom and a few different cameras to play around with. I think everyone should learn more about developing film and go trough the whole process with the chemicals to the finished image.
What opportunities did you gain through studying photography that you wouldn’t otherwise have had?
I have learned more about the freelance business and how to believe more in yourself and your work. I have had the opportunity to shoot backstage during one of the famous fashion photographers Henryk’s photo shoots and shot at MBFWA. Its been really easy for me to find models and make-up artists by saying that I’m a photographer, but it totally depends on how you are as a person. I think it’s really important to be social and forward in this business.
What was the most valuable thing you learnt from study?
The editing part. Photoshop!
Did the course give you access to any equipment or knowledge that you wouldn’t otherwise have had?
I had access to the studio with flashes and equipment that I never seen before, so that was very valuable for me and I have learned a lot about studio shoot and lighting.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am studying Graphic Design at CATC to gain my knowledge in Photoshop and magazine layout. So I haven’t had many big photo shoots lately. But I have one really big job I am waiting for to get. I dream of working for a magazine like Monster Children or Yen after this course.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
My advice is to believe in yourself and always push yourself to do better! It is a very difficult business with many “sharp elbows” so its really important to go out there and show your work and have fun at the same time. And also stepping out of the box when it comes to photography rules, break them, give yourself a signature and shoot, shoot, shoot!
For more information on CATC courses head to www.catc.edu.au.