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Making a passion, a career: photography student Pedro Poveda

Pedro Poveda will soon graduate from his studies in CUA60420 Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development [Photography] at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Perth campus. 

Following his study at TAFE, Pedro today holds an impressive portfolio of work. His talent was recognised at the 2023 Student SKULL UX/UI Photography Awards Show. Organised by the Perth Advertising and Design Club (PADC(opens in a new tab)), the annual show seeks to showcase and acknowledge inspiring creators of commercial communications in Western Australia. Pedro won the Student Skull UX/UI Photography award for his recent documentary-styled photography.

We spoke with Pedro about his time at TAFE and experience living in Perth, Western Australia (WA). 

Why did you choose to study at TAFE International Western Australia?

Indigenous Australian man sits on the floor playing a didgeridoo. The image is in black and white.

Back home in Colombia I had done an engineering degree however, it was too theory based. I wanted to get an education that was more hands on. When I found the program at TAFE, it was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want a photography course that was theory based. I wanted something more technical to develop my photography skills. 

What were the best things about your course?

The facilities are really great. There are several photography studios to practice in, there’s lots of advanced equipment to use during class and there’s lots of cameras to practice with and even take home to borrow. There’s a wide variety of equipment so that students can learn and explore different skills. It’s very helpful to prepare us for our future career. 

The lecturers are very good as well, they make the course very interesting. They all have worked in the industry, so they give us tips and advice from their own experiences. They all have worked in different areas, bringing different perspectives to the course.

How are the facilities on campus?

Two females face towards the camera. The woman closest to the camera is wearing a hijab. Both women are smiling. In the background there's trees, buildings and a road with no cars.

When I started, I didn’t know how to use a camera. I knew I had a good eye, but I didn’t even know there were different camera lenses. The teachers teach you from scratch. How to do the techniques, use the equipment and experiment with composition. They teach you all of the basics, then the second year is more professional.

All of the skills I know now, is because of the lecturers. I have really good memories with the lecturers. I’m very thankful for them. They do photography with love, they want to give us the best of their knowledge. They are very patient. If anyone’s struggling, they give them more time. Their teaching methods are good, they’re very accurate. They’re professional.

We have the freedom to use the studios with professional lights and cameras. We can use these at any time, we just need to book them. I’ve done good work at the studios. We can even take equipment home if we need to use cameras and soft boxes. So, if you don’t have a camera you can borrow one.

How do you plan to use this qualification in the future?

I want to be a photographer; this is my passion. I want to get a job and get into the industry specifically, documentary photography. 

Our lecturers often connect us with paid and unpaid photography jobs. One of my lecturers mentioned to me a volunteering opportunity for a non-government organisation (NGO) that is focused on keeping the Kimberley region in the north of WA frack free. In 2018 the Kimberley region was open to fracking, despite being banned in other areas of WA due to the damage it does on the environment. I went once and saw how important this issue was, so I kept on going. For me, it’s not about the money, photography is my passion. That’s why I’m doing it, I love it. 

You recently won a renowned photography award - How do you feel?

Train on the train lines, moving. Whilst the train itself is darkly lit, the light from inside the train glows. Blurry figures of people inside the train can be seen.

I was really happy. It’s telling me that I’m on the right path. I just need to keep going 

These are the photos I submitted for the competition. The intention was to show the individuals who live in my community. I walked through the city and selected random people who were willing to get photographed. I noticed that the community although diverse, is all connected. Everyone makes up the community. It doesn’t matter the colour of your skin, your culture or what you look like. We’re all connected. 

How have you found living in Perth?

I have been living in Perth for almost 4 years. Perth is absolutely amazing. Everything you see  the sky, the river and the greenery, it’s beautiful. 

When I have free time, I like to be social and take photos. I go around the city and the beach and take photos. It’s a meditation for me. I enjoy the nature here in Perth, I like to go and surf and I enjoy visiting the park. 

I have met very nice people and have made good friends. It’s easy for me to build good connections with people.

Interested in studying at TIWA? Get in touch today for help navigating your career and study journey

Last updated on December 18, 2023