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TAFE through the lens of photography student Jessica Parra

Jessica Parra is a student at North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) studying CUA60420 Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development [Photography]. Recently she was recognised for her achievements by being nominated at the Student SKULL UX/UI Photography Award 2023 organised by the Perth Advertising and Design Club (PADC). The PADC’s annual award shows seeks to showcase and acknowledge inspiring creators of commercial communications in Western Australia (WA). 

As Jessica approaches graduation, we had the opportunity to hear Jessica’s experience studying at NM TAFE in Perth and what have been the biggest highlights.

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

I chose TAFE for its exceptional reputation, high academic standards, and practical approach to learning. TAFE's pragmatic methodology, which emphasises hands on learning and real-world experience, greatly appealed to me.

How do you plan to use your qualification CUA60420 Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development [Photography] for your future career?

Photo of a big building with people inside and walking around the outskirts. There's a food truck parked out the front. On the far right, is a big banner with "Latin markets" written across it. The photo is black and white.

Studying CUA60420 Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development [Photography] at NM TAFE has been an incredible journey. My lecturers and classmates have made it a truly enriching and unforgettable experience. The comprehensive curriculum has equipped me with solid technical skills, artistic vision and critical thinking. Through practical assignments and real-life projects, I have been constantly challenged to push my creative boundaries and refine my craft.

The guidance and mentorship from experienced faculty have played a vital role in nurturing my growth as a photographer. Additionally, the program has provided networking opportunities with top professional photographers, allowing me to gain insights and establish connections that will shape my future career. Looking ahead, I plan to utilise this qualification to establish my own business specialising in wedding and portrait photography. 

Overall, the Advanced Diploma program has not only provided me with a top class education but has also fostered a sense of community and support among my peers. I am excited to embark on the next chapter of my photography career, armed with the skills and network gained through this exceptional program.

You were recently a finalist for a major photography award - How do you feel?

Being selected as a finalist for the Perth Advertising and Design Club (PADC) Skulls Awards 2023, alongside my classmate Pedro, brought me an indescribable sense of excitement. It was a true honour to receive recognition for my work and it filled me with joy to know that my efforts had been acknowledged. The series I submitted for the competition focused on capturing how the Latin community in Perth preserves their traditions through vibrant dances, elaborate costumes, mouthwatering food, and a strong sense of community, all while coexisting harmoniously with other cultures.

I am grateful for the chance to be a finalist and for the recognition that it brings to my work. The joy and honour I feel will forever be cherished.

Women stand in a line waving their big skirts. They wear traditional clothing with frilly skirts, tops and a headband. They stand inside an auditorium. The photo is black and white.

How have you found the facilities on your campus?

I must say that the facilities at TAFE are truly impressive. They are well equipped and provide everything we need as photography students. The technology available to us is top quality, ranging from the required photographic equipment to computer labs, printers and networking resources. It's a blessing to have access to such advanced tools that enhance our learning experience.

What sets TAFE apart is not just the availability of resources but the incredible support system they have in place. The lecturers and TAFE staff have always been there for us, ready to assist and guide us whenever we needed help. Whether it was acquiring equipment for our projects or seeking guidance to learn something new, they were always by our side, ensuring that we had the necessary resources and knowledge to excel.

One of the most valuable aspects of my academic experience at TAFE has been the freedom to experiment and explore new techniques. TAFE encourages us to push the boundaries of our creativity, allowing us to try different approaches and develop our unique artistic vision. This freedom to explore and experiment has been instrumental in my growth as a photographer.

How does life in Australia compare to home?

A  white pinata in the shape of a lama sits on a wooden stool.

I have been living in Perth for the past five years and it has been an incredible experience. I have fallen in love with this city. I feel safe and secure here, which has allowed me to fully embrace and appreciate the peace and tranquillity that Perth offers.

One of the things that captivates me about this city is its breathtaking landscapes and stunning beaches. The natural beauty that surrounds Perth is truly remarkable. However, my absolute favourite aspect of living here is the magical sunsets that grace the skyline so often. The way the colours blend and paint the sky is simply awe inspiring, and it never fails to leave me in a state of wonder.

Another aspect of Western Australian culture that I adore is its multiculturalism. WA is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and I am fascinated by the opportunity to learn about and experience different traditions without having to travel far. The people in WA have been incredibly welcoming and their openness to embracing and celebrating diverse backgrounds creates a sense of unity and acceptance.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this opportunity to share my experiences and thoughts as a finalist for this prestigious award. It is truly an honour to be recognised for my work, and I am grateful for the platform to discuss my passion for photography.

If you’re interested in pursuing your dreams much like Jessica, apply to study at TIWA today! You can select from a wide range of study areas and qualifications in more than 100 skills focussed certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses.


Last updated on April 22, 2024