Young photographer turns pastime to passion
What started out as just a lockdown hobby has now become a university pursuit for Aiden Shearer, who has just completed his first year of a Bachelor’s degree in photography at Photography Studies College (PSC).
While it takes most people years of study to discover their passion, Aiden’s career in photography has already begun at just 18 years old.
“There was nothing to do in lockdown and my dad had a camera, so I just picked it up one day,” he said.
“I used to skate a lot with my friends so I would bring my camera and take photos – turns out I was alright at it, so I carried it through the rest of high school.”
Aiden’s interest in photojournalism and street photography has allowed him to explore various themes across his work that he is “personally connected to”.
Despite living in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs since 2015, Aiden’s Indonesian background and feelings associated with the immigrant experience have been a source of inspiration for his first major project, titled Queer Combat Collective, after his local sports group.
“I grew up being in martial arts my whole childhood and I still do it now, and I’m a supporter of the queer community,” Aiden told Southbank News.
“The project was about when immigrants move to a new country and there’s always things that you do in this new, foreign country that connects you back to your original home country.”
For Aiden, the Queer Combat Collective space has been the “perfect group” to not only feel at home in Melbourne, but also to feel connected to his upbringing in Indonesia.
A trip back home is on the cards next year, which he hopes will give him the opportunity to delve deeper into street photography.
“I want to document things that are nostalgic to me and take portraits of my family, and also of the streets in Indonesia,” he said.
Although he plans to defer next year, Aiden is keen to come back to PSC to complete his second year and tick off some milestone “firsts”.
“I’d like to have my own book one day, and I want to have my work in an exhibition – those are my little mini goals,” he said.
“PSC was absolutely the best choice for me, I know a lot of people who went to uni and the course just wasn’t for them or the uni wasn’t for them, but I really love it – I love the people and the teachers and the whole environment.” •