MSP Photography News

Mary Farah awarded inaugural CaSPA-MSP Equity Scholarship

Nicole Legovich

Mary Farah
Scholarship recipient, Mary Farah


We're pleased to announce that our partner, Catholic Secondary Principals Australia (CaSPA), has awarded the inaugural CasPA-MSP Equity Scholarship. We would like to join CaSPA in congratulating Mary Farah, the principal at St Aloysius College.

Mary will be putting her scholarship towards study at the Harvard Graduate School in Boston in 2017. We’re looking forward to hearing about the leadership course Mary is taking and are grateful for the opportunity our partner has given us to directly contribute to professional development for their members.

To find out more, visit the CasPA blog.

MSP Photography Queensland Variety Bash

Nicole Legovich

James, Kim, Ben, and Andrew with "The Frog" outside Head Office

Our Head Office in Wagga Wagga got a noisy surprise yesterday, with a visit from the MSP Photography QLD Variety Bash team, in “The Frog”, their affectionately named Bash car. It was hard to tell which was louder, the colour of “The Frog” or the tooting of the horn as they lapped the car park…

The team, made up of James and Kim Petherbridge (MSP Brisbane), Ben Holgate (MSP Central QLD) and Andrew Helmore (MSP SEQ), have travelled more than a thousand kilometres since leaving Warwick in Queensland.

Not only have they been having a great time taking part in the Bash, they’ve also been raising funds for children in need throughout Queensland. A big thank you to all the sponsors who helped make the Bash possible for our QLD team, as well as to the team for giving up their time to support such a wonderful cause.


The Bash concludes this weekend in Bathurst at Mount Panorama just in time for the Bathurst 1000, where we’re sure “The Frog” will make a splash. You can find out more about QLD Variety by visiting

Rotary aid project in Timor-Leste

Nicole Legovich


MSP Photography Mt Gambier franchise owner Frank Monger has recently returned from a Rotary (RAWCS) overseas aid project in Timor-Leste.

Frank and his team with the nearly completed new medical building

Frank lead a team of four people from Mt Gambier to a facility called Klibur Domin in Tibar, about 15km outside of Dili in Timor Leste. The facility runs a TB testing and rehab facility, as well as renal dialysis for Timorese people, often from remote villages. It also has living facilities for physically disabled children (Cerebral Palsy, spinal and leg injuries that make rehab in their own villages almost impossible) as well as several patients with mental health issues.

Sister Francisca with several senior boys using second-hand laptops that had been donated.

The team's mission was to construct an additional medical clinic building and they also carried out other general maintenance at Klibur Domin. Frank also spent time at the school opposite Klibur Domin helping kids with English lessons.

Senior girls at school
Frank working with several students in the School

MSP Photographer preserving Anzac legacy

Aaron Oldaker


MSP Photography Mt Gambier owner Frank Monger is doing his part to preserve the legacy of Australia’s Second World War veterans.

Image: photographers Frank Monger from Mount Gambier and Jacqui Bateman from Furner with WW2 veteran Alex Lawson.

Speaking on ABC Radio on 16 July 2015, Frank explained how he and other photographers from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) were working to create professional portraits of our remaining WW2 veterans.

According to the AIPP, over the course of 2015 the institute was aiming to honour the Anzac Spirit by creating a professional portrait of every WWII veteran in Australia, with the veterans receiving a printed photograph, free of charge, for their participation. The AIPP said the aim was to create a compelling pictorial record of returned servicemen and women for the national archives.

Almost one-million Australians served in WWII, but 70 years on from the war's end only about 14,000 are left.

“The idea is to record as many surviving World War Two veterans now,” Frank explained on ABC Radio.

“AIPP photographers Australia-wide are going out into the nursing homes and aged care facilities - or people’s homes - to find as many surviving World War Two veterans as we can and record them with their jackets and medals and record some of their stories and tales, to put as a permanent record in the war memorial in Canberra,” Frank said

 Frank also underlined the importance of undertaking the task, and that time was not on their side.

“I know of one situation where a vet was photographed one day, and his funeral service was a week later. So it is important because we’ve got to realise it’s 70 years since the end of World War Two, so if they were 18 when they enlisted they would be a minimum of 88 years old now.”

For more information, visit

MSP helps flooded families

Aaron Oldaker


MSP Hunter Central Coast has come to the aid of six families at Dungog Central School who lost their belongings in storms and flooding back in April this year.

As reported in the Dungog Chronicle on June 30, six families whose children attend Dungog Public School lost all their belongings in the April storm disaster.

Not only did some of the children lose all their clothes and toys, but school photos and reports were also damaged by the water or washed away.

Principal Steve Richard said one parent found a school award in a plastic sleeve in a tree near their place.

“When they gave it to me, it got me thinking about all the other children who also lost all their photos and school reports, ” Mr Richard said.

“So I rang John Parmenter from MSP Photography who has done our school photos for years and he said he would replace all of the individual and class photos for the families of the six children.

“I thought this was a wonderful gesture on his part with the value being $1800 which he didn’t charge us for.”

Mr Parmenter said the school gave him the names of the students and he set about finding all the photos and printing them.

“Recording history is my passion and I can’t imagine these families not having school photos of their children,” he said.

“These photos are often passed down through generations and I am pleased I could make sure this was able to happen.

"The children received their photos, replacement reports and awards on the last day of school before the holidays and they were thrilled.

“It was great to see the smiles on their faces,” Mr Parmenter said.

Image and copy reproduced with the permission of Dungog Chronicle

Service Award for Frank Monger

Aaron Oldaker


Congratulations to MSP Mt Gambier owner Frank Monger who has been recognised for his professionalism as a school photographer and the contribution he has made to the community in his local area.

As reported on 22 May by Mt Gambier’s local newspaper, The Border Watch, Frank was recently presented with the Rotary Vocational Service Leadership Award, for “showing integrity in his dealing with school students and families over many years as a school portrait photographer.”

The Border Watch also noted Frank’s high level of community engagement as a photographer and as Rotarian, “delivering high quality media coverage of Rotary’s community presence, documenting the personal journey of Rotarians, and significant events.”

For the past 12 years Frank has also engaged with school communities through Rotary as the chairman of a careers day for South Australian and Victorian high school students in his area and initiated a research program for South Australian students in his area that collated funding opportunities to support youths.

Player sponsorship helps Rhali reach her sporting goals


A token of thanks: Newcastle Jets Women player Rhali Dobson presents MSP Photography Hunter Central Coast owners John and Tanya Parmenter with a token of appreciation of their support throughout the 2013.14 Westfield W-League season – a signed and framed Newcastle Jets Women poster.A player sponsorship from MSP Photography Hunter Central Coast has made a significant difference to Newcastle Jets
W-League player Rhali Dobson.

We hear much about sporting superstars being paid phenomenal amounts of money, but far less is written about those talented athletes who don’t attract seven figure sums.

This is especially true for sportswomen like Rhali, who often make many financial sacrifices to play their beloved sport.

Relocating to Newcastle from the Mid North Coast four years ago to study Occupational Therapy at the University of Newcastle, Rhali was determined not to place financial pressure on her family.

“I am the eldest of five siblings so I don’t expect my parents to fork out more money for me,” she said.

“MSP’s player sponsorship has covered the costs for me to visit my family a few times up in Wauchope, 2.5 hours away.  I do not get the opportunity to visit my family often and in the past when I have been able, I couldn’t due to the cost.

“I know John and Tanya (Parmenter, owners of MSP Photography Hunter Central Coast) through Maitland Football Club. I have close ties to the Junior and Senior Clubs there through friendships and training with the club.

“The Junior secretary/publicity officer assisted in getting me the sponsorship because she knew how difficult things were juggling training, travel, working and university.

“Sponsors are fundamental to female athletes as, unless you play golf or tennis, the pay we receive is not enough to live on. We have to give up so much time to training and travel that even working part-time and full-time study has been a difficult balance. Sponsorship enables us to perform at our best while still affording to live.”

MSP Photography ties: Rhali is pictured here in Year Five at St. Joseph's Primary School, Wauchope, a school photographed by MSP Photography North Coast.John Parmenter said he first heard about Rhali through local sporting contacts.

“MSP Photography is heavily involved in junior sport in the Hunter, photographing both winter and summer sporting teams, and it is always nice to be able to give back something back to these clubs,” he said.

It’s an exciting time for Rhali who was recently called up to the Australian women’s soccer team, the Matildas.

“It was huge surprise considering 12 months ago I was just playing in the local competition,” she said.

“The next 12 months I plan to play in the 2014/15 W-League competition for the Newcastle Jets and maintain my place in the Australian squad for the World Cup next year (the Matildas recently qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next June/July).”

John said sponsoring Rhali was pleasing as she is an integral part of the Newcastle Jets W-League, but seeing her realise her dream of being called into the national Matildas squad made this a wonderful experience for us at MSP Photography.

“We wish her every success in the future,” John said.


TOP - A token of thanks: Newcastle Jets Women player Rhali Dobson presents MSP Photography Hunter Central Coast owners John and Tanya Parmenter with a token of appreciation of their support throughout the 2013.14 Westfield W-League season – a signed and framed Newcastle Jets Women poster.

BOTTOM - MSP Photography ties: Rhali is pictured here in Year Five at St. Joseph's Primary School, Wauchope, a school photographed by MSP Photography North Coast.

New school photo tradition for Nullawarre students


A new take on school photography - Nullawarre students pose with a 1950s Bedford truck.Most Australian school children are used to their annual school photograph being taken in the school hall or out in the playground, a decades-long tradition. Not so at Nullawarre and District Primary School, where the 2014 school photo was taken in a hay shed on the back of a 1950s Bedford truck.

A short drive from Warrnambool, Victoria, Nullawarre and District Primary School is a small school offering big opportunities.  School principal Kane Horwill has instigated a new tradition for the school’s 55 pupils by having memorable locations for their school’s official photographs.

This began last year with Childers Cove as the photography location and continues this year with the hay shed shoot.

Nullawarre and District Primary School on location at Childers Cove for the 2013 annual school photograph.“We provide many extra opportunities for students to succeed through science, drama, Japanese, physical education, music and mobile library sessions. These all complement our high quality spelling, grammar, writing and mathematics program,” Mr Horwill explained.

“I wanted to offer students an opportunity to want to keep their school photos and be proud them!

“I wanted each student to identify each year of being at our school with a theme. For example, the Childers Cove beach year or the truck in the hayshed year. The response from the parents, students, community, staff and other schools has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive.”

Helping Nullawarre and District Primary School achieve these unique school photographs is MSP Photography Mt Gambier business owner, Frank Monger.

“Having worked with most of the smaller schools within a 250km radius of Mt Gambier for the past 18 years, it’s great to be able to show some of the town features within school photos,” Mr Monger said.

MSP Photography Mt Gambier business owner, Frank Monger. “Over the years I’ve used some unusual places for school photos. In a shearing shed amongst the wool, on top of the local mountain looking out across the valley to other mountains in the distance, on tractors or rusted out old machinery, in canola crops, the whole school on a Harley Davidson motor bike (at  a six-student school) or in the local park with lovely autumn leaves.

“I’m sure the parents appreciate the variety that can be achieved in small school photos that are simply impossible in our larger city schools, and I enjoy working in different locations as it makes me think a bit more and test my skills.”

Mr Horwill praised Mr Monger for his ability to capture Nullawarre’s students in such a unique way.

“Frank helps us achieve this goal by being flexible, not being rushed, being a good communicator and providing high quality photographs.”

We look forward to seeing what the location of next year’s school photos will be.

Why You Should Promote Your School

Quaetapo -


Why you should consider promoting your schoolThe business of marketing and public relations (PR) is a relatively new concept in the school space but increasing numbers of Australian schools, both public and private, are embracing the need to market and manage their public image.

Traditionally, many educators may have regarded marketing with a degree of negativity and scepticism.

Accepting marketing as an essential management function has seen a shift in the minds of these educators, with the positive results speaking for themselves.

But what exactly is marketing and public relations in the school environment? How can it benefit your school? And where do you start?


What is marketing and PR for schools?

Marketing is the business of attracting students and parents to your school, and retaining their loyalty and support.

Public relations (PR) is about actively maintaining a favourable public image/impression for your school.


Why market your school?

It’s no secret; enrolling students is critical to your school’s existence. Without students, your school simply could not function and greater number of students the greater the chance your school has for making an impact in your community.

Right across the country it’s evident that schools that are managing their school’s image and have embraced marketing and public relations devices – such as websites and social media, professional prospectuses, advertisements, direct mail and billboards – have increased enrolments and improved community engagement.

So while image is not everything… it’s certainly worth getting right.


Why you can’t afford to ignore your school’s image:

• Healthy recruitment of students is essential in financing your school – enrolments are vital

• There is a proven link between a school’s image and the achievements of its students

• A positive image allows you to attract and retain high quality staff, which can improve school success and further bolster your image.

• Supporters and members of the community are hesitant to be associated with schools that have a poor public profile. With so much competition and other viable alternatives – poor image will drive prospects away and through the gates of another school down the road.

• Promoting your image can lead to a performance focus in your school community and serve as a powerful tool for school improvement generally.


How to promote your school

Once you understand the importance of promoting your school and managing its image, how exactly do you go about it? How do schools go about managing their profile and what can they do to promote this positive image?


Essential elements of a school marketing and PR strategy

1. A shared vision of a preferred future for your school 

2. A mission statement 

3. Clarification of your school’s unique features and key messages

4. An honest appraisal of your school’s current image and position in the community 

5. An action plan that includes practical everyday activities 

6. Ongoing monitoring, evaluation, reflection and improvement


Quick tips to start promoting your school

1. Ensure the image the school wants to project is evident from the school gate through the newsletter and website to the playing fields, noticeboards and car parks, etc.

2. Create a new school identity – consider engaging a professional designer to work on your logo and visual brand

3. Consider the vital role of the school secretary/office in creating an effective public relations image - encourage people to “live the brand” and reinforce your school’s positive image through every interaction

4. Use your recorded telephone message to promote school activities and key brand messages

5. Use any school-home contact to your school’s best advantage

6. Determine the marketing and PR platforms that will work best for you. Think about websites, social media, advertising, promotional flyers, direct mail, banners and large wall displays or billboards.

7. Determine who will be responsible for managing marketing and PR at your school. Whether it is an individual, a group or a committee, it is important to name these people and provide them with the necessary resources to perform these functions.

10 Quick Tips for Taking the Perfect Photo


Learn how to take great photographs with these photography tipsPhotographs capture a moment in time. Whether you use your mobile phone, a point and shoot digital camera or a top of the range digital SLR, we’ve compiled a few tips to help give your photos the ‘wow’ factor.

  1. Keep it sharp - Focus on keeping your photograph sharp and in focus, unless your objective is blurring for artistic purposes or to depict movement.
  2. Direct your photos - Take an extra minute to give directions where you would like your subjects to stand or what you would like them to do. Become a photo director, not just a picture taker. Use props, don’t be afraid to move people around or try a different viewpoint.
  3. Viewpoint - Selecting your viewpoint has a big impact on the composition of a photo and can greatly affect the message that a shot conveys. A subject can be made to look quite dynamic by shooting it from an extreme angle, or simply viewed differently from different angles. Take the time to think about what angle or where you will shoot your subject from. Consider photographing from above looking down, from below looking up, at eye level with your subject, a side perspective, from behind, at a distance or extremely close up.
  4. Lighting - Great lighting makes for great photos - nothing is more important than light in photography! Think about the light in your photography in several ways, such as the direction of light, the intensity of light and the quality of light. Overhead sunlight can cast harsh shadows, if you are photographing people; avoid squinting in your photos by moving your subject into a shady area. Cloudy or overcast days can provide a softer light source for photographing people. Scenic photos are best taken using the long shadows and colour of early morning and late afternoon when the light is warmer and softer.
  5. Follow the leading lines - Leading lines such as horizontal, vertical, diagonal, curved, straight or zigzag lines move the viewer’s eye around your subject. Naturally occurring lines such as clouds, railroads, fences, roads, tracks, rivers, buildings and bridges can be an extremely powerful way to draw the viewer into your photograph or between points in your image. Lines can be actual lines or lines implied by the composition of elements and they can add a dimension and depth to your photograph.
  6. Cropping - Before you take a photo, take a moment to look into the corners of the viewfinder to see what you have in your frame. Do you need all that background? Ensure that everything in the viewfinder is there because you want it to be there. Often a photo will lack impact because the main subject becomes part of its surroundings. By cropping tightly around the subject you ensure that subject gets the viewer’s undivided attention and creates an intimacy that comes with getting close to your subject. Don't be afraid to move closer to your subject to have them larger in the frame.
  7. Keep the horizon straight - Too much slant or angle to the left or right can spoil a spectacular sunrise or sunset, or make an ocean look as if it will leak out of your frame. If your camera has a built in grid use it to help you keep the horizon straight. If you don’t have a grid on your camera, line the horizon up with the top or bottom of your view finder.
  8. Create depth - A feeling of depth and perspective woven into your photograph can make it more interesting and engaging. You can create depth in a photo by including objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background. The human eye naturally recognises these layers and mentally separates them out, creating an image with more depth.
  9. Experiment - Living in an age of digital photography, we can now see instant feedback of our photography efforts. We no longer have to worry about the long lag time between taking a photo and seeing the results. Experimenting with film was impractical and expensive, but now we can fire off hundreds of shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Digital photography is the perfect medium for experimenting – so why not take advantage of this? You never know whether an idea will work until you try. The possibilities are endless!
  10. And lastly…what’s fun without sharing? - There are many different ways to share your photographs with family and friends or even the wider public. Websites and apps like Instagram, Picasa, Photobucket, Facebook and Flickr allow you to organise and upload your photos, tag them with date and location and share them with family and friends. There is also an emergence of applications that allow you to transform the look and feel of your photos through the use of digital filters and share digitally with family and friends. A print of your photograph is still a lovely way to share your memories and make for a nice decorative element for your home or office.