is an intimate series of images and video created by three photography students at RMIT, who spent the bulk of 2020-2021 at university studying online from home, in the world’s most locked down city – Melbourne.
The original brief for the students – Michaela Fernando, Alaa Almussalam and Leo Spyrou – was to capture a series of photographs of people enjoying Y programs and services, with a focus on young people. However, Lockdown 6.0 in Melbourne – from August 4 until 22 October – quickly put an end to that plan, and required a pivot by both the students and the Y. Let their images show you a moving glimpse into the every day lives of Michaela, Alaa and Leo, in and around their homes, with their families, living through the world’s longest COVID-19 lockdown. Their optimism, resilience and hope for the future shines through their work.
Michaela Fernando, 20, is an aspiring photographer, currently in her 2nd year in Bachelor of Arts (Photography) at RMIT University.
Michaela, who has Cerebral Palsy, has been passionate about photography from the age of nine when she began taking photos in Hawaii with her parents’ camera in 2010. As a high school student, she took many photography classes and practised photography in her free time.
Although she loves taking images for herself, Michaela also is a photographer for her sister’s softball club. Michaela believes photography is about capturing what makes you happy and the memories you make. As she is learning photography every day, she aims to collaborate more with other creatives and gain more industry exposure. Travel, people, nature and food are some of her favourite things to photograph.
Caption: Michaela is photographed gallery (photo 6).
Alaa Almussalam is a Saudi photographer who currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her 3-year-old son. She will graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) with a Bachelor of Photography in December 2021. For Alaa photography has been a passion since she was 15, and having her own camera was a dream come true.
Alaa is the only member of her family to go to art school, and it was a challenge for her that her family was in disagreement about this. She thinks photography is an art that documents unforgettable moments which will be part of history someday that we can share it with our loved ones. The kinds of photography she likes to take is portraiture, food, documentary, and street photography.
(For cultural reasons, Alaa does not share her face in public. Pictured is one of the images she took of her son, longing to be outside).
Leo Spyrou, 20, loves all types of photography and doesn’t want to don’t want to limit himself to one niche. He’s always exploring different styles of photography outside of the areas he has more experience in. Such as cars, food, and animal photography. He has a growing passion for videography as well, which he put into practice for his work by providing By the end of my RMIT degree he is looking forward to going into the workplace with a high level of confidence in many different situations whether that would be in studio or on location.
Outside of photography Leo is passionate about fitness, basketball and he love movies!
Leo chose to create a short serious but fun video with tips to support young people’s mental health, recognising the impacts of the ongoing pandemic on people’s lives.