From a very young age, I have fond memories of my Dad organising his camera gear, making sure the batteries were all charged, he had enough rolls of film (yes that tiny little black roll that most youngsters of today will never know about), lenses clean and tripod in working order, in preparation for weekend wedding shoots. My Dad is a clever man; he thought to make some extra cash on top of his day-job income by becoming a hobby wedding photographer on the weekends. This extra cash meant that our family that consisted of four boys and one girl were able to enjoy an annual holiday at the beach, play in sporting teams and go on school camps as we grew up. So as you can see, the art of photography played a major role in my years of growing up.
As I previously said, the extra cash my Dad earned from wedding photography afforded my family to make the short 35-40 minute drive from Grafton, down to our favourite family holiday destination at Wooli beach. Dad’s self-taught skills in photography were also instilled in me as I developed a natural interest in the art-form. This is where my obsession with the ocean began and my passion for landscape photography grew. Before I was old enough to drive, our summer vacation was the only opportunity I would get each year to be at my favourite place in the world, the beach. Although we only lived a short distance inland from the coast, being immersed in the coastal environment and connecting with the ocean once a year just would not do. So photography became a way, along with the endless handfuls of shells and surf-smoothed stones, that I could capture the salty yet pristine environment, and bring it home with me.
I’ve always been fascinated with nature and had a strong connection with animals and the environment, particularly the coast and aquatic landscapes. As a child and teenager, hell even today as a grown adult, I can attest to rescuing injured animals off the road and raising them as another member of the family to having multiple fish tanks with several aquatic little critters I called my friends. I was also known to be able to capture with my bare hands (safely and humanely) native animals from snakes to a kookaburra sitting in a tree, for a quick observation and kind hello. However, I was happiest and most connected with the water and its inhabitants (still am today) when immersed beneath the surface and swimming among the swell and currents many of our coastal animals call home.
This brings me to my main reason as to why I enjoy landscape photography and started my coastal culture collection. The health of our natural environment sustains us all, without it, we truly have nothing. The joy I get from taking beautiful imagery of the coast and coastal hinterland is a constant reminder of its resilience and fragility. Whilst I get great pleasure from watching people’s faces light up when they see my photos, the flow on conversations I have about how amazingly natural and beautiful our beaches and the importance of keeping them pristine, is an experience that continues to inspire me to keep taking photos.
I hope this post has given you a little bit more of an insight into my photography world. As you have read, landscape photography is so much more than beautiful imagery printed on a canvas. It’s an art-form that has opened up doors and provided new experiences and opportunity for me, created and strengthened connections with my family and natural environment and lastly, given me a greater appreciation of our incredible coastal environments and the need to protect them for as long as we possibly can.
I hope that you have enjoyed my story and my view. Feel free to share and keep an eye out for my next blog post or sign up to the newsletter and get it instantly sent to your inbox. Enjoy!