I meet so many interesting people in my life and work. In truth, even ‘uninteresting’ people are interesting particularly for a photographer. One thing that defines and distinguishes us as humans is our interest in other people and other people’s lives. We are probably the only creature on this planet that likes to imagine what life is like for others and to understand others. This collection of portraits is my exploration of people I know and meet and an opportunity to pay respect to all people great and small by recording them photographically.
If you'd like to be part of this collection please let me know.
Joshua Healey is currently the co-captain of music at Canberra Grammar School. Joshua commenced Cello studies in 2005 and is currently studying under Kalina Krusteva (Monash University/MSO).
He completed his AMEB AMusA in 2013 and is the Tim Murray scholar for 2013/14. Joshua is studying HSC Extension Music, is principal cellist for CGS Symphony and Chamber orchestras and has the privilege of playing associate cellist for the Musica Da Camera orchestra for their 2014 first concert series.
Joshua says he enjoys assisting other developing musicians and has recently helped organise the Classical Encounter Masterclass series set to commence in May 2014.
Joshua has clearly worked very hard to become as brilliant as he is. In spite of his skills, he is looking to pursue a career in medicine rather than music.
I believe Bill started teaching at Grammar the year before I started there in 1975. He retired in 2013.
I first encountered Bridget in 1975. She was married to the housemaster of the other boarding house at Canberra Grammar School. I boarded in my first year.
Bridget has been working at the school right up to her retirement this year.
Bill and Wendy Cowey
I spent nine years filming and editing film of Wendy so I know how much she dislikes being photographed.
Wendy is one of the key developers of a major literacy program in Australia. My role was to record and edit video-footage for teacher-training. We spent years in remote (typically indigenous) schools accumulating zillions of frequent-flyer points. I think Wendy may have grown wings of her own. Wendy is now working as a consultant across Australia.
My work with the program and with Wendy was truly life-transforming. It helped me understand where and why my own education failed, how education fails for so many kids, how it could have been different, and how to teach others.
Leonard Weiss - have harp will travel !
Leonard kindly brought himself and his harp to my studio. What an instrument to lug around? But someone has to do it and Lenny plays beautifully. He also a Carillonist here in Canberra and composer.
What an interesting instrument the harp is to photograph. Whatever you do it is going to dominate an image, naturally. But how do you bring something fresh to shots of the harp, or any instrument for that matter? Is the shot about the instrument or the musician? Whatever, one of the functions of a shot is to make people look in the first place which is why I've chosen this particular image. But then I hope there is something else to look at when I have your attention.
With these shots getting around poor Lenny might not get any more engagements. But it may reflect how he feels at times, sitting in an orchestra waiting for his part...
Sunday, Melissa, Millie and Bella Oloyede
I photographed the Oloyede several years ago and included Melissa and the girls in my Mothers and Daughters collection.
The photographic appeal of the frizzy-haired girls is obvious. I also captured the girls many times when they were in the infants section of the boy's Grammar school. Now they are at the girls' Grammar I miss them (and the school misses them too).
I will, however, endeavour to capture the family every few years for as long as I'm around and they are all nearby. It will be interesting to see them age and grow.
Donna Storen - at a reflective age (somewhere in her 40's)
I have known Donna about 12 years now. Our first-borns were at school together and are now at university on different sides of the world.
Donna helped select the images displayed here. I had made a short list and had some favourites but a few of those were discarded and a few others added.
Donna is rarely photographed because she prefers being behind the camera. A lot of us are like that. So the process of being shot was a novelty. She loved the experience but was a bit shocked (startled? confronted?) by the results.
Donna brought along a few costume changes and we had more fun working with the dress she had bought for a ball but never actually worn because she didn't end up going. Long story...
I liked this because it contrasted her glamourous side with her more rugged golf-obsessed and suntanned lifestyle. It presented an interesting contrast of textures and personality.
So, why 'shocked'? Well, women are always tough to photograph. As a man I'm amused (but understand) how a woman will look at herself and just see problems, no matter how favourably her genes, life and ageing may have treated her. This is not such a problem for men, although we are all confronted by the mismatch between our self-image and the photographed-image (particularly as we age).
But this was never a glamour shoot. It was about capturing an attractive woman at a particular point in her life, "somewhere in her 40's" she tells me. With the right treatment a photograph can be flattering, but my objective is to tell a story of life. This is why we chose the main 'reflective' image. Donna preferred the image with me in it for the humour and to prove she is willing to be photographed ...if she must.
I have included other images to flesh out Donna a bit more, particularly for others who know her.
Tristan, Carissa and Annalisa McGrath: a young family starting a long journey
I really do wonder how humankind managed to evolve to this point WITHOUT "i" technology. Kids (and many adults) take to it like their lives depend on it. It is the ONLY important thing in our lives. Without doubt it is a major game-changer for humankind.
My kids are older, but I feel some sympathy for younger parents who will have to battle the iDemon forever.
When, during this shoot, the iPhone was produced to make Annalisa look in the right direction, the challenge then became to get her to forget the device.
Technology is a fantastic tool, but a bad master...
I have photographed Carissa many times: with her Mum, with tristan many times and now with Annalisa many times, including when VERY pregnant.
I hope to photograph them for many years to come.