Tag Archives | history

the hands project: part 3

the hands project has drawn to a close, but it has inspired me to photograph my own grandparents when I visit them next month

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images.

You can find part 1 of the project here and part 2 here.

Colin – born 1942
Images of my time as a military photographer will always be in my head.

I worked to connect the community.

Nancye – born 1919
I love the fine things in life. So many wonderful memories. The world is a beautiful place, you know.

John – born 1924
We raised fine wool. I was always very proud of the work we did.

Joyce – born 1930
My family is so important to me. We have been in the area for so long. We are part of the history of the place.

Rosemary – born 1936
I went on the Tom Quilty 100 Mile Endurance Ride. I sat in the saddle for more than 100 hours. One of my many achievements in life.

Noreen – born 1929
I remember having to walk to school, all the way from the race course when I was young. I worked at Erratts store for years. I raised my family in Walcha.

Patricia – born 1930
I’ve had a very busy life. A nurse during the war and I was one of the first air hostesses in Australia. I also designed and made my own clothes.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Which was your favourite image and why?

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the hands project: part 1

a little bit of history as to how the Hands Project came into existence…

I was at the local Farmer’s Market and was checking out some really funky eco-dyed scarfs when the lady on the stall noticed I was carrying a camera.  She introduced herself as Janine – of Zenzi Designs – and we got talking.  At the time she was working at our local aged care facility and was on the lookout for a photographer who might be interested in a project she had pitched to management.

The idea was this:  there are a wealth of stories from the old folk at the home.  The people who helped to shape our community.  We needed to be able to capture their stories before they passed away because these are the stories that are being lost.

I immediately said “Count me in!” and the Hands Project was in motion.

There was a bit of red tape to wade through before we could get started, with the first photos and stories being collected in late June 2016.  Residents moved out and in, and some passed away, which made the project all the more important to the both of us.

It’s a project I hope to continue, and one that has prompted me to begin journaling my own stories, so that when my time comes, my children will know all of the exploits of their Mother!

Until then, I present the Hands Project.

Iris – born 1927.
I always have my handbag with me and the names of all my family right here. In my heart and in my head.

Gwen – born 1923.
I joined the Red Cross in 1951. I was President for a long time, zone representative on the Divisional Council and an Honorary Member of Laos Red Cross. Being involved in organisations in the community has been very important to me.

Bea – born 1934.
Reading has always been very important to me. It opens your eyes to the world. I always want to learn.

Les – born 1935.
I worked for the council for many years. Driving the digger one of the best jobs. There’s not much I don’t know about the area.

Rachel – born 1932.
Raising my family was my most important job. Knitting for them was part of showing my care for them. I still enjoy knitting.

Rod – born 1934.
I was a Jackaroo. Spent most of my time on the land. Horses were a big part of that life.

Yvonne – born 1930.
Creating my garden has been a life’s work. It has given me great pride and joy over the years.

Margaret – born 1927.
A camellia is one of my favourite flowers. My garden has given me great pleasure over the years.

Helen – born 1920.
I love cats. I liked looking after them. I had lots of cats.

Irene – born 1917.
My cakes won the ‘Best in Show’ for many years at the Walcha Show. I miss not using my old friend anymore.

Next week I will share Part 2 of the project with you here on the blog.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you have the stories of your older relatives?  Are they written down, or have they been passed down orally?

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what is documentary-style photography?

I’ve been reading up on documentary-style photography over the last couple of weeks.

What is documentary-style photography exactly?

Here’s (part of) the Wikipedia definition:

Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events and everyday life…

The detail that sets a documentary-style photography session apart from other sessions is that the photos are created with no photographer interaction.

From my perspective as a family photographer, documentary-style photos are the candid photos.  The ones where you’ve managed to capture a connection… a moment… a smile.  Photos that pack an emotional punch – not for everyone, but especially for those who are in them.

How is it different to a lifestyle shoot?

Lifestyle photos are photos that have been orchestrated to create a candid moment, where the photographer will direct the client to set up an unposed (in the traditional portrait sense) image – think mum cradling baby as they sit in a rocking chair and she reads a book.

Why am I doing my homework?

documentary-style photography is my dream vision for my business

Hence, me reading up.

Personally, the photos that bring a smile to my face are the photos that trigger strong memories or evoke a feeling deep inside; images that show my everyday life; my family interacting together; the stories and personalities of the ones I love…   And I know that I’m not alone in this, so it makes sense to me that a documentary-style session is going to be as equally powerful for a client – capturing images where they recognise their daily life;  the real moments, memories and stories.

We’re near the end of our Autumn school holidays, and Warren and Murdoc have been throwing the Vortex around.  They have this running tally-thing happening – catches equal points, drops equal lost points.  I’ve given up keeping of score of who’s winning because it’s been ever-changing, but it was in a moment when they both came in and collapsed on the couch out of breath, that I realised this was a documentary-style moment in our house.


this throw took a lot of effort

playing with the boy

oops, missed

waiting and catching his breath

“But I can capture these moments with my phone.  Why should I pay you to come take these photos for me?”

It’s a valid question (and a whole other discussion for another blog post!).

Know that prior to each session I will take the time to get to know you, develop a relationship with you and gain your trust.  I’ll ask you questions, like “What is your perfect day like?”. I’m going to get to the core of what is important to you and your family.  Yes, we will still plan your session, but as a photographer, I won’t be directing any movement.  I will simply be there, camera in hand, ready to photograph whatever unfolds in your moment.

Together, we will create a photography experience that allows you to return to your moments, as I document your reality in that instant, using light and time to reproduce a moment, as it is perceived by me.

And probably, most importantly of all, YOU will be in these photos.  Because be honest, how often are you in your photos?

Be a part of those authentic, imperfect and honest moments – moments that will spark conversations and help you to remember what otherwise might be forgotten, for years to come.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Have you considered booking a photography session recently?
What, if anything, has held you back?
And would you consider a documentary-style photo session?

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{beautiful to me} History’s Shadow by David Maisel

an intriguing concept – reworking x-rays into photographs of objects of antiquity

Which is exactly what David Maisel has done with his History’s Shadow collection of photographs.

History’s Shadow has as its source material x-rays of art objects that date from antiquity through just prior to the invention of photography. The x-rays have been culled from museum conservation archives, re-photographed and re-worked. Through the x-ray process, the artworks of origin become de-contextualized, yet acutely alive and renewed. The series concerns the dual processes and intertwined themes of memory and excavation.

xray photograph of Buddha head

xray photograph of Buddha hand

x-ray photograph of antique vessel

The x-ray has historically been used for the structural examination of art and artifacts much as physicians examine bones and internal organs; it reveals losses, replacements, methods of construction, and internal trauma that may not be visible to the naked eye. The resulting prints of History’s Shadow make the invisible visible, and express through photographic means the shape-shifting nature of time itself, and the continuous presence of the past contained within us.


x-ray photograph of antique statue

ghostly, yet making you want to reach out, touch and caress – beautiful photography with a story

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{family} Clarissa’s Castle

It’s been an epic make this school holidays.

Daughter’s history project involved making a castle – so the whole family pitched in.  Spray-glued, cut, scored, folded, sat and chatted.

And every now and again swore!

View Clarissa's Castle1

We built a smithy, tavern, stables, church, two cottages, two woods-mans huts, graveyard, and an outbuilding.  Plus four towers, three walls, a half-turret and a gatehouse.

View Clarissa's Castle2

It was lots of fun.  A great indoor-rainy-cold-weather project.

All the same, I’m glad it’s finished!

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