It all started when publishers, who in these days of cost cutting have limited budgets for ‘real photographers’, started asking writers to take photos to accompany articles.
At first I saw the photos simply as ‘add ons’, something I often only remembered to organize as I was heading out the door. But gradually, I realized more was required, that photos were integral to the articles and that a writer needs to provide striking visuals as well as words. I attended some courses and invested in a decent camera. Most importantly, I enlisted the generous tutelage of the master photographer (and collaborator on my early book ‘Women of Substance’) Ponch Hawkes. And that was when I got hooked. An avid storyteller from way back, I became fascinated with how a single photograph can capture anything from a simple concept to a vignette to a novella, all in one frame.
These days I regularly have photos published with my articles in a variety of magazines and I have also had 2 covers. My work has been featured in several Melbourne-based and regional exhibitions. And in 2013 I became a photographer/blogger for the Anti-East-West Link movement here in Melbourne. You can see some of my images in the gallery below, covering topics from tango dancing in Buenos Aires, picketers in Fitzroy to organic farming in Cuba.
In recent years, I have become an instagram devotee. (You can follow me at suejackson.melbourne) A smartphone with instagram is perfect for capturing the weird and wonderful aspects of my neighbourhood, and for getting them out there while they are still 'hot'. It is also a superb vehicle for rapidly publicizing the local struggles for equity and environmental protection that never seem to go away. The smartphone's picture quality is great and the instagram filters provide interesting options. No wonder I always carry my smartphone with instagram close to my heart.
In a total departure and relishing the huge challenge, in March 2018 I accepted an invitation to participate in the Concepta Exhibition (Magnet Galleries). The theme of the show was abstract photography, which - before undertaking the assignment - I knew very little about.
The image you see in the background of this and other pages is 'Time to Tango Buenos Aires', which accompanied my story 'Time to Tango' ('Big Issue', #454, 21 Mar – 3 April 2014). It was also the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Photonet Gallery photography competition.