Whenever I travel for work it takes me forever to get home on days where the sun's shining and there are interesting clouds in the sky. I took these near Wingeel on the way home from Colac. I've chucked in a few from Apollo Bay that I snapped the previous evening, where I also got to enjoy a new ice cream flavour, Ferrer Rocher. Not bad.
I haven't spent time with my mate, Dootrule, for months. It was great to catch up with him today. He had much to share; some uplifting. Was good to catch up with Trace too, his missus.
We visited a curator of his art, and delivered to her a whole heap of his latest work. I was proud that in his bag of work he carries photo books we have made of him, his people and his art.
Once again, he was generous in letting me hound him with my camera, and I got to make these portraits. I have submitted some to the Canadian based stock photo cooperative of which I am a member, Stocksy United, and most have already been accepted into their library.
I have been doing a project with Sheridan Forster, who is a Speech Pathologist I know from my day job. This has involved spending time with her and people she used to work with at a Day Program. Sheridan commissioned me to get photographs to use on her website.
Anyway, one of the people who was in the photos used Sheri's iPad to take a photo of me, and Sheri forwarded it onto me today with the caption, "Just another day in the office, hey?"
It hasn't happened for awhile, but two of my photos made it into the curated front page of Stocksy United. It is thrilling when this happens, as the stock photo cooperative is filled with talented photographers, with 500 new ones from around the world being invited each year.
Here's how we describe ourselves:
"Stocksy United aims to set the bar for creativity. We offer a tightly curated collection of high-quality stock photos to anyone seeking modern, relevant, authentic images. We are a cooperative driven by our core values to offer photographers a supportive community, fair pay and equity in the company as co-owners."
My focus in my stock photography are photos of people with a disability and Indigenous Australians. These are available on my stock photo website, but Stocksy allows me to branch out into other creative areas as well.
Here are the photos that made it:
Today's trip to Kai O, a fishing village on Lantau Island, was a long one - two train trips, a ferry ride and then a bus ride to get there, and a bus ride, and three train trips to get home to Sha Tin. The bus ride there was pretty hairy, with the driver thinking he was at Mt Panorama, the way he took on the winding, steep road.
Every now and then on my walks in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, I come across a wall with posters with phone numbers plastered all over them. I thought this was an interesting scene, so snapped away.
Last week I received a call from out of the blue to do a photo shoot with the Federal Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews. I was told that he wanted some photos for his Christmas Card, that the Department provided a range of websites, including my Stock Photography website, to the Minister's Office, and that I was the preferred photographer.
The location was Homeground in Collingwood and the participants were the Minister, Alicia and her baby son, Braydon, who were service-users.
And, of course, I couldn't resist getting some shots of Alicia and Braydon on their own ...
John O'Brien, a leader in the field of disability, once included "Dignity and Respect" amongst the five critical accomplishments for services dedicated to supporting people with a disability.
As well as being a photographer, I work at trying to help services improve. In this role, when I ask people working in such services what they aspire to in life, they rarely mention things that would fall squarely in this category. No one says, "I want people to say hello or at least acknowledge my presence when they visit," or "I want to live a life where people don't talk about me in the third person, as if I am not there". But people with a disability cannot take these things for granted.
Beyond these simple human decencies, however, people with a disability are truly afforded respect and dignity in their lives when they are extended opportunities and support to live the ordinary lives other citizens, like me, take for granted.
This is what I try to depict in my portraits of people with a disability in my stock photography. These and many more photographs can be licensed for personal or commercial purposes at my stock photo website.
Had a ball today watching Footscray, long-time perennial losers (even surpassing St Kilda, my team, on that score) get up in the last quarter to win a premiership for the first time since 1961.
Most of these were taken after the game as I couldn't resist a detour to the Docklands, a favourite spot, on the walk back to the car.
One of the most moving photographic experiences I have had was in 2010 when I was asked to photograph a small group of Indigenous Australians, who I had got to know over the previous year, on what Aboriginal Australians refer to as Survival Day (Australia Day to white fellas like me).
We met at MAYSAR (Melbourne Aboriginal Youth, Sport and Recreation Co-operative Ltd) in Gertrude St Fitzroy, where gum leaves were burned, and then walked to Parliament House. There the group stood sombrely on the steps holding a banner that read simply, "Treaty. Let's get it right." They soon delivered a declaration, entitled "Treaty Now" by slipping it under the front door of Parliament House. A sprig from a gum tree followed.
It's Brigit's birthday today and she will be missing her grandkids, so here's a little something for you to tide you over.
𝄞 Happy Birthday to You ♫
♩Happy Birthday to You ♬
♭ Happy Birthday dear Brigit ♬
♬♫Happy Birthday to You ♩
I was an invited photographer to Stocksy United and have a portfolio of stock photography there that includes many lifestyle images. Here's some I just uploaded for inspection from my Saturday with Sam down at Aireys Inlet. Whenever I go fishing with him, I always take my camera and when I find a scene that appeals to me I snap away. These spoke to me of impending spring and excitement.