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Fitzy Unearthed

Why photograph a series of images when one good image can also tell a story? Photographing a series of images with a common thread asks the photographer to become focused on a subject or theme. That subject could be a person, place, or an abstract idea. It is wonderful getting your teeth into a project. From the initial idea to organising and photographing it. There is a great sense of achievement creating a photo story that flows and captures the essence of a person, place, or event.

Two weeks ago I was invited to Ravensthorpe as part of Fitzy Unearthed Project. Helping locals to create visual stories which will ultimately populate a YouTube channel created by the Community Resource Centre. What better way to learn about a region than from stories told by the locals? 

I stayed in Ravensthorpe for 4 days and held an evening workshop at the CRC, a morning session at the Ravensthrope District High School. A photo walk down the main street and finally an editing and ordering workshop where we turned all our images into coherent stories or abstract series. During the weekend I also visited each participant to help them with their story and also take their portrait

At the end of the weekend we printed off the images and edited and ordered them together.

I was thrilled with the ideas and images created. Some people chose to shoot a narrative, others a series of portraits and a few people chose abstract themes.

Karrina Smallman photographed the Fibonacci Spiral in nature. Different spirals included shells, plants, spider webs and even aboriginal rock art.

Aidi Kivimagi photographed the connection between her man and his dog

Meghan Symonds wanted to show how dogs spend much of their day locked up so she used her own dog to photograph an emotional series depicting this.

Jarvis Smallman photographed two very strong photo stories. One called Glass factory showing the ocean’s many moods and the other showing fascinating creatures close up.

Megan Lemon photographed a series of portraits of two friends showing their different personalities.

I have recently changed the format of my community projects so that I stay in a community for four days instead of visiting three times. I found that people are much more productive if they have a deadline and that having a longer timeframe to complete a project does not make you more productive. Fitzy Unearthed was a great example of this.

Some of the stories are ready to be viewed and the rest are coming! Check the Ravensthorpe CRC YouTube channel. Here

They say….

They say…. ⁣ Post more photos of yourself on social media to get better engagement.⁣ ⁣

They say people want to see ‘real’.⁣

They want to see your personality, hobbies, your expertise. Your story.⁣ ⁣

Well photographers can look awkward in photos.⁣ We are captured in strange poses that are often unflattering.⁣ ⁣ To get the right shot we may need to get dirty. ⁣ Get our feet wet. We may need to go deeper than we thought we could. ⁣ ⁣ It’s exhausting. ⁣ But rewarding. ⁣ We may need to juggle.⁣ Meet amazing people. ⁣ Travel to remote places. ⁣ Always be on our knees. ⁣ Looking a bit dorky. ⁣ Sweaty, smelly, bad hat hair.⁣ But that’s the way it is and we love it⁣.

Being a photographer or a creative is one of the best careers in the world. ⁣ They say keep it real so I hope you enjoy these behind the scenes pics

Up up and away!

First Workshops Complete!

Window to the Regions Project, supported by CBH GROUP is off to a very successful start with good numbers attending workshops in Mullewa, Merredin, Southern Cross and Lake Grace, including two school workshops. 

In August Astrid drove to Mullewa and this week she held five workshops over three days and travelled 1000km’s through the Wheatbelt. 

What’s next?

43 community members have been inspired to create a photo story and it’s their turn to explore their backyards. Astrid will return to Mullewa for a follow-up workshop in November and to the Wheatbelt in February after harvest and school holidays.

She is so excited to see what stories are created!

Yagan Square

Stand in the heart of Perth City and watch kelpies leap over the city skyline and shearers gaze at passers-by. Evocative photo stories by photographer Astrid Volzke. Shearing, shed life, a kelpie muster, and a stud ram breeder projected on the Yagan Digital Tower right in the city center plus stunning images from the rural communities of Broome and Hopetoun. ‘From The Locals’ is an exhibition of images from some of Astrid’s workshop participants. Local stories, photographed by the locals themselves. An outstanding outcome from Our PhotoStories Community project last year.

Food Tour to the Southern Forests

Last Friday I accompanied Matters of Taste Cooking School to photograph one day of their food tour to the Southern Forests. Here is a zesty little slideshow showing some behind the scenes colour – the friendly faces of local producers, a fascinated tour group and bountiful produce of Manjimup and surrounds.

Fresh from the earth

Double page spread!

Thrilled with this story and double page spread in The West Australian Newspaper! A story about what Our PhotoStories has been up too and what is in store for 2019. Watch this space!

It’s a Wrap!

It’s a wrap! Our PhotoStories community workshop and exhibition in Hopetoun and Broome was a great success. The youngest participant was 9 years old and the oldest was 77 years old. All walks of life took part including stay at home mums, farmers, shire workers, artists, students and both amateur and professional photographers. Everyone who participated walked away with a great sense of achievement and the community that came to support them really enjoyed themselves.

There is more plans on the horizon for Our PhotoStories to trickle through the regions, gathering stories and connecting community. Watch this space!


Mud and Saltwater Short Film Fest

The 2018 Mud and Saltwater Short Film Fest was a huge success and I am so thrilled that Our PhotoStories was  a part of it. Two sold out nights at Sun Pictures, the oldest open air picture theatre in the world. Both nights were full to the brim and very entertaining. Short films and photo stories, live skits, dress ups, art auction and music. We covered all bases and the audience gave kudos to this fantastic grass roots film festival showcasing local talent.

Hopetoun Exhibition

What way to spend my 40th birthday! In a special little community with a big heart. I rolled into to town with over 200 prints and it was all hands on deck setting up Our Photo Stories Exhibition. 20 photo stories photographed by the locals themselves. After a bit of huffing and puffing all the prints were hung and a ‘cinema room’ was setup for the multimedia presentation. At 6pm champagne corks were popped and the exhibition was enjoyed by the residents of Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe. It is such a colourful display and it will stay in place till the 22nd of September in the Hopetoun Community Resource Centre.


Colourful Broome

Ever wonder what it’s like to wear a python as fashion accessory? Just ask Joanna…
Ever wonder what it’s like to paddle a canoe with a stick as the tide is going out? Just ask Kandy…
Ever wonder what it’s like to do photography AND mud yoga at the same time? Just ask me…
Here is a little ‘behind the scenes’ action taken during my week in Broome. It has been a very productive week with some hilarious moments. We were busy bees at the editing and ordering workshop. What a rainbow of stories! To give you a hint, there were snakes, bees, dinosaur footprints, motorbikes, mud skippers, barramundi fishing, art and of course plenty of red dirt. Our Photo Stories Exhibition will be held at The Mud and Salt Water Short Film Fest on Wednesday 29th August and Friday 31st August. Wear your sunnies because the colours are going to be bright…


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