Many, rather than few, will always deliver a richer tapestry of modern Australian life. That’s why Getty Images photographers, recruited from the Canon communities, are as diverse as the subjects they shoot. Meet just three of them below to understand how its ‘This is Australia’ collection captured its authenticity.
Belinda Howell: A lifelong passion
Gold Coast photographer Belinda Howell has a bubbly enthusiasm, which quickly proves contagious. Discovering the ‘This is Australia’ program after stumbling upon the Canon Collective, the literacy teacher now attends as many events as her busy schedule allows.
So where did it all start?
In early high school, I was always the one who photographed everyone, wanting to preserve memories. I did a photography class and spent most of my lunch breaks in the darkroom, trying to get the perfect image. Being unsupervised meant using up as much expensive photo paper as I wanted!
And now you’re part of ‘This is Australia’
I’d been to three Canon Collective workshops in Brisbane and travelled to Sydney for the Getty Images workshop. I’m willing to give anything a crack. I take things on board, listen to what people tell me and vow to get just that little bit better every day.
What was the potential they saw in your style?
I like images to be emotive. My favourite subjects are families and children. After years of teaching primary school I’m very comfortable with kids and I know I can capture their spirit in a shoot. Being accepted by Getty Images gave me the chance to shoot to a brief and share what my little Australian family looks like with the world.
Is diversity in images important to you?
Totally. It’s what makes Australia the amazing place it is. I’ve photographed people from South Africa, Asia and India and I’ve got lots of Maori friends from New Zealand and friends from the Cook Islands. I love photographing anyone willing to share who they are – with me and the world.
One of my subjects came out of the blue. I went to mum and dad’s in Mt Tamborine to shoot some macro images. When I arrived, dad was working in his garden in an old hat and overalls. It backs on to beautiful rainforest and there he was outside his old wooden shed… A nearly 70 year old ‘Englishman’ who emigrated fifty years ago, pottering around in his piece of paradise. I thought, “It doesn’t get more Australian than this” and started photographing him instead.
Attila Csaszar: From Budapest to a Vegemite Spread
The latest Vegemite ad is filled with Australian icons.
Attila Csaszar’s evocative photos of a Muslim surfer caught the eye of Thinkerbell, Vegemite’s new advertising agency when they searched Getty Images for ‘Tastes like Australia’.
For full-time freelance photographer Attila, it’s been an incredible journey – as a 2003 graduate in Budapest to Canon Collective workshops in Brisbane to participating in the ‘This is Australia’ program by Getty Images and Canon.
Your background in Australia is in editorial photography?
I started in Perth and became a staff photographer with Business News WA shooting powerful business people and politicians like Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop.
You learn pretty quickly that these guys don’t pause in their tracks – and if they do, it’s only for the briefest time. The quick shot not only gets the page, if you have an eye for seeing a situation as it develops, you can also catch the personality before they have time to put on their ‘game face’.
So, tell us how your content ended up in the Vegemite ad?
I saw Getty Images was looking for surfers, especially female. As the brief was ‘Multicultural Australia’, I thought it would be fantastic to find a female Muslim surfer. The rest, as they say, is history!
I’ve had many compliments about the series and its inclusion in the Vegemite commercial, so I hope the whole collection will have an impact on perceptions of multi-culture.
How important is diverse imagery in advertising to you?
Very! Diversity is great in any form of life and with clever advertising it might help to change perception. I think Canon and Getty Images have a great audience to generate discussion.
Marnie Griffiths – TAKING THE FIRST STEPS TO EXPOSURE
To say Marnie Griffiths is a talented enthusiast doesn’t even come close to the excitement she exudes talking about the joys photography brings her. In fact, the only thing bigger than her laugh is her heart. She spent years teaching hearing-impaired children literacy skills and still gets a buzz when she catches up with them in the street.
Where did it all begin?
In the dim, dark days of film. I wasn’t too good on working out exposure times and the results I wanted weren’t coming out. Then my sister surpassed me in photographic talent and it was: “Next… thank you!” I’ve still got that camera – and it’s still got a roll of film in it. Then I bought a Canon DSLR for family photos and it reinvigorated my passion.
And it was all a path to Getty Images
I heard about the ‘This is Australia’ program from the Canon Collective. I submitted my images and every day was checking to see if my name was on the acceptance list. One day it was there! I was so excited – and they’ve now accepted about 300 images and I’ve already sold a few.
What do you think makes your images stand out?
I’m putting a lot of effort in going out and getting the images that haven’t been taken. For the ‘Repicturing gender’ brief I’ve spent many hours getting shots of female BMX riders. They’re awesomely talented. They have the most frightening stacks on their bikes, then just get up and dust themselves off. All the riders support each other checking to see if they’re okay. With Getty Images, it’s all about looking for a different angle, a different aspect. Everyone brings their own ideas and this is just one of mine.
Is diversity important?
Of course. Photography has the power to show another beautiful side of life. I choose to submit images that see another side of us. Australia really is diverse, made up of a myriad of cultures, and our advertising should reflect that.