Having images that accurately represent you as a person, is essential in this digital day in age.
Do you need to update your personal profile for a better online presence? Have your wedding documented? Was your last family photoshoot years ago? Does your business need images updated? Real, raw and beautiful is all I am about. Attention to detail for your portraits. Uncompromising images for your business. I would love to work with you. You're going to LOVE the photos I take. They'll be timeless and strong, in representing your family, business, products and services.
Merchant Seaman to Marine Pilot – Celebrating 50 Years
Hugh said the smell of opening the beautiful and immaculate carved wooden drink chest, takes him STRAIGHT BACK to his parents having cocktail parties in Malaya…when he was a young child. And when he opens the old wooden chest that had camphor to protect clothes and blankets, even though it hasn’t contained camphor for decades, if you open the chest, it’s smells so powerfully of camphor still! 50 years after last containing it, and all the memories to go along with it.
I wanted to go for a relaxed less traditional photo, although in uniform, but with a smile to indicate his friendly /larrikin personality, a twist on the very serious traditional ship captain photo. Because he was wearing uniform, I was expecting/planning on taking quite a formal photo, however, this turned out to be a favourite, which was a lovely Suprise.
What was intended to be quite a formal photo, combined with aspects of his life and heritage, ended up changing to quite a relaxed pose-being himself, When he was telling me about one of his best experiences as a ships captain, in the Antarctic, as they were going from the the ship to shore, via small boats, and the little penguins were diving (up from the water) into their boats!
He was a trooper, for this special photoshoot, wearing his hot thick woolen coat, on a very sweltering February Townsville day on The 50th anniversary of Hugh’s work as a merchant seaman. 50 years ago this week, Hugh signed up for a Cadetship, with the New Zealand Shipping Company, as a 17 year old, earning about $9:50 per week. His grandfather was awarded a medal from the Queen (pictured) . As a secret intelligence service code breaker, during the first world war and afterwards, for the British government.
And the buttons from his teddy bear that is almost 70 years old, (pictured) ordered in Malaya from England…which Hugh still has. A painting gifted by an artist friend, a sculpture created by a local
Malayan, of Hugh’s parents, which sits as a feature in their home now, a photo of his mother, with a ruffle over one shoulder and a revolver in her other hand…
The sextant Hugh was trained to use 50 years ago, for many years, to navigate the oceans, by the stars in the sky-which is safely in his keeping still. The other images are from the rich tapestry of life and heritage of Hugh’s, and that is merely scratching the surface of his.
Born in Malaysia in the small town of Batu Gaja, Hughs infancy was spent exploring the vast Rubber Plantation his English parents managed in the 1950s. In the midst of a guerrilla war that was literally on their doorstep, the Estate was protected by a high perimiter fence, that was not only to keep the terrorists out but also the native wildlife. Hugh recalls many nights listening to noises of the jungle that was so close but posed no danger, the growl of the tigers and chatter of monkeys was a common nightly sound.
At age 5 Hugh was sent to Uplands boarding school in Penang. It was not uncommon for the students to wait for a family of monkeys to cross their path whilst walking up to the classroom.
At the age of 10 Hugh was sent to England to attend Stonyhurst College. Hugh has mixed memories of his 3 years as a boarder. He recalls one of his teachers was the son of the late JRR Tolkein, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
In 1968, the family moved to Motueka NZ where they bought an apple orchard. Hugh attended the local High School -the family were altogether living and working on the farm.
Like his grandfather and father, Hugh had a desire to go to sea and in 1972, on his 18th Birthday he signed up as a Cadet Deck Officer in the Union Shipping Company of N.Z. So began his 50 year career in the maritime industry, his first 15 years being spent at sea, working on cargo ships of various sorts. Hugh gained his Masters Ticket in 1982, and gained his first command shortly after. One of his treasured memories is his time as navigating officer on the small exploration ship, Lindblad Explorer where they ventured into the Antarctic.
After 15 years at sea, in 1986 Hugh started his career as a Marine Pilot in N.Z. and in 1998 moved to Townsville as a Marine Pilot, achieving 50 years in the industry on 1st.February 2022
I recently met Stephen Hagan, when a mate called me impromptu, to photograph some TAIHS staff having a covid needle, to encourage indigenous to be better protected. Once Stephen saw my work, which they’ve used on billboards around the region, he then requested I take photos for a sporting weekend and some other events he and the TAIHS team orchestrated, for community involvement.
When the Percival’s came to my attention last week I rang Doctor Stephen as impromptu as our first introduction to invite him to have me take his picture. I also suggested he bring and sentimental and significant things to photoshoot, that they may be orchestrated into his portrait.
Dr Stephen Hagan was born and raised on a fringe camp on the outskirts of a small southwestern Queensland township of Cunnamulla. Stephen woke every morning in his humble abode, the walls made up of used tin sheeting fixed onto sturdy upright tree branches and an earth floor to receive his bare feet on descending from his shared bed with his brother. There was no running water to wash away his sleep or electricity to light up the darken room. He ate from a meal prepared on an open fire by his mother and walked three kilometres to school with siblings and friends without footwear over burning hot red dirt in summer and frosty cold ground in winter.
Dr Stephen was told by his teacher that he shouldn’t aspire to anything more than his father’s vocation of head stockman working large cattle stations on his ancestral lands of Kullilli 300 kilometres further west of his home.
Dr Stephen proved his teachers wrong in their low expectations of his career pathway as he travelled away from his hometown to complete Years 11 and 12 at Marist Brothers College in Brisbane and later graduated from a couple of universities with a BA, MBA and PhD.
His distinguished working career included serving abroad as one of Australia’s first Aboriginal diplomats when posted to Colombo; senior public servant; CEOs of large corporations and owner of several businesses with his wife Rhonda, a Mamu Traditional Owner.
Not only has Dr Stephen had a notable working career but also an influential life as a social justice advocate for his people. His very public social justice campaigns saw the popular food brand Coon Cheese changed to Cheer Cheese last after 21 years of advocacy; the change of the N word on the E.S. ‘Nigger Brown’ Stand at a public sporting complex in Toowoomba after going through all the domestic court legal challenges to finally get the desired outcome at the United Nations in Geneva; changed the use of offensive words Abo, Boong and Coon on the popular board game Scrabble owned by Mattel; successfully sued Coles Express Service Station at Garbutt for racial profiling; and Sky TV Outsiders program for defamation, to mention just a few outcomes.
Dr Stephen lives in Townsville with wife Rhonda and his dog Thor. Rhonda and Dr Stephen have children Stephen Jnr and Jayde who have successful careers working in Brisbane and Canberra.
I’ve taken graduate photos the past couple years since they brought the Fire and Rescue Training back to regional Townsville.
This has been such a great task-to photograph an historic image for each class every six months, and to capture some in significant and iconic locations makes it even more of a visual pleasure-compared to a stark studio type class photo.
This was a moment between formal pictures when someone made a joke, and as you can see, the variation of facial expression, and personality/character, makes this just so entertaining, you can look and re view photo several times.
I also love the rich colours of the edit I made recently, from the rugged mountain (hill) to the vivid red trucks, the greenery, and dark uniforms, down to the gravelly bitumen car park base…all so textured it feels like you can almost pull the fabric out of the photo.
I love how this isn’t a classic portrait on one human, head and shoulders-but more of a collective of humanity-it’s seriousness, joy, playfulness and stoic-which certainly makes an honor-to photograph-and these people, who go out on a daily basis to protect and support people in all types of crisis-all in a days work…or a lifetime-as many of these trainers have done.
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Salt of the Earth - It’s not a term I use much but it is a great description of the kinds of people I photograph. I guess I just find salt of the earth people unpretentious, lovely and interesting. I’m naturally attracted to people like that. Some of them can come across as hard to approach ‘cause they’re maybe a bit rough and tough, but once you get know them, they’re lovely and raw, rugged, or refined and beautiful.
Now what about your commercial online presence; Is it bringing you more clients or turning potential clients away? Personal branding is an essential part of your business, but it can seem overwhelming. Your corporate identity is all about creating a positive image for yourself online, making you more attractive to clients. Corporate portraits or headshots are a great way to get started with personal branding because it helps you appear professional. I absolutely love taking personal branding photos because they show your clients who you are as a professional and why they should choose you over your competitors.
I will guide you through the process from what to wear, what to bring and how to stand/sit/pose (actually, I hate posing! and I don't tell people to smile, but with our conversation and plan in mind we will have plenty of laughs and then I'll capture the genuine you, smiling and laughing.)
I'll make it a breeze for you or your team. As a commercial photographer in Townsville, I have experience in corporate portraits, team photos and making business brands look the best they can. I will help you create the best corporate portrait to represent your team and business online, be it Linked in profiles, your website development, social media platforms, and Newsletters and publications.
Personal branding is about being yourself, not a fake representation of who you are as a professional. It's important to show people around you who you are so they know what to expect from you as a company or as a person.
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