“We are not victims or heroes, but agents of our own destiny”
This morning I had a great honour to take a portrait photograph of one of Australia’s well known lawyers and disability and human rights campaigners, Graeme Innes AM. Graeme is a chair of Attitude Foundation and his organisation is about changing attitudes towards people with disabilities. By changing attitudes, we can change lives.
I decided that in my approach I will not focus on my subject’s disability, because I never see people that way. Instead, I wanted to get to know the person (in my very limited time frame), campaigner who shows so much courage and is an inspiration to many.
Despite not having much time with Graeme, I chose the location carefully – there is a special room at Museum of Democracy in Ballarat where images of international leaders are projected onto the walls and the audio of famous speeches goes with it. When we started, we listened to Winston Churchill and then Martin Luther King. I thought it was a great choice of location that will help him to relax and take mind of the actual photo taking. I think Graeme really liked that idea. I also really wanted to focus on him, we had a little conversation, but I made sure to describe the surroundings, why I chose that particular location and didn’t ask for the name of his guide dog! Read his blog post here to find out why 🙂
The lighting was poor but I did’t mind that as I chose to shoot with Ranger Quadra portable studio flash kit. I loved the portrait I took – which is not the one below. The final one will form a part of an already growing exhibition, Grassroots Democracy: the Campaign for Disability Rights which explores just some of the events and people who led reform and campaigned for change.
To learn more of Graeme’s work visit www.graemeinnes.com and www.attitude.org.au
Graeme has also published his first book, I’ll be helping him on the signing day in Ballarat or Melbourne, details TBA