Steph is someone that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person several times. Her passion and knowledge of the southern Yorke Peninsula is unrivaled and is clearly reflected in her work.
Steph is about connection to place and becoming intimate with a landscape through repeated visits. Photography for photography’s sake, if you will, which is something we should all strive for.
1) I once said that it was hard to make photographs on the Yorke Peninsula, but through repeated visits and looking at your work, I’m happy to take that statement back!
What do you consider important in making photographs in areas where photographs don’t necessarily jump out at you – is it just a case of working that little bit harder?
I have lived on Southern Yorke Peninsula all my life and as a child I did not realise that everything from growing up on the farm, roaming barefoot & free, riding in the back of the ute feeding the sheep, all the chop picnics in the scrub (as my mum called them), wildflower and seashell hunts were actually instilling in me my parent’s wonderful appreciation of our surroundings.
I think it just came naturally to photograph what I appreciate so much about our area.
2) Your images evoke that lovely rural stillness and also the timeless effect of the seasons and weather on the landscape. Is there a specific message that you want people to come away with when they look at your images?
I guess to maybe ‘see’ our beautiful landscape that we look at every day and take for granted. I enjoy looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary and turning a relatively mundane subject into something memorable.
3) I understand that you come from a farming background, has this influenced your photography in any way? Or did it lead you to become interested in photography in the first place?
Both! I am a farmer’s daughter, wife and mother – so there’s no escaping a love of rural life!
Spending 5 years at boarding school gave me the opportunity to dabble in the darkroom, and the digital age has opened up a plethora of possibilities for amateurs like me.
4) What are some of your favourite locations, images or subjects, and why?
Anywhere on SYP (Southern Yorke Peninsula), rural, coastal, farmland, old houses, ruins & sheds. I also enjoy creating animal portraits with some careful editing to bring out their characters.
5) Do you ever feel unmotivated to go out and capture the Yorke Peninsula? If so, how do you overcome this?
6) Many photographers are introverts who prefer to do their work alone. What value do you put on community or collaboration with other photographers?Do you think that it helps enhance your own skillset in addition to the obvious social advantages?
I’m happy out exploring alone, not thinking about anyone waiting for me!
There’s something about sitting in the middle of a paddock on a clear, crisp night (but no wind!) under the stars. Alone you can take as little or as much time as you like.
I do also enjoy like-minded company at times, always learning something from each other and the conversation is never boring!
Who are some of your favourite photographers, and how have they influenced you?
I’ve never really thought of myself as a photographer, rather someone who enjoys photography. ‘Photographers’, to me, are the professionals and there are many I admire.
- Julie Fletcher: I have now done several photography tours with some wonderful photographers. Julie’s was the first tour I took after the invitation from a friend. There were only the two of us and we went to Lake Eyre with Julie’s undivided attention. This was pretty much a game-changer for me, as Julie taught me things with camera and editing I never thought would be possible that I could do. This was my first experience with astrophotography, something I thought was out of my reach!
- Ben Goode & Joel Durbridge: I was lucky to meet these guys on another ‘tour/workshop’. I really enjoyed their relaxed nature and willingness to share their knowledge, and of course their love of South Australian scenery.
- Karen Waller: A Yorke Peninsula local girl based in Adelaide, an accomplished photographer winning many awards with the AIPP and others.
Karen is a wonderful portrait photographer and I love the thoughtful moodiness she brings to her landscapes.
- Kara Rosenlund: I really like Kara’s style and can relate to many of her images. Countryside, coast, horses, shacks & old buildings and capturing beautiful light are common interests. I’d love to sit down with Kara & a glass of wine and talk photography and her travels!
- Everybody’s favourite – ANSEL ADAMS for obvious reasons!
- Many National Geographic photographers.
Instagram is a great influencer and I enjoy following many amazing people sharing their wonderful photography, and I’m lucky to have met some of them!
I also need to mention Barb Woolford and Rosalie Dibben who have become good friends through a love of photography.
We share things we learn while enjoying like-minded company. We all came together through Julie Fletcher and now try to catch up as often as possible and do something ‘photographic’ together!