The Inner Poet





The above are part of a series in development on the inner poet.  Hoping to make this one into a book.

I am combining the photographs with some artwork from my daughter. She’s pretty excited about our collaboration as well.


Portrait of a Young Lady

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I was thrilled to have a portrait selected to be one of 100 representing ABC Open contributors at the Tweed River Art Gallery!

The exhibition of 100 Faces from SNAPPED: FACES is a partnership between Tweed River Art Gallery and ABC Open. The Gallery will  be exhibiting our portraits during the Olive Cotton Award exhibition.

This is a short post highlighting contributions –

This is the video that will screen at the gallery (6.09 for the portrait with this post).

Congratulations to all the ABC Open contributors who had photograph(s) selected for this exhibition.  Thank you so much to ABC Open for providing this opportunity to contributors.

It is part of a series I am continuing to work on  with the theme of childhood and youthful imagination.


Make me Look Beautiful Challenges of Documentary and Portrait Photography

Tully Locals
Oh to meet the Prince – By June Perkins – These two ladies loved their portrait! Hooray it’s great when you have happy documentary subjects. This was taken at the visit of Prince William to Tully and I asked them to pose.

Why would some people rather eat brussel sprouts with mustard and peanut butter than have a photograph taken?

Why do some people hug the camera as it if was their dearest long lost primary school friend that they haven’t seen in thirty years?

Is it simply that some people think they break the camera glass and have bud luck for the next three generations? Many of us have a deep seated belief that some people are born for the camera – they are the blessed photogenic and never look bad in a photo. (Tabloid professionals are always out to turn that one upside down.)

Or is it just that some of us don’t want the world to see what we looked like after our slim years?

Maybe it’s just that we don’t trust that camera person not to take an unflattering pose of us eating and then possibly throwing up after the peanut butter brussel sprouts with mustard.

Some people just don’t like the look of their face, their hair or just have to have makeup on; they want to control the way they come out on camera or the way they look now. The struggle with the body image, and having time to care for the body and feel confronted by the camera and resulting picture, not to mention that annoying camera person documenting an event and making them do this. (This by the way is not what the camera person is thinking.)

Have you ever taken what you thought was a beautiful picture of a person and had them say ”Yuk I look fat in that or “I don’t like my face” or can, “you chuck that out please.”

Now have you ever also had a person on the other end of the scale say “Wow you made me look great”, “I look so strong,” “I didn’t realise I could look just like Elle McPherson” or “Miranda Kerr.”

Thinking about this more deeply opens the Pandora’s box of what is beauty, but also what is the purpose of photography. There are many purposes, capturing memory, documenting, finding beauty just to mention a few.

For me we don’t always photograph to make others look beautiful, but most photographers, including documentary ones, don’t set out to make people feel ugly.

Responses to an image are not always about the skill of the camera person, but sometimes about how the person is feeling about themselves at that stage in their life. And people photography is not easy as you are dealing with psychology.

All this can make it tricky for the documentary oriented photographer. Our goal to capture the beautiful moments in an event, the connection between people, the ecstasy and triumphs, and yes also struggles and sorrow and some kind of truth. Is truth always beautiful?It can be.

We have to respect our subjects – and yet is respect always sticking with posed photographs – not all posed photographs are the most memorable ones. It is the spontaneous moments that sparkle and shimmer and are strong in our memories. Like images of a boy kissing a girl in a riot in Canada.

The portrait photographer captures inner beauty when they work hard. They relax a person, collaborate, work with them and bring out what is needed to shine on camera. For some people their relationship with the camera – for instance Miranda Kerr – is a dance – a connection of tango – and they just fit together.

For others any sign of a camera and they freeze, stop smiling, hide, move away, and do an anti paparazzi pose, and yet in relaxed moments their inner being comes out. They are themselves, regardless of what they think about their weight, looks, anyone in my view can come across as beautiful on camera.

Anyway let me say the next time you start running from the camera at a family event from some photo crazy family member or friend, remember they are taking a photograph of you because you are special to them, cherished and they want to remember you in the moment.

Maybe the photograph won’t represent the seventeen year old slim you, but maybe you can take that inner angst and relax – it makes for a lovely photograph.

And as for you mad crazy family, community documenters, maybe you can learn from the professionals and coax the beauty and the joy out of others, and realise that part of your role is to educate people that even though we love Miranda and Elle there are all kinds of beauty waiting to be captured by the camera. Also sometimes you just need to put the camera down and write the memory.

(c) June Perkins

Pray Me a Guitar


What to photograph when working with a musician?
Their connection to their instrument (guitar, voice etc)
close ups of hands

How to encourage them to forget the camera is there?
Yarning about life,
respecting their creative space,
just being quiet,
melding into the background
if that is what they wish
or speaking of music
in life

What is discovered?
The prayer of artistry
as someone praises the world
through their guitar


Visit the full folio of this here –  Portrait of a Musician

A big thank you to songwriter/ musician Melinda for being my model for this work.
Melinda may give me some quotes from her beautiful songs to put with this later,
but for now some general quotes from music.


After Yasi: Finding the Smile Within

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Hooray After Yasi, Finding the Smile within, a photo and story book, is finished and has had its Cassowary Coastal launch. The local council bought three copies for the libraries in Cardwell, Tully and Mission Beach and several locals purchased copies.

Several books have now been distributed and the public sharing is just beginning.
You can purchase copies by clicking on the following links:

Hard Cover

As it is a small scale community book, produced without any supplementary funding and on a small scale, they are printed on demand through blurb and have become a much treasured item for the contributors. They are attractive books, suitable for libraries and organisations to purchase and make available to the wider public.

The ebook version is on its way. The purpose of this is to make the content of the book easily accessible to anyone who should need it for their recovery process.

You can see the earlier journey of this book, which began as an exhibition here SMILE WITHIN. You can also view some digital stories. Click on the photographs to see which ones also have video stories.