Damon and Glenn
thought it was time to document their current chapter in life in photographs. Meanwhile I was heading up the north coast on my shooting trip and they got wind of my travels to Byron Bay. The timing couldn’t have been better. They decided to invite Jane, Damon’s mother, along to their family story photo session experience. They all live in Byron at the moment, but soon Damon is heading to Sydney to take a degree in journalism. He’s flying the coop as it were…Jane’s heading with him to Sydney, so it’s timely for photographs like these to be made. The chance for this will never come again.
Damon grew up
with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted on the ground at the same time – yes it really is possible! Jane took him to many countries throughout his childhood and she home-schooled him. He’s experienced all sorts of cultures and landscapes that most people can only dream of. Funnily enough, the urge that most young adults have to bust out of Australia at the time of graduation has passed Damon by…the Eiffel Tower? Danube River? The Great Wall of China?…yeah, been there, done that.
is a regional centre in Australia. It’s a transient place with lots of tourists coming and going, and (unfortunately for locals) in recent years has become a mecca for backpackers thanks to Lonely Planet. What makes this place special? Well, for one, the landscape…it’s absolutely lush. It’s up there with the most amazing rolling hills of Europe. It’s a rural area and also, for want of a better title, a hippie joint. But that term really doesn’t do it justice. Eastern philosophy, practices and meditation are plentiful here. Massages, health retreats, Oxfam stores rule the roost. I actually came away from a few days in the area feeling as though I’d had a spiritual cleansing, just through osmosis, not even through actually doing anything specific here like joining a yoga class…it’s just the vibe, you know? I can see why people move here, fed up with city madness and looking for an alternative way of life.
to a regional/rural area like this is that teenagers often get themselves into trouble. When we all met up at Centennial Park in nearby Mullumbimby to document their family story experience, we came across a memorial to three teenagers from the area that had died recently in a road accident. They were busy driving, partying and high at the same time, and it all ended tragically. We asked Damon, what’s that’s all about?, he said, really he didn’t know. Maybe because he’s had lots of experiences and ideas thrown at him in his upbringing, he hasn’t been bored. He’s let his brain extend beyond the immediate perimeter, to the outside world, where all sorts of possibilities lie. I’d say he was one of the lucky ones and the future looks bright for him. I was struck by Glenn’s sensitivity to the situation, although it’s not so surprising given that he works with local youth.
Jane and Glenn
raised Damon separately, but in partnership. Glenn is a learning co-ordinator for Nortec Youth Services, Jane runs her own show in rituals, workshops and tarot readings. Damon is busy working at a local radio haunt and getting ready to pack his bags. I love these images…it was a different dynamic to what I normally encounter, as Jane and Glenn aren’t together anymore. But still, they are both genuinely focused on seeing Damon get the best start possible. They’re obviously very proud of him, and I think that has come through beautifully in these iamges. The guitar, the swing, the chatting, the hanging out…it was perfect. And oh my, what a setting! Centennial Park was stunning … the trees, the light, beautiful!