There have been a number of chapters to my life. The current one started over 20 years ago when I picked up my partner’s old Nikon SLR 35mm camera. Apart from ballet, I had never found my creative outlet - until photography.  It gave me the means to capture the world around me, to tell stories and to see things differently.

It is often said that if one doesn’t go down the university path that one is self-taught.  For me, that is far from the case.  Certainly I have read widely on the subject and practised too. But, my partner, Jim, taught me how to use a manual SLR film camera, and I joined a photographic club benefitting from the expertise and camaraderie of very experienced amateur photographers who were happy to share their knowledge.  Some had more than 50 years’ experience. I could not have had better teachers. Experience, research and spending time with exciting young photographers along the way has done the rest.

I have a passion for a diverse range of subject matter, having travelled extensively both within Australia and internationally.  The natural world, scapes of all kind, the built environment and creative processes regularly capture my interest.  Hiking or camping beside a beautiful location, setting up a tripod and getting lost in the joy of slow photography is a zen thing for me.  However, I am always drawn back to social documentary.  The mixed emotions, the challenges, the relationships only serve to heighten my interest and make me want to tell stories with my images.



Cheri Desailly