From time-to-time it is the professional photographer’s lot to have to photograph conferences. Conference photography can be mind-numbingly boring work, but it helps if you can divert yourself with a bit of personal photography during the more tedious sessions.
I’ve just spent three days photographing the Jobs Australia annual conference at the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne. With speakers such as climate scientist, Dr Tim Flannery, futurist Professor Peter Ellyard, the ever thought provoking lecturer and writer, Waleed Aly, and the rapier wit of master of ceremonies, comedian, Rod Quantock, this conference was far from boring.
But to keep sharp and remain alert to picture opportunities, this is how I honed my eye, shooting these behind-the-scenes, personal observations:
Conference accreditation © Rob Walls 2010
Drink waiters at the MCG welcome reception © Rob Walls 2010
Between sessions delegates hammer their mobile phones in seemingly endless communication © Rob Walls 2010
Beneath a conservative exterior a guest speaker expresses his non-conformity through his flamboyant socks © Rob Walls 2010
Federation Square, on the way to the conference dinner © Rob Walls 2010
Tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, 15th July) I’ll be driving onto the ferry, The Spirit of Tasmania, to cross Bass Strait and begin a project I initiated at the beginning of this year. It is a self-generated assignment to photograph the changing nature of work in Australia. It is probably the the most ambitious assignment I’ve ever undertaken.
During the coming year, I intend to criss-cross the continent photographing as many aspects of work as I possibly can. But not just work; also the way work affects peoples lives.
This first six week trip will take me approximately 3,000km around the state of Victoria and up into the mining town of Broken Hill in New South Wales. In September, I’ll be photographing work in my home state of Tasmania. In November, I’ll either be travelling the east coast or making a trans-continental dash East to West across the Nullarbor Plain to Eastern Australia before the summer reaches its peak.
This is an adventure I approach with a little apprehension. I’ve set the bar high. You can follow my progress on my blog; This Working Life.
The project is currently funded by Jobs Australia.