The Humans of the Summit project

I mentioned in the last post I was involved in a Young Reference Group, called Create Tank, which did three projects for the Regional Arts Australia Summit held this week just gone. Our group of seven, Hayley and Owen from Country Arts WA, Julian and Rosie from Geraldton, Kellee from Mandurah and Emilee from Bruce Rock and I got to know each other through video conferencing in the lead up to the Summit. We are all ‘young’ people from regional areas with a connection to the arts.

One of our projects was a facebook page called Humans of the Summit. Inspired by Humans of New York, I pitched the idea to the group a few months ago so we could get a nice overview of the conference delegates as well as local Kalgoorlie people over the week. Hayley suggested getting photographer Stuart Holden from Humans of Western Australia to come to Kalgoorlie and give us a workshop on taking portraits. Stuart brought five Pentax cameras with 50mm f/1.8 lenses for us to use, which were a dream. I was reluctant to give mine back.

After a crash course in light, composition and framing we practiced taking portraits of each other.


Kellee from Mandurah


Emilee (aka the most photogenic person in the world) from Bruce Rock


Hayley from Country Arts WA

I also practiced on food, because food photography is my favourite.



Then we were unleashed on the streets of Kalgoorlie to snap innocent passers by. It was a very quick lesson in accepting rejection! I heard some wonderful excuses for not wanting to be photographed, but thankfully no one was rude.

Here are some of my favourite snaps:


“I came to Kalgoorlie 10 years ago with my missus and we had a child. We went back to where her parents live but we broke up so I came back to Kalgoorlie again,” “Can I ask why you didn’t want to smile for the photo?” “I broke my front tooth on peanut brittle.”


“My business partners are my biggest inspiration. They are fabulous and amazing.”

The following portrait is of a lady called Fiona. I met Fiona in the Social Change Hair Dressing workshop on Friday morning. It was run by a fabulous drag queen known as Star Lady and her off sider Mel, together they head into remote indigenous communities and teach hairdressing skills and provide an unconventional meeting place and social venue.

With absolutely no hairdressing skills whatsoever, Fiona allowed me to shave one side of her head and then bleach it. Unfortunately then I had to run off to a panel, so someone else dyed the bleached section purple. Thanks for being so brave and for giving me artistic licence with your hair Fiona!



To see more photos from the project head to our Facebook page, there will still be photos coming through over the next few days. I think I will definitely be purchasing a 50mm lens. The shallow depth of field was amazing for blurring the background, getting rid of distracting elements in the photo and just making people ‘pop’ out of the photo.

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4 Responses to The Humans of the Summit project

  1. Pingback: Regional Arts Australia Summit: the final night | My Bloggable Day

  2. Pingback: The year that was 2014 | My Bloggable Day

  3. Debbie Carmody says:

    Can you please take off the image of the guy who says his father is from Maralinga. I am in a position to say this as I am an Anangu person from Maralinga and a Spinifex person from Tjuntjuntjarra. My Karpali (Grandmother) and my Dad’s brother died at Maralinga as a result of the nuclear tests. As a First Nations person I would like to see references made about my people told in a culturally appropriate way that has the facts right. The guy pictured is a Moari guy who lives an itinerant lifestyle on the edges of Kalgoorlie.

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