Haunting image of an angel captures prize for Susan
FAIRY wings, a wand-like light and an empty hallway aren’t sources of award-winning creativity for many people.
But they were all Monto’s Susan McLaughlan needed to take out a competition open to about 500 professional photographers from all over the country.
Attendees of an Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) conference on the Gold Coast earlier this month were encouraged to use an Ice Light – “the closest thing to real daylight” – to create a competition image.
“There was no way I was expecting to win,” she said, with a laugh.
But Susan’s haunting image of an angel at the end of a hallway was the stand out for the world-class photography judges.
“I just tried to push myself to think outside the box, and we had been talking about ghost stories the night before so I had this image of an angel at the end of the hallway from the beginning.”
But Susan said the best part was getting to meet people like Ice Light inventor and “one of the top five wedding photographers in the world” Jerry Ghionis, who she finds inspirational.
Susan said she first became interested in photography simply to capture moments.
“When I had my daughter eight years ago I just wanted to capture everything about her,” she said.
“I love capturing connection, love, happiness, all those things you want to remember as time fades your memory.
“One of the saddest things I can think of is when someone passes away and a family doesn’t have many photos to remember them by.”
This sort of compassion drives Susan’s whole work ethic; she said it’s always the subject at the front of her mind when her own eyes are behind the lens.
When taking campdraft photos she said she wants to capture people at the peak of their skills, and in family photos she always travels to their homes “so they are in the places special to them”.
Although Susan also works on her farm, runs a bookkeeping agency, works in the Monto newsagency, is a mum and a professional photographer, she hoped to find the time to work on an entry for an upcoming AIPP competition in August.
“When I won the last competition I was given an Ice Light, so I think I can come up with some great ideas for the next AIPP awards.”
To see Susan’s work or contact her about photography work, check out www.facebook.com/Susie M Country Pics online.
COOL PRIZE: Monto’s Susan McLaughlan was over the moon to win an Ice Light after taking out an Australian Institute of Professional Photography competition on the Gold Coast.