Haunt­ing im­age of an an­gel cap­tures prize for Su­san

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

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.

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