Beauty is a torn-up driveway and a backyard pool full of leaves. This photographer lives for the suburbs.
What were you like as a kid? Impressionable. I’m the youngest of three girls and I usually followed what my sisters did. I was – still am – very talkative and never knew when to be quiet. What’s your earliest memory of photography? Probably my mum and her Canon point-and-shoot camera that most of our childhood photos would have been taken on. Mum is great at compiling photo albums and growing up it was great watching her piece together each year with her photographs. What is it about the suburbs that you like? I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and it wasn’t until I lived in California for half a year that the appeal of Australian suburbia took its hold on me. There’s something about the mundane nature of suburban life that I find interesting, much like many other photographers before me. I guess I’ve been influenced by the likes of William Eggleston and Stephen Shore and that’s evident in my images.
What can’t you resist snapping a picture of?
Strange trees. Do you have any lucky charms? While I was in Bosnia last year I found a ring with a beautiful Ottoman engraving that I’ve grown very fond of it and it rarely leaves my body now. What makes a good photographer? Keen observational skills. Helps to be personable too. Where’s the most magical place you’ve been? Too hard to pick one, but most recently I spent a week road tripping and camping north of Perth up the Coral Coast of Western Australia. Shark Bay blew me away – it’s so remote and not many people around. Just pristine beaches. WA has won me over, I can’t wait to return.
What’s your favourite Australian movie?
The Castle. What are you craving? I’d love to get back on the road in Australia this year and see more of my own country.
See more of Pannell’s work at sarahpannell.com