by Lily Whiting
Where in Hobart do you live? I live in Mount Stuart.
Why Hobart? Our family moved to Hobart 10 years ago, relocating with the company I was working for. I volunteered with the Scout Association for several years and loved the great outdoors. The company suggested that Tasmania was a perfect location for our young family and the rugged Tasmanian environment and clean living have been a perfect fit for us.
Tell us a little about your work? After my father’s death and the birth of my daughter following a difficult pregnancy in 2014, I decided to leave the company I had served for 19 years when I didn’t feel supported by them as a new mum. I wanted to return to what was necessary for our family. I started taking photos of my children playing sport and volunteering during the career break. My work was quickly recognised, and sporting organisations started using our images and digital work to publicise sport across Tasmania. Six years later, I now work for several sporting organisations and other businesses, including news outlets, to provide quality images and video. This business model provides our family with a lot of flexibility. We don’t have regular working hours, so this is especially suited to the sports and events sector.
Where did the motivation to capture sport, particularly women in sport, come from? When I started taking photos of my sons playing sports, I noticed fewer photos of the women. Taking a broader view helped me see that this was a similarity across the world. Regarding the reception of women’s sport, it was still a man’s domain, and there was no funding for women’s sports in media in the same way sponsors were supporting men.
What do you hope your role in women’s sports can do for the industry for both current athletes and the future? If images of women competing are made visible, girls considering sport will want to play and be active if they can see role models. Visibility in female sport has undoubtedly improved since I started in my role. The coverage of female athletes is becoming more popular worldwide and here in Tasmania.
Sometimes sports photographers catch sportspeople mid game with seemingly funny expressions. What do you see?
I am in a privileged position to be able to capture professional pictures of them competing. Sometimes there are faces of determination, which is understandable, given the subject matter, but the images that don’t show any athlete in a great light go straight in the bin. The images of sporting activity that I capture across Tasmania are essential to clubs and associations promoting a healthy lifestyle. I also practice equality, so that male and female athletes are treated the same in terms of my images.
What do you love doing outside work? I love camping and enjoy all aspects of art and making. We are currently renovating the campervan that serves us on sports assignments in all corners of the state. When we have downtime, it’s usually to visit new places.
Who do you admire? I once met Karren Brady, one of the first female directors of a UK football club. A successful female in a very male-orientated business, she rose to the top of her field despite opposition from others in the industry. She was demonised by the press at times but continued on. There are so many quotes of hers that run through my head when I see similar situations.
Favourite podcast or tv show? I love anything historical. Vikings was a definite favourite with the intriguing storylines and costumes. Sport and Bluey are often on the TV in our house!
Secret vice? I just got a crafting machine, and so now everything is personalised. The teacher’s end-of-year gifts were epic!
What are you reading now? As part of my media studies at the University of Tasmania, Radical Technologies by Adam Greenfield is a fascinating insight into the digital landscape and its role in transforming the world. Aside from this, I enjoy anything with a historical flavour.
What are your daily news/social media habits? I am the person that flips directly to the back page, looking at the sporting images. I also follow many crafting pages and Pinterest to feed my crafting obsession. As providing digital content is part of my role, I love to be across the latest content production and marketing trends.
Your favourite place for…
Breakfast: Room for a pony
Lunch: Cultura. I love the football banter.
Dinner: I can’t remember the last time we went out for dinner because we love cooking, home entertaining is always the best. The more, the merrier.
Favourite team? Blackburn Rovers, Hobart Hurricanes, Tasmania Devils. Taking photos of local leagues means I am neutral and don’t have favourites. I love all kinds of sports and all of the different micro communities in each one.