Category Archives: photography

Off to PNG…

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Paper Runway Photographer, Katie Waddell (nee Preece – she just got hitched), went to visit her brother, Matt, in Papua New Guniea recently. Katie shares her story of her trip and her stunning images with us…

“Why would you go there?” was the question I got when I told people where I was travelling. My brother Matt has worked and lived in PNG for three years and was getting married. He works as an aircraft engineer for a not for profit organisation called MAF.

MAF provide flights to over 250 remote bush communities with essentials like medical evacuations and community development. Because of the harsh terrain many villages are only accessible by either plane or foot. Over 80% of Papuans live a traditional life off the land with little or no money, so this service is life saving.

While at work he managed to get a piece of wire through his finger. Being a third world country the local hospital doesn’t have the best medical facilities. So he travelled to Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, a not for profit hospital which has a reputation for being the best hospital in PNG. Once there he was treated by Dr Becky, a volunteer from America, and that’s how two very important people to me met.

Matt and Becky are perfect for each other, in so many ways, but especially because they both love what they do and they do it well. They even help when they can at the local orphanage.

Living in PNG isn’t easy. Mining has changed the culture of some people in the cities. They no longer see each other in the traditional ways as brothers and sisters, but as opponents with only the fittest to survive. This has resulted in high crime rates in the cities; it is like living in a war zone, razor wire and poverty everywhere. The challenges of living in a remote non-western country also make living hard. Necessities like water and electricity can be cut off for days and things that are the norm in Australia are rare here; a block of chocolate will cost you AU$20.

Before I visited Matt & Becky I didn’t completely understand why they loved being in PNG in such hard circumstances. It wasn’t until I saw them in their element; the work they do and the lovely people they help, that I completely appreciated why they loved it there.

The people are so happy and friendly; everyone waves and smiles to each other calling ‘gut moning’ (good morning) or ‘apinu’n (afternoon). Children laugh and giggle when you show them their photos. The food was so good that when I came home everything tasted bland. The scenery was so beautiful it was dream-like. From the air I saw massive mountains and waterfalls, and on our approach to landing in Mt Hagen I saw countless shades of greens in all of the patches of little gardens and farms. In many ways it is paradise but unfortunately that is not always the case.

I am so proud of Matt & Becky and I hope this story will raise much needed awareness and support for the amazing organisations they work so hard for.

To find out more about MAF click here, to find out more about Kudjip Nazarene Hospital click here, to find out more about BFO Orphanage click here.


Contributor Spotlight | Lisa Ford Photography

Lisa Ford is the creative genius behind the photography for the front cover and paper doll shoot for the first issue of Paper Runway.  Thanks Lisa for your support and of course your photography which we love!  Lisa shares a little bit about herself in our contributor interview …

Tell us about your background and how did you get to where you are today?

My family lived overseas and travelled quite a bit so at an early age I was privileged to have lived and seen a lot of things some people have not and will not in their life-time. Experiencing the Sistine Chapel, the work of Michelangelo, at five years of age is rather special and it really created an impact on my young mind; it is still one of the most vivid memories of an experience I’ve had to date and I now believe this is what opened my mind to a creative side and inspired me.

Where do you call home?

Ocean Shores NSW Australia

Tell us about your business

Lisa Ford Photography was established in 2000 while I was completing my final year at university and I graduated from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University with a Bachelor of Photography.

It is very important to me to provide a professional service to my client that is a full experience and one they will enjoy. My business is therefore all about my client and how I can best deliver this to them and the one fundamental thing that I provide is service. Many of my clients are very busy people and don’t have the time to take care of a lot of things themselves or simply don’t have any idea of how to go about things – they know what they want, but not how to produce it – and this is where my business come in. I achieve these things for them and I provide the ability for them to have what they want.

In a time that service and quality is taking a back seat, I am pushing for these two things to be at the forefront of my business.

Who or what inspires you?

I draw inspiration from many things! It might be a piece of music, a colour, a scene, a landscape, a smell, anything really. Just recently it was my optometrist during an eye examination that provided inspiration of an image that I have just finished creating for the Australian Professional Photography Awards to be held soon.

What have the highlights been since starting your career?

Winning my first Gold Award at the 2010 Queensland Professional Photography Awards and photographing the memories for couples and families that will become treasured heirlooms.

Were you given any memorable advice that you would like to share?

Surround yourself in life with people you want to be like and learn from them.

Do you have a favourite project?

Self-commissioned work is always so much fun because I am only limited by myself.

How do you maintain a balance between your work and your life? (or not?)

At times this is very hard and over the years while establishing my business and then working hard when it did take off, it has been a struggle. Lately though, I have learnt from a few things that have happened to people I know and understand that life is short and we are only here for a short time so we have to make the most of it. I believe life these days should be about trying to slow things down a bit when you can as we all just rush through everything and don’t get to really experience anything. I still have to try and balance the balancing every day though!

Describe your favourite paper item

A paper fan. This is one of the first things “paper” that I had as a child and it was a vital item because living in Singapore gets very hot and humid. It was very pretty as I recall, Chinese…

Do you have a “usual” day

A usual day for me is largely spent in front of a computer. One thing that people forget about photography these days – since digital – is that actually photographing is about 10% of the work we do now, the rest is post-production.

What is your favourite place to hang out?

I love being at home 🙂

What do you love most about what you do?

The freedom I have to do what I love and make people – and myself – happy.

Answer these short questions?

Black or White: white
Tea or Coffee: tea
Heals or flats: heals (but don’t really wear them that much!)
Short or long: long
Sweet or savoury: do I have to choose?
Night or Day: day

These are a few of Lisa’s favourite photos … Enjoy

x Nikki and Maree


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