All photography by Lara McKinley

Find the story, figure out its frame and best way to tell it. Work with others and amplify the good stuff. 


about me

When I was 19 I travelled to Guatemala, then in the midst of a civil war. For a time I lived with Mayan communities who had been deeply affected by the conflict. My Spanish was quite dodgy but I wanted to help. I asked how? They said, "Tell our story."

Months later I was in Canada, sitting in the foyer of the Royal Ontario Museum, looking at my photos blown up as big as a door. Looking at people looking at my photographs. And I was hooked.

Telling stories with words, photos or film — is a passion. Crafting and capturing stories that create change, an even deeper passion.

It took me to Timor-Leste, covering their struggles for independence, and rebuilding, it took me to San Francisco to work with refugees, and I continued this work back in Australia. My latest chapter was working for Oxfam Australia, coordinating their photography and videography.

Check out my projects pages to see some samples of my work. Check out the ponderings page to see what I have been up to more recently.

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
— Dorothea Lange

a brief history

Here's a little run down of my experience

  • Eight years as a visual story-teller for Oxfam Australia: photos, video production and a big dash of writing.
  • Favourite projects: oral histories for 60th anniversary, participatory photography project in Narrogin, Western Australia and sketches for Oxfam Comedy Gala. 
  • Event story-telling for Frankston City Council, Frankston Arts Centre and Diaspora Action Australia.
  • 12 years freelancing using words and photos together to tell a story. 
  • Producing exhibitions, marketing materials (folks like Telstra and Bendigo Tourism) and NGO reporting (UNICEF, Oxfam, IRC, Care, Concern, ACF, World Vision, ECHO)
  • Exhibition highlights: Connections, about friendships between refugees and Australians; Cheeky Bits, exploring the favourite body parts of 8o-year-olds; and Journeys, a crowd-funded project of 60 images for the Alola Foundation.