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.
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.
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.