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Capturing the people of Generation Better

Brett shares how he got his start in photography and what he’s learnt along the way.

Inspired by the Humans of New York photographic phenomenon, People of Generation Better seeks to hone in on everyday Australians and document their journeys to better health.

How did you become a photographer?

I fell in love with the idea of photography at the age of 16 when I was handed a 35mm film camera and a key to a dark room. It was the magic of chemistry and capturing time that was alluring to me, then the fascination with recording people that kept me actively engaged.

Most interesting suburbs you’ve shot as part of the People of Generation Better project?

So far the most interesting suburbs have been close to home. Knowing the nooks and crannies of a place yields the best results I think.

What have you learnt from the People of Generation Better project?

 Simply stopping people and having a quick chat has given me a great opportunity to meet people in a real way, without pressure or expectation. Sometimes I get the most beautiful and thoughtful responses from the simplest questions, I love the idea of being able to connect with a complete stranger by just taking their portrait and asking them about their day.

How do you know when you’ve got the shot?

I think everyone takes a different approach to knowing when he or she has their special shot. I take the rather romantic notion of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s approach, ‘the decisive moment’, where inside the movement of the frame there is a moment at which all the elements in motion are in balance. That’s when you press the shutter and know you have it.

Top tips for taking holiday snaps?

 I like to step back from the crowd and really think about what I’m photographing. Do I really want another monument photo? Or am I more interested in looking to photograph the feeling of a place, the color, texture and atmosphere of the place where I am?

Where was your work first published and how did you feel?

 My first piece of work was shown at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra as a finalist in a ‘Digital Portraiture’ award, looking to the future of portraiture through digital video and photography. It felt amazing to be selected and shown in such a beautiful gallery among so many amazing works of art.

See Brett in action at @peopleofgenerationbetter

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