Alessandra, Natassia (Tash), Charlie, Peter and Alfie Wheeler. Picture: R Jean Photography
Alessandra, Natassia (Tash), Charlie, Peter and Alfie Wheeler. Picture: R Jean Photography

Whitsunday photographer showing family joy during isolation

A WHITSUNDAY photographer is on a mission to show the community it's "not all doom and gloom" during coronavirus isolation and is taking the message straight to our doorsteps.

Robyn Bonner, of R Jean Photography, has offered her time and skills to photograph more than 80 Whitsunday families on their driveways for free as part of the global phenomenon #thedrivewayproject

She said she was inspired to take the photos after a friend in Brisbane shared images from the original Darwin photographer, Francesca Fuga, who started the movement last month.

"I just saw the shots and thought, 'well I can't really help any other way, maybe I can try to share some joy'," she said.

"It's turned out to be so entertaining and fun, and it's really brought a lot of joy not only into my life, but those I get to photograph."

Dylan, Levi, Lucy and Carina Sanderson. Picture: R Jean Photography
Dylan, Levi, Lucy and Carina Sanderson. Picture: R Jean Photography

The Cannonvale-based photographer said the goal was to capture the household's personality, with subjects encouraged to use as little or as many props as they like.

Social distancing measures are strictly enforced by Ms Bonner, who uses a telephoto lens and has "laid in so many streets to get a photo now, it's not even funny".

"People just do their own thing with the shots. I just turn up and I never know what I'm getting - so I've gone from super simple to just absolutely hilarious," she said.

"There's been people with picnics and tea parties, to hilarious family shots with props and everything.

"Yesterday, I cracked up laughing when I turned up to family and they had the kayak out, and then the father took his shirt off and pretended to ride on skis behind them. You just don't know what you'll get and that's the best part.

Gabi Harding in a front yard picnic (Destination Whitsundays and Peach & Pear Catering Whitsundays) Picture: R Jean Photography
Gabi Harding in a front yard picnic (Destination Whitsundays and Peach & Pear Catering Whitsundays) Picture: R Jean Photography

"I make the photos public for everyone to access, that way the community can see we're all in this together."

After a whirlwind few weeks of shooting driveways, Ms Bonner said she was going to "slow it down a little" but was still planning to get out and about for more locations.

"The feedback has been amazing so I'll keep doing it for a while longer," she said.

"I want people to be able to look back after this and go 'oh it wasn't all doom and gloom, we did something fun during that period of time as well'.

"I'm not sure when or where I'll be at this stage, so people are best to follow me on social media so they know what my movements are like."



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