Experience is the best teacher, but it can also help you become a terrific story teller – and that’s where Joshua Bejan’s photography is in a class of its own.
Josh has held an array of different jobs over the years, and he’s also travelled extensively; one of his passions is capturing journalistic, documentary style photography – but he also has a keen eye for portraiture …
Hi Joshua. What part of the Hastings area do you call home … and how did you come to live there?
I’m actually living out in Yarras, which is about an hour west of Port Macquarie. It’s a beautiful spot situated up on the mountains over looking the valley. I was born and raised in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, but after a lot of moving around, it was time to move out of the city and embrace a healthy country/beach lifestyle.
Like many of us, your career path has taken a few twists and turns! What are some of the more interesting jobs/roles you’ve held?
Great question! I’ve been everything from pizza delivery boy to personal trainer, with a little bit of Santa photographer added in there.
Probably the most diverse role I’ve had is being a full-time missionary travelling around Australia, going door to door helping different communities. I remember this one area in Western Australia specifically; it was the first house of the day. I knocked on the door, to have it opened by a little Aboriginal boy, which was soon followed by the loud noise of a lawnmower coming from inside the house! One by one, more kids started to appear at the door to see who was there; I was then asked if I could come inside and help them.
To my surprise, I entered the house and found about 15 kids, all standing around the walls with this lawn mower going full blast inside the house. The throttle was stuck, but with some perseverance, I managed to turn it off. To this day, I still don’t know why that lawnmower was inside the house!
When/how did an interest in photography enter the picture for you?
I was first introduced to photography through my Dad, at the age of 13. He taught me how to use and control a camera. Photography truly became my own through skateboarding, as a means to document life at that young age and stuck by me as I progressed through life and my career choices.
What are some photographic projects you’ve worked on that you’ve really enjoyed?
To this day, skateboarding still heavily
influences my photography and the way I document and am able to capture the significance of a moment in a distinctive way.
Photographing and documenting some of the mission trips I went on for Eastward Missions was an amazing experience; going to places, meeting people and seeing things that a lot of people don’t normally get the chance to see is truly a blessing.
What particular types of photography interest you the most?
Any form of journalistic, documentary style photography will always catch my eye. I believe it is the unvarnished intrinsic nature of photography. Being able to take this medium that we all are so familiar with, and to not only capture something in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, but also being able to interweave a story is true art.
Where are some places you’ve travelled to that have inspired you and your work?
India is chaotic yet peaceful; the people are vibrant, and the culture is very warm and welcoming.
Romania is broken yet functioning; the people are not so warm, but the patriotism and love for their country is unparalleled.
I’ve been to most of Europe, bits of Asia, America, New Zealand plus more, and the one thing I see is this balance between juxtaposing ideals.
The beauty and unforgiving harshness of the Australian landscape has recently inspired me to unite these ideals in my work and explore further where this balance lies.
What are some of your favourite pieces of camera kit (and why do you like them)?
I use a few different cameras for my work; mainly my workhorse is my Nikon D700 if I’m shooting an event or family portraiture. This camera, paired with my 105 mm f1.4 lens is almost impossible to beat in picture quality, and the bokeh achieved is just outstanding.
I’ll load a point and shoot camera with some HP5 if I want documentary style images that are emotive. I also have a Hasselblad 501 cm that I use to get truly superb images with an extraordinary colour range and image depth; I mainly use this for portraiture and landscapes, since it is a slower method of photographing.
It’s really hard to beat the grain you get from film.
What upcoming photographic projects are on your agenda?
At the moment I am just looking into establishing a photographic business in Port Macquarie, focusing on events, weddings, and kids!
What are your dreams/goals?
Being able to live purely off photography would be pretty cool. Other than that, I just want to help people as much as I can – there are so many people in bad situations, and a lot of them are our neighbours and we don’t even know.
Where can we view more of your work/contact you?
I’ve currently got a print hanging at the Sunset Framing Gallery everyone should go check out. You can also view more of my work at
joshuabejanphotography.com and you can contact me via phone: 0437 074 494 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview: Jo Robinson.