Kirk Owers is a local based photographer and writer whose works have been included in nationwide media and surfing magazines. He speaks with Focus about how he got into this career.
Full Name Kirk Owers
Star sign Capricorn
Location Boomerang Beach
Years taking photographs 10
I spend my week days … attempting to find a balance between work, family and play. Most weeks I have a few articles to write, a few blogs to blog, a couple of hundred photos to process, a wedding album or two to design – and two adventurous sons to locate, encourage, guide, apologise for, and marvel at. There’s a lot of variety. If the surf is good I can drop most things quick smart (except my youngest).
I spend my weekends …
attempting to find car keys, surfboard wax or my children. From September until May weekends are busy photographing weddings. Then there are swimming lessons with the boys, jobs around the house and, hopefully, a surf or two. Nights I read about Igglepiggle, Thomas The Tank Engine and dinosaurs, and recall an earlier time when I had a more edgy social life. Mornings begin with the thunder of tiny feet.
Something people may not know about me
I don’t like beetroot or purple food in general. I had a guinea pig called Bilbo Baggins. I’ve lived in Broome, Newquay, Sparwood and Lech. I was born on the same day as Elvis Presley, but my wife will not make me midnight cheeseburgers and call me ‘The King’, even on my birthday!
Something people may not know about photography
It’s been around for longer than you might think. Chemical photography didn’t begin until the 1820s, but historical records suggest the Chinese knew about pinhole cameras as early as the 5th Century. Another thing: ‘photography’ comes from the Greek language and means, writing with light. So the cliché that a photo is worth a thousand words has some foundation.
Some photographers that I like
Eugene Richards, an American Photojournalist, is my current favourite, but I admire photographers in many fields. I love the fashion portraiture of Mario Testino. I’m fascinated by the photos Narelle Autio and Trent Parke captured for ‘The Seventh Wave’.
Tasmanian landscape Photographer, Peter Dombrovski, is inspiring. Dean Dampney is a fantastic Documentor and does beautiful wedding work. Anyone who can make a living out of surf photography has my respect. Jon Frank especially. Sparksey’s split-screen shots.
How travel has inspired some of my works
The imagery in National Geographic magazine was a reason to travel. My failure to bring home similar photos was a reason to study photography. Travel photography gets you out on the street, in tune with the day and interacting with people. It forces you to be more observant and appreciative of your surroundings. You have to go the extra yards to get a good shot and it’s satisfying when you nail something special.
Photos will last forever because…
of digital technology. We had an old World War I photograph of my Granddad digitally restored recently. He’s on horseback, in his uniform, with the Egyptian pyramids and the Sphinx in the background. It’s something I hope my Grand children will want to hang on their wall. One of the satisfactions of wedding photography is the hope that in fifty or even a hundred years from now, someone will appreciate a memory or fragment of life you’ve captured.
My five other favourite things to do
Surfing, snowboarding, travelling, hanging with my family, reading, listening to music … resisting offers to join the Dark Side.
Where you will find me in five years
Right here. I love the Great Lakes and hope to stay. I’m looking forward to teaching my kids to surf and to sleep in. Ideally, in five years I’ll own an ostentatious beach mansion and a (solar-powered) wave pool. Probably, I’ll have a lake shack and a (jerry-built) skate ramp.
Hopefully I’ll still be writing and shooting and travelling and finding someone to pay for it.
What career path did you follow to get where you are today
My background includes a two year stint as a Photojournalist for the Northern Star, Photo Editing at Waves magazine and working for the award-winning Anna Blackman Studios. I’ve had photographs and stories published in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Audi, Tracks, Waves, Powderhound, Australian Photography, Paperplane, The West Australian, Surf Europe and Liv.
I continue to freelance for magazines but I now specialize in weddings around the Forster-Taree area.
See my website if you are interested: