In Profile: Sarah Osborn

| February 4, 2013

MM: WHO are you?
SO: I’m Sarah. Hello! I’m a Brisbane-based photojournalist and social documentary photographer.

MM: WHAT the hell is your work about?
SO: My work is about giving voice to those who don’t necessarily have the opportunity to be heard. I’ve always been in love with telling stories. Before photography, I studied writing and I love combining words and images to do this. This particular series is based on the Forgotten Australians, an incredible bunch of survivors I was fortunate enough to meet last year. In particular, it focuses on the story of the Neerkol orphanage, near Rockhampton, and the system of the day that was put in place. A system that ultimately failed many.

MM: WHEN did you realise you were in tune with the right side of your brain?
SO: I’ve known from very early on that the creative lifestyle was for me.  My parents have always really encouraged it and have been very supportive. Comparing myself to my brother helped to figure that out too, because we’re exact opposites. When my brother was playing sport and trying to explain science to me I was either playing music, painting, or had my head stuck in a book. I definitely lived in my own world!

MM: WHERE do you draw inspiration from?
SO: Real life. Normally the quiet, intimate moment or small conversation generally overlooked by society is what I find interesting. I think sometimes, the smallest of things can be very big and I like the idea of making the invisible, visible. I’m definitely drawn to the “underdog”, and to the older generations and the experiences they have to tell. I think we can learn a lot from these stories if only we’d stop to listen.

MM: WHY do you create?
SO: I don’t think I would know how to not create…with my documentary photography, I feel like I am lucky enough to be in a position where I can tell stories and maybe in some small way make my difference.

MM: HOW does the magic happen – creative process or candid creativity?
SO: There is definitely a creative process…and often, it’s long. I always work with a process journal, mapping ideas, progress, and reflections. There is always a lot of research beforehand, but when it comes to the actual shooting it’s mostly candid. Even if I go in with a plan of shots I never come out with what I thought. I think you have to be very versatile and willing to be candid so that you’re telling the story of the person and not pushing your preconceived ideas into the story.

MM: Plans for 2013?
SO: I’ll be undertaking my honours in Photojournalism at QCA, continuing my work with the Forgotten Australians, which I am really looking forward to. I also plan to be working on my side project more – Frankly Photography, which is my event business.

MM: So we can stay in the loop, what’s your dot com(s)?
SO: My documentary work can be seen at and event stuff over at

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