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Camera on Heels

Saturday, 7th September, 2019

An image captured by Robert for his Behind the Scenes exhibition. An image captured by Robert for his Behind the Scenes exhibition.

By Emily McInerney

Photographer Robert Knapman will be travelling to the city for the Broken Heel Festival to take portrait photos for a project called ‘Behind the Scenes’.

It’s a fly-on-the-wall black and white photography project looking at the contemporary lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ) people.

The project began and was originally exhibited in Adelaide during the 2016 LGBTIQ Feast Festival.

After the popularity of the Adelaide exhibition, Robert decided to branch out to country areas.

“Broken Hill will be the launching point,” he said. 

“I’d love to take the project to other regional centres as well. 

“I’m starting with Broken Hill because I know and love it. It also makes sense to start here since Broken Hill is opening its arms to the Heel Festival and I’d really like to honour that. 

“I’ve been the photographer for the festival for a couple of years which has been sensational. 

“This year I’m looking forward to taking portraits of locals for this project.

“I’ve always been so busy with the Heel Festival, I haven’t had much time to capture anything else.”

Robert will be coming to the festival with the Planet Dwellers; an LGBTIQ travel company. 

“I’ll be taking photos of the Planet Dwellers and their trip, however, this won’t be as full-on as capturing the festival and that’ll be nice. 

“This means I’ll really be able to focus more on the ‘Behind the Scenes’ project.

“I’d like to meet with anyone interested in being photographed for this project. 

“I’m keen to set up some meetings when I’m there and plan for some shoots, and also take some shots while I’m there. 

“I’ll also be back for more portrait shoots before the end of the year.”

The project aims to promote visibility and understanding of different LGBTIQ+ experiences and perspectives, Robert said.

“I’ve had a couple of people put their hands up in Broken Hill, which is brilliant, as well as some people I already know there. I’d love to involve up to 12 or 15 people ideally.

“’Behind the Scenes’ isn’t like a posed studio photoshoot. 

“It’s much more about connecting with and photographically documenting people in their day-to-day lives. 

“For example, some photos included in my Adelaide project involved a non-typical family playing in a park at sunset, a trans man meditating at the beach before a storm, and a young lesbian couple drinking coffee in the car in the rain.

“It’s a project exploring the difference between the way we show ourselves to the world and the more private moments which are away from the public gaze (or behind the scenes). It’s about exploring authentic human experiences. 

“People who are part of this Rainbow Community are extraordinary. 

Anyone interested in featuring in Robert’s project may email him on robjaykay@gmail.com or visit his Facebook page ‘Behind the Scenes - LGBTIQ+ Photography project’.

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