Exciting new opportunities for Millgrove photographer

Suzanne Phoenix (middle) with Warburton photographer Heather Walker (left)and Ian Bickerstaff (right). Picture: CLAIRE MCFARLANE

By Callum Ludwig

Millgrove resident and photographer Suzanne Phoenix is set to be opening up to new opportunities as she explores full-time photography.

Recently, a short film on Ms Phoenix’s Millgrove Art Attack project was premiered at the Warburton Film Festival on 18 June 2022, which was a big success among residents who trued out in droves to see the projection event.

Ms Phoenix said she thinks it was a really powerful project that impacted lots of people from Millgrove.

“I am proud that the film actually captured it for eternity, we now have a lasting memory of that project,” she said.

“The project was quite ephemeral itself, but the documentary means that we have that recorded and those who couldn’t go can see what it was like.”

Ms Phoenix will take on her full-time role as a freelance photographer and artist from August this year, something she has been planning on doing since March 2020 after stunning work for International Women’s Day 2020 and shooting for the Golden Plains Music Festival.

Ms Phoenix said it is pretty exciting but daunting as well.

“It’s my life passion, and it’s amazing that I will be able to do it more and make a living from it,” she said.

“Back in 2020, I was almost there and was making plans to do that but covid hit and it all fell away as photography work stopped. Now things have just built up again, to the place where there’s quite a lot of photography work, but it’s just got to the point where it was time for a change and to focus and put my energy into this work.”

Ms Phoenix does photography for live music and performance, festivals and events, band shoots, portrait shoots, commissions for magazines and exhibitions, arts-based community development projects, photographic prints and limited edition self publications.

Ms Phoenix said her ultimate goal is to make a living as an artist while not losing the love of it.

“It’s a challenge to not kill the love of it, by turning it into work, which is probably my biggest fear,” she said.

“I will try not to lose my relationship with photography, and let it become just more work, but I will fight hard to keep that love.”

Ms Phoenix has recently photographed the Melbourne Reclink Community Cup, the Roe vs Wade rally in Melbourne on 2 July and has been travelling and capturing country Victoria to Seymour, Bendigo, Charlton, Ballarat and so many places in between like Boort and Minyip.

The small town Victoria tour part of a continuing project called A Long Story Retold, where Ms Phoenix is also looking into reaching out to people across Victoria whose lives are still yet to return to normal post-Covid.