The regional Queensland city of Cairns ‘punched above its weight’ at the 2019 APPAs, with two local partners in photography, Peter Rossi and Charmaine Heyer collecting national titles.
Peter and Charmaine own the Highlights Photography photographic studio in Cairns, and describe themselves as photographic storytellers.
Charmaine, who took out the 2019 Illustrative Photographer of the Year award, says she finds inspiration everywhere.
‘One of my images started with a fun red hat I purchased at a vintage place in Cairns while another of my portraits was of Freda, a lady I met at our local fruit market.
‘I had no idea when I met Freda how I would photograph her, but I knew it would be a powerful image.
‘After talking with her, I wanted to tell her story and show how she had turned her life around,’ she explained.
Peter Rossi, who was named 2019 Creative Photographer of the Year, also incorporates powerful stories into his images.
One of his photographs, ‘Standing Strong’, is of Leigh, an indigenous artist he met at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.
‘I felt a connection and a strength from Leigh and wanted to capture that strength for a future audience to appreciate.
Another of Peter’s photographs, ‘In the Dark’, is an emotive portrait of his father.
‘I’m very proud of this image of my father. Dad is totally blind, and I wanted to let people into his world, a world surrounded by darkness.
The couple say they make creative art pieces for their clients that reflect their clients’ individuality and lifestyle.
‘We create images for our clients that are new and unique; something they can’t yet imagine,’ said Charmaine.
Peter Rossie and Charmain Heyer are also Grand Master photographers with the AIPP.