The Contemporary Australian Family Photographic Project. Photograph © Dawne_Fahey_essay 2_5

Photograph © Dawne Fahey

Photographing the diversity of contemporary family life in Australia.



The aim of The Contemporary Australian Family Photographic Project is to photograph the typical Australian family, to make photographs that record the social-cultural landscape of contemporary family life (or relationships) in Australia today.

Participating photographers, photographed Australian families over a 12 month period. The results reflect the diverse range, nature and cultural aspects of family life and relationships found today in Australian families and society.

Family life and relationships include the nuclear family, single-parent, same-sex, blended families, no children families, adoptive families and/or no parent families. The exhibition includes  photographic portraits from a diverse range of cultures and indigenous families, and reflects on family life in the past.

The photographers, photographed self-identity within the family and the community. They also photographed the structure of the family, and the nature of relationships with their friends and colleagues.

Most importantly the photographs show that families and their circumstances vary significantly from each other.


An initial invitation was sent to the photographers who took part in the 2010 Magnum Photography Workshop in Fremantle, WA.
  • These environmental family portraits are made by emerging and established photographers across Australia. There are 30 photographers who produced a series of single portraits or mini photo essays of family life in each Australian state.
  • Where an Australian state was not represented by a Magnum photography workshop participant photographers from that state were invited to join the project.


Each participating photographer was be asked to spend 12 months in their state creating a new body of work depicting ‘contemporary family life in Australia’ as they see it. The project commenced in July 2010.
The photographs include both city and country “family life”.
Model release were obtained for all photographs made.
  • Prominent Australian photography professionals will curate the final selection of images for the exhibition and book publication. Each photographer and each state will be represented in these productions.
Each “family” photographed has the opportunity to write a brief narrative to accompany the images taken of them. Their narrative will be raw and unedited, to retain their copyright to their own personal family stories.
• An essay will be written to accompany the book publication.

The aim of this project is to create a significant body of photographs for:

an exhibition in 2012, that will then tour Australia.
• a book published by Momento
  • a multimedia presentation
An online Gallery of images and promotional material.


To be launched at the prominent Australian Photographic festival,  Foto Freo WA in 2012.
  • To feature in each Australian state.


All information in this document is Copyright © 2010 The Contemporary Australian Family Photographic Project and may not be reproduced or used without her express written permission.

All photographs remain the Copyright of the Photographers


Dawne Fahey

P.O. Box 7078
NSW 2100

p: +61 (0)421 858 191

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