A recent interstate import into Kalgoorlie-Boulder is continuing her quest to give an insight into the private lives of everyday people through an ongoing photography project.
Originally from Sydney, photographer Margaret Ellen Burns said she started her 1000 Bedrooms project about eight years ago as a small-scale portrait series, which quickly turned into something bigger.
“I just had an idea that I wanted to capture people in an intimate space rather than imposing a scene on them,” she said.
“Everyone is really different and I try to capture those differences instead of making everyone look the same … I try and respond to what they give me.
“It’s more about their character and their reaction to having a stranger in their space.”
Ms Burns set an initial goal of 20 shots, which later grew to 1000, a target the photographer says she hopes to keep working towards while she is living in the Goldfields.
“I am almost halfway and I am hoping to get maybe 100 in Kalgoorlie,” she said.
“I have done portraits in Bosnia, Croatia, Iran, London and one in Vanuatu but it’s not always that easy and you really need to spend time in an area to get into it.”
The series is primarily shot with black-and-white analogue film, with Ms Burns saying some moments simply could not be captured by a digital camera.
“I love using film for portraits,” she said. “It’s not instant, so your interaction with the person isn’t about showing them the picture.
“When the light that touches the person also touches the film and then creates a physical trace of the experience.
“I feel that’s such an important part of my work, making it a tangible experience.”
Ms Burns said she felt humbled that people trusted her to photograph them in their private spaces and hoped to immortalise their portraits in a book once the project was complete.
Anyone interested in having their photo taken for the project should get in touch with Ms Burns by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her Facebook page called Margaret Ellen Burns Photography.