PHOTOGRAPHING HISTORY


Most people don't realise that jobs for full time photographers exist in the military.


Jake or Lee-Anne didn't even know.


Lee-Anne joined the Navy when she was only 18 years old, and wanted to do something creative in her career but had no idea that there was an option available to her like that in the Navy. In 2003 she found out that she could be photographer and still be in the military, so she dedicated the next six years of her life trying to get into the specialist nine-month long course which is run out of the RAAF base in Sale, Victoria.


It took Jake several years to get into the course as well, and he has only been a fully fledged imagery specialist for six months.


Their roles take them all over the country and further abroad to document the role that the defence forces play in current conflicts and disasters.

Recently, Jake and Lee-Anne travelled to central Queensland to document the joint military exercise Talisman Sabre. Over 28,000 troops from the Australian and US defence forces took part in the month long event.


Like most things to do with war and the military, the exercise wasn't without controversy. Activists protested against Talisman Sabre near the Shoalwater Bay training venue because they believe the event causes damage to the environment.


But as imagery specialists, Jake and Lee-Anne believe that their role is to record history as it is taking place, not to make judgements.


Both photographers have a unique insight into how to capture these events, because they have both been deployed to places like Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and East Timor when they were working in different roles within the defence forces.


Originally published on ABC Open and screened on ABC News 24.

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