boy with red hair standing against deep green forrest looking at the camera with his sunburnt skin


So here’s how it happened-

On a hot summer’s day while camping with my little family, I was struck by the boy across the campsite from us. His flaming fabulously cut red hair and burned-hot red skin reached me from across the way.

I thought to myself ‘he would make a great shot for the National Photographic Portrait Prize but I’m too scared to ask him’.

So I just sat there staring at him from a distance talking myself out of it. I was thinking, even if I did take his portrait I don’t like the t-shirt he is wearing anyway, he would have to change it, but I think it would be weird for me to ask him to change his clothes, being a complete stranger.

Then in a split second, he disappeared from my sight….

A couple minutes later he emerged from his caravan wearing a beautiful collared, botanical print shirt, and I thought, well if that’s not the universe serving me an opportunity I don’t know what is!

Go over there Grace, as nervous as you are , just bloody do it! I pushed myself.

So I courageously walked over to the nearest adult in his campsite, adrenalin pumping, I asked who the red haired boy belongs to can I speak to his parents. I was so nervous, adrenalin pumping through my system as if I was about to jump out of a plane. I spoke to the boy’s father and he excitedly gave me permission to photograph his son. I spend 10 minutes with Zac and this is the result, a finalist position in the most prestigious photo prize in the nation!

My message and lesson from this interaction to any other photographers. Feel the fear and do it anyway!!

To read the article featured in The Weekend Australian click here

You can now vote for The People’s Choice Award in the NPPP 20203 use this link to vote for Portrait of Zachary by Grace Costa

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