AIPP South Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year 2019

So this happened recently! I proudly and humbly accepted the trophy and title of 2019 AIPP South Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year with my folio of 4 documentary images that were photographed during various stages of surgical procedures by neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo. I feel so honoured to not only have witnessed it but to have been able to photographically document these procedures. Each of the 4 individual images received awards over 2 days of a rotating panel of 5 judges judging hundreds of prints, one by one. 

Thanks to Joanna and Richard Collins for making this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a reality. Thanks to Dr Charlie Teo for having me there and also thanks to my partner Deanne for allowing me to be there 😬


To the AIPP crew who put the SA awards on each year, you are the best. The AIPP council, both locally and nationally, the best. The volunteers, judges, entrants, viewers - you guys rock 👊 

Thanks to all the sponsors and particularly to Sony for sponsoring the Documentary category and especially to Epson for their continued support of the state awards over so many years. Thanks also to Malcolm from Marden senior college for providing the venue! 🙌

 
To everyone who helped me with my entry, thank you! You know who you are. I asked a lot of people for opinions and advice when selecting these images, but also throughout the preparation and printing phases too. Thanks for all your time and words of encouragement! 🖨 


Printing my own work was so liberating but scary as anything. These awards aren’t judged by digital image; a physical print is scrutinised in fine detail by 10 industry experienced eyes and if your printing is bad, you’re finished. Having the judges comment on print quality has given me confidence that it’s not brain surgery 👀

 
Congratulations to all the category winners and finalists and especially to Mark Zed for the overall win. You deserve it my friend, because not only is your work A-grade but you are undeniably a selfless and irreplaceable asset to the photographic community in Australia.

After removing a cyst from the brain, world renown neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo stitches each layer of flesh together with as much skill and care as he used to make the first incisions 2 hours prior.

After removing a cyst from the brain, world renown neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo stitches each layer of flesh together with as much skill and care as he used to make the first incisions 2 hours prior.

The tumour behind the patients eye took Dr Charlie Teo and his team 3 hours to remove. It was once the size of a golf ball but now drained of its source of blood, it’s only half the size.

The tumour behind the patients eye took Dr Charlie Teo and his team 3 hours to remove. It was once the size of a golf ball but now drained of its source of blood, it’s only half the size.

With just grunts and single words, Neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo communicates to the nurse, his second set of hands, who carefully places the requested tool in his hand. The video feed from the microscope is shown on 4 screens so the rest of the team can follow what’s happening.

With just grunts and single words, Neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo communicates to the nurse, his second set of hands, who carefully places the requested tool in his hand. The video feed from the microscope is shown on 4 screens so the rest of the team can follow what’s happening.

The patients head is clamped still with 3 spiked metal points for 3 hours while the golf-ball sized tumour is removed by world renown Neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo. After the final stich is tied, the clamp is removed and replaced with a cushioned head-rest moments before the patient regains consciousness.

The patients head is clamped still with 3 spiked metal points for 3 hours while the golf-ball sized tumour is removed by world renown Neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo. After the final stich is tied, the clamp is removed and replaced with a cushioned head-rest moments before the patient regains consciousness.

Australian Photography Awards 2018


I’m excited to be a 3 x finalist in the Australian Photography Awards in the Documentary category this year. The diverse finalist gallery consists of 50 photographs that’s really worth looking at.

I’m still in awe of what I witnessed a couple of months ago when I had the rare opportunity to photograph Dr Charlie Teo operating on 4 patients needing brain tumours and cysts removed. All 3 of my images are from this day.

Congratulations to all the other finalists and especially to David Dare Parker for taking out the category.

Check out the gallery here

Dr Charlie Teo performs life saving brain surgery.

Dr Charlie Teo performs life saving brain surgery.

After a couple of hours in surgery, the brain tumour behind the patients eye is finally removed by Dr Charlie Teo and his team. Originally around the size of a golf ball, the tumour now without a blood supply has shrunk.

After a couple of hours in surgery, the brain tumour behind the patients eye is finally removed by Dr Charlie Teo and his team. Originally around the size of a golf ball, the tumour now without a blood supply has shrunk.

These are the final stitches after each layer of flesh is stitched up following the removal of a brain tumour behind a patients eye. Dr Charlie Teo skilfully and confidently applies each stitch with as much care and precision that he took to make the first cuts at the beginning of the procedure.

These are the final stitches after each layer of flesh is stitched up following the removal of a brain tumour behind a patients eye. Dr Charlie Teo skilfully and confidently applies each stitch with as much care and precision that he took to make the first cuts at the beginning of the procedure.