Day 3: Sam

Sam has always loved taking photos. Someone gave him a camera when he was 10 years old and he never looked back. Sam shares how he has stayed connected to his community through his photography.
Day 3: Sam thumbnail.

Hand written text on a sheet of white paper.

Story by Sam Chapman

My name is Sam and I am 20 years old.

I have been taking photos since I was a little boy. 

I like taking photos of nature.

I like taking photos down at the coast where my grandma Sue lives.

In Mallacoota her house burned down so I didn’t go there last year.

Also, the coronavirus meant we couldn’t visit too.

I started taking photos of my regular activities and have become the official photographer for Lucy’s Café and Science Alliance. 

I like taking photos of my friends.

I like taking photos of the food in Lucy’s Café and the science stuff.

I like taking photos of my life and I would like to have another exhibition of my photos.

A close up shot of some brown gumnuts.
Gumnuts on a tree in Mallacoota.
A clear glass with smoke coming out of the top.
A science experiment in action.
A woman is holding a small handmade rocket to the camera.
Rocket science!
A photo of the ocean and the sky with clouds.
Mallacoota reflections.
A young man with Down syndrome looks at the camera and is holding a bottle.
Max shows vapour in the rocket bottle.
A group of 3 people wait at a table for their lunch to arrive.
Lucy, Mark and Ursula wait for lunch.

Biography of a young photographer by Liz Milbourne

Sam has always loved taking photographs. Someone gave him a small camera when he was about 10 years old and he never looked back. That camera eventually fell in the sand and stopped focussing properly, but that didn’t deter him. He was hooked. We eventually found a photography mentor for him and she introduced him to much better cameras and the concepts of lighting. This involved evening photography sessions by the lake taking shots of sunsets when the light was perfect. 

When he was starting high school, a friend put together a photography show in a popular local café and invited Sam to join them and exhibit a few of his photos. Sam was thrilled and every shot was a new candidate for “the exhibition”. The exhibition “As I See It” was a success – as much with the café  patrons as with Sam, and exhibitions continued annually for the next five years with Sam exhibiting at first with several other artists and over the years, evolving into a solo exhibition of Sam’s work. 

Sam’s photography has matured over these six years, as has his self confidence. He is shy by nature, preferring to be behind a camera rather than in the limelight. However, at the opening of his last exhibition in 2019, he gave a lovely impromptu speech, thanking everyone involved in putting the exhibition together. Unfortunately, the exhibition planned for 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, his talent has started to be recognised and this has resulted in him becoming the official photographer for a number of his regular activities including Lucy’s Cafe and Science Alliance. These have led to a few paid jobs which he has taken very seriously. 

As the photographer for Science Alliance, he takes photos of the experiments as well as the other young scientists. At Lucy’s Café, his main interest is seeing his friends, but he is proving himself to be a handy food photographer. 

Through photography Sam is overcoming his shyness and connecting with those around him.

A young man with Down syndrome is taking a photo of a young woman with Down syndrome sitting at a table.