Fiona Lake - Professional Photographer & Writer
I'm a rural and agricultural photographer who specialises in taking photographs of the largest cattle stations on the planet. I love the dry humour and practicality of rural residents, seeing skilled work underway, the prolific wildlife, beautiful landscapes and the dramatic climate. Outback cattle stations are just as fascinating and inspiring now as the day I started working on one, in 1984.
In addition to producing outback books, magazine stories, commercial images, and limited edition art prints, I run unique rural workshops and lead farm tours. For information on the upcoming Ireland & United Kingdom 'Paddock to Plate' farm tour, visit the Farm Tour page.
I dreamed about making books while sitting on the school bus passing neighbouring farms, on the way to primary school.
To date I've produced 3 books that feature more than 800 of the best photos I've taken on more than 60 of Australia's largest cattle stations, spread across the top half of Australia. I can personally sign copies for you. Some of the photos in the books can be seen in the website header (above); and the cover of the latest book is below. Thousands of these books have been sent worldwide, and many book buyers have generously taken the time to send me email messages saying what they think. Some of these fabulous messages can be seen on the Testimonials page.
I love hearing other people's stories - so if you'd like to, please don't forget to tell me a bit about yourself when you order.
Some career highlights to date:
- One of the few artists to have had an exhibition opened by an Australian Governor General
- An ABC Television 'Landline' feature
- The first Australian appointed to the 3 person panel judging the International Federation of Agricultural Journalist's 'Star Prize for Photography' (photos entered from more than 30 countries)
- 2016 - Qld RIRDC 'Rural Women's Award' finalist, and my photo called 'Biggest Mobs - Longest Shadows' was a Head On Photo Festival finalist (& featured in the Weekend Australian magazine)
- 2017 - Qld Rural Press Club 'Social Media' award winner
Other milestones/some history:
- 2017 - Obtained CASA's Remote Pilot Licence (now a licenced drone (UAV) operator). I've been taking aerial photographs since 1988; and love the freedom of drone photography.
- 2013 - First worked on a farm tour (taking photos in Ireland & the UK for Quadrant Australia; & produced a personal tour book for the passengers)
- 2011 - The National Library of Australia included my website in 'Pandora', an ongoing project which records websites deemed to be of cultural significance, in perpetuity
- 2009 & 2015 - Published second & third outback cattle station books
- 2005 - First book published, featuring photos of Australia's largest outback cattle stations (I first approached book publishers in 1986)
- 1999 - First solo art exhibition (Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast)
- 1993 - Wrote & photographed first national magazine story
- 1992 - Produced first postcards featuring cattle station photos (& sold them across northern outback Australia)
- 1988 - Started taking photos from the air (as well as from horseback)
- 1986 - Commenced working on a book of outback cattle station photos
- 1982 - Started selling photos
- Early 70s - Started taking photos on the farm I grew up on.
About this website (& how do you find what you're looking for?)
- This website broke new ground when it was created back in 2003 and it's a venerable antique, in online terms. Not long ago but back then, very few rural businesses had websites; Facebook, Youtube and Google Translate hadn't been invented; and blogs were still relatively new (and uncommon). The website is now a behemoth, with a truckload of information squirrelled away on more than 500 website and blog pages on remote Australian life, working on cattle stations and visiting the Australian outback - as well as comments on topical issues.
- Please use the sitemap and view the blog categories if you are having trouble finding what you are looking for.
- One of my favourite sections is the pages of translations for agricultural words and expressions in other languages. These 'ag translation' summaries are unique and collating all this information took many weeks of research.
- Now there's also a lot of information on agriculture and Australian cattle stations included in my social media accounts. Particularly on Twitter; which is where many of my mobile phone travel photos and short videos end up.
Australia's largest outback cattle stations - in summary:
These vast outback stations (ranches) are spread right across the top half of the Australian continent - a sparsely settled remote region measuring more than 3,000km north to south and more than 3,500km from east to west.
Quite a few Australian cattle stations are more than 10,000 square kilometres (3,860 square miles) in size and run more than 20,000 cattle in average seasons. Several now run more than 100,000 cattle. Yet most northern outback stations still rely on stockhorses for walking mobs and on many, stockcamps are still usual for at least part of the year.
Many of the scenes and activities that I have taken photographs of over more than thirty years no longer exist. When I began, digital photography and social media did not exist. People in remote areas would have laughed if you told them one day they'd have television and internet services provided by satellite. I have seen a lot of changes and what I do is unique - worldwide. These are topics I'm sometimes asked to cover in workshops & other public speaking engagements.
Social Media Accounts:
- @Twitter - @FionaLakeAus - for agricultural & rural conversations
- @Twitter - @Agri_Events - for promoting global agricultural events, rural grants/awards, farming education etc.
And less frequently used accounts:
Sometimes, I'm roaming around the countryside:
- As this is a one-person business you receive personal service - but the office is closed when I'm travelling.
- This blog page lists the dates when the office will be closed and regions/events I am attending.
- Don't hesitate to contact me (details below) if you have any queries regarding my outback books, cattle station photos, Australian greeting cards; commission work, photography workshops or farm tours.