photographer hilary walker on working from home
When she’s not on the job, Hilary finds plenty of inspiration in her neighbourhood.
Tell us about the area where you live, and how it affects your photography. I live in Melbourne's north with my husband Ben and our four-year-old, Sonny. The area we live in has a very 1980s suburban look: lots of small orange-brick houses with roller shutters and manicured lawns. Sometimes I look at it and feel depressed, but when the light is right, I find it really charming. I love capturing the care that elderly people around here put into their neat homes.
What inspires you when you're not working? I really like to photograph other people's front yards. I love the colours of bricks and weatherboards at the right time of day; the hard lines of low-rise buildings against horizons and clouds; and the abundant space in the sky that you only get in the suburbs. I definitely find beauty in the mundane, and have been drawn to the odd things people do with their homes for a long time. Most of my personal photography over the past few years has been documenting things as I find them – exploring neighbourhoods overseas or locally.
These snaps have a lovely, soothing vibe. How did you find your personal aesthetic? If you're a beginner photographer still finding your style, I think you just have to shoot a lot and see what you're drawn to, and what emerges from that. I began shooting heavily styled work at uni, then for book covers. I've really gone the other way over time; now I'm drawn towards documenting real life. But there are still similar themes within the work and within me. I've always loved moody scenes, odd moments or poses, and muted tones.
How did you find working on the MSI Creator 17 laptop? I was surprised by how light it was. This is a big bonus for me, as I carry my laptop on my back to get to shoots. I have a lot of heavy gear to carry, so anywhere I can shed a kilo or so is great. I like the matte finish on the keyboard, too – it feels really nice. And the MSI screen is amazing. I really notice the colours and the clarity in comparison to my desktop. My images look much slicker than usual.
How does working from home affect your creativity? During social isolation, my creative energy has increased, and I began a series documenting mothers and their children in their front yards. I've also been going for lots of walks around home lately and getting really excited by things I find. You just have to look harder, and always stay somewhat in holiday mode.
MSI's new 17-inch Creator 17 laptop is designed for creative types like you. It has Mini LED tech for true-to-life colour, speedy charging for mobile devices, face or fingerprint sign-in, and a Creator Center for super-fast multi-tasking. Sounds pretty rad to us. For more, head to au.msi.com.