Entry Title: "Ya'el"
Name: Vanessa Bertagnole , Australia
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story, Non-Professional


Entry Description: Ya’el is a friend of mine living in Sydney who graciously agreed to let me document her for a week. Around the time I shot this series, the National Disability Insurance Scheme was passed through federal parliament. The scheme will ensure that all Australians living with a disability are provided greater opportunity to exercise control in how they wish to live their lives.

About the Artist:

Vanessa Bertagnole, 1983, United States, is a freelance photographer who currently resides in Australia. After completing a Masters degree in Visual Culture Research from the Australian National University in 2011, Bertagnole relocated from Canberra to Brisbane where she is based with her husband. When she is not taking photographs, Bertagnole works as an arts consultant for remote Aboriginal art centres. Bertagnole's passion for photography began ten years ago when she inherited her grandfather's old Canon AE-1 SLR film camera. She has been taking photographs ever since, although has since embraced digital technology. She chooses to document people in a photojournalistic style that conveys people's personalities, culture and lifestyles. For Bertagnole, photography is a means of self-expression as well as story-telling. Her curiosity is the impetus for exploring new places with her camera and challenging herself to dig deeper to locate the stories that are not so obvious. Longer-term personal projects focus on cross-cultural issues and the ways in which cultural and social identities are expressed in everyday remote and rural community life.