Through the lens: Photographer’s life on rural station
AFTER working and living on a rural sheep station, a Bundaberg woman has started her own photography business.
Former NewsMail journalist, Tahlia Stehbens and her partner, Jordan Facer recently returned to Bundaberg, after working at Polpah and Goodwood Stations in NSW, for the last six months.
The pair would drive 45 minutes each way every day, where Ms Stehbens would work as a governess and assist children with their school work.
"Station life was incredibly humbling and also very freeing," she said.
"The people were very accepting and welcoming, but when you live and work over a collective 150,000 acres you don't tend to bump into too many people.
"We also had a donkey hot water system, which meant every afternoon we had to light a fire to warm the water for our showers and boil hot water to wash the dishes."
Outside of work hours, the couple would ride motorbikes, build makeshift sheep yards for the kids to play in and feed baby lambs.
Despite adapting to major changes, Ms Stehbens said the experience was life-changing.
"As a vegetarian, it was challenging to know I was aiding in sending hundreds of wild goats to their deaths, but it was also incredibly eye opening to learn about large scale mustering and what impacts different animals have on those landscapes," Ms Stehbens said.
And with the station seeing no rain since April last year, being exposed to the harsh realities of drought left a significant impact too.
"Dams got so low that sheep started getting bogged in the mud where the water had dropped, and we had to start doing daily dam checks to make sure sheep weren't stuck," Ms Stehbens said.
"When times are tough like that there is death, and that's just the reality of it all … either sheep can't get water or lambs can't keep up with the mob."
Now back in Bundy, the qualified photojournalist has started her own business and the passionate photographer is offering photoshoots to families, couples, expectant mothers and pets, to capture authentic and raw moments.
"I was able to create a lot of visual content out on the station, and coming back I really wanted to continue challenging myself creatively with my camera," Ms Stehbens said.
"I am actually most excited about the potential of documenting child birth (because) those moments are so real and full of emotion, and it would be a privilege to capture that for a family."
For more information, visit cambiophotos.com.