Danka Dear

My curiosity for photography first began when I gave birth to my beautiful girl, Natasha (Tash). I had a film camera I was using, and would eagerly try to capture all those precious moments of baby smiles, giggles, crawling, first steps and all the wonderful things babies do. I remember dropping the film off to be developed, and eagerly waiting to receive the 20 or so photos. When Tash was one year old, I got my first point and shoot digital camera and my curiosity grew. With amazement, I was now able to see my photos instantly, as well take hundreds too - this feeling was indescribable! It was time to have fun and experiment (although, not much experimenting in Auto mode could be done!). I knew I had to get a digital SLR, and started saving. During this time, I was also going through a difficult time with my health; weird sensations and unexplained pains, my balance was questionable at times, pins and needles, numbness everywhere and extreme fatigue. After much poking and prodding and an abundance of tests, a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) was given. I was alone when my neurologist told me to get ready for my life to change and that it would never be the same again. Those words didn't give me much hope. Gradually over time, I accepted the diagnosis and moved on with my life. I found that I was so much more grateful of everything, and started noticing the beauty in the simple things in life and nature. This is when my love and passion for photography developed. I eventually saved up for that DSLR and bought a Canon 450D. What fun that was! I forced myself to shoot in manual mode from the very first shot, and learnt as I photographed anything and everything. I now have a Canon 6D that I shoot with, and I still love to learn new things. Photography has really made me appreciate the good in life, the beauty and the wonder that surrounds us, and I want to capture as much of it as I can. It has brought adventures, challenges, passion, emotion and much happiness into my life, and I hope to share and convey some of that with my work, and with you!

* Achievements include:

- Published photos in an exclusive in TV Week

- Winning photo signed by Honorary President H.S.H Princess Stephanie of Monaco and included in a calendar, as well as an exhibition in Monaco by Federation Mondiale du Cirque

- Published photos in a circus glossary by Federation Mondiale du Cirque, with worldwide distribution

- Photos included in CD artwork by Australian musician/actor Sam Clark

- Winning photo included in local City of Greater Geelong Calendar, 2021

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