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Falling into flowers

10 Dec 2019

Falling into flowers Image

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Neen Magro used to be a bookkeeper at a sheet metal company. Now, she photographs flowers underwater for a living.

A multi-award-winning photographer at Southbank’s Photography Studies College (PSC), Neen developed a love of photography after meeting her second husband in her 40s.

“As part of his courtship, he bought me flowers that I didn’t want to die, so I photographed them, which turned into a career of taking photos,” she said.

Her latest exhibition titled Fall Into Me features large multiple exposure images of flowers floating in her swimming pool.

“My husband told me to ‘fall into me’ - to trust him in where we’re going in our relationship - so that’s the name of my folio,” she said.

“It’s very feminine and it’s about believing and trusting in men, which I know is sometimes hard in this day and age.”

A two-time silver medal winner at the Victorian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), Neen also won silver at the Australian division too.

But she said she hadn’t always been an avid photographer.

Neen began her career as a bookkeeper at her first husband’s concreting business helping him understand how GST worked, eventually growing the business to employ many more people.

From there, she found another job bookkeeping at a sheet metal company for 10 years.

After another successful venture running Lost and Found bar in Kensington with her second husband, Neen decided to study the advanced diploma of photography in 2016.

“Over the past four years I’ve made some really great friends – it really pushes you to be creative,” she said

“I did try photographing weddings and rock concerts, but then I tried photographing flowers and realised how easy they were to shoot.”

Neen said photographers Isabelle Neenan, Ysabel LeMay and Margriet Smulders - three middle-aged women her age who have also had other careers apart from photography – provided her with inspiration.

“They’ve all changed in their later life to do something different,” she said.

Although Neen has had a lot of people tell her how “lovely” the photos in her recent exhibition are, she said she hoped to sell more of them.

“My idea is to contact interior designers because my art is classified ‘over the couch art,’” she said.

“It’s for interior designers who may want to brighten up a lounge room.”

Neen said she planned on going back to study the bachelor of photography at PSC next year.

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