Speaking with Bronte Goddensmith, by Brooke / by Brooke Tunbridge

I’m sure many of you have been admiring the photos that occupy the centrefold of each month’s issue, courtesy of a photographer who goes by the name Lazy Bones. It’s time you got to know a little more about the Novocastrian behind the lens.

 

Brontë Goddensmith first picked up a camera when she was around 10 years old. ‘My mum took a lot of beautiful pictures when we lived in Europe,’ Brontë explained, aiming to create in her own work the moodiness that showed itself in her mother’s photographs. From there, Brontë was constantly purchasing disposable cameras until a friend asked her to take photos at their wedding. ‘I was 16 at the time, so I bought a shit SLR and sailed into the wind or something.’

 

Brontë grew up in Maitland, moving to Newcastle when she was 18, confessing to living on burnt toasties. Now 22 years old, Brontë can be found around Newcastle photographing bands and documenting people. Brontë also makes up half of Holdtight Photographic Services, the other half being her sister Taire (who, funnily enough, recently shot my sister’s wedding – small town, right?). She thanked the ‘lateral thinking’ of her ‘heaps good mum’ for the fact that she and her sister are creatively inclined.

 Talking about working with her sister, I expected there to be confessions of disagreements, but Brontë said nothing but nice words. ‘Taire is one of those people who just churns out good-looking things, is much more organised than me and is an ideas hero.’ Brontë noted their similarities; they’re both deeply driven by aesthetics in their work. ‘We are also both moved by the tiny victories that are human beings, and that centres our work a lot.’ She describes their business as a perfect situation, with Taire’s patience and ‘almost flawed level of grace’ allowing them to always be amicable.

 As Brontë revealed her passions and the reasons she chose photography as a creative outlet, she explained she is ‘interested in creating, being a part of and photographing spaces free from hierarchies and that are promoting positive change’, her favourite thing to photograph being ‘hyper-real nostalgia and people with self-determination and big hearts that ooze into cameras’.  

After being judged by ‘a lot of capitalist people’ for not having a ‘job’ (as she thinks happens with far too many millennial self-starter types), Brontë embraced it, naming herself Lazy Bones. ‘It’s kind of a “Fuck you, I’ll be the lazy bones I always wanted to be”, and I am very grateful for my five-day weekend.’

 Brontë began contributing her incredible shots to Newcastle Mirage after meeting Ryan Williams while photographing him (with NTL Landmarks) and William John Jr. at Sancho's in Canberra one weekend: ‘I guess he liked how I took his mug!’ Keeping on the trail of Newcastle, Brontë added her thoughts on ‘everyone being hilarious in Newy’. As for what else she loves about our town, she adds activist space The Swamp, Spennos and her own house to the list (‘Is it lame to say that?’).

Looking to the future, Brontë hopes to meet new people and pursue more documentary work. ‘Collaborating with people who make stuff excites me,’ she added. Brontë’s big dream: ‘To be able to eat and sleep and travel and photograph things people haven’t seen before.’