The big picture

Living Well | Words: Sue Hewitt | Photos: Bodhi Bailey | Posted on 27 March 2019

Melbourne train stations host giant outdoor photography exhibition.

Thieves stole more than a camera from a young Melbourne hospitality worker – they stole his passion.

Bodhi Bailey had saved for years to buy a vintage Japanese film camera and the 24-year-old was devastated when it was taken. “My heart went with it,” he says.

The camera wasn’t insured and Bodhi couldn’t afford to buy another Mamiya 645 camera. His budding photographic career seemed over until RACV staff heard of his plight. They tracked down the same model of the missing 43-year-old camera and gave it to Bodhi along with a RACV Single Item Insurance policy, just in case.

country house with yellowing paddocks and trees

 

As well as giving him back his passion, RACV organised to take him on a photographic road trip around the state to shoot work for an exhibition, Taken in Victoria. 

It’s probably the biggest outdoor photographic exhibition ever staged in Victoria, with almost 40 billboards at train stations and images on buses, along with 300 street posters. 

Bodhi took more than 450 photographs on the three-day road trip across the state.

“We were driving along and I’d be asking to pull over every few minutes because I’d see something I liked,” he says. “In this series I looked for things that seemed out of place, like plastic chairs in the sand at Altona beach.”

I love the romance of film, the idea of capturing a snippet of time with no second chances.

He says the trip was draining but worth the effort. “This is just surreal to have people notice my work and recognise my talent,” he says. 

Bodhi learnt camera and film developing skills at Camberwell High School.

“I started out as a little grommet taking digital [pictures] of skating, but fell in love with film,” he says. “I love the romance of film, the idea of capturing a snippet of time with no second chances.”

tram or train carriage with green seats and timber panelling
yellowing hills with pale blue sky
old red truck with corrugated iron shed

Bodhi enrolled in a tertiary photography course at Melbourne’s Photography Studies College and worked as a kitchenhand to save $1400 for his dream camera.

“The camera was made in 1976; it was a relic, almost as old as my mum,” he says.

“The camera was a large investment and wasn’t insured so my dreams of being a photographer died when it was stolen from the boot of the car.” 

It’s safe to say he won’t be taking any chances with the replacement camera.

The cover

Stacey Maher, RACV home insurance general manager, explains that RACV Single Item Insurance with optional extras allows people to insure one or multiple items starting at $2.06 per month for musical instruments, up to $4.03 per month for cameras and $8.40 per month for mobile phones, with options to pay weekly, monthly or yearly. 

“It could be a one-of-a-kind handcrafted surfboard or an heirloom necklace you’ve had since you were a kid,” she says.

NOW SHOWING

Bodhi’s work will be displayed at these train stations: 

Oakleigh: Until 14 April  

Malvern: 15 April to 12 May  

Mentone: Until 14 April  

Hawthorn: 13 May to 9 June  

South Yarra: 13 May to 9 June 

North Melbourne: 10 June to 30 June  

Watergardens: Until 14 April


RACV Single Item Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFS Licence No. 227681. RACV Single Item Insurance is distributed to members of Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) Ltd, by RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd ABN 74 004 131 800 AFS Licence No. 230039. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying. For a copy call 13 RACV (13 7228) or visit racv.com.au.