Photographic project captures the humans of Byron Bay

THEY come from all walks of life, but these Humans of Byron Bay are all connected through the lens of one talented local photographer.

Esa Lilly's Humans of Byron Bay Facebook page, modelled on the famous Humans of New York street photography project, was started in August last year and now features more than 200 portraits of locals and visitors to Byron Bay who Esa randomly meets on the street.

"I noticed the Humans of New York page and thought what a wonderful and positive message it sent," Esa said.

"It showcases people of all ages and cultures and each photo has a unique story attached."

While Esa has photography "in her blood" after growing up with a photographer father and having access to a darkroom, starting a photo-journalism project was daunting.

"I specialise in fashion, wedding and family photography," she said.

"Walking up to people on the street and asking to take their photo took me out of my comfort zone.

"I had some help in the beginning from a journalist friend who gave me tips on interviewing people.

"It has taught me a lot more about photography and my camera and I really enjoy meeting the people."

The photographs show a range of people, from those who visit to residents, in Byron Bay. Esa said the visual images provided a "feast for the eyes".

"I'm looking for a photographer to join the team," she said. The unpaid gig would suit someone who has a sound knowledge of photography and a passion for street photography. "It need only take a couple of hours a week and it could provide great exposure for them," she said.

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