AN ADVENTURER trekking around the Queensland outback with a dog, a camera in a 1979 Toyota Landcruiser without carrying a single dollar.
To some the whole scenario sounds crazy, but to Edwina "Eddy” Robertson it's a dream come true.
The 31-year-old bush photographer, who has been dubbed the "wander of the west”, is setting out on a 12-day "mini trip” which will see her visit 15 rural towns as a test run before she tackles her three-month Australia-wide trip.
In an attempt to bridge the gap between rural and suburban Australians, Eddy, will rely solely on the generosity of farmers throughout Queensland to help her along on her journey.
"I want to share stories from the bush with people in metropolitan areas. I'm trying in a way to close the disconnect between rural and metropolitan areas,” Eddy said.
"If I break down and it takes me four days to get a part, people will think 'oh, it would take me an hour if I lived in Brisbane' so it's just about showing what true life is like living in the bush.
"I think this is a great way to showcase these stories, to be in amongst these areas.”
Eddy will offer her services, as a rural family and wedding photographer, in exchange for accommodation, a meal and a full tank of fuel.
After they have provided her with the basics if people feel her services are worth more they can transfer money (at their discretion) into her account, which Eddy won't have access to until she heads back to her home base in Toowoomba.
"I thought it would be a great opportunity to go around Australia and take photos of rural families and landscapes,” she said.
"I'm going to offer my service on a basis of goodwill and offer it at no set price and try and get around doing it that way so it does give it a little bit of a twist.”
The bush photographer, who is keen to provide a service that otherwise wouldn't be readily available to rural people, admits she underestimated how much planning would actually be needed for a trip this scale.
"I wasn't naive but I hadn't really thought too much into it, it just seemed like I would get in a car and start driving but realistically it's quite logistical.
"There's a lot of work to make it work. I have a fulltime PA to make sure I get to the right spots each day and it's quite costly because I won't be working for three months.
"Not only is there a risk of trying to make it work but there is a lot of time and money to actually do something like this.”
Eddy's passion for rural towns and families stems from her own roots, having been raised as a sixth generation farmer on her family's cattle property in northern New South Wales.
Just like every other country kid, she attended boarding school, and rural Australia has always held a special place in her heart.
After leaving school, Eddy said she was "fascinated by the bright city lights” and headed to Sydney to study fashion design.
It took her six weeks to figure out what Circular Quay actually was and even longer to work out public transport.
In the end after what she describes as "three years of living at full throttle” Eddy made the move to Brisbane where she tried several different careers including.
Not settling for a job she didn't love, Eddy sat down to work out her perfect career.
She wanted flexibility, the option to travel, to be able to live wherever she pleased and if she was to have a family she wanted to be able to work a few days in a month.
And just like that Eddy decided she wanted to be a photographer.
Her new career offered her everything she wanted, so off she went, learning on the go, making mistakes and spending hours on end educating herself.
"Nothing came naturally or easy to me. I had to work my butt off, make many sacrifices and ride the ups and downs,” she said.
"In the second year I worked out that shooting country weddings was my thing. That was where my heart was always full and I was always happy.
"Edwina Robertson Photography has been the most fulfilling work of my life and six months ago, I started a family photography brand, Rural Tribe.
"I saw this niche market where rural families could have gorgeous candid images taken of them, on their own property. No fancy studios, no potplants, no blue jeans and white t-shirts.”
For Eddy it seems the older she gets the more connected she feels with her country roots and the more she wants to connect with the communities that live there, which is what has also pushed her to capture the photos and stories of rural people on her trip.
"I haven't heard of anyone who has done this before. I mean I have heard of people travelling and paying their way by their services but they've also got some spare money up their sleeves if anything goes wrong,” she said.
"I love the bush, the people who live and work there and although this project is really big and really scary for me, I cannot wait to give a little back to the people who give the rest of us so much.”
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