Photography and social change with The Middle East photographer Greta Carroll

Greta Carroll is an Australian-born taker of photos and writer of words, working in travel, fashion and documentary. She is currently based in the Middle East.



Why photography?

I first picked up an old SLR that had been lying around my parents’ house when I was about 8 years old. I loved the patience and process that came with film; I waited and waited but once the negatives were developed I could sit with a moment, a memory, a story frozen in my hand.

It wasn’t until a few years later, when I attended my first World Press Photo Exhibition, that I realised the social and political power an image could have on people. Since then, the two (photography and social change) for me have been inextricably intertwined.


What role does the photographer have in society?

For me, taking pictures is a vehicle for prompting people to think about the way they think about things – whether that be the environment, an issue, a country or a group of people.



What themes do you pursue? 

Life; nature, landscapes, people, travel.  


What other photographers have been inspirational to your work?

To name a few; Bruce DavidsonVivian MaerEd KashiSteve McCurryTomas-van-houtryveHenri Cartier-Bresson.. among many others.



What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

I suppose it depends on the subject matter, but ideally, I’d like people to question their preconceived ideas or established routines, to know that things may not always be as they seem.. Why do ideas such as religion, race, gender or sexuality allow for particular groups to be marginalised, persecuted or silenced? Why are some lives worth less than others? Why is it OK for humans to continue treating the earth the way we do?


When you’re shooting how much is planned and how much is instinctual? 

Personally shooting is an in the moment thing, so it’s all instinctual.


What advice would you give yourself if you started all over again? 

That everything is interconnected; where you are now is an accumulation of where you’ve been, and where you will end up will be shaped by where you are now… So listen to your instincts and follow your heart, board that plane and be present in what you’re experiencing at this moment, inevitably it’s all part of the journey. 



To see more go to and @greta_carroll


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