When winter wraps Australia in a cool embrace, many dream of escaping to warmer horizons. For rural photographer, Rachael Lenehan was one of them and this year, her winter journey took her from the rustic beauty of the Australian outback to the shimmering seas of Italy.

In this exclusive interview, we delve into Rachael's passion for photography, her diverse daily routine and her deep connection to regional Australia.

Join us as we explore her love for storytelling through the lens, her adventures in the world of wool, and her unforgettable Italian escapade, all while gaining valuable insights into her creative journey and travel essentials.

Rachael Lenehan Photographer INTACT interview

ow did you get into photography and what do you love about life behind the lens?

I have always loved a good photograph its hard to explain but I was always drawn to photography as opposed to say painting and so one day I decided to do something about it and I enrolled in a Diploma of Photography. What I really love about life behind the lens is telling peoples stories and helping them get their passion projects off the ground in a creative capacity, I get to meet so many people doing really incredible things and its really a bit of an honour when I am asked to photograph them.

What does a day in the life of photographer Rach look like?

A day in my life is always different and no day is the same, I love to start the day with a coffee and check emails and get on top of my admin and then from there I could either be packing to get ready for a photoshoot or I could be having a day on the farm or I could be editing in the studio for the day or trying to do all of that in one day. I love the variety in my life, it keeps things really interesting.

rachael lenehan INTACT merino wool dress

Your work captures a beautiful cross section of life in regional Australia, why is life in the regions so great?

There’s nothing better than living in regional Aus, we have this incredible landscape filled with fabulous people doing really incredible projects, I think that gap has closed where once upon a time you had to live in the city to have a career, what people are able to achieve in the bush these days is brilliant and thats what I love to capture the most.

What advice would you give to others wanting to start a creative venture? 

I think if you were thinking about starting a creative venture I would say take it slow and have a plan, the best business’s are built on solid foundations and its all very well to be good at something but you have to know how to run a business, from there and certainly in my case with the camera it was practise, practise and a lot more practise, the best lessons come from making mistakes. Keep at it. I’m still learning and I always will be learning, you have to back yourself and don’t give up.

Rachael lenehan photography INTACT

You’re an enthusiastic supporter of the Australian wool industry (we love your sheep snaps), tell us about your connection to wool and why you love it?

I grew up on a farm that ran Merinos so I guess Merinos and wool is something that has always been around me. I think it wasn’t until my later twenties where I really came to understand and love wool. I love that the world has become very focused on sustainable fashion and right from the start all along there was wool. To own wool garments is timeless. I am also an absolute livestock lover so I truly do love running sheep on the farm, I adore my girls.

You love to travel, what drew you to Italy for your winter escape?

I love to travel, I well and truly have the travel bug, you don’t have to twist my arm to get me on a plane somewhere. I chose to go back to Italy this year as I had the opportunity to travel with friends and Italy has everything you need beaches, food, architecture and lots of photo opportunities for a photographer…and aperol!!!!

rachael lenehan photography

What’s been the highlight/s? Share with us your top must: see / eat / do

Sardinia was really special the beaches were incredible and it was quite relaxing sort of not as hectic as you might think, I felt like we were travelling where the Italians holiday.

If you're in Sardinia you must spend as much time on a boat as you can, we had the most glorious day in Cala Ganone when we took a boat out on our own for the day, we literally just floated up the coastline swimming and reading books absolute bliss.

In addition to Sardinia some of the other standouts were swimming with swans in Lake Como, a long boozy lunch at Torre Aurora in Monterosso, if your in Milan the pastries at Pave are brilliant and the Armani museum is fantastic, swing by La Double J for a look also its the most beautiful shop!!! And swim swim swim we had a rule that we had to swim every day!!!

rachael lenehan photography intact merino wool dress

You’re on the road quite a bit locally, but also most recently with your travel abroad,  what are some of your non-negotiables to help keep life INTACT? 

Travel has become a very large part of my life, when I am on the road its always important to me to have the following: a battery operated air compressor and jump starter, a water bottle and a good pair of wool socks!!

I hate being cold so I always take my Lindner wool socks with me in case I have to stay somewhere that is cold, during the winter there is always wool jumpers in my bag as well as wool mittens and a headband.

If I'm travelling for fun I never leave home without heaps of dresses and a good red lipstick.

Lastly, what are the words you live by?

'She believed she could, so she did’ by RG Grey and I love the saying ‘Dream, Believe, Create, Succeed’ 

rachael lenehan photography
November 14, 2023