November 9, 2020

A collaborative inspiration

By: Natalie Finney

Living in the digital age as a photographic artist is a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one handy little device. It’s so easy to get lost in a social media time warp. Inattentively scrolling past image after image, not stopping to actually absorb the work, all the while mindlessly feeding an unhealthy dose of self-comparison. We’ve all been there at some point, haven’t we? We have been around long enough now to fully understand the increased anxiety that social media can cause.


But it’s not all bad out there! There is another side to social media that has increasingly positive impacts to those yearning to expand their body of work and explore alternative ideas and techniques. The rise of social media enables us to connect with other artists from across the globe that, was it 10 or 20 years earlier, we may well never have crossed paths. Recently I had one such experience like this which warmed my heart to social media once again.


A while back, I was introduced to Jackie Greenaway, a fine art portrait photographer based out of Vancouver, Canada. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I think it is a safe bet to say I was unlikely to cross paths with Jackie’s work pre-social media days. Lucky for me, a mutual online acquaintance happened to introduce us to each other. After studying much of her work online, I pretty quickly became totally enamoured with so much of it. Words that came to mind when scrolling through her portfolio … Ethereal. Creatively gifted. Emotive. Unmistakable. Inspiring.

So, I reached out to her a little while ago and asked if she would be interested in creating a collaborative project together. The idea was that we would both spend some time taking in each other’s portfolios and selecting one image that spoke to each of us. One that would move us to create our own image.


“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

~Nelson Mandela


Above original image created by Jackie Greenaway


Image I created, inspired by Jackie Greenaway’s work


So here we are today, sharing our ‘INSPIRED BY YOU ‘ works.


There is something about Jackie’s original image that I chose as the inspiration behind my creation… the architectural framing, the unnerving mood, that magical light and the beautiful treatment that made me keep going back to this one. Funnily, I asked Jackie where this fantastic location was and her words were:⠀


“It’s this crazy nook (at a uni campus) where the light just hits it, and it’s a gross spot where people pee. Nobody sees magic there except me”.


I am so grateful for the opportunity to create something that was meaningful to me, inspired by a place that Jackie found such unconventional beauty in. Below you can see how Jackie has drawn her own inspiration from an image out of my own portfolio of work.

Original image created by me, Natalie Finney


Image created by Jackie Greenaway, inspired by my piece


This project was a deeply positive experience for both myself and Jackie, it is hard for me to put into words! I encourage each and every one of you to reach out to others, send a message to that artist you have ben admiring from afar! You never know where it may lead, whether it be a similar collaborative project like this, or perhaps just a conversation between two artists that sparks a new idea for you.


“In the end, we only regrest the chances we did not take.”


You can see more of Jackie’s stunning work on Instagram JackieGreenawayPhotography or on website

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