West End based photographer Dane Beesley has released his third photo book titled, Shades. An accumulation of works photographed over time, Shades is a specially curated collection of works that communicates Dane Beesley’s minimalistic subject matter and style in a sophisticated way. Taking photographs of everyday things, Dane’s collection shines a light on the things we too easily ignore.

“You’re on your own with photography; on an obscure mission to capture something,” says Beesley. “I don’t often know what I’m looking for but I know when I see it. When driving, I’ve been known to suddenly make a sharp turn and abruptly put my hazard lights on; with the car still running I jump out into the middle of the road with my camera to capture an image.”

Influenced by photographer William Eggleston, Dane’s mysterious and cool style continues throughout both his personal projects and his commissioned work. Previously contributing to Rolling Stone, Dane has photographed many Australian bands such as Powderfinger, The Grates, Little Birdy, The Veronicas, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds; with his first photo book Splitting the Seconds: A Photographer’s Journal capturing onstage and offstage images of rock’n’roll bands.

Working from a space called Cardboard Box Studio at Metro Arts, Dane’s career has come a long way since graduating. “I was always taking photos, but never thought I could do it as a job. Last minute, I found a one-year TAFE course, and I loved it so much that I carried on after that,” Dane explains. Since then, Dane’s work has been included in Text & Image Magazine, News Limited, Quest Newspapers and the Herald Sun.

“I love Metro Arts. To have the opportunity to work out of a studio in the city is amazing. Most weeks there is an exhibition opening or an event to pop in on. I’ve been lucky to meet and collaborate with people from the building over the years too. At one stage, I was living in a house full of Metro Arts residents. The name Cardboard Box Studio came about because if it wasn’t for places like Metro Arts, my studio would only be a cardboard box on the side of the road,” Dane says.

Having lived in West End for the past six years, Dane has a close connection with his vibrant surroundings. “West End is a place where you don’t need to make plans; they just come. Whether it’s walking down the main drag bumping into friends or just jumping the back fence. I’ve lived in West End since 2010 when I returned from living in Melbourne for a bit. West End was also the first place I lived when I moved out of home a long time ago,” Dane says.

With his first solo show in two years, Shades will be on display at This Must be the Place until July 8, with his photo book on sale at Avid Reader and GOMA’s bookstore.


Words by Melissa Fletcher | Images by Dane Beesley