Last week I had the absolute honour of photographing a World War II veteran, former squadron leader Alan John Radcliffe, as part of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Reflections project.
Mr Radcliffe and his daughter, Barbara, attended my studio in Springfield Central for the photography session. A proud airforce serviceman, he wore his medals on his left chest and his father's medals on his right chest.
The regimental portrait was photographed to a standard defined by the AIPP to ensure a consistent look and feel to other images created for the project, which is supported by the RSL and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
The AIPP's aim, with a huge voluntary effort by Accredited Professional Photographers such as myself and in particular some photographers who have given up their time to photograph dozens of veterans, is to create a significant archive for the nation that reflects a sensitive portrayal of their elderly state of the last of Australia's WWII veterans while providing a cognisant comparison to the wartime images of young active men and women.
I'd put my hand up to photograph some other WWII veterans also, but unfortunately when I contacted their next of kin I discovered they had passed away. We are slowly but surely losing them. It's very sad.