Married to Roaul

In 1875 Tom Bell, his wife and six children moved to live on remote Roaul Island (then Sunday island). The family lived on the island in almost total isolation for 35years enduring incredible hardship at times.

After visiting Roaul and reading of the family (in a book called “The Crusoes of Sunday Island”) I was deeply moved and decided to create this shot to tell the story of the oldest child “Hettie Bell” who lived in isolation for the best years of her life.

She wears period clothes and holds a ‘bouquet’ of seaweed to represent her ‘marriage to Roaul’. This photo was shot with a homemade lens with glass from a 100year old camera on a Nikon D300s to further add to historic link.

It was shot on Breaker Bay Beach in Wellington which bears a striking similarity to Roual Island’s Denham Bay. Using my daughter Lauren to model  seemed even more approprate because when I heard Hettie’s story it instantly made me think of her. I think she did a great job of capturing the quiet determination that Hettie must have had.

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