Shooting The Breeze is a photography blog by Gavin Jowitt, an award-winning Sydney-based photographer, offering valuable articles and advice on corporate, industrial, and architectural photography; life and photography in Sydney; and running a successful photography business.

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Behind the Lens: Capturing Shane Jacobson for Sydney Water’s Unflushables Campaign

Published On: 1 October 2022By Categories: Commercial Photography, Sydney Life

Recently, I photographed the affable Shane Jacobson for Sydney Water’s latest campaign, ‘Are you flushing, kidding me?’. Teaming up with creative and communications agency Impress, we aimed to create engaging visuals to raise awareness about an urgent environmental issue impacting Sydney’s waterways.

The campaign focuses on the problem of fatbergs, which are massive conglomerates of household waste that fail to break down, causing environmental disasters throughout the network. An astonishing 500 tonnes of wet wipes and other unflushable items are flushed down toilets every year, costing Sydney Water over $14 million to address the issue.

Some of the most bizarre items found in the past year include false teeth, condoms, parts of a prosthetic leg, and even children’s toys. This results in approximately 870 blockages and overflows per month, amounting to around 13,000 chokes across the network annually.

As Sydney Water’s ambassador, Shane Jacobson brings a touch of humour and charisma to the campaign, aiming to educate the community about the environmental and financial consequences of flushing unflushable items. Maryanne Graham, Sydney Water’s general manager for customer, strategy and engagement, emphasizes the importance of raising awareness to not only save Sydney Water money but also to protect customers from sewage overflows and flooding.

Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, further explains that the campaign seeks to highlight the damage caused by people’s lack of understanding about what should and shouldn’t be flushed through the network. By working together, the community can significantly reduce the impact on the environment and the cost to customers.

Being a part of this important campaign was both an honour and a pleasure. Working alongside Shane Jacobson, Sydney Water, and Impress, we have created a series of striking images that will hopefully inspire positive change in the community’s behaviour and lead to a cleaner, greener future for Sydney’s waterways.

About the author
Gavin Jowitt is an accomplished corporate communications and branding professional with over 30 years of experience as a creative director and photographer. Awarded Australian Commercial Photographer of the Year in 2019, Gavin has built a reputation for delivering high-quality photography that enhances stakeholder communication. Gavin works with a wide array of public and private sector clients, guiding them in creating versatile photography libraries while offering extensive corporate, industrial, and commercial photography services throughout Australia.

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As a professional Sydney-based photographer specialising in corporate headshots, I recognise the significance of top-quality images for building the professional profiles of your key personnel. My expertise is crafting professional headshots highlighting confidence, character, and professionalism.
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