Page 15 - Port Douglas Magazine 31
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Take a closer look!
                                                                               Scan the QR Code to view Reuben’s
                                                                               2019 Highlights Reel

            had a little gig for him. So, for 20 photos they   Around the same time eccentric businessman   of everyone with an Instagram account wanting
            shouted his flight home … he was hooked. This   Christopher Skase was dolloping the town with   to set their feed on fire, you know, just doing it
            was the life for which he hungered.  oil palms and constructing the jewel of the tropics   for the gram.
            His commitment and pursuit to his passion has   - his 5-star Sheraton Mirage Resort. A Gatsby-  It’s not surprising at all that both Stephen and
                                                esque boom was upon the rebirth of Douglas.
            led him to the doors of high-profile clients like                       Reuben have both found success in tourism. It
            BBC Studios and BMW Australia.      A-list  celebrities, Presidents, world  influencers   also doesn’t hurt when the subject matter has very
                                                started to visit the now chic tropical playground   agreeable aesthetics. The two-chuckle telling me
                                                for the rich and famous. And Stephen was center   that Stephen got his first contract with Tourism
            HOME WITH A VIEW
                                                stage, camera in hand with those who founded   Queensland when he was 25, Reuben beating
            Every person has their origin story. A recurring   this new era, and as the “original Port Douglas   him getting his at 18, but hey who’s counting,
            theme in their story is the place in which they   photographer”  he  documented  the  hey  days   right?
            grew up. It always plays a huge part in shaping   showcasing its natural splendor.  “It has grown
                                                                                    Ask Stephen what his ultimate photography
            their character, and it becomes a part of their   now, but still has its  charm,” he says.  “Most
                                                                                    challenge has been and he will not hesitate to
            being. “Growing up in Port Douglas gave me a   people didn’t wear shoes then. Some still don’t.” I
                                                                                    tell you with a reflective smile that exposes great
            stronger appreciation for the natural world,” says   guess when you live in one of those special places   challenges and great rewards:  “Shooting the
            Reuben. “It’s all here on our doorstep.” He was   where people travel from all around the world to   Olympic torch under water on the Great Barrier
            referring to the fact that this is the only place on   visit you don’t want to leave.
                                                                                    Reef,” he says. It was probably the wildest place
            Earth where two  World Heritage listed gems,
                                                                                    the torch has ever visited on its way to the 2000
            the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest,
                                                                                    Sydney Olympics.   “So much effort went into
            meet.                               FULL EXPOSURE
                                                                                    that image from a lot of people, including me. I
            Like Reuben, the region has a real outdoorsy   I’ve always been a passionate traveler, fascinated   had 20 seconds to take the shot, but I was taken
            vibe. Running wild in his younger days through   by incredible places, and like many I travel a   back when I saw the result,” he says. So was the
            rainforest,  swinging  from  vines  into  crystal   lot on my device, tantalizing my wanderlust by   rest  of  the  world,  the  picture  seen  by  over  one
            waterholes – move over Disneyland, Port Douglas   scrolling the online world of tourism, visually   billion people. Talk about killing the ROI.
            Daintree is a natural amusement park for the   deciding where to discover next.
                                                                                    An ambassador for the area, Reuben was in his
            adventure hearted. A small world that punches
                                                So, it’s vital that tourism bodies get it right. Every   element  shooting  Tropical  North  Queensland
            well above its weight, it directly reflects Reuben’s
                                                image must not only catch the eye but also the   covering everywhere between Lizard Island
            essence that shines through his photography.    heart. Reuben hits that point of connection spot   to Hamilton Island in just a few weeks for
            The sleepy fishing village first got notoriety as a   on. His photos and videos are so aspiring that you   Tourism Australia’s PhilAUSophies campaign. “I
            burly gold rush port until a cyclone ravaged the   want to be where they are.   was inspired by the diversity in landscapes and
            community leaving it a ghost town. Resilient   I remember being blown away when I was first   experiences in just the one region,” he says. It
            and never losing its quaint allure something
                                                introduced with one of Reuben’s images. It was   was no day on the beach, well not the kind you’d
            really special was happening in the early 80’s -
                                                the cover photo of Port Douglas Magazine, issue   have on holiday. Shooting over 25,000 photos,
            tourists worldwide began to discover the beauty   22 - an aerial shot that I could only describe as a   lugging around awkward equipment in and out of
            and peace of this forgotten paradise. It was 1982   kaleidoscope of palms framing a curvy piece of   helicopters and boats, a late-night editing session
            when Stephen first came to the idyllic spot and   the Great Barrier Reef Drive. It was exciting to   that lasted for hours before finally submitting 600
            was instantly smitten. “It really was a village by
                                                see a young local talent featured in this capacity.   pictures. And he wouldn’t trade it in for the world.
            the sea then,” he says.
                                                As quickly as the photo went viral, the spot   He loves it: “I felt privileged seeing how much the
                                                where it was snapped outside Thala Beach Nature   tourists were enjoying my backyard.”
                                                Reserve became Insta famous with an onslaught
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