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Photographer finds new focus with CTA

By Fiona West | September 21, 2022

A Sydney photographer is about to start an exciting new business in her 50s thanks to the Career Transition Assistance (CTA) program at Navitas Skilled Futures, which helped her find her focus.

Sally Sharpe put her photography career on hold to care for her sick mother, Annette. And when her mum passed away, Sally said she found herself grieving, isolated, and lacking a sense of direction.

“I had to let my photography business go, which is fine, because my mother was much more important,” Sally said.

“But then there was COVID and I was locked out of everything and I wasn’t able to work or source any materials.”

Sally’ joined the Career Transition Assistance program and, although she had her doubts, she said it was the best move she ever made: “It was fantastic.”

“I was surprised at how valuable the CTA course was, the tools it gives you; it has actually been life changing for a lot of people.”

Sally said the positive outcomes included building a relevant and useful resume, and discovering her true strengths and weaknesses. But the biggest advantage was regaining her self-confidence and finding her new career direction.

“I had to look at my life, and assess where I am now, and what I want. The CTA gave me a focus, and I found that really valuable.”

Sally has worked as a commercial photographer for the past 20 years, capturing products for websites, portraits and special occasions. But what she was most proud of was her personal photography – beautiful “iconic” Australian images she had taken of flowers, gums, and nature.

She had always wanted to use these in a professional way – and now she has the time, motivation and purpose to do so. Sally had already printed some of these images onto silk scarves and was now printing onto linen, creating unique artistic cushions that she can sell online and in boutiques, from her new remote business, Salamander Home. She is currently designing its website.

“These iconic images that I’ve taken over the time all have stories behind them,” Sally said.

“They all mean something to me, this business is in memory of my mum, because she loved flowers and nature, as she was an artist as well.”

“The course and training were great but what I needed most was getting my confidence back,” Sally said.

“The CTA helps people to sit back and look within themselves and collate what they’ve done in their lives. That can bring the clarity and confidence you need to decide your path. It certainly did that for me, and I’m so grateful.”

Click here for more information about the CTA Program at Navitas Skilled Futures.

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