vic market variety

Footy paraphernalia market trader, Graeme. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

Footy paraphernalia market trader, Graeme. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

This past year I have been enjoying working for the Queen Victoria Market as a photographer. They often employ me to document events or capture stallholders for various media needs - brochures, posters, social media and reports.

We are very lucky in Melbourne to have such a wonderful meeting place such as the Queen Victoria Market. It is truly a melting pot of different cultures and socio-economic groups - a vibrant venue where people can come together on equal footing. Meeting the people behind the stalls is the most rewarding part of working there - they are what make up the visual story of this cultural Melbourne icon. And what comes across when photographing them is their openness and sense of belonging. Often they have spent an entire lifetime selling their wares at the market, they may have inherited their business from their family or they may be just starting out in the hope of establishing themselves as permanent fixtures at this dynamic site. They all have stories to tell and more often than not are very happy to share them with you.

Footy paraphernalia market trader, Graeme (pictured above) started his stall 38 years ago as the first ever business in Victoria to sell AFL merchandise outside of the immediate vicinity of the grounds. With this deep-rooted history, it is not surprising that this little stall attracts many regulars who come back every year. He is as diplomatic as possible when it comes to showing bias towards a footy club, swathing himself in a hodgepodge of team strips. A very refreshing approach to footy fan-dom.

Em x