Renae Saxby is a travel, fashion, music and lifestyle photographer from Newcastle Australia. Renae lives more than 6 months of her life on the road and spends her time raising donations and educating the world on the poverty and devastation left behind from the 2015 Nepal earthquake. We chat to her about her first ever upcoming exhibition 'Footprints in Nepal' in honour of her late brother and best friend Daniel Saxby. 

Star sign: Sagittarius

Vice: Milo mixed with condensed milk and eaten in the bath, so gross but so so good.  

Favourite travel destination: I have many for so many different reasons. The place that has my heart is Nepal. The most breathtaking scenery is the Sahara. The place I find most addictive is India. Most beautiful people would be the Philippines. The craziest party is Burning Man in the USA. The place I feel best – our 500 acre family farm at Barrington.

Taken in a rural village in India. This beautiful woman had the most captivating eyes // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

'Lust for Life' - I came across this guy in the back streets of Kathmandu. He was just kicking back counting his money in his pink 'Lust for Life' shirt, surrounded by more pink. I honestly don't think he had any idea he was totally colour coordinated // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

This night will be etched in my memory forever. A powerful puja along the banks of the holy river Ganges in Rishikesh India. Offerings and prayers were sent out into the river as the super moon made its way into the night sky. The faith and devotion of people in countries such as India always leave me in awe // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

Current playlist: I’m a vinyl girl, my grandma left me a beautiful collection.

Lifelong ambition: I’ve honestly just always wanted to travel, feel free and have unique and crazy experiences that make me feel alive. I want to photograph my way around the world, dance a lot, meet amazing people and make a positive difference in the world by helping those in need. It's all going pretty well! The thought of leaving school, getting a 9-5 job, settling down and having kids has always terrified the absolute shit out of me.

I did have three bucket list items which were to Belly Dance in the Sahara, experience Burning Man and meet Stevie Wonder. I nailed all of those last year so I need to top up the list.

The Sahara - Our camel driver Amar soaking up all of the magic of the desert landscape and its changing colours // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

Current project: My first ever exhibition which will be held in Newcastle this Friday the 14th July. The exhibition will feature, documentary style of travel portraiture from countries such as Nepal, India, Morocco, Cambodia and Sri Lanka which intimately explores the landscapes and the beauty of the people that call these culturally unique places home. 

Cuddled up and keeping warm as the sun set over the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

This lady was as sweet as she looks. She had just made it to the top of the mountain carrying all of those sticks on her back and loved smiling for a photo and having a chat the best we could without speaking the same language // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

I will have prints available for purchase on the night and online, with a percentage of the sales going to 'Footprints in Nepal' which I set up in honour of my younger brother Daniel after I returned from Nepal post the 2015 earthquake. The funds raised will allow me to continue building shelters and homes and supplying blankets and food and to support the three orphaned children Alina, Alpekshya and Suraj who I provide for in remote Nepal. Many images you will see on the night are from time spent working on these projects. 

'White Whiskers'. The streets of Kathmandu are filled with vibrant characters. Roaming the back streets camera in hand will never grow old // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

How do we get involved: You can come along on the night for a beer and a boogie! The Edwards is a really cool venue and we have two live acts playing throughout the night. My images will be on display along with images and information on Footprints in Nepal.

What Camera do you use and why: Canon 5D Mark III, I’m not a techy person. I use this camera because I love the light and detail it captures but also because I can accidentally bash it into rocks while trekking or it can get dropped by village kids while they are playing with it and it still somehow survives. I pulled it out at a camera store in Sydney the other day and the guy behind the counter almost fell over because of the state it's in. It’s far from shiny and new but it’s been on a lot of adventures!  

Your biggest inspiration: All of the people I meet in the world that are starving and living in total poverty who have survived tragedy and lost several people that they love but still greet you with a smile and insist on sharing the very little that they have. These people are my hero’s and truly live from a place of compassion and gratitude.  

I captured this image in Dubar Square in Kathmandu just before the Earthquake. Whenever I see it I wonder if she survived. I haven't seen her since // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

Also, my little brother Daniel and the way he lived his life has very much influenced how I live now. Anyone that met my brother would have agreed he was a free spirit and lived life his way. He loved being creative and he loved having fun. I have never wanted to live the ‘work hard, then enjoy life when your older’ way but losing him really solidified that for me. Fuck that. You don’t know what the day is going to bring and you don’t know if you will even have the privilege of growing old. I really hope I do but I’m doing the fun stuff now and I will keep on doing it right through until time is up.

This image is one of the most powerful to me because it really captures what I love about the simple life. People living it take the time to stop and just be. They are present, content and rich in love and quality time as opposed to being rich in material possessions that distract you from what is really important in life // Photo by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby

Future life goals: Keep helping people and inspire others to help. Spend a good amount of time experiencing Central and South America. Continue to work with amazing musicians and festivals. Fall in love and make some babies.

Best advice to live by that you’ve been given: The two things that were drilled into us when we were little were ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’ and ‘be grateful for what you have’. It taught us to care for others, be respectful, be kind, be thankful and to be happy and appreciative. All values that have shaped the way I live.

Donations to 'Footprints in Nepal', can be made through Renae's website and prints are available for purchase online with worldwide shipping.

'Footprints in Nepal' will be exhibiting Friday the 14th of July 2017 at The Edwards, Newcastle 7pm

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All photographs and words by Renae Saxby @renae_saxby