Steve Parish

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Steve Parish
Steve Parish Portrait.jpg
Portrait of Steve Parish — Australian photographer and publisher.
Born (1945-07-15) 15 July 1945 (age 75)
Great Britain
OccupationAustralian Photographer and Publisher
Known forSteve Parish – 50 Years Photographing Australia

Steve Parish OAM is a photographer and publisher.[1] Born in Great Britain in 1945, he is the founder of Steve Parish Publishing, which specialised in printing photographic books on nature for adults and children, as well as travel books and souvenirs.[2] Steve Parish Publishing went into liquidation in March 2012.

Early life[edit]

As a child he was a keen spear fisherman and at seventeen a practised hunter who had bought his first rifle at age 16. He had 17 firearms by the age of 18 and worked as an apprentice gunsmith.[3][4]

Parish was first introduced to photography when he was given the opportunity to join an expedition to Kangaroo Island led by pioneering Australian underwater photographer Igo Oak. Oak was a mentor to Parish and a cofounder of the South Australian Underwater Photography Society.

Parish left school to work halfway through his first year in high school, choosing to educate himself and focus on gaining an understanding of how nature works. He worked with scientists from all disciplines, focussing on the ecology of natural systems, the behaviour of marine fish and Australia's fifty remaining Macropods (Kangaroos and wallabies).[5] He continued to photograph marine life for the Australian Museum. His diving skills increased when he joined the Navy at the age of 18. In 1965 the Navy stationed him in Jervis Bay on the New South Wales coast. The work he was doing for the Australian Museum and the encouragement he got from museum leaders gave him a sense of purpose.[6] While in the Navy stationed in Sydney, Steve joined the New South Wales Underwater Research Group. Here, he met Neville Coleman and Walt Deas. His time photographing in the Jervis Bay area provided much of the material for his first book Oceans of Life.

Photography and publishing[edit]

Steve Parish traveled extensively from 1981 to 1984. While doing so, he noticed the absence of photographic material for the tourist market featuring Australia. In 1985, he set up Wildlife Publishing, later renamed Steve Parish Publishing.[2]

Steve uses an array of 35mm, medium format and panoramic film formats in addition to digital video. He uses Fuji Velvia.

Steve Parish Publishing went into liquidation in March 2012 following losses associated with the 2010–2011 Queensland floods. During the flood, their Oxley, Queensland, warehouse lost tens of thousands of dollars of stock and 36 filing cabinets drawers of their photo library.[7] The company failed to receive an insurance payout.[8] Also in 2011, several major customers went bankrupt and owed much money toSteve Parish Publishing: Angus and Robertson, Borders and Calendar Club.[7] Pascal Press[9] purchased all the publishing assets of Steve Parish Publishing Pty Limited.

Parish was quoted as saying, "I had 125 staff and a $15 million turnover but we lost everything, that's a very refreshing pathway.” After his bankruptcy he said he was now focused on using his passion for photography to help people overcome mental illness and deal with the stresses of life. He struggled with depression but was able to prove to himself, that having a life purpose has a huge impact on mental health.” Parish is now an ambassador for the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia. He said he was mainly driven by showing people how their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing can be enhanced with being part of nature.[10]


  1. ^ "Steve Parish :: ABC Queensland".
  2. ^ a b "Talking Heads – Steve Parish and Bill Bristow".
  3. ^ "Steve Parish Publishing".
  4. ^ Steve (13 October 2015). "Steve Parish: The Healing Power of Nature". Steve Parish Nature Connect. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  5. ^ "In focus: a photographic master". 8 August 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  6. ^ Steve (13 October 2015). "Steve Parish: The Healing Power of Nature". Steve Parish Nature Connect. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Wild about Nature", issue 940, 17–23 July 2013, p. 10-11, Brisbane News
  8. ^ "Brisbane floods liquidate publishing firm" 15 March 2012 Patrick Stafford
  9. ^ "Quality Educational Resources – Pascal Press".
  10. ^ Lloyd, Shelley (14 July 2018). "Australia's most famous wildlife photographer lost everything, but now has a new focus". ABC News. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]