EDITOR’S PICK: 10 favourite photos of 2023

Susanna Freymark

It is difficult to choose my favourite photos out of the hundreds I’ve taken this year.

It’s no surprise that I’ve gravitated towards portraits. I like to capture the people I write about in a moment in their lives.

I often put photos on Instagram too. Here are my 10 favourite pics from 2023.

Bonalbo has an unusual tradition on Australia Day – every year the man and woman who catch the heaviest cane toad are crowned cane toad king and queen. The aim is to keep cane toad numbers down. From this year’s Australia Day we have Queen Bernice Sigley and King (stand-in for his son) Peter Ballintyne celebrating their winning cane toad catch at the Bonalbo Bowlo. Read more about how they weight the frozen toads here.
This shot was taken at the Casino All Breeds Sale at the NRLX. It was the only sale in the past six months while the saleyards have been closed. I like the earnest look on the fella to the left – he is watching potential buyers closely and then signals to the auctioneer. There is an old fashioned feel to this photo. Read about the NRLX dispute here.
These woman are behind the revitalisation of the Tabulam Markets. This photo makes me want to know more about each of them. I played the band shot game with them. I told them to pose as if they were in a band. I think they captured it – got a band name for them? Read more about the Tabulam markets here.
Young butcher Andrew Longstaff opened his butcher shop in South Casino in February. The shop has been a butchers for a long time and it’s great to see Andrew continuing that history. I liked this photo because he was having fun during the photos session. Read more about Andrew here.
Kyogle artist Rebecca Tapscott is always an interesting person to interview. She is so passionate about art – she lives it, breathes it. I liked this shot of Rebecca getting her portrait ready to enter an art comp because of the contrast between her face in real life and her face in the portrait. I like the colours too – the bright colours in the painting and the soft, dreamy colours of Rebecca. Rebecca has The Occasional Studio on Summerland Way in Kyogle where she sells her work. Read Rebecca’s story here.
Surfers pose at the Best Breast Comp Ever at Main Beach in Evans Head. This is a classic shot to take of surfers but I like the shot because of the happy faces of the surfers. Read more about the comp here.
Debbie Johnston has spent the year fighting for funding to fix the Bungawalbin levee damaged in the floods. The levee is on the Johnston property and is the responsibility of Rous County Council. Read more about the levee here.
The boning competition at Beef Week was held on the back of a truck so the crowds could watch the boners skill in cutting up a carcass. Here’s Sam Watson with his sharp knives deboning a hindquarter. I loved taking photos at this comp with the bright blue sky background. Read more about the comp here.
The recent sacking of Graham Kennett as Kyogle Council’s general manager had people protesting outside the council chambers. I liked this photo because it tells a story – the protesters including the Kennett family, the mayor Kylie Webster waiting to speak and the speakers addressing the crowd. Read about the protest here.
I like to take behind the scenes shot like this one of Jimmy Malecki filming Lisa and Brent Symonds at Woodburn for the Tinnie Heroes documentary. Read about the film launch in Woodburn here.

The cover shot of me taking a photo was taken by Jimmy Malecki at the Roxy Art Gallery in Kyogle.

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