Invercargill woman developing photography business


An Invercargill woman has turned her passion for photography into a business.

Roseanne Zyskowski, who has Down syndrome, has put 101 photos of her favourite places throughout Invercargill into a calendar.

Zyskowski, who has been a photographer for a year now, has taken pictures of the Reading Cinemas, Queens Park, Thompsons bush as well as her own backyard.

The most difficult part of the project was getting motivated on some days but with the help of family, friends and support workers she got it finished, Zyskowski said.

Her mother Clare developed the idea after attending a social enterprise workshop held in Invercargill in November.

The initiative was run by the Ākina Foundation with the support of the Community Trust of Southland, Venture Southland and the Southland Regional Development Strategy group.

The idea was to give roseanne a way in which she could use her passion for photography to support herself.

"When people hear the word 'syndrome' the story they have in their head might be quite different to the way a lot of young people with Down syndrome are growing up and developing."

The vision she developed at the workshop was to change the story around people living with down syndrome and give them the opportunity to stand on their own feet.

Included on the back of the calender was a quote "No disabilty, only people," that was designed to encourage others that those living with disabilities are just normal people in the community.

The hope was that by showing Roseanne how she could develop her passion for photography, she could turn in into a microbusiness.

"She can actually take her photography and do something with it."

If the business did not succeed it would still be a valuable learning opportunity for Roseanne, Clare said.

Each photo had a story or a person behind it, Roseanne said.

She is selling the calendars for $22.

Abridged, taken from an article in the Southland Times, 5 January, 2018