Buyfromthebush sparks Georgie Newton Photography offer to stores

Country spirit: Photographer Georgie Newton during travels to Coonamble when a dust storm struck. Photo contributed.

Country spirit: Photographer Georgie Newton during travels to Coonamble when a dust storm struck. Photo contributed.

A photographer who "can't make it rain" is instead lending her skills to help stores survive the drought and make the most of the Buy from the Bush movement.

Georgie Newton of Narromine had felt powerless to help the community through the tough dry times.

But watching Buy from the Bush's social media pages go "gangbusters" in the past fortnight, she thought of a way she could contribute.

The photographer offered free 30-minute photo shoots in store to any business at Dubbo, Narromine, Trangie or Warren affected by drought to help them boost their online presence.

In two weeks it has 70,000 Facebook likes and has boosted trade for Orana region businesses.

Within a day of Miss Newton posting her photo shoot offer on Facebook, she had received 56 messages.

"It just went absolutely crazy," she said.

The demand for her services extends as far away as Gulargambone, Coonamble, Coonabarabran, Moree, Walgett, Wellington and further, she reports.

Miss Newton had 17 bookings by Thursday, and on Friday made a start at Trangie.

She's been helped with travel costs by Dubbo business Alex&ria Digital Communication, which has gifted her some fuel vouchers.

Miss Newton would welcome similar donations from other businesses.

Buy from the Bush had impressed her when she first saw it.

"...I've got friends that own a few of the shops in Narromine and Trangie and Dubbo and I know they've been saying for months how quiet it is, and that they're not so much struggling, but things are getting a little bit tougher," she said.

"So when I saw it I thought it was an amazing idea."

The photographer, who started her business six years ago, had a light-bulb moment.

I was thinking 'what can I do', I felt so useless, like I can't give them a million dollars and I can't make it rain.

Photographer Georgie Newton

"I was thinking 'what can I do', I felt so useless, like I can't give them a million dollars and I can't make it rain," Miss Newton said.

"Then I realised a lot of the photos on Instagram were just iPhone pictures that they'd taken, and I was like, hmmm, maybe this might help."

Georgie Newton Photography is one of the businesses highlighted on Buy from the Bush's pages for offering to lend time and skills.

Miss Newton says the response to Buy from the Bush shows that country people are 'amazing' and 'band together when we need to'.

"...our community spirit is so different from the city," she said.

"Country areas, everyone has everyone's back and everyone's trying to help everyone through it so everyone comes out the other side and we don't lose businesses and farms and people and all of that."

Miss Newton hopes city people understand the drought, and that they can make a difference.

"I just want to get through to city people how bad it is out here, and it could rain tomorrow but this is going to affect our communities for years," she said.

"It's going to be years before everything's back up and running like it was a couple of years ago.

"And that they can help us, they can help by buying locally and visiting and coming out and staying in our accommodation, going to our pubs and doing all our touristy attractions.

"That there is things they can do besides praying for rain."