Geraghty takes out top photography honour...for the third time

TAKING that award winning photo is a matter of just documenting what is in front of you.

That is the simple word from former Coonawarra woman and now Sydney-based news photographer Kate Geraghty.

And this philosophy must work, with Ms Geraghty - as a photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald - announced as the 2013 Nikon-Walkley photographer of the year.

It is the third such honour for the acclaimed photographer, who also won in 2006 and 2007.

"There is no formula to take a quality image, when covering hard news or breaking news you just document what ever is happening in front of you, be it good or bad," she said.

"I guess I aim to take pictures that will evoke a response from the reader/viewer that makes them question what is happening."

Ms Geraghty was honoured to be acknowledged with the award and paid tribute to some people who have had a big impact on her day-to-day work.

"The award not only belongs to me but my family and friends, Fairfax chief correspondent Paul McGeough who I travelled with on many overseas assignments and our fixers in Afghanistan and Indonesia."

The daughter of Patricia and Brian Geraghty, Ms Geraghty was born in Penola and grew up on a farm in Coonawarra, doing her schooling in Penola and Hamilton and developing an interest in photography.

"I did a photographic course in Perth but it wasn't till my first job at The Border Mail newspaper in Albury-Wodonga that I realised photojournalism isn't a job but a lifestyle," Ms Geraghty said. 

"We live and breathe news."

This lifestyle has taken Ms Geraghty to some amazing places and through some historic experiences.

"Ones that will remain with me forever is covering the Bali bombings, I had never seen or experienced anything like this in my life before and it we were very aware how powerful documenting the events unfolding was, to keep Australians up to date with what was happening," she recalled.

"Then 10 years later to spend two days interviewing Bali bomber Idris, the only core member of the terrorist group Jemiah Islamiah responsible for the bombings to be free, to sit and hear how he, Amrozi, Samudra and the others planned and executed the attack."

Wars in Iraq and Lebanon proved surreal and terrifying experiences which nearly cost Ms Geraghty her life on several occasions.

And these are just some of the experiences being a photojournalist has brought to Ms Geraghty.

"There is no such thing as a normal day's work," she said. "You could be photographing court in the morning and be on a plane heading to a war zone that afternoon."

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