Child Portraits with a difference!! I recently went to check out Donnelly Mill as I have a wedding to shoot soon. Donnelly Mill is an old mill town, most prominent in the 50’s. The mill itself is very run down and really rather mysterious. Feeling very inspired by my visit, I decided to do a shoot, collaborating with makeup artist Coral Emerson. Using Owen & Ruby as our models, the aim was to create ghostly characters who loomed around the site of their former hangout.
Donnelly Mill is a former town and present-day holiday village located in the South West region of Western Australia, at a point between Nannup, Bridgetown and Manjimup on the Donnelly River, a small river which flows into the Southern Ocean. The name also applies to a winery downstream on the Vasse Highway.Donnelly River Village. To put it simply, it’s special.
A historic mill town nestled deep in the heart of Australia’s South West karri forests, it’s the perfect place for a unique escape from the hustles and hassles of modern life.
The Donnelly Mill site was first used as a timber mill by the Wheatley family in 1912 to cut cross arms and telegraph poles, but it closed after two years. In 1947, Bunnings made plans to build a new mill on the Wheatley site to work timber in new permit areas held by the company, with a steam engine purchased from Onkaparinga Woollen Mills in South Australia – Donnelly River became the only steam-driven mill in the South West, officially opening in 1951. Donnelly mill and town subsequently provided employment and family homes for a large community for nearly 30 years – many of these families have remained in the district.
It was shut down in 1978 as part of a Forests Department policy to close less efficient mills, and is now heritage listed
The tame kangaroos, emus, possums, kookaburras, magpies, parrots, blue wren and other wildlife that wander through the village and visit cottages are one of Donnelly’s most memorable charms.