PORT Douglas-based wedding photographer Lukas Teasdale loves capturing special moments and raw emotion.

The natural storyteller, who has felt the brunt of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, joined the Buy Douglas: Build Douglas campaign to help shine the light on local businesses in Douglas Shire.

After photographing business owners from Port Douglas to Cow Bay, the father-of-four felt a sense of positivity in the small business sector.

“Everyone has been through tough times, adapted their businesses to meet guidelines and found ways of getting an income through the restrictions,” Lukas said.

“The amazing thing about this community is they rally around each other during tough times, this is no exception.

“The overwhelming feedback was that businesses are just so grateful for local support during this time.”

Lukas has used his relaxing shooting style to create an impressive portfolio of work since he started professional photography in the Douglas Shire in 2015.

The demand for local photographers all but disappeared when COVID-19 restrictions saw weddings and other mass gatherings cancelled.

With no photography work possible, Lukas resorted back to his trade and cut down his weekly bills.

“On the positive side, I’ve used this time to work on my website, brushed up on some Photoshop skills and other photography techniques and tried to work on the businesses social media presence,” Lukas said.

“For an area that relies so heavily on the tourist dollar, it’s extremely important to shop locally and use what local services are available.

“There are a lot of families here that depend on these dollars.”

The Economic Recovery Group, which features Douglas Shire Council, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) and Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation, is driving the campaign to get everyone to ‘Do It In Douglas’.

Local business owners such as café owner Sharon Beechey, farmer Luigi Scomazzon and bakery owner Nigel Quinn are the faces of the new campaign in a bid to encourage people to support the sector

Lukas said he loved visiting the variety of businesses.

“After so much isolation time at home, visiting all these places was great and everyone was keen for a chat,” he said.

“It feels like there’s an end in sight, it may get worse again before it’s all over but we’ve done well so far as a community to support each other and I think we can continue to do that.

“I’ve been here for 16 years and still feel lucky to call this place home.”

Check out Lukas’ work at: www.lukasteasdalephotography.com

Are you a business owner with a story to tell?

Email Douglas Shire Council at media@douglas.qld.gov.au to make sure your story is heard.

We want everyone to #DoItInDouglas