She has been the face of the Gazette and Courier for 16 years, so how do you say goodbye to such an integral staff member?
Kylie Pitt joined the Gazette in 1998 after doing casual shifts for us while working for Craig Morton’s Photo Shop in Richmond. She quickly established herself as a camera-wielding unstoppable force of nature.
Her technical ability escalated from competent, to very good, to her status now as one of Fairfax Community Newspaper’s best snappers ever.
From action-packed sport photos to stern political stories and tragedies, Kylie has been on the spot to capture Gazette front pages, back pages, and many in between, bringing the raw reality of news to our readers.
Her network of contacts in this district is massive, and this reporter has never heard a bad word against her from the community. But it wasn’t just her technical ability that has set her apart — her ability to convince people to do outlandish things was legendary.
One of this reporter’s favourite photos was of the late, great Bob McCallum in full dinner suit and bow tie falling backwards into Kurrajong Swim School’s pool, to promote an Opera by the Pool event.
‘‘I only had one chance at that photo,’’ Kylie laughed when reminded of it.
Kylie has worked for six successive editors and has great memories.
‘‘I always remember our late mayor Rex Stubbs saying to someone I was going to photograph ‘Just trust her and do what she says — it will always work out’,’’ Kylie said.
‘‘Then there’s the mum whose newborn I took a picture of at hospital, and as the son grew and I crossed paths with them at cricket, she would always laugh and point him out. He would be 16 now. And the parents on the sideline who glide past you and politely say ‘number 1 or number 12 is a good one to photograph’. It always made me smile.
‘‘But to me it honestly is the moments, whether celebratory or sad, where people have allowed us to take part in their lives. They have trusted us enough to do right by them, and opened their hearts and their doors to us.’’
Editor Maryann Jenkins said ‘‘she’s well known, well respected and you could always trust Kylie would bring back the best picture no matter what. While we will miss her, we of course wish her the very best in her future career.’’
Kylie is leaving to pursue other interests, including her ice cream shop and personal training business.
Fairfax trainer Paul Roberts was editor when he employed Kylie and said ‘‘she’s the best photographer I’ve worked with in my 30 years, in ability and attitude’’.
‘‘She always brings a smile to the harshest faces — and cheers from the young men when they realised she had been assigned to cover their match,’’ he said.
‘‘I still remember some in my team actually fixing their collars and brushing their hair when she was on her way down to Bensons Lane!’’
A career highlight was taking out the Country Press Canon Australia Award for Photography 2011-2012 with fellow photographer Geoff Jones, as well as many highly commendeds.