Michael R Williams
FATHER, husband, business owner, baker, photographer, active community member, council worker, IT guru, emperor — Aaron Skinn is a man with a lot of titles.
Though born in Brisbane, Mr Skinn spent much of his young life travelling between rural towns.
When he turned 18, he gave up rural life for a chance in the big city.
“I thought, ‘Screw this, the city has maccas and cinemas.’,” Mr Skinn said.
Eight years later he would grow weary and wish for the country life again.
“You got a community, I know the neighbours, the kids can play outside — it’s a lot better [actually],” he said.
The bakery that started it all.
It was 13 years ago, when Mr Skinn first took the reins of the Satisfaction Bakery in Barcaldine, arguably the position he is most known for in the community.
“It was the right price at the right time; we knew we wanted to buy a bakery somewhere,” he said.
“We looked at a few around Queensland — small-town stuff.
“But Barcy we just fell in love with — it was great.”
Mr Skinn said a bakery was ideal for him as a qualified chef with kids.
“This way I could work at night while my wife works during the day,” he said.
“I thought it would be something I could easily do.
“It’s actually completely different — way better, a lot less stress.”
Mr Skinn said he fell in love with baking the moment he started and has devoted his trade to the township of Barcaldine.
“It’s a great trade — you can do stuff with your hands,” he said.
“We look at it more like a service to the town.
“When we first started, we started trading on Sundays because there was a huge outcry that nothing was open on Sunday — and we’ve continued that service for 13 years.”
Mr Skinn said the bakery was about producing the best quality products for the people of Barcaldine.
Going Skinn Deep with photography
As a man who has a prescription for glasses but forgets to wear them, when Aaron Skinn first picked up the camera, he began to notice he could see details in the images he took he was unable to with the naked eye.
“The pictures were just so crisp, and the trees had leaves on them,” he said.
“I was like wow, and it opened up this whole world.”
Mr Skinn would begin to build an obsession with the art form.
“I did a lot of landscape photography to produce photos that people had never seen before,” he said.
“It turns out, landscapes don’t pay that much.
“So, to balance my time away from the bakery, I had to make sure it was worth my time [financially].
“Owning a bakery, every moment I spend away costs me money.”
Mr Skinn then turned to event photography to help supplement his income from the bakery.
“Turns out, taking photos of people makes money,” he said.
“For the last six years, I suppose you could say I’m a professional because I take money for it.
“It’s a bit of a passion — which can be hard when job opportunities come up and I just can’t make it because my primary job is the bakery.”
Once again, quality service to the community is a major part of Mr Skinn’s ethos.
“Quality service is always in the forefront of my mind,” he said.
“I don’t want to be the guy that takes a photo that anyone can.
“I’m always trying to make the best quality photo that I can possibly make at that moment — hopefully, a photo no one else could take.”
Even more jobs
Mr Skinn has one more finger in one more pie.
“A couple of years ago, the bakery, we changed the way it operates,” he said.
“It gets really quiet in summer — we actually lose money in summer and make money in winter.
“So, I got a job on the council to ties us over during the summers.”
For the council, Mr Skinn now does records and IT.
“The records are the boring part, but IT is a really interesting part of my job,” he said.
“And, it ties in with the technological side of my photography work.
“Because you have to have a deep understanding of computers and operating systems [for photography].”
Mr Skinn said IT skills had proven to be vital.
“It’s an important skill to have across the region,” he said.
“Without computers or without your network or anything like that, everything stops for the council.”
Diligence, but with a catch
With three jobs and a desire to start his own IT business, you could be forgiven for thinking Mr Skinn was all about work.
However, he is also a husband and devoted father of two 18-year-olds.
To view Mr Skinn’s work please visit skinndeep.photos.