I am a Branding & Lifestyle Photographer based in Auckland North Shore. I also work for the local magazine as a photographer and content creator. Most of my day revolves around shooting or planning a shoot.
How did you get into / what inspired you to get into photography?
In 2020 mid pandemic my partner and I decided to sell our 5-year-old family business in Auckland and spend family time together that we had been missing out on. So we packed up everything in our car along with our 3-year-old son Alexander and went road tripping New Zealand for about 8 months.
Traveling the length and breadth of our amazing backyard made me realise how much I have been missing out by not taking up my passionate hobby as a career. So it all began from there. I do not have any formal education in Photography or editing. I have been learning every day from some amazing local and national photographers by engaging with them through social media. It’s a great community if you find the like-minded people.
What / who are your main influences and inspirations?
I was introduced to photography at a very young age by my father, who took thousands of photos of family and of places around our home. There was something about those photos when they developed from the film that I was intrigued with.
Growing up in a mixture of city and agricultural farmland I was always aware of the stark contrast between them. I was drawn to the nature more, it gave me a sense of freedom. And eventually I started falling in love with everything in it. Trees, flowers, grass, birds, bugs, sky and clouds. I still get very easily distracted if I’m out in nature and it is usually the birds. I can spend hours and hours in company of nature and the camera sometimes simply chasing birds in our local bush. Nature is what inspires me the most.
Photography for me is almost like a therapy for the soul, I never get stressed doing what I absolutely love. It makes my life more meaningful. I truly believe in this Māori Proverb :
"Tiakina nga manu, ka ora te ngahere Ka ora te
ngahere, ka ora nga manu"
"Look after the birds and the forest flourishes.
If the forest flourishes, the birds flourish."
How would you describe some of the work you do?
It’s all about putting a frame around something that catches my eye and I can’t look away from it. My work is like music to me, turning the cacophony into sweet melodies. It helps me meaning in the chaos that this world is.
What percentage of shots that you take end up as keepers?
I end up keeping one sometimes out of a few days of shooting at the same location. I dump thousands !!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I recently did my first exhibition of the local landscape and birds, ‘INSPIRED BY NATURE’- ART EXHIBITION; the images were on display and for sale for nine days in Torbay. The opening night was a huge success with more than 120 people visiting within two hours. I was deeply moved by the response, I not only got positive feedback but also some unique stories from people about how they were able to connect with what they saw. 'This image speaks to me’ was something I heard every day. It made me feel like I was doing something right.
What is your best advice for someone interested in your field?
I think the thing any visual creative needs to do is trust their instinct and keep following what they love shooting. There’s no shortcut to producing great images.
Practice improves your composition and helps in training the eye. Make friends with people who have similar interests and get feedback.