Dunedin Photographer

Building a community - My current project.

At the moment I am working on something very special - A community wall for my shared office! 
I've been the lead designer on this project - which means creating and designing the wall, how it looks, how it will be mounted, arranged, etc.

I've also had the priviledge of photographing a number of buisness' for the wall. 

Which also means a bunch of new head-shots to share with you! 

Angus runs Lucidus, a company who create strong customer relationships by connecting through social media.
Beverly runs Dunedin Literary Walking Tours, a company that provides walking tours through the historic University of Otago campus, alongside stories about famous past and present New Zealand Writers. 
Varsha and Hena work for Weta Capital, a company that invests in Real Estate and Start-ups. 

These four boys work for Geia - a company who helps business' make sustainability easy, clear, and profitable. In order from left to right we have Casey, Alax, Michael and Tapabrata. 

This is an ongoing project - so I'll have many to share with you in the coming weeks! I love this wall, and I love the sense of community it is helping to build. 

Kat. 

What's a lifestyle portrait?

A lifestyle portrait is a documentary style portrait shoot. You get a beautiful mix of candid, posed portraits and documentary shots. They are taken in nature, and can be anywhere that holds significance to you, or simply a place you find pretty. 

It captures the in between moments, lots of cuddles, and kids at play. 

We also get those all important, big smiles shots that stay on your wall and are treasured for a lifetime. 

They can be captured in any season, and suit families of all ages. 

Check out my Pricing page for more information, or contact me for your no-obligation consultation. 

Why I did Start-up Weekend and why you should too.

I was a little hesitant at first, but I've heard about it for a few years and I was always curious. I thought at best, I might make something cool, make a few new friends and meet inspiring people.

What I got out of it was far more valuable than that.

I was reminded of how much you truly can get done in a short space of time, if you have the motivation. However much time you allow yourself to do something, is usually how long it will take. It truly reminded me how valuable and precious each second really is. 

I didn't just make something cool, I contributed to something truly valuable. I'm not slightly bothered if we never make a dime off it. I contributed to something that made me feel warm from the very depths of my soul, and you can't put a price on that.

I made some very cool contacts and had the privilege of spending my weekend with awesome people. Everyone has their own story, and it's always awesome to hear a new one.

As for meeting inspiring people, I absolutely, without a doubt did.

I am so incredibly proud of how my team did, the work that was put into it, and I'm super proud of the design work I did for our app and our presentation. Our presenters did an incredible job. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of my team.

Whilst our team didn't win the weekend, we did win peoples choice, and we had so much good feedback on our product, presentation and design. So that's a win in my book. Below is the logo for our app.

If you are thinking of participating in Startup Weekend next year, do it. If you are hesitant, do it. If you don't have a business idea, don't see yourself as an entrepreneur, it doesn't matter, still do it!

How to save money on your wedding - Stationery

Being a designer too (If you want to check out my stationery you can find it here), I have a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to wedding stationery. So today, I'm here to tell you how you can have beautiful stationery without compromising on quality, whilst saving money. 

Firstly, don't feel the need to have a RVSP card. I absolutely adore RSVP cards, but if you are on a budget, I do suggest they are the first things to go. That saves you not only on the physical card, but the extra postage for the stamped envelopes for your guests to send them back. 

Secondly, don't feel the need to have fancy envelopes - whilst matching printed envelopes, lined or metallic envelopes look beautiful and awesome - they often aren't kept (whilst heaps of people might keep a pretty invitation as a keepsake, I know I do!). 

Added to that, don't feel like it's necessary to upgrade to fancier papers. If you want to, by all means do it - linen, metallic or textured papers are awesome and absolutely stunning - but most invitations also look great on a good quality, thick white matte card. I design all my stationery to suit a white card - that way any paper upgrades are absolutely optional. 

Another tip for saving cash, consider getting something already designed from your chosen designer; these are sometimes called 'off the shelf' invites, or 'from the collection', 'pre-made', etc. This will save you custom made fees. 

Lastly, consider a digital invite! I provide digital versions of all my invitations, as well as custom made ones, which are more affordable than it's printed counterpart. This not only saves you on the actual invitation, but it saves you a bundle on postage. It's easy as to attach to an email for most of your guests, and because you have the invite, it's easy as to get a few printed for your elderly guests that maybe don't have access to a computer. 

I think that's enough text for today - next week, table stationery! 
 

Finding the love in everyday - Week One

Week One in my March photo challenge has absolutely flown by! I'm loving the challenge of actively going out everyday and photographing something that I love, whether that be one of my pets, a hobby, or a building I find particularly cool. 

Summer in St Bathans

At the end of last year I had the privilege of spending a few days in a tiny town in Central Otago called St Bathans.

If you haven't been here yet you simply must. It's a town full to the brim of rich history. From the beautiful Blue Lake, to the haunted pub. Just like the rest of Central Otago, most of the town is postcard worthy. 

The views kept me more than busy, but I still had an incredibly relaxing holiday. If you are holidaying through Central Otago, I highly recommend stopping here at St Bathans!

I saw an old ruins of a school, some 76 year old graffiti, and a plethora of cool old buildings. 

SIT December Graduation

At the beginning of December I had the absolute pleasure of capturing some portraits of my lovely husband and some close friends of mine as they celebrated their graduation. 

To be entrusted with documenting such an amazing time in someones life is always a huge honour. 

I also had the pleasure of capturing the graduates with their families. Undertaking study is such a huge decision, and completing studies is an accomplishment worth celebrating, and who better to celebrate it with then those who supported you through it. For once I got in front of the camera, so I could have an image of me with my incredibly talented husband. 

Thank-you to all who entrusted me with this honour - and congratulations on graduating from SIT! 

Weddings - Your Day, Your Way!

Today I am going to write from the heart, and I'm going to talk about doing weddings your way. One thing I can't stress enough to future couples is the importance of doing a wedding your own way. 

Too often people get caught up in the commercialisation of weddings, and worried about pleasing everyone. 

Well I say, don't.

A wedding is the celebration of YOUR love story. The only two people you need to please are yourselves. 

If someone is pushing you to have a church wedding, but your dream is an intimate ceremony in a forest, then do it. 

If someone is pushing you into traditions and formalities, but you are more 'jandals on a beach' kind of couple, then embrace it. A wedding day should be a direct representation of your inner most self. 

Don't want to wear a white dress? Don't wear one! 

If you are a bride, and your bestie is a guy, have him in your bridal party. The tradition of the 'identical' bridal party only started in ancient times to scare off and confuse potential kidnappers and evil spirits as they wouldn't be able to identify the bride and groom. 

If you want to elope, go for it! Have a party later on. 

What I want to say is that you shouldn't be scared to break tradition, you shouldn't be worried about others thoughts and feelings - this is your love story! 

Some of my favourite weddings have been 'non-traditional' - one bride got married at the top of a playground and made all her guests slide down the slide in celebration. She even arrived by (kids) train! 

As always, I can't leave you without an image. Here is a shot from a wedding that reperesented what it means to be family, a community, and to be full of love. 

Lili's One Year Old!

Over the last year I have been capturing the beautiful Lili as she grows, mapping the changes from squirmy newborn to her own little person, and boy does this girl have some personality!

She's just at that stage where she is really getting the hang of walking, so understandably she wants to practice!

I did some portraits of her big sister too - since she's grown a lot in a year herself. She's gone from an inquisitive kindy kid to a intelligent school kid in the last year. Her hair is shorter and she has an awesome little sister to help take care of and protect. 

These two girls have so much love for each other. Dali loves showing Lili the world and Lili absolutely adores her big sister. 

I took the time to update their family portraits too, as well as capturing all the beautiful candid moments that come with family portraits and keeping babies happy. 

One of the joys of being a documentary, on location style photographer is that I get to capture one of the best parts of childhood; Curiosity, play, and wonder, and the ability to make a game out of almost anything. I can enter into a world not always seen, and capture all the real moments that make life beautiful. 

Shooting for myself and how I keep passion alive.

One thing I cannot stress enough about the creative industry, is the importance of creating for yourself. No matter what part of the creative industry you are in, it's so important to make things for yourself for no other reason than wanting too. 

Don't get me wrong, I love client work. I love creating beautiful works of art I know will be treasured for a lifetime.

But what helps keep my passion alive is shooting for myself and creating art outside of my client work. It inspires me and keeps me going. 

Some of that work is my award work. 

The tree was an illustrative piece about my family tree/history, and earned me a 'Bronze' in the Student Assistant Category in the NZIPP IRIS awards in 2012.. 

The flowers on the right were simply me wanting to create something pretty and different with the brides details, and they earned a 'silver' in the Wedding Creative Category in the NZIPP Iris awards of 2015.

Sometimes I go looking for an image, and upon exploring I am lucky enough to come across some beautiful scenery. By lucky I of course mean travelling through the countryside and 7:00am on a Sunday. The below shot earned me a 'Silver' in the Student/Assistant Category in the NZIPP Iris awards in 2012. 

Other personal work includes when I want to try out a new lighting technique or perfect one I've been thinking about for months, or create some beautiful deep character portraits of friends. 

Lucky for me I had some very willing models and I was able to bring my vision to life.

Actually I was very lucky to go to UCOL.

I was taught right from day one the importance of creating for yourself.

I was shown that it was okay to have multiple interests.

It was okay to squeeze in beautiful landscapes, falling apart buildings and cute cats in with my everyday work. 

Which is really lucky, because sometimes my client work includes pets (Not an unusal request at a wedding)

Some days, my personal work involves me wanting to update the portraits of my pets, and portray just how nuts my cat is. 

Whether you are lucky enough to be able to live your dream everyday like me and be able to create beautiful things for clients, or you work a more regular job, creating things for yourself to keep your passion alive is truly important. Whether thats knitting a cool toy, baking an awesome cake, taking photographs, painting a canvas, or making an app for a game, its going to ignite a fire inside you that nobody can extinguish. 

You can't put a price on that. 

A very sleepy caterpillar.

About two months ago now, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing a wee little newborn who was only 7 days new. He was such a lovely, relaxed little fella, as were his parents. You know a newborn shoot is going to be fun when the baby comes with his own 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' outfit. Without further ado, here is the very sleepy caterpillar!