Back in June, I managed a return journey to Fiordland, five years after our first ever visit to that part of the country. Previously post-earthquake, it was a chance to get a group of mates away to just hang out. Sort of post quake ‘life is for living’ sort of thing. We had such a good time, we thought, ‘Ummm, maybe we should do it all again’! The risk was it wouldn’t ever be as good, and maybe fall a bit flat. Well, we didn’t have to worry!
Despite being 7 nights this time, (the last was 5), we had a complete blast. Chris and the boat was just as good, and this time we managed to push a bit further south. Despite not catching a deer, we did spent more time ashore trying. The bush was so dense, we feared the deer just had to lie still and we would probably never even know they were there, as we walked through such thick bush. Those we did see were mostly ~400m away, so was always a bit ambitious. Well, that is how we consoled ourselves for missing! Yet we made up for in seafood, freshly brewed craft beer, fine whiskey and home cooked bread!
Great to spend the weekend away with fellow photographers at Castle Hill. It isn’t everyday you can hang out with a bunch of other camera aficionados, talking about the things you love doing the most. Actually, we kind of didn’t talk too much about geeky stuff, but we did enjoy the time to create together. It is actually quite incredible, that despite standing side by side, we can all came up with something different and unique.
I found this article recently, and totally loved it. Full credit to Chad Cowan of Kansas, for documenting Mother Nature in all her glory! This has to be timelapse photography & natural history at it’s best.
Judging has just wrapped from this years Epson NZIPP Professional Photography Awards, held in Wellington. This was the the first year in a very long time that I couldn’t attend, but nevertheless managed to submit a full complement of images.
The score tally
x1 Silver Distinction
x1 Professional Standard
Can you pick which ones got what? Funny, I couldn’t! It’s the usual story, that the ones you love the most, or worked the hardest on (either in conception or execution), are not always the ones that get the judge’s recognition.
Last night I saw Aurora Australis readings were heading off the scale. So much so I bundled the kids out for a peek, and we weren’t disappointed! Shot at Lake Ellesmere, around 7.30pm. With no moon, good weather, and naked rays bounced about this sky, we were all back home by 8.30pm totally fizzing!!
Castle Hill has to be one of New Zealand’s true scenic jewells. So when Kitty & Liam told me they were to be married there, I was most excited. Liam’s family have a connection to the village, and with a lot of Kitty’s family travelling, St Andrews School Lodge was an idyllic retreat for a wedding. With generous timings for photos, I was very excited. Add to that the earlier poor forecast changed, and earlier predictions of rain and snow, instead became a windless sunny day. Though still a tad chilly in the shade, so much so, that the bass player had to surrender to the comfort of the main lodge after the ceremony down in the bush line! But simply having the talented Eastern play was in itself special. Well done to Adam for returning from Europe early to do so.
Please enjoy photos here, the unity of two lovely families, and the hard work of many people to create such a special day
On Tuesday, rather than a self-designated day off (in celebration of quite some years on this planet!), I ended up working at a conference, for the Te Hono movement.
I have never heard of it.
There were no TV cameras. There was no media buzz. But over 90% of our country’s primary industries were meeting. Our biggest collection of CEO’s and business entrepreneurs getting together to talk and inspire, directed by Stanford University.
Think TED Talk for our key industry leaders & businesses. But it isn’t just a one off forum. It is an ongoing programme, with annual bootcamps of NZ attendees going to Stanford University. This really is a Movement, a private initiative, supported by government. THIS is what will take our country into the future, create wealth, and lead us into world markets while returning to sustainability and environmental ethics. It is EXCITING to know we have leadership, desire for change, and a real movement to make our country smarter. It is heavily respectful of Maori, well integrated with tertiary leadership, and totally about embracing change / disruptive technology.
So when you read all the doom and gloom on the news, it is reassuring to know we have a wealth of people working, and thinking, about new ways of doing business in the future. That’s inspiring.
Dianna & Daniel were married on Saturday, and were fortunate enough to get in before the rain poured! Really fortunate, as boy did it pour later on! The Ceremony was held at Wigram base, where high tea and games were enjoyed by all the guests. With photos at the botanical gardens, it was a great sight for the tourists! Enjoy a preview of their day, shot by Rebecca.
Annalese and Jaime were married on Friday 10th, and they couldn’t have asked for a better day. With their wedding held at Annalese’s family property, it made for a special occasion surrounded by their family and friends. Rebecca was their photographer, and ventured out around the family farm for photos. They were certainly spoilt for choice with so many beautiful back drops. The bridal party had plenty of fun with their vintage bus as transport, which also made for some cracker photos. If the lads had their strides down on the bus at the wedding, I can only imagine the stage do!! Enjoy their day below.
Jess & Jeroen were married on Friday, and they couldn’t have asked for a better day! It was a beautiful warm summer’s day. They were surrounded by their family and friends at Trent’s Vineyard which is a favourite of Rebecca, who shot for them. There are so many great photo opportunities, between the forest, garden, pond, and old machinery. Their day certainly did not disappoint. Enjoy a preview of their day here.
Rachel and Liam were married on Saturday, with Rebecca photographing. Surrounded by family and friends, they were married at the Hagley Oval in Hagley Park. What a great location for a wedding – there was even live cricket entertainment to keep the blokes amused, even if that was just by an accident (oops!)! With photos to follow at some picturesque spots around Central Christchurch, the Bridal Party were on form, and a pleasure to work with! Rachel & Liam are such a great couple and their wedding day was evidence of this, filled with fun, laughter, and so much love to go around. Enjoy a sneak peak of their wedding day!
I am not sure I have seen so many hugs at a wedding if I am being honest! And that’s a lovely thing. But we certainly did for Kerri & Nicole at Broadfield Gardens on Saturday.
After disappointing news we couldn’t shoot up the Port Hills as planned (due to the fire cordon / damage), we were rewarded with a near perfect Canterbury day. Making the most of summery conditions, we had photos at Lincoln University, The Laboratory in Lincoln (that was an inside thirst quencher being such a warm day!), a nearby farm, as well as at Broadfield Gardens. Friends and family then celebrated at a newly built barn venue outside of Halswell, complete with outdoor games, donkeys and alpacas. A great day, with beautiful people, that was just easy. Then again, I left before things got too wild and the rugby girls put any scrums down!
What a difference a week makes. It was a week ago that CHCH was in a midst of a large emergency response to the ferocious fire ripping through the Port Hills. The sudden change of wind on the Wed (15th Feb) changed the game completely, and saw a declaration of emergency issued by authorities.
Thankfully the worst of the flames were contained by the week’s end, but the long toil to dampen down the hills continues. As I write, nine days since the fire started, there are still whisps of smoke rising above Worsleys Spur/ CHCH Adventure Park, with helicopters and planes still dousing the hills. Hopefully the preventative measures, and layers of retardant, will prevent the return of any more flames, as temperatures are predicted to rise and humidity lowers for the rest of this week.
A massive thanks must go to all repsonders, in the air and on the ground, and thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones and property.
Dianna and Matthew were married on Saturday, and it was a spectacular day with Rebecca. Their wedding was held at their beautiful family vineyard, Omarino Wine Park, which made it that extra bit special Picture’s are always more meaningful when the trimmed apple tree’s and vines have been a labour of love! They couldn’t have asked for a better day, the weather was perfect. It was such a fun day filled with plenty of laughter that incorporated so many special touches, such as their beautiful dog Lily. I hope you enjoy a preview of their special day.
Monday was the opening of Rolleston College, one of the newest secondary schools built in NZ, under the government’s private-public partnership. Boy, what a school. All adults there were saying how much they wanted to go back to high school again. A very funky blend of multi use learning spaces & modern architecture. Gone are dark corridors, rows of lockers, desks all in a row…
It was a beautiful summer’s day on Saturday, when Rizza and Sidney were married! It was a pleasure for Rebecca to photograph their wedding, after meeting them all at Rizza’s sister’s wedding in December last year. It was a fantastic family affair. Their wedding started with a traditional service at St Teresa of Lisieux Parish, and followed with a great party at Te Hapua in Halswell. Bridal Party photos were captured at the beautiful Christchurch Botanical Gardens where plenty of laughs were shared. Enjoy a preview of their day!
Massive thanks guys for a great day, that was just easy. People often think weddings have to be stressful, but the reality is that most aren’t. I love working with great people, who are well organised, out get the job done, but also able to have fun. Having photographed for 18years now, this isn’t always the case. But when it does, hopefully the proof is in the pudding. We create great memories together because of being able to all work well together. So thank you Ryan and Larissa. I hope you love these.
I was particularly looking forward to our special location for many months, after finding it by accident during a pre-shoot reconnoitre. To find a derelict location FULL of old cars, is like a urbex photographer’s dream (urbex – urban explorer. Though to be fair, it wasn’t technically urban!). I was really excited to get stuck into seeing what we could come up with there. I hope you love these!
Despite shooting weddings for 17yrs, I think Saturday was a very special day. To have the union of two special people and the gathering of two beautiful families is one thing. But add into the mix some mad Aussies, and the salubrious Otahuna Lodge, and you have one AMAZING wedding.
Otahuna Lodge has to be the closest thing NZ has to an English stately home, or French Chateau. I’ve been to weddings in both. It is truly gorgeous – the wood, the history, the elegance, the service, the food, the grounds, the decor, the architecture…. it is simply the whole package.
But most of all it is the people. Thank you to the Cummings for having me along, as the association photographing family milestones is treasured. Thank you.
This is also one of the longest slideshows I have ever made, in part, testament to the huge volume of stunning content I couldn’t help capturing! Please enjoy, and turn the volume up loud!!
Rodelyn and Peter were married on Saturday – it was a sunny but VERY blustery day! After a full house at the bridal preparations, the girls made their way to Our Lady of Assumption Church in Hoon Hay to meet up with Peter and the groomsmen. After a lovely service, all headed up with Rebecca to the Sign of the Bellbird where they photos, while trying extremely hard not to be blown away! On the way to their afternoon function, stopping off at home for photos. But it was at Halswell Quarry that the fun really cranked up a notch! With carnival stalls and plenty of games, everyone had a great time relaxing and laughing. Can you spot Peter in one of the blow up balls?! The reception followed close by in Ladbrooks, where Rodelyn had made an incredible effort decorating the venue, and making the cake! The wedding was a true family occasion, especially when Peter’s family had written them a song! Do enjoy a preview here.
Kelly and Brett were married on Friday, you couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day! Preparations started at the amazing Heritage Hotel, which is such a fabulous spot to get ready, the staircase is amazing for photos! Rebecca was photographing, and made her way out to the Valley of Peace for the ceremony. Bridal photos were then taken at the venue, and then at Halswell Quarry nearby for some spectacular landscape photos. Kelly & Brett’s wedding day was a great day full of plenty of sunshine, family and friends, where plenty of laughter and love was to be shared. Enjoy a preview of their day here!
Robyn & Nick were married on a beautiful Canterbury summer’s day, with plenty of sun and that typical nor’west wind! Rebecca was in charge of capturing some special photos of cars beforehand, and recreated some family wedding photos with Robyn and her family. Once that wrapped up, they headed out to Rossendale Winery for the ceremony. It was a truly great day with friends and family, with plenty of fun to be had with the bridal party! An added bonus was the beautiful evening sunset, where Rebecca captured some of her favourite photos out in the vines and wheat field – what a treat! But more amazingly, check out Robyn’s dress – how cool is that?! Please enjoy a preview of their spectacular day here.
It was a great day with Jessica & Reuben getting married at Cashmere Hills Church. It had been a while since I had photographed there, and was great to see a church that had escaped all the quake dramas of recent years. I guess for Jess and Reuben this was a special blessing, being able to share their special day with so many friends and family. A number of whom had travelled extensively to be in attendance. Photos & reception festivities followed at Peppers Clearwater, where luckily, no golf carts were harming in the production of photos!
Liz and Eamonn were married on Friday at the Curator’s House on Canterbury Anniversary Day. The weather may not have held off all afternoon, but that didn’t stop Rebecca going out and making the most of things with Liz and Eamonn! It was a beautiful, intimate wedding with their most special family and friends, with so much love and laughter shared. Just the sort of occasion a wedding should be. With some of Christchurch’s iconic buildings (The Curator’s house, Canterbury Museum, Christ’s College…) as spectacular backdrops for their wedding photos, you possibly couldn’t get more Christchurch! All the best for travels overseas – do enjoy photos here.
It is always nice to share a wedding day with nice people. Knowing Karl for some time meant being part of a wedding almost felt like family. But more than that, things are just easy, and everything just goes well. Thanks for that must also to Tracey and her crew at Melton Estate. Full marks must also go to Adam for one of the more humorous speeches I’ve heard in a while! So please enjoy photos from Saturday, from Anna-Lee and Karl’s special day.
Sam and Nate were married on Saturday Ashburton, which proved to be an idyllic summers day. Rebecca was there to capture this coverage for them. It was a great day, complete with angry birds. Fast ducks that is, at the Domain! But that was made up by plenty of fun, love, tears and laughter shared with their friends and family. Enjoy a peak at their day below!
Rebecca kicked off for summer, with a lovely wedding with Kayla and Danielle at Langdale Winery in West Melton. Langdale’s is a great all in one venue, with a beautiful ceremony area, plenty of photo opportunities on the grounds, and a beautiful rustic barn for the ceremony. The sun shone all day despite the weather predictions, love was in the air, and it was a magical day spent with family and friends, with many laughs along the way! Please enjoy photos here.
A worthy read, in the day and age of budget weddings, and a proliferation of amateur photographers. Comments I think many in the industry don’t often express publicly, but will often think to themselves, when the two don’t align in harmony.
I was off to Akaroa for the first wedding of the summer on Saturday. Well to be fair, it didn’t quite feel entirely like summer, but at least the rain held off for Robyn and Paul! With photos before the service, we headed to the Akaroa lighthouse, and then up Stony Bay Rd for views back over town. After photos in the mist, and amongst windswept trees, we headed back to Mt Vernon Lodge for an intimate ceremony and reception with family and friends. Mt Vernon is a great all in one venue, perfect for people to come away and stay on site. All this with an energetic Austin who very nearly stole the show from his Mum! Please enjoy photos here.
Wednesday night was the annual Champion Canterbury Awards, run by the Canterbury Employer’s Chamber of Commerce.
With over 1100 guests seated for a black tie dinner, the night really is a celebration of innovation, business, and enterprise in the Canterbury region. In fact, it is one of NZ’s largest and premier award evenings by all accounts. The entertainment was top notch, with outstanding dance, drumming, singing and aerial performances, matched with witty MC’ing by Jesse Mulligan.
Congratulations to all companies featured, as there are truly a host of great businesses flying beneath the radar in this region. Though key winners were the Isaac Theatre Royal as Small Enterprise Supreme Winner, and ARANZ Medical as the Medium / Large Enterprise Supreme Winner.
I was up Victoria Park shooting with clients last week, when by chance workmen arrived for maintenance on pylons near where we were photographing. We were all fascinated with the ease with which they attended to their task.
Goodness, all of us quivered at the thought of climbing the spikes, let alone actually working at heights, with high voltage. I guess this is what they do, and receive training for. Nevertheless, is not for everyone. This was on a nice day, and all credit to field workers heading off in stormy conditions when the rest of us rely on that power to keep our heaters on.
What a week just been. The annual Epson NZIPP Professional Photography (Iris) Awards were held in Wellington, along with our annual conference. To say it was a blast is an understatement. The best yet, in the 17 years that I have been involved. We are very lucky to have such a talented creative community, that is supportive of each other despite what may seem to be competitive businesses. The reality is we face many similar issues, and have more in common in an ever evolving digital age.
Anyway, despite not gaining an ever elusive gold (which was my target!), nine out of ten entries received recognition by way of silver and bronze awards. Split over Wedding Classic, Documentary, Landscape and Wild Places, you can see my awarded entries here. It is always good to have your work appraised by your peers, to see where you sit professionally. It isn’t always an easy process, and is the cause of much angst in preparing work, and then seeing them judged. Regardless, we are a very small nation whose work sits with pride equal to any on the international stage.
Documentary – CHCH Quake 5yrs on. Life carries on at Marian College.
Documentary – CHCH suburban Residential Red Zone
Documentary “The sun is shining, but no-one’s home” – West Coast, Sth Is.
Documentary – ‘The Isolation of Suburban Retail’
Wildlife and Wild Places – Aurora over Lake Ellesmere
As much as I love summer weddings, I think I possibly enjoy winter weddings more. The feel is very different, and as a photographer, is a welcome change to play with low light, indoor locations, and usually different shoot styles.
This was certainly the case for Jessica and Ric, who were keen to go to ‘The Last Word’ for photos, as well the Dance’O’Mat. Given how cold it was, the dancing was perhaps a welcome alternative to whiskey in order to warm up!! It could have gone pear shaped if we weren’t careful, as the ceremony was still to come! After St Anne’s Church, guest were treated to the reception at The Tannery. Please enjoy photos here, especially folk overseas who couldn’t make it.
As some may know, I do enjoy night photography, and in particular the chance to capture the Aurora Australis. Here’s some photos from last night out at Lake Ellesmere.
What a co-oincidence, that on Sunday, TV One, they had just finished a segment on Mark Gee and his amazing astrophotography work. Immediately after such great TV exposure, we had one of the best aurora displays I have seen in recent years. Yet the main display was short lived, only about 1/4 hr between 8.30-45pm. It was almost a perfect storm, with no wind, no cloud, warm (well 8deg!), no moon, a decent hour, with dancing beams visible to naked eye, at Lake Ellesmere. Simply stunning. Nature at its best, that you just can’t predict, but when it comes you jump with joy!
Despite a cool tail end of summer, we did our best to keep the goosebumps away! OK, technically we are well and truly into Autumn, and it was quite fresh! But the warmth of friendship, connection with family, and the love of Sarah and Brad was clear. With a one stop wedding all at Trent’s Estate, in Prebbleton, we managed a lot of laughs with a large bridal party.The lads did their best to have their own Beerfest (officially in town the same day!).
We started at the Heritage Hotel, which is an absolute gem of a venue. It is a true asset to the city, and a photographer’s dream. Especially as there are few other places of such grandeur left in CHCH. The stairs are always such a striking location for any bride – Sarah with a beautiful dress, long veil, and extensive entourage made quite an impression.
Please enjoy some photos here. I have to say, there are some of my summer wide favourites in this slideshow. I’ll let you see if you can pick the ones!
PS – some shots have not made the public cut. Lads, you know the ones!!
It’s been a busy weekend! Themed ‘The Northern Lights’, after Greg’s unique proposal in the Arctic Circle, Omarino Wine Park in Harewood came to life for Amy and Greg on Saturday. Fortunately conditions weren’t as icy as up North, and all guests enjoyed the tailend of a cracker summer. Though to be fair, the boys did lend their coats a couple of times to the poor girls while out on location!
Please enjoy photos here (taken at the Groynes, and on site at Omarino).
Rebecca spent Easter Sunday celebrating the union of Bex and Gareth. I love the LOVE dance floor, and the cameo appearances by the pets!
” It was a pleasure to be part of Bex and Gareth’s wedding day. It was great day, full of fun, family, friends and sunshine, at Bex’s parents home, and at Langdales Vineyard. It was everything a wedding should be. Please enjoy a small selection of photos below – may they bring many smiles!”.
To see two cultures come together is a beautiful thing. Certainly that was the case for Vinesh and Janine on Friday at Clearwater. Janine made a special effort to embrace Fijian Indian customs, and Vinnie just looked that part in traditional dress. I did worry a bit about the back wash from the chopper, but Vinnie did alright and didn’t loose anything!! We stayed on site at Clearwater for photos, which in low autumn light was lovely and soft. Though at this time of year, can get a bit fresh for the girls, with more skin showing. We did hint at sharing jackets, but the lads weren’t quite up to speed there!! Perhaps they needed them for the speedy buggy rides!
The only sad thing was that it was the last wedding working with Emma, who is off from Clearwater as Wedding Co-ordinator, to Events Manager at Rangi Ruru. Best of luck Emma!
To say we had a colourful day with Olivia and Ken on Saturday is pretty much bang on! The lads jackets pretty much tell the whole story – a bunch of laughs, with good friends, bright and bubbly, and not a lot of posy formal stuff!
With the ceremony and reception held at St Mary’s Convent in Blenheim, there would be few other places as salubrious where I have worked. It was a stunning location, with beautiful grounds and grand old rooms. Hard to imagine it was once the austere heart of worship.
Better still, while CHCH baked at a whopping 34 degrees, we had a comfy temperature with light cloud. That was perfect for photography, before we headed off to Brayshaw Heritage Park. You can see we didn’t take things too seriously, and we just hung out a boot full of props. I do think the garter might have been Olivia’s favourite!!
Seventeen years of shooting weddings and this might just be a pinnacle! What a CRACKER weekend we’ve just had with Rowan and Carl. A STUNNING wedding amongst the West Coast bush, on family land in Granity.
Without any practical alternative in the event we were to have wet weather, I was quite worried before the day, just how things would turn out. On the Coast, it can be expected! Well, I needn’t have worried as it was low 30’s, without a breath of wind, and just a perfect summer’s day. Given we also had photos at the Denniston Incline (above Westport), we must have chanced one of the few days without mist, fog or rain in that area too (anyone who has read Denniston Rose by Jenny Pattrick will know exactly the bleak reality of this area).
Guests assembled from around the globe (Norway, Sweden, UK no less too), many of whom camped on site for the weekend. The land itself had a beautiful mix of native bush, creek, and lake, that like many parts of the Coast just ‘feels right’. The service was held in the creek bed running past the main house – and surprisingly I think all 160 people managed a view from somewhere in the bush, outcrops, creek and glade surrounding the bridal party. Fun was a BIG theme of the weekend, as with the celebration of nearest and dearest. The band (not used to unrestricted noise control) rocked out hard till the wee hours on Steve and Bunny’s amazing deck. By the end of the weekend, I think people might be ready for a holiday?!
Well done guys – a beautiful setting, with beautiful people, celebrating love. Thank you for having me there.
Returning from the West Coast at the weekend, I stopped off for a bit of a poke around Reefton. I hadn’t really had a good look around here before, and personally think it is one of NZ’s hidden gems. Full of character, nostalgia, plus it has one of the countries best skate parks (go figure!).
I took a slight detour out of town, and was drawn to a back yard of rusted cars hulks, strewn derelict about the grounds of a old weatherboard house. While some were encroached by thorns and scrub, others were lying neglected on a freshly mown lawn. None however would ever see the open road ever again I am sure. (Though many would be a vintage car restorers dream if they were ever to be salvaged).
It was here I met K.D.
“The problem is, you know, too many #-*-# are rooting!’.
Without knowing just how much truth there might have been from mystery, I got chatting, and think we solved many of the world’s problems. I did have many a good laugh, such as his rationale above why the world was in such a mess. KD was a quite a character. A real salt of the earth, working man. The language was colourful, and his views opinionated. Yet, this was refreshing given we normally live in a very PC world.
With a working life spent about the Reefton, in forestry and deer recovery, I stumbled upon a true Coaster here. I can’t be sure of his age. Before I know it I had a tour of the house (close to a hoarders house as I have ever seen!), got to handle his prized vice grips (“You can do anything with those bastards”), and his pride and joy, an old but trusted Land Rover (“You wouldn’t believe the —– places I took that —–“!). I even got to see his special the home made wasp extractor (“I’m going to get those bastards soon”, pointing an aged hoover vacuum cleaner with adapted funnel, to a wasp nest in the garage).
But the joy was when he started recalling pioneering days of deer recovery. Out came the deer net, custom made in the 1960’s from an old .303 rifle, firing blanks to shoot a net for live deer recovery. Then came his old rifle (“That —— has shot thousands of deer, that bastard”), complete with Araldite (“Well, it broke in a chopper accident, so I had to fix it a bit”), and adapted magazine (“The original only held 4 rounds, but that’s no —— use when you are up in a chopper surrounded by deer. I made this one instead”, pointing to the welded 10 shot mag he’d constructed).
“KD, can I send you some photos? Do you have an email”
“What the — would I have an email for? I don’t even have a computer. —- that!”.
Maybe, I’ll just have to go old school and make hard copies.
I have to say it was an absolute pleasure to have worked with Srey Leak and Sophen on Saturday. Having known their wider family for some years now, it is quite a privilege to again be asked to photograph a family wedding. It is a great feeling knowing many of the quests – though I can only hope my pronounciation was up to speed!
The wedding itself was at Broadfield Gardens in Selwyn. A beautiful private garden that is a true labour of love, and a joy to work in. Photos were taken there, as well as Lincoln University, and the the AA testing yard in Hornby. Luckily being a Saturday afternoon, we didnt have to queue in line! Madam Kwong took all guests in for a lovely meal, dancing and general celebrations. Actually, I think there would be few places in CHCH that could cope with 200+ guests. Well done.