It was super hard picking my favourite images from through out the year, which is proof I was blessed with an uncountable amount of new friends and self-made family! So THANK YOU so so much for making 2016 so amazing for me, and I simply can not wait to see what adventures 2017 has in store! X
Thank you to everyone for all of your love and support. I hope you've had a magical year x
My mother paid for me to return home for my birthday! I spent the week doing the usual: documenting my family with my camera; trying new techniques; catching up with old friends; regenerating and rejuvenating in general :)
My siblings and I chased a sunset to the river for a mini portrait session (semi against their will)
Then we shot off to the nearest beach, Petone, for some stunning ocean/sunset combos!
And they helped me by being human tripods when it came to trying out some self portraits...
I introduced them to Astro Photography, and they obliged, yet again, to be my human points of interest
A few days later, my grandparents came down to visit. I decided it was about time I documented their adorable little life - my grandad used to be a builder, so he converted an old school bus into a house bus for him and my dear granny to travel the country in:
My best friend, Matt, just so happened to be in town (just kidding - I planned the trip for when he was in Wellington, too, so we could see each other before he moved to the UK!)
Our tradition is Burger Fuel, gelato, walking along the waterfront, then catching up over a cheeky cider in bean bags on the grass at St John's Bar.
While staying with my mother, I figured it was about time to show off her impressive teddy bear collection. This wasn't even half of it...
My dad had to work most of the time I was in town this time around, so I visited him at the hospital instead. He's an Emergency Department nurse with two PhD's, so they have to call him Dr Nurse Doug!
I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such loving, caring, supportive people. You're all beautiful in your own way, and I wouldn't change you for the world. I love you all, and appreciate each and every single little thing you do for me. Xx
It's taken me a while to work up the courage to post about my adventures at Camp Winona this year; a lot of personal events occurred, and now my memories of this magical place are bitter sweet. I will miss this haven dearly, but I know I shall never return. Even writing this, I have a lump developing in my throat...
Camp Winona is a place where dreams come true; these girls literally grew up before my eyes, from cheeky little brownies to beautiful young women. I met people from every corner of this glorious earth, and now my best friends are spread across the oceans. It is by far the hardest job I have ever had, and also by far the absolute most rewarding adventure I have ever endeavoured.
I ended up leaving camp early this year, for multiple reasons. I still know it was the right decision, and I don't regret a single thing that happened. I spent four of the most amazing summers of my life here, and it will always be one of my favourite places on earth. Since I left early, there aren't too many images or stories to share, but I hope you enjoy what I could provide below:
Teepee Valley grew every year. When I first started, there weren't enough teepees for the counsellors, so we slept in a tent, and there wasn't a clearing so we were up by the health centre. This year I got to enjoy the valley in it's full glory in the middle of the woods. It was certainly an experience, but I did get more sleep than I thought I would!
The original Hammock Village location got cleared out, but this year's spot was so much more relaxing, down by a stream and far from reality. I often went down there to hide from the world.
The mud pit was as amazing as ever, if not better! Watching both children and adults a like forget all inhibitions and cover themselves head to toe in foul smelling muck is something I will never forget. The squeals of delight yet pure terror, the manic laughter, the beaming smiles, all magical.
This year, the slip and slide got a little destroyed (by a little, I mean someone's leg went through a little hole and ripped a ridiculously huge hole, and they almost tore themselves in half... but don't worry, they're ok!) It still served relief from the crazy temperatures we had to endure, and the children enjoyed nothing more than all going down together and dragging me with them...
The Balloon Paint Arena was always an adventure in itself - I never, I repeat NEVER, got out of there clean. My camera would wear the brunt of the paint, something I'll carry with me always (mostly due to the fact I can't get it out...)
Ahh Brook's Pool... Where children would pile themselves on top of you, chase you with water guns, pretty much attack you in any way, shape or form... Our saviour from the heat and humidity, and entertainment for hours on end.
We didn't have too many animals this year. This bearded dragon who's name I can't remember was definitely the crowd favourtie!
Who knew two ingredients would entertain children for hours on end?! It was either baking powder or soda (I forget) and water, and it made "goo" - a half solid, half liquid substance the kids absolutely adored.
One of my favourite ever science experiments was making fake snow! You just add water and it looks and feels just like snow, and to re-use it, you just let it dry out then add more water!
Having other New Zealanders at camp was always the little taste of home I needed when I was missing my family and friends. Teaching the girls how to make poi then teaching them simple movements was such a fun way to show them different parts of the world.
(Side note - one little girl, Grace, had been coming to camp since she was a brownie, and I looked after her in her first year. I taught her a song I used to sing when I was her age, and four years on, she still knows the words off by heart. I had no idea she was at a campsite when I walked up, and I heard her singing straight away. It absolutely melted my heart)
Now this image is funny on different levels - I found this craft on Pinterest and suggested it to the Arts and Crafts specialists. They obviously loved it and taught the girls! They paint their own terracotta pots, then line the pots with foil and burn coals in them for their own mini fires to melt marshmallows!
This year, the director Goof (Jenn) got these rocks punched in the shape of a mermarie (a mermaid fairy that's folklore at Camp Winona) and dispersed the rocks all over camp! It was a crazy scavenger hunt trying to find them! (I never ended up finding one...)
The Art Smart girls spent hours upon hours painting murals all over the camp - the pool house, the basement, the health centre, and even in the woods. They did an absolutely amazing job!
This is one of the last images I took this year. The last mud pit I ever watched the girls enjoy. The end of one adventure, and the beginning of another.
I will always love Camp Winona. I'm not angry about what happened. Everything happens for a reason, and I know I am a better person now because of what I went through.
"People in cities don't understand; falling in love with the land"
It's that time of year again! And my oh my has it come around extra quick this year!
It's now only a matter of hours before I board my flight and head off on round four of my American summer camp adventures!
I'd just like to say thank you so much to all of your support this year! It's been a super busy few months lately, and I am truly grateful for all of my new friends!
I'm going to try my hardest to keep this bad boy updated with events and happenings, but the internet in the woods isn't always reliable, so thank you so much in advance for your patience and understanding!
I'm trying to keep this short and sweet, so once again, thank you, ALL OF YOU, for absolutely everything, and stay safe this winter. xx
As my 25th birthday is coming up (t-minus less than 10 days...) I decided it was about time I really knuckled down with this business! So TA-DAH! New website, new branding (coming soon...), new me!
A lot has happened in the past ten years (that's how long I've been practising photography - isn't that crazy?! Crept up in no time!). When I first picked up a camera, film was the way to go - digital was a crazy new invention to me, and it took a while for my high school teacher to convince me to pursue this strange field. All I wanted to do was hang out in the dark room, stinking of chemicals, and experimenting with my hands.
If it was possible to study film further in tertiary education, I would have been there with bells on! Alas, the only way to do so was with a four year Arts degree, only delving in photography near the end... So I undertook a Certificate in Digital Photography, which turned into a Diploma, which I was going to use to find a studio job, and ended up working for myself. I've now had this business for almost five years!
My style has changed ever so slightly with every shoot, my knowledge bank has expanded, my contacts list is now HUGE, all over New Zealand and spreading throughout Sydney - when I stop and think about it all, it's rather overwhelming. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such a social passion, and the people I come across on a daily basis through the pursuit of this passion just astounds me. Every one of them have taught me a lesson, mostly about myself, but also about life in general. Every one of them has a story to tell, and I love that I can share their lives through my photographs. Every one of them is beautiful, and I'm so thankful that we have crossed paths, and that I am lucky enough to call most of them my friends.
I know that the majority of you will be reading this post, and I want to thank you again for your love, support and encouragement - I couldn't do any of this without you.
So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU - all my love xo