From the beginning...

March 30, 2021 My Story

From the beginning...

Well its hard to know where to start as the journey to get here has been long. So I guess it all started when I took Art as a subject in Temuka high school. I can't draw and my painting was very abstract! But I enjoyed using the film camera's and my first assignment I submitted was a collection of photo pieces of a couple of wooden chairs...(what a thrilling subject) but I still enjoyed photography and learnt how to use film and processed my own negatives in the darkroom. This is where I believe the seed was planted. At this point I didn’t imagine this to be my career. I went on to complete a NZ Diploma in Business at Ara Polytechnic in 2007 with aspirations to go into accountancy employment however after graduating I realised I much preferred interactions with people and not all numbers.

I have therefore been working in various administration roles. I married my husband Seete in 2010 and in 2015 I was blessed to become a mother with our first child Leilani. 2016 I started a diploma in professional photography and passed the first 2 papers however I also became a mother of two when my son Iosefa was born. Working with two kids there just wasn’t enough time or energy to commit to study so I left it in the hope to return in the future when the time was right.

Having children had reignited a passion for photography and capturing our memories of our lives in the digital age with an entry level Canon DSLR camera. At this point I used auto settings until I started wanting to know more. I like learning about photography watering that seed I planted years earlier. In my learning I have utilised YouTube tutorials and researching information online, reading articles and numerous photography threads. I have scrolled many hours of other photographers portfolios and tips. I follow many inspirational photographer’s on social media. I have since attended three workshops with Award winning NZIPP Photographer Justin Atkin. Along the way I'm gaining lots of experience on family and friends at birthday parties, events and having my kids as brand reps for other small NZ businesses where they would send us products and I would capture the kids modelling them for them to utilise in their marketing and social media. This helped to encourage me to get out and get more experience. Finding locations for adventures with the family but also an opportunity for photos.

I have been able to upgrade to a professional camera. I started off with a $200 50mm F1.8 lens and now have a wonderful pro lens worth $2600, a Canon 24-70mm F2.8L Lens.  I also invested in an Imac computer to complete my editing. I use Adobe Lightroom most of the time and a little Photoshop. Photography equipment is not cheap so it can be an expensive hobby but also really rewarding when you capture magical moments!!!!

In 2020 my employment contract finished along with many other job losses due to Covid-19. This has encouraged me to take that hobby and love of photography to the next level. The lockdown inspired some new directions and I introduced cultural portraits, a studio space in the garage and started gathering a client wardrobe with Māori clothing and taonga with the help of a special friend Naresha from Waa creations who is based locally here in Timaru.

My kids are growing up fast and with their growing independence I am able to focus more energy into my own passions even though ill always be a mum first I'm excited about being able to find something for me! My passion has slowly been nurtured and blossomed into something I can create memories for my family into sharing and capturing memories for lots of other families too. I love working with kids and like to let their uniqueness guide my work.

It’s easy to forget things as time goes by but a photograph can spark a memory from the past and bring it back into the present. I know first hand how precious photographs are. My mum passed away in 2019 and lots of our special memories I have left of her are captured in photo's that I now treasure dearly. I believe that it's worth investing in having beautiful photo's taken. Don't leave it for "one day" do it now! Mum's don't forget to get those photo's with you in it too!

My journey hasn't just been all about the starting up of my business it has also involved working on me so that I could be better prepared mentally. To build my self confidence and working on my habit of being a perfectionist. My self improvement journey has helped me to get to this point today that I am able to have a wonderful support network to help me and my passion for photography grow and truly blossom.

I'm so incredibly thankful for the support and encouragement I have received along my journey. It may have taken many years to come to fruition but I'm so pleased I'm finally here and taking the steps to do something I truely love doing. I am so honoured to be asked to take your photo's and capturing special memories for each client.

If you made it all the way to the bottom I congratulate you!! This is my first ever blog or waffle on and I think I maybe better to stick to photography than writing blogs!

Poipoi te kakano kia puawai- Nuture the seed and it will blossom.

“Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini”