Meet the team
It's not about us, it's about you. We like photo and video but we love people; their emotions, their expressions, the real beauty captured authentically
I always loved taking photos! I remember growing up and getting my first 35mm film camera. I used to make snazzy little cases for it and I would wear it around my neck everywhere I went. When I was about 16 I purchased my first 'proper' camera a nikon film slr, at the time I was working on the photo counter at a pharmacy so film and developing was cheaply accessible to me. I'm fortunate to have learnt on film, It taught me invaluable lessons about light, exposure and composition by using a film camera, you had to think a lot more about your pictures back when you could only take a limited number and not see them until they were developed. You were forced to learn by instinct because you didn't get to see the result till much later. This is now evident in the number of images I take compared to Jared he shoots five photos to my one.
My camera took the back seat after high school, I was a part owner in a cafe in Whakatane for a few years then I owned a NZ designer boutique in Tauranga. It was a busy few years for me running a business and looking after my daughter 'Charlise' who is now 10. The thing that took photography from a passion to a career for me was a trip that Jared and I took to work with an orphanage in the Philippines. I had a entry level 500d at the time and I took a lot of images on that trip! Mainly images of people, children playing in the dirt, old men leading goats around and crazy diary owners selling $1 beer by the litre. I realised how powerful imagery could be- how moving it could be- and how the attitude and approach that I took into the situation as a photographer could make all the difference to the result. In photography taking a photo is half the story. The rest of the story is the way you deal with the people involved. You make them feel relaxed, you help them feel beautiful (because they are) and you create a rapport with them by actually giving a shit not just doing a job for money. Once you've done that you can actually capture them; their personality, their natural and free state, rather than just pose them.
When we got back and Jared promptly got a much better camera than mine, and used it a lot, it made so much sense to go on this journey together. He was a fast learner and I had the opportunity to influence him like a new born baby and use his new gear. I believe shooting Fashion week in Auckland for a New York magazine was my first proper job, then a friend of mine got married soon after and needed a photographer and the rest is history. I feel so privileged to be able to pursue my passion in a way that not only provides us with an occupation but positively influences peoples lives.
I always hated photography! (until that time when I didn't of course). My Grandfather was a professional photographer and worked for DOC for most of my upbringing, taking photos. I used to go into his darkroom or look at all his vintage cameras and be generally unimpressed. I do remember sneakily admiring some of his books on photography -they had nude photography sections. I was much more interested in playing the drums in bands and fiddling around with computers. Art (usually music) and technology where the things I always found enticing. I liked the logical, technical aspects of the technology and the outlet to express myself through art. For a long time I kept that attitude of not really caring about photos (apart from to document my existence with a shitty 5mp point and shoot) but loved using Photoshop- it was cool technology. I could remove all the color from an image except where I wanted it! Amazing! Over time I started to enjoy more visual forms of art- maybe it was the popularisation of music videos, maybe it was the technological advances in photography gear, maybe it was growing older and the wind changing, but after having a cool photographer girlfriend I seemingly all of a sudden decided I loved photography and dived straight into a expensive professional camera. I still have some of the first images I took, they are of ducks at Hamilton lake. They are terrible.
I think I did the right thing not getting into photography early. There are things I needed to learn- about people, about moments, about art, about technology- that I would not have learned had I always been a photographer. For example I believe in everything there are two key components. What you can do, and what you decide to do. My ethos is simple, I want the "can do" to be unlimited so I can more freely express myself and the things in front of me in the form of what I "decide to do". I learned this while drumming- it's no good being technically good and being able to hit a drum 900 times a minute (which I can do) if it doesn't actually sound good in the context of the song- its mood, it's style, it's audience. There are many technically good drummers with no flavor and originality. When I left school to pursue a career playing music in covers bands I quickly learned that imitating other peoples styles was useful as a practice technique, but a terrible thing to do consistently- it sucks the creative flair right out of you. Similarly with photography, there is no use in having the best gear and the best technical skills to shoot in any light if your picture doesn't actually strike a chord- if it doesn't have mood and style and appeal to the target audience. With photography I deliberately have extremely low exposure to other peoples images and a deliberately high exposure to other photographers personally and new photography techniques. I like to know concepts without the subconscious influence of flavor.
Of course, everyone has a different idea of what sounds good. Everyone has a different idea of what looks good. The things that look good to me are natural moments, real expressions and actual environments. I'm not interested in spending 20 minutes posing someone for one photo. I'm not interested in airbrushing away wrinkles from weathered faces or removing the tear from a crying eye. I'm interested in the tear and the wrinkles much more than seeing a unnaturally clear face that never existed. I'm interested in you and your family, being yourselves. Believe it or not the best images come not from what we do as photographers but what you do as people. That's why we encourage everyone- if you like our work, choose us! If you don't, please don't choose us! We are not a covers band, we only do originals!