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 several 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.