Portrait Photography: Newborn

This adorable bundle of loveliness is baby Coen at 2 weeks old. With newborn shoots I find it’s usually smoother sailing if the session is at the baby’s home – Mum & Dad are more relaxed, and therefore so is baby. This session went perfectly: straight after a mid-morning feed so that Coen was awake & chipper for the shoot, and ready for naptime towards the end… how cute is that tiny baby yawn!!

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Portrait Photography – Sumner Beach

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing Oscar & Felix on the beach at Sumner. Doing portrait sessions with kids is always heaps of fun, and the beach is the perfect spot for it, even in winter – and we had a perfect Christchurch winter’s day for it too, with loads of warm sunshine & blue skies.

There’s really no better spot to make sure the kids are having a great time during the shoot, and I had heaps of fun with these two gorgeous wee guys!

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Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere & Banks Peninsula

Towards the end of our evening out to see if we could catch an Aurora I decided that the milky way was so spectacular that I wanted to take a photograph of it arcing down over Banks Peninsula. The silhouette of the flax on the left with the haze of Christchurch behind it was too good to leave out too.

Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere & Banks Peninsula

Just as we were about to pack up and go Greg picked up the torch and went to make a romantic gesture under the stars…. unfortunately we only got the one go at doing some painting with light as the torch decided it’d had enough and went for early retirement. Luckily the moon was so bright that it lit our way back down the frosty trail to the car!

Milky Way over Banks Peninsula with Heart of Light

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Aurora Australis & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere

When I got home from work on Tuesday, Greg told me that the Aurora Watch pages he keeps an eye on were talking about a significant event that we might be able to see from Christchurch. Greg kept checking the pages through the evening and by about 8.30 we were convinced that it was worth abandoning the comfort of the sofa and heading out into the frost to see if we could catch an aurora.

We went straight to a spot on Lake Ellesmere that we’d scoped out during a daytime walk in the summer as a potential spot for starscape photos, it also happens to point Southish so we were betting it’d be good for Aurora too. There was low fog in patches on the drive there, and more coming in across the lake once we’d walked down to our South facing point. The moon was out, the Milky Way looked amazing, and there was a subtle greenish smudge on the horizon that I thought might be the aurora.

Greg set up the tripod while I got the camera ready. I used the moon to focus on, then spun the camera around to frame the view and waited breathlessly for the first 30 second exposure to complete to see if it looked as amazing as we were hoping…. The constantly shifting pinks & greens of the aurora were amazing, and the milky way was simply glorious.

It was such a special experience, out there in the frozen night with the silence being broken periodically by the resident black swans calling out. A truly special event to see and a privilege to capture.

Aurora & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere Christchurch New Zealand Aurora & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Roadtrip to the snow

Last weekend we had what weather & news services were calling a “polar blast event”, and it had me crossing my fingers hoping for snow on the ground at home. Unfortunately we missed out this time but luckily living south of the city it’s not far to go to find some! On the Sunday we headed up past Porters to see what there was to see (like most of Christchurch did, it seemed!), with optimistic fishing rods in the car in the hopes of a rainbow or two at Lyndon for our troubles. What we hadn’t counted on was the lake freezing over – which makes fishing somewhat more difficult than usual – and the sheer number of people who’d come for a gawk and to take the kids tobogganing.

In search of more quiet surrounds we headed further up the pass. Somewhere between Lake Pearson and Cass the edge of the storm was threatening. The combination of gathering clouds, sleety rain and sunlit snowscapes all married together for dramatic mountain views, so I called a halt and took this shot of Mt Misery near Lake Grasmere.

Mt Misery, Lake Grasmere, Grasmere Lodge, Arthur's Pass

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On a spontaneous road trip to Arthur’s Pass we met this friendly Kea, entertaining tourists in the rain. I was immediately inspired to get my camera out to capture the tones and pattern of the Kea’s feathers, in particular one tiny bit of bright orange down that was peeping out from under one wing.

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Portrait Photography: Outdoor Family Portraits

Rebecca & Grainger were visiting Christchurch briefly for a family holiday and decided to squeeze in a family portrait session to mark the occasion.

I met them at the luxurious Peppers Clearwater Resort and photographed them and their kids onsite. The duckpond proved to be great entertainment for the kids, and a good opportunity for everyone to relax and get used to the camera. Christchurch had put on a fabulous winter’s day for the shoot – starting with a minus 4 degree frost! – and the classic blue-dome sky reflected in the pond with frosty grass and clear light made for some lovely shots that are very representative of Christchurch. Ideal for a holiday memento!

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Autumn Colour

Summer seemed to go on forever this year, but when Autumn finally arrived there were vivid colours everywhere.

Noticing one day how quickly the cherry trees went from green, to luminous colours, and then to bare (thanks to some very windy days!) I was inspired to go out and capture the fleeting beauty of Autumn in our garden in this collection of 5 images.

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Wedding Photography: Mel & Zach at Hinton’s Vineyard

This was my last wedding for the season, and it was a stunner. Mel & Zach had their ceremony under the trees in the orchard at Hintons Vineyard, and their reception in the tasting room. Their 2 adorable wee boys were ring bearers and did a fantastic job and were a double dose of cuteness in their tiny suits – one of my favourite shots from this wedding is of one of the boys beaming a massive smile up at Mel as she approaches the top of the aisle, it’s a heart melter!

The girls had their hair & make up done by Glam U at Mel’s house. After a bit of lunch and some time to chill out they got dressed and took a limo to Hintons. Zach & the boys were waiting at the head of the romantic aisle of cherry trees. After the ceremony the guests went back to the tasting room for canapés while the bridal party & I stayed on in the gardens for photographs. Once we were done with the gardens it was back to the tasting room for dinner & dancing.

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Here’s my highlights from the day – click to enlarge.