You are such a baby…

…and of course she is. It’s gorgeous little Mae, well on her journey to growing up.

She’s pictured here during one of her first milestones. A wonderful naming ceremony with mum and dad, brother Luke, grandmas and grandpops and others who will fill her life with love and laughter.

It was such a beautiful day, in a special setting where a part of Mae will always be.

Weehoo, go Mae go…

Mae's Naming Ceremony, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand
Mae’s Naming Ceremony, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand.

 

 

The puzzling thing about expressions

I am the curious type.

One of the things that often arouse my interest when photographing portraits is people’s ability to use facial expressions for communication.

How do we do it? The range of expressions we have at a very early age is amazing. Yes, I know, I’m easily amused. But are we hard-wired or do we learn to communicate like this before our language develops? Nature vs nurture? I think it’s fascinating how we manage to convey thoughts and feelings prior to learning words. Anyway, if there’s a behavioural scientist or developmental psychologist reading this maybe you can comment.

Now look at her please. She’ll be a philosopher when she grows up, a think tank strategist, the leader of the skeptics society or Wonder Woman getting ready to straighten out some unsuspecting guys head.

And all that hard thinking and gesticulating is quite hard work. So let’s have a nap and call this photo shoot a wrap.

But what is she really thinking?

„Go the All Blacks!“

„Same lunch?…again?!“

„Not to put a finer point on it mister but you had your chance and time’s up.“

Emily, Christchurch, New Zealand

Thank you Ma & Pa for allowing images that are a bit on the outer edge of the norm.

And thank you wee girl for making my day.

Dog heaven on Tahunanuai Beach

Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before. I baby-sat a dog.

I’ve never been much of a dog person but in recent years this has changed. I got introduced to three four-legged critters by a friend of mine. Red, Henry and Frank quickly included me in their pack and we soon became friends. They are very funny. I never realised how much personality dogs have. They are all so different from each other and what I really like is their honesty.

Then I met Taz. Taz is a Spaniel/Wheaten cross with a gorgeous personality. She’s very cute and pretty much irresistible. It was Taz who I took to Tahunanuai Beach in Nelson to spend a few hours in dog heaven with her and all her newfound doggy mates.

Taz is the cutey in the bottom right of the picture.

Tahunanuai Beach, Nelson, New Zealand
Tahunanuai Beach, Nelson, New Zealand.

 

 

Godzone

You’ve got to love this country.

Earlier I got chatting to a couple from South Africa. We were enjoying the same view overlooking  Mahau Sound. The two were a bit gutted as their team had just been knocked out of the rugby world cup in a game they should have won.

Never mind that dampener to their holiday the couple commented on the beauty of New Zealand and it’s people. By all accounts they were having a ball.

It’s refreshing to hear the perspective of people who are new to this country. It reminds me that no matter how often I come across a view it’s always a privilege to see it again. And each time it looks a little different from the last.

Mahau Sound, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Mahau Sound, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.

 

 

Road trip to Picton

I love road trips.

I hadn’t been out of Christchurch since the summer and with a few days off work I decided to go for a leisurely drive up the coast to Picton.

I’ve got family up there and was looking forward to a few days of catching up and relaxing in the Marlborough Sounds. It’s a beautiful trip from Christchurch, but waking up this morning the weather looked decidedly uninspiring. Cloudy skies and a strong easterly gale did not make for a day of taking photographs along the way.

South of Kaikoura a group of Kiwis was doing what Kiwis do. Being out, enjoying the beach and getting kai, whitebait in this case. Living in Christchurch, and putting up with the earthquakes during the last year, it was easy to forget that life goes on as normal outside the Canterbury Plains. I decided to stop the car and watch the activity for a while. It was a good decision as I felt an instant sense of calm and enjoyment holding my camera and making images.

With photography you make your own luck and opportunities are everywhere, even on the seemingly unpromising days.

Whitebaiting in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Whitebaiting in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

 

 

Feeling nostalgic

I am not a winter person. Sitting at home last weekend, with another coldish southerly sweeping through Christchurch, I felt nostalgic for the wonderful days of summer. Life feels freer to me in summer, more balanced and rounded. In winter I tend to hibernate. I guess I should have been a bear. I like the outdoors.

I need light, lots of it. I am a photographer after all. Light to me is happiness. Winter is a season that is light deficient. It has beautiful light, but there’s just not a lot of it at times when I can enjoy it or make use of it.

So I wait. And to compensate for a long winter, and to feed my nostalgia, I looked through my summer holiday photos of a road trip I took with a much loved friend of mine.

What a beautiful country we have to roam in.