How did you get started with photography?
While I was working on super yachts, we would be moored in the most stunning locations that naturally lent themselves to photography. I remember talking in 2017 to the captain of my first yacht (formerly a professional photographer) about getting a new iPhone so I could take better photos of all these beautiful places. He asked why I didn’t just get a proper camera, and so within the week, I found myself at the local tech store with the captain helping me pick out my first camera. I purchased a Nikon D750 with a kit lens that went everywhere with me when I wasn’t working. I didn’t get a lot of time off while working on the yachts, but when I did, I would be out exploring the local towns, camera in hand every chance I got.
What inspires you to take action-packed photographs?
I have an equal passion for both being in the outdoors and exploring and documenting these people and places with my camera. That feeling you get when you have an amazing scene unfolding before your eyes, and you know you’re about to capture some awesome images is pretty hard to beat for me.
I am always trying to do a place or an activity justice when I am photographing it. I really try to capture the mood of what is unfolding so the viewer can really feel like they are there.
You won the Student Photographer of the Year award - how does it feel?
Winning student photographer of the year at the NZIPP Iris awards was quite surreal and definitely unexpected. Thousands of images are entered across a number of categories, such as landscape, portrait, commercial, student etc., and each image has the potential to score a gold, silver, bronze or professional standard award. At the end of the judging, the photographers with the highest scoring images in each category are nominated for photographer of the year for said category.
There were a lot of very talented photographers who entered this year, so I was humbled to do as well as I did. It was an amazing experience not only for the awards but for meeting like-minded people and networking too.
Can you tell us about one of your favourite shots?
One of my favourite images I’ve taken to date is a drone photo of a surfer catching a wave in Whangamata on a summer morning. This shot was more a stroke of luck than anything else, but everything just seemed to come together perfectly as I took the photo.
Tell us about being a member of the Excio community…
Something I have learned from uni is that a rising tide lifts all boats. When you get together with like-minded individuals and share knowledge and ideas, everyone improves. Each photographer has a different set of skills and experience to bring to the table, so having a place like Excio where people can come together and share expertise and ideas is fantastic.
I would love to see some workshops from other photographers who are passionate in their area. I find branching out and learning about genres or styles of photography that may not necessarily be your cup of tea can still be very beneficial for your own photography journey.
What's next for you on your photographic journey?
I am only a few weeks away from finishing my diploma in photography at UCOL, so it will be all go until then. When I finish, I am taking some time to relax up North before I hopefully begin my journey as a photographer for the RNZAF next year. I intend to have a good summer with lots of sunny adventures and beach days. Taking lots of photos along the way, of course!