Photo Wall Branding

Photo Walls/Media Walls have two valuable purposes: they are an easy way to get your branding onto social media and they create an ideal backdrop for encouraging people to have their photos taken.

People are often reserved and can take some convincing to pose for a shot. Using a photo wall will assist in this process. And they are an ideal place for group shots.

Photo walls are suitable for all types of events from conferences and product launches to end of year Christmas parties. 

Freestyle Event Photography can assist clients with photo walls. We can arrange for layout of graphics, printing and installation on site. Contact Us for a quote.  

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Actor and Celebrity Headshots

The actors headshot is the most important marketing tool for an actor. It’s your calling card and your best chance at making money. It will be emailed to casting directors, producers & Ad Agencies.

A portrait should look like you. Casting directors expect you to look just like your headshot. You don’t want to turn up ten years older than your photo! A portrait shot should represent your type and age. It’s not about getting rid of wrinkles and looking pretty.

It should look like the type of person you are today.

Don’t overdo the make-up, even though this can cover a multitude of sins. A little make up is fine, but the more natural you are, the better. Make sure that your eyes are in focus and look alive and full of energy. The eyes reveal your personality.

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PHOTOGRAPHING CHANTELLE’S PORTRAIT

In our studio, against a white background which we are currently favouring for our portraits, we photographed writer Chantelle.

She’s off overseas, and needed a commercial portrait for her CV but we took the opportunity to do something a little more arty. She’s new to modelling but after a while she warmed to the role.

She reminded me of Botticelli’s painting “Portrait of a Young Woman” and at some time in the future I want to get her back to photograph her like a painting!

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SHIRIN SINGH PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Shirin came into our studio for a portrait shoot. As photographers, our goal is to try to get people to model in a way that is most natural to them, but at the same time, we push the boundaries a little to see if we can create unusual images.

This is the approach we took with Shirin, a Miss India contestant in 2015. Shirin discovered ways to model that surprised her and revealed new sides to her.

Our images follow the model of tightly cropped heads, which adds energy to the pose, and photographing on a white background, gives a clean, contemporary appearance.

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PHOTOGRAPHING THE VECTOR EPRO8 CHALLENGE

The 2017 season of the Vector EPro8 Challenge will see 193 Auckland schools and over 2,200 Auckland students competing in engineering-based challenges. Vector asked Freestyle Event Photography to photograph the students as they busied themselves at workstations containing equipment that is

designed specifically for the Vector EPro8 Challenge. The aim is to have students involved in solving problems. The Vector EPro8 Challenge is the Auckland leg of a nationwide series of events organised by brothers Kelvin and Andrew Thiele.

Our photographer on the night has great fun watching and photographing the kids as they went about building their constructions. It was almost tempting to put the camera down and start…building. But that’s a problem Freestyle will have to…solve.

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PHOTOGRAPHING FOOD FOR THE DINING GUIDE

Over the last month our photographers have been visiting restaurants and eateries around Auckland, taking photos of interiors and food for Multi Media’s magazine “NZ’s best Dining Guide”. It’s been a wonderful experience meeting the fabulous people who put so much effort into creating places we can all dine and enjoy in. Here are some of the places we visited: Tasca, Pedro’s Lamb, Tucks and Bao and Sen Kitchen. There’s an added bonus for our team – once we’ve photographed the food we often get to sample it. One of the perks of food photographers. Big thanks to all those restaurant owners for feeding us starving photographers! Here are some food photos you can ‘enjoy’ alongside us.

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PHOTOGRAPHING THE NEW MERCEDES E63 AMG and the E CLASS COUPE

To support a magazine piece Freestyle Event Photography were asked to photograph the new Mercedes arrivals in the Newmarket Showroom, in Auckland. When photographing cars, our first preference is to have the vehicle in a setting where there is plenty of room for us to move around the vehicle and get some good angles, and where the lighting is managed with very large diffusers. Either that or vehicles are taken outside in the golden hour (sunset or sunrise). This helps with the management of reflection, something a new and glossy car will always have. While some things can be done in post-production, it’s always best to try and get everything you can done in camera before going over the Photoshop.

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PHOTOGRAPHING THE LUSH SHOP

The international chain of shops, Lush, opened two refurbished stores, one in Queen St, Auckland and one in Palmerston North. With a fantastic new and fresh interior and new products with a strong emphasis on hand made cosmetics, this reinforces the Lush brand and direction. Freestyle Event Photography were called upon to photograph both openings focussing on customer interaction. It proved great fun for our team who also walked away with some gold bubble bath and a face pack!

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PHOTOGRAPHING A CRAFTSMAN JEWELLER FOR EYE MAGAZINE

Wayne Jeffers is a craftsman jeweller of thirty years, now running his own workshop and retail outlet in Auckland’s Mt Eden suburb.

Our brief from Eye Magazine was to take Wayne’s portrait showing him as a craftsman. Our approach was to ask him to carry on working as if we were not there, and then we photographed in the style of photo documentary journalism. We did, however, ask him to stop and repeat various moves or hold his hands in a particular position, where we felt we got the best angle and lighting!

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WSP CORPORATE PHOTOGRAPHY

Freestyle Event Photography were commissioned by the Australian brand manager for the international WSP Group to take photos for their new website and corporate imagery.  WSP have 36,000 employees in 500 offices in 40 countries around the world. The new brand roll-out for the company was developed by an international ad agency. Freestyle were provided with a brand document which set out the approach to corporate portraits.
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CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHY – NZ CERTIFIED BUILDERS

The NZ Certified Builders Association held their conference at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland over two days. Freestyle Event Photography had three photographers in attendance. We photographed the Prime Minister, Bill English, as he spoke for the welcome presentation, and Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition, for the closing speech. In between, we took photos of apprentices building trolleys for the Great Apprentice Race, a fancy dress drinks session, groups of attendees, and exhibitions stands, and on the last evening, the awards presentation during the gala dinner. 

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BABY PRISHA STARTS HER MODELLING CAREER

After a month in incubation, lovely Prisha has emerged from her cocoon as a smiling, easy-going little charmer, ready for our baby photographers to capture her in her new home.

For newborn photography our photographers usually come with some handy props; a basket or sheepskin rug for example. It’s especially nice when the parents add things that are meaningful to them, a soft toy or a special blanket.

And in this weather, it’s important to make sure that the room is warm and cosy. If the baby is well fed and sleepy, this means we have an opportunity to do things we can’t do when they are awake, like wrap them up in nice little bundles, or place them in cute little baskets.

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PHOTO BOOTHS BRING OUT THE BEST IN US

Without question, a photo booth adds fun to almost any occasion. I know, most of us are not silly people. Right? Wrong! Sure there is a place for formal photos, couples and group shots. But at almost any event, whether it’s a wedding or a conference, we find our photo booths are always in big demand. We have a variety of backdrops and props and the camera is set up with lighting in position ready to roll. Once the images are created we can have them ready for distribution on social media in no time. They can be sent out on the spot or saved for later. We have a dedicated person managing the booth, just to make sure all runs smoothly.

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All we need is an appropriate corner of the venue and 30 minutes to set everything up. It’s that simple to get a lot of fun. Enquire now for a photo booth for your next event.

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PHOTOGRAPHING AND VIDEOING AN IRAQI ENGAGEMENT

One of the most enjoyable things for us photographers is being able, If only for a short time, to enter into the lives and cultures of others. And nothing demonstrates a culture more than an engagement or a wedding. We recently photographed and videoed the engagement of Sally and Atif, as they celebrated their engagement with family and friends at Mikano Restaurant in Auckland. And they celebrated in the traditional Iraqi style with lots of music, great dancing and plenty of good cheer. In the middle of events, jewellery was passed around the crowd and then given to the couple. There was a great sense of family, a characteristic we also find when photographing Indian weddings.

 

Mansoor Engagement Photography

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HOW DO WE MAKE PEOPLE FEEL COMFORTABLE DURING A PORTRAIT SHOOT?

We recently photographed Barrister Jennifer Perry, who sent us an email a few weeks ago saying that she hated having photos taken.  Jennifer was updating her website and needed a range of portrait photos and architectural photos of her office. 

It’s not unusual for Freestyle portrait photographers to find themselves face to face with clients who are camera shy. We do understand it. We’ve been in front of cameras as well. And we know that everyone wants to look their best. What we hear frequently from  our clients is: “I need all the help I can get”  We consider it our job, to ease the way, to make the process of getting your headshot the best it can be. Here’s a few tips when taking headshot photography.

REMEMBER A PERSONS NAME

The most important word in any language is a persons name. Any photoshoot should begin by connecting and mentioning a persons name. This creates an immediate bond

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PHOTOGRAPHING ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA

M2 Magazine asked us to photograph high Italian fashion label Ermenegildo Zegna who were holding a bespoke tailor made suit event at the St Marys Residence in Ponsonby, Auckland. St Marys Residence is a luxury boutique hotel and Zegna had taken the opportunity to display their suits, shirts, shoes and scents throughout the premises. It made for a stunning presentation. Campari were there to support the event, with their Aperol bitter – considered by some to be the perfect aperitif.

M2 Magazine Ermenengildo Zegna Phootoshoot 01

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JODENE MEREDITH GRADUATION PORTRAITS

Each year Freestyle Event Photography have the privilege of photographing people on the day they celebrate their success - often after years of study. It’s a time to take portraits of the graduating students in their full regalia but also a time for family photography. Parents put great effort into supporting their children through  years of education, so in a sense, it’s a celebration for them as well.  We try to bring the element of celebration into the images. A yippee…I did it! effect.

Jodene Graduation Celebration

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CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGES

Fly Lanka arranged the recent Bathiya N Santhush concert in the Auckland Town Hall – a three hour musical extravaganza to a packed audience. Freestyle Event Photography were commissioned to do the videography, producing a 3min video as well as managing the photography for the evening. Additional to our role, we arranged for a photo wall with sponsors logos of guests to pose against. Photo walls are an excellent way to get your branding out via social media. 

Concert photographers have unique photographic challenges, a result of a constantly changing stage environment. 

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WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY?

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PORTRAIT SHOOT FOR CORPORATE WEBSITE

WHY BOOK A PORTRAIT SHOOT?


One of the most important portrait shoots is headshots for a corporate website. Staff change, people update or build new websites. Websites have connections to LinkedIn, Google My Business or Facebook. Having consistent, high quality corporate portraits across different digital platforms not only strengthens your corporate identity but gains you credibility. People connect with people. Having great photos assists in creating accessibility for your clients. In essence, they are more likely to bond with you and your company. 

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Newborn Photography

One of the best times to take your babies photo is at around two to three weeks old – or even sooner. Scheduling your newborn photo at around this time is perfect because the baby is often sleeping and this makes it easy to get into a variety of poses. They are likely to curl up into cute little poses, as if they were still inside mum. 

Having said that, we took beautiful Shanaya, who is four months old and she was a delightful model. She was the easiest baby model you could imagine. Smiling, laughing and…sucking her toe. We took her at home, right on the lounge floor, with a few props. And we think we captured some pretty cool baby portraits. All we had to do is keep Jasmin behind the camera instead of spending all her time cuddling the baby!

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AA Directions Magazine seeks Magazine Photographer

As professional photographers we are up for any challenge. The editor of AA Directions contacted us to do an urgent shoot for their next issue. She said: "The concept is… unleashing your  inner child by choosing to have an indulgent hot chocolate instead of a sensible, grown up coffee. So make it a fluffy, marshmallowy drink with froth…with a hint of defiance”.

We used our in-house model (Jasmin) to pose for us up at our local café. It was much more difficult than we thought to get a fluffy white lip and ended up with more than one hot chocolate and at least a dozen marshmallows!
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Amanda’s Fortieth Birthday Photography

Jasmin and I headed to the Swiss Belsuite Hotel on Victoria Street – overlooking Victoria Park. We were greeted by Amanda, Bianca, friends…and a glass of wine. It’s one of the brilliant  things of our job. So many of our clients make us feel welcome, offer us drinks and food when appropriate. Amanda was wearing a flowing white gown and we wanted to take advantage of that when photographing her. The hotel room had large windows and lots of natural light flowing in from full height windows. Perfect lighting for taking shots while looking at the glass. 

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Harry’s 21st Birthday

On Saturday we photographed a 21st birthday. The event was held at The Commons in Takapuna, just off Hurstmere Rd – a really great location. About 150 people attended. It was an evening where the love and friendship and celebrations spilled into the room, making capturing memorable photos easy and special. Everyone was so photogenic. I was made welcome by everyone and left feeling like I had been part of the group. Harry has a very special family.

I often think that a really important aspect of photographing events is how the photographer interacts with the people. It’s in this way we are able to get the best out of people. As a photographer we need to be in the right place at the right time, without getting in the way.

Thanks to the lovely Chatterly family for inviting me into the group.




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ARTISTIC PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Here’s another example of a headshot constructed using various photographic techniques. With the model wearing a black T Shirt and photographed on a black background, it gives the impression that the head is floating. Separately, another image is taken of smoke or steam and then these two images are combined using a composting technique in post production. While this technique is unlikely to be used for any standard commercial portrait photography, a similar creative compositing approach can be used to great effect when say, photographing weddings, where two images of the same scene can be combined. A bride and bridegroom might be composited into an image, showing standing on a rock, for example, with wild seas all around them.
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FIRST BIRTHDAY PHOTOGRAPHY – IKWANSH

Chris was the official 1st birthday photographer at an event that took place  at the Shah Ji Indian Cuisine Restaurant in Papakura. The little boy was dressed in a lovely outfit with suspenders, white shirt and bow tie. 1st birthday’s are an important milestone in a babies life (and the parents) for Indian people. Towards the end of the event we had a power strike and had to improvise with lighting so the cake cutting could take place. One of the many challenges professional photographers have!

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HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY - CREATING COMPOSITE PORTRAITS

As portrait photographers we are constantly pushing the boundaries. We want our clients to have a headshot which is distinctive. In a portrait like this we are using a post production technique called compositing. We take an image of smoke and combine it with a portrait photograph. It means that when we take wedding photographs, we can often place the bride and groom in very distinctive locations - like taking photos at Piha beach in the surf - for some really dramatic effects. And it's the type of corporate headshots that actors and celebs like because it sets them apart.
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Portrait photography for small business

Molly Ireland runs educational courses which assists students in getting into American Universities.
She asked us to take photographs of herself and the students in action, for her website. It’s always fun for us to take photos of small and growing businesses. 
We feel like we are contributing to their success. It was inspiring to see Molly in action with her students.

We’ll be sitting down with Molly to offer some ideas of how the images can be integrated into her website
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Five Ways Your Business Should Use Event Photos

Your company recently held an event, and you hired an Auckland event photographer to capture all of the key moments. The photos turned out great. Not only did your photographer get great photos of all the big moments – the speeches, the presentations at the podium, the arrivals of the guests of honour – he or she photographed the key people and some fantastic moments and facial expressions.
So now that you have these photos, what can you do with them? Rather than letting them sit on your hard drive or on a CD, put them to work for your business. Here are some ways to make the most out of your event photos:
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Why Your Company Website Should Include Professional Portraits

Whether you are a potential employee, a client, a potential client, a collaborator or a supplier, a company’s website is often the first thing you go to when you are trying to learn more about a business. You want to know what they offer, of course, so that you will read the text, but presentation also means a lot. That’s why you will want to pay special attention to how your photos look.

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4 Special Times Your Family Should Document with Professional Photos

One of the special things about having a family is getting to create wonderful, memorable moments together that you will cherish for the rest of your life. And when you create these moments, you will naturally want to document and remember them forever. That is where portrait photography comes in.
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5 Great Reasons to Take Annual Family Photos

Have you thought about family photography Auckland in the past? Maybe you want to take a good family photo but you don’t quite know how or maybe you just don’t know how important they can be for you and your family. Either way, we have the solution for you. Here you will find 5 great reasons why you need to take annual photos of your family.

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How to Convey Your Love Story through Your Wedding Photos

Congratulations! You’re getting married, and the planning is all coming together. You’ve got the venue, the cake, and the dress, and your guest list is ready. Maybe you’ve even found your wedding photographer. That last item is an afterthought for many couples, but it will be one of the most important investments you will make when it comes to your wedding. Certainly, it is the only thing that will last. Years after the dress has been put into storage and the last crumb of cake has been eaten, the photos will still be there, documenting your big day.

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Brook and Anoushka’s Wedding

The setting for this  fabulous wedding was a Victorian mansion in Mt Eden. In keeping with the theme, Anoushka wore a Victorian/Italian dress with a 15 meter veil made from her mothers old wedding dress. Anoushka is a fashion designer (you can tell) and she works at the bridal shop Rue de Seine, located in New Market. Brook arrived in a red Lamborghini while Anoushka arrived in a black Rolls Royce.

They posed by grand piano’s and over pool tables. The images looked stunning in colour and sepia. The weather was overcast – perfect for photography and the wind (a little too much) lifted the veil for one or two spectacular shots.

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Why a Great Wedding Photographer is so Important for Couples

When you’re planning your wedding, wedding photos are some of the most important investments you will make. After all, the cake will be eaten and the decorations will go into the trash and your dress will go into the closet. The images will be all you will have left, and if they are good, you will cherish them forever – and probably decorate with them throughout your home.
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Microsoft Developers Day

Yesterday Microsoft hosted a spectacular event, presenting the latest developments in software. Freestyle Event Photography were the official photographers for the event. There were a range of speakers, the most notable being Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella 

"Our worldview is shaped by the fact that every business going forward, is going to be more and more a digital business”. He said

The event was held at the ASB Waterfront Theatre. Driverless cars, Uber, Airbnb got a mention as the shape of future business and how software integrates with these. 

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M2 Magazine – M2 Champagne Bollinger Man of the Year Awards 2016

Last night Freestyle Event Photography were the official photographers for the M2 Man of the year & M2 Woman of year awards 2016. It was held at the Auckland Hilton’s Bellini Bar

The M2 Champagne Bollinger Man of the Year 2016  went to 2 x gold and 1 x silver medal winning Paralympian and blade running record breaker Liam Malone.

We felt proud to be the official photographers for this event.

 

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What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Marriage is one of the most important steps any couple takes in life, and everyone wants great pictures to commemorate the occasion! To accurately record such a momentous event, couples count on the expertise of the person taking the pictures. When it’s time to find that person, it’s important to know what to look for in a professional photographer.

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Finding Your Voice

In almost every creative endeavour, the height of achievement is to “have your own voice.” Put another way; it means to have a style that is distinctly you, something that is widely recognised as “YOU.” It applies whether you’re a writer, a photographer, a movie maker, an architect and more.

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What is Portrait Photography?

What is a commercial headshot?

A commercial headshot is, as the term suggests, intended for commercial purposes. The most likely place for a commercial portrait to end up is online. And in the online arena, it is most likely to end up on a website. It is well known that your business will be better perceived if the visitor to your website can ‘see’ who it is they are dealing with.
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ATEM 40th Anniversary Conference Photography

Freestyle Event Photography were asked to photograph the annual ATEM (Association for Tertiary Education Management) conference, which celebrated its fortieth anniversary this year. The event took place in the Langham Hotel and had as guest speakers Steve Maharey (Vice Chancellor of Massey University) and Te Radar (comedian, historian and well known TV personality) who were both engaging and entertaining  speakers. 

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6 Travel Photography Tips

It’s never been easier to capture travel photos. Almost everybody has a mobile phone and these can produce excellent photos for the travel photographer. (Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post on how to get the best out of your mobile camera.) Award-winning American photographer Chase Jarvis said, “The best camera is the one that's with you.” It means that when you look at a great photo moment, you don't say, “Damn, I wish I had my camera with me!” Because of the multi-functionality of a mobile phone, that travel photo moment can be shipped out to people across the world, and, at the same time, acts as a historic record of what you did when. This may not seem like much to you now, but in years to come, all these life moments, linked together in a river of collective humanity, will give us a snapshot of humankind such as we’ve never had before in human history.
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Candid vs. Traditional Photography

Increasingly in contemporary event photography, we are seeing a revival of candid photography. It is sometimes referred to as documentary or photojournalistic photography, but ‘candid’ captures the essence of both those disciplines. The term was first popularised by the master street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson in the early 1930’s. As he wandered around the streets of Paris, Cartier-Bresson would capture people in candid, unrehearsed moments. In particular, he became famous for coining the term ‘the decisive moment’. This is the ‘special’ moment in any candid portrait, which creates an energy, or reveals an insight about the scene. It is something that a photographer ‘feels’ as much as ‘sees’ and comes with observation and practice. And it is perhaps the singular most important characteristic of candid photography. It elevates the image from just another unrehearsed moment to a special moment.

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Opening Event - Lush Cosmetics

The Lush Cosmetics shop at Sylvia Park held an opening event on 14th July and we were there with cameras in hand.

There was a throng of people both outside and inside the store - nearly 100% women - and bunch of smiling staff in their black outfits.  In contrast, the products make a very colourful array and look good enough to eat!  Aside from the naked product, the shelves were full of brightly-coloured packages.

The impression is of a greengrocer's - "cheese" and "chocolate" included.  It was definitely a sensory experience and there was a lot of smelling going on.  We didn't actually see any tasting.

As one of the bold white on black signs read, "Who knew soap could look this sexy?"

The event was a delight to photograph.

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Braided Rivers Restaurant and Bar – Food Photography

Freestyle Event Photography headed down to Ashburton, Mid Canterbury, for some food photography. We met up with Angela Kelly, owner of the Braided Rivers Restaurant and Bar. We had the chance to take photographs of chef Ollie Lushton in the kitchen. Ollie is a local boy, who spent three years fine-tuning his cooking skills with Peter Gordon in London. In the kitchen he’s completely focused - in another zone. One of his signature dishes is the Seafood Selection: butter poached monkfish, roasted tiger prawns and crab rillette, which he cooked for us. 

It was great to get into the kitchen for live in-action shots. It always make the photography more personal and a little more dynamic. And … we even got to eat the fabulous dish after we photographed it!

We prefer to take food photographs in their natural surroundings. It makes the food look more … accessible.

View our food photography here.

Braided Rivers Restaurant 01

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Travel Photography - Mid Canterbury

Last week Freestyle Event Photography was on assignment in the Mid Canterbury area of New Zealand, photographing for an upcoming guide book. We spent some time in the famous NZ alpine country and took the opportunity to embark on a four-wheel drive journey into the high country with farmer Chas Todhunter. It was an amazing photographic experience and we hope to return to the area for an extended feature.

Photographs were taken with the Canon 5D, as well as the more compact mirrorless OM-D EM-5. With travel images, it’s important to be able to react immediately to a photo opportunity. Things can change in an instant. The way light falls, various shots of people, and many more – all are literally, moving targets!

Mid Canterbury

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Lakehouse Restaurant and Bar – Food Photography

While on assignment in the South Island, Freestyle Event Photography popped in to the Lakehouse Restaurant and Bar to take photos of their signature dish. It’s a cube of meat, the best meat in Mid Canterbury, Brent, the head chef says. 

Vanetia Bingham runs the restaurant (she also runs the Teahouse) and asked Brent to whip up a meal for us. It was, indeed superb. The meat is best served rare and the cube ideally suits this objective. The best waits until last. We photographed it in-house, with just the lighting in the restaurant and some natural light coming in from outside.

Lake House Restaurant And Bar 11

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Opening Event - The Cove

This cafe in Mission Bay has been open for a few weeks and is receiving good reviews.  We were asked to take photos at the opening night on 17th July 2016.

The wine flowed, the fire flamed, the tables filled up - and the kids' corner was not necessarily the noisiest ...

We were able to get close enough to the food to photograph the fine details of the preparation and to look right into the wood-fired pizza oven.  Mm, those pizzas had such a variety of yummy stuff on them! 

Bon Appetit!

Cafe Cove Edited JPEG

 

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Journey into Madagascar

Chris has embarked upon a 15-day cycling/hiking/photography journey in Madagascar, and has been able to send us a number of images he has taken of local people and the island’s wildlife.


Yesterday he completed a 95km ride “up hills and down hills in the hot midday sun” and was glad he had done some training for it!

He says that it’s tricky to cycle and take photos at the same time, and, of course, whenever he stops to get his camera out he then has to catch up again …

We look forward to receiving some more of his photos of the inhabitants and the landscapes of Madagascar.

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Event Photography Auckland

25 Year Anniversary of Cavit & CO

Last night Freestyle Event Photography photographed the glorious event of Cavit’s 25th Anniversary.

The event which featured the band “White Chapel Jak” and catering by Urban Gourmet, was held in their  Parnell Showroom.

The setting was amongst the finest interior décor from all over the world and this meant that we could photograph people in really wonderful surroundings.

We had a lot of fun getting people to pose in front of paintings, or sitting on luxury hi end design furniture sipping glasses for Bollinger. 

This is what Lynne Howard, Cavit’s marketing manager had to say "Thanks for your big effort last night Chris, the images are terrific.”

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Get a portrait for your company profile

Its a dynamic workforce out there. People change companies, move to a new job or set up a LinkedIn profile. Getting an updated portrait photo is something we all need from time to time. Research shows that getting a great portrait shot pays huge dividends. It’s often the first thing people see and it goes a long way to establishing credibility.  

At Freestyle Event Photography we’re great at taking portraits. We can visit you at your offices or you can pop into our studio.  In less than 15 minutes we’ll have a range of head shots for you to choose from. We edit and save the image in a file suitable for printing or online usage. 

Freestyle is offering a winter special of $85.00 inclusive GST for portrait shots. Call Chris on 021 942197 or Jasmin on 021 985300.

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Photographing Spark and the Lightning Lab

Last night Jasmin and I photographed Jeff Mann from Lightning Lab, Sally Gordon from Spark and a team of enthusiastic entrepreneurs who presented new smartphone business apps as part of a start-up programme. We had to share the floor with the videographers – part of the evening was streamed live – and it is always a contest for territory. We try to get into a position where we can take the best shots – and so do the videographers! It requires a bit of good communication to sort out the ground rules so that we can all work together.

We took photos of the presentations, people entertaining themselves during break times and the presenters by their exhibition stands. Conference rooms are often under-lit for photography, so it requires the use of a strong flash to get people well lit. At the same time, when there are screens, we want to make sure that what is on the screen is also visible.

I had a chance to chat with Nigel Parker from Microsoft, who was in the audience. Readers may remember that we recently photographed Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, which comprised a very similar evening to the Lightning Lab but with younger entrants. 

2 Lightning Lab 80

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Capturing the Moment at the Wedding

Capturing the moment: 

For us, at Freestyle, we love to capture those unrehearsed, unposed and often unguarded moments that tell really special stories. Later, when our clients look at the story of a wedding, they are often surprised and delighted with the images. Because they are ‘inside’ the wedding, so to speak, they don’t get a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture. We offer them that, with our documentary style of photography. Talk to us about your wedding and how we can assist you with putting together your story. Talk to Jasmin on 021 985300 or Chris on 021 942197.

3 Stacey Warren Wedding 093

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NZ Ice Cream Awards

At Auckland’s Crowne Plaza, Freestyle Event Photography photographed the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards. It’s an annual event where ice cream manufacturers from around the country enter their top flavours – and we were on hand to photograph the winners. The evening was hosted by the delightful Michelle A’Court who succeeded in raising a number of laughs in an appreciative audience.

And, yes, we even got an ice cream at the end of the event! One of the perks of the job, one might say. Kapiti Coast passionfruit on a stick. Yum!

The Supreme Award winners are for Bourtique Manufacturer - Puhoi Valley Cafe - Matakana Roasted Coffee Affogato Ice Cream and for Large Manufacturer - Tip Top Hokey Pokey Ice Cream!!

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Jessica and Daniel’s Engagement Photography

Jasmin and I went out to the Bracu Pavilion on the Simunovich Olive Estate in Bombay to photograph the engagement of Jessica and Daniel.

It was a lovely event, with family and friends in attendance. We took the opportunity to photograph the couple amongst the olive groves. Our series of photographs of them included some casual poses, and then we concentrated on documentary style photography.

We then had the opportunity for some family photography. We took photos of the children with their parents, as well as portraits of the children, where we had to wait for just that right moment, when we were able to get all the children looking at the camera at exactly the same time.

Congratulations to Dan and Jessica on their engagement!

069 Jessica Dan 069

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Graduation is a Milestone

It’s that time of year when the reward comes after all those years of arduous study. Graduation. And for us at Freestyle Event Photography, it’s a hectic time of the year. Over a few days, we take a number of graduating students in and around the university. It’s a fun time for us as well. We share in the joy of the families and their sons and daughters who have made them proud.

Albert Park is a wonderful place for taking graduation photos, and we particularly like the Moreton Bay Figs as a backdrop. The university itself has a variety of locations that also produce spectacular background settings to suit this momentous occasion.

Congratulations and best wishes to Shrav Chandra for finally achieving a Bachelor of Commerce! See more graduation photos here

1 Shrav Graduation 62

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Photographing a Wedding at Waitakere Estate

On a slightly wet day, we photographed Shreta and Lawrence, who held their wedding at the Waitakere Estate.

The plan was to be wed outdoors but…the drizzle came, so we had to put a contingency in place. We took most of the photographs inside, until early evening, when we popped outside to take a few twilight shots and then, on the spur of the moment, took some photos by the swimming pool.

It highlights one of the constant challenges for photographers – things rarely go according to plan, and all those pre-planned shots end up being improvised.

Being able to think on your feet is a very important skill. And then…we also need to reassure the couple that things will work out!

See more images on our wedding gallery

1 Shreta

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Al and Rachel's Simple Wedding

One of the greatest pleasures we have in photographing weddings is to step, for a moment, into the lives of others. The diversity of people is amazing. We’ve photographed weddings on beaches and we’ve photographed weddings where 2,000 people have attended.

This couple was married in a registry office, with Chris at the camera, and the bride's mother present (so a total of four). After the 15-minute ceremony and the signing of papers –  Chris was a witness as well as photographer! – we wandered up to Albert Park for a few photos against the magnificent Moreton Bay Fig trees.

We’ve never attended such a simple wedding. And the simplicity and lack of pretension created an elegance and sincerity that was felt by all.

We loved it. 

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Stacey and Warren’s Beach Wedding

One of the great pleasures of wedding photography is to witness the wide variety of ways in which people choose to create their marriage ceremony.

Jasmin and I photographed Stacey and Warren’s wonderful beach wedding at St Heliers, Auckland. A small marquee had been set up, under which the couple exchanged vows, with the fabulous Rangitoto Island as witness to their commitment.

At the celebration to follow, in an intimate room at the Mecca Stonehouse in Mission Bay, the father of the bride gave an eloquent and moving speech which talked about the importance of allowing grace in a relationship. The foundation of grace, he said, was trust. He talked about trusting that someone can fall from grace but is able to rise and try again without stigma. 

One of the difficulties to attend to in photographing a beach wedding is the sunlight, which will often cause the couple to be in silhouette. A silhouette can be very effective, if that’s what you want. If not, then you need to throw in a good deal of fill-in light to eliminate the shadows, using either a fill-in flash or a reflector. 

Just another challenge we photographers face …

Stacey Warren Wedding

 

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Auckland Photographers Shoot Microsoft MSA Awards

Once again, Freestyle Event Photography was the company appointed to photograph the prestigious MSA Awards 2016, hosted in the Auckland Town Hall. 

A Microsoft-sponsored activity, MSA is a programme to encourage students to create new and exciting applications for the mobile platform.

The student projects were judged by a group of highly qualified people, including NZ Herald writer Dr Michelle Dickinson, who goes by the name Nanogirl, and United States Ambassador to New Zealand, Mark Gilbert. 

The award-winning group, called “Clove,” had created a peer-to-peer business model in the manner of Uber and Airbnb, which promoted healthy eating. The app links home-based chefs and the person who wants a cheap meal, at home, like a takeaway but … healthy! A great idea.

Photographing in low light and constantly changing light (complete with a laser show) can be extremely challenging.  We were changing the camera settings for nearly every shot to ensure that we obtained the correct exposure.

We took around 400 images and were called to process them by the following morning, so that Microsoft could get the PR machine in action prior to everybody else. We achieved the deadline and had the images sent via Dropbox before midday.

See more images on our Corporate Event Gallery

 

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Photographing a Mother and Three Daughters

I received a call one afternoon. Could I take photographs the following evening at the Sky City Grand Hotel? A mother was celebrating her birthday and a surprise visit was due from her three daughters.

It’s always fun to photograph these kinds of reunions. And most times, we are able to respond to such a request at short notice.

I recorded 20 minutes of impromptu photography to mark the event – then one of the girls asked if we could do a jumping shot to round it off. How could I refuse?

It was off with the high heels, not for just one jump but several of them, to make sure we got something suitable – then shoes back on again and they were away to Woodpeckers in Parnell for dinner. See our photo gallery for more images.
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Photographing 007

It’s not every day that Freestyle Event Photography gets asked to photograph 007!

Or in this case, a 21st birthday with a 007 theme. It was a fabulous occasion where we photographed family and friends dressed in smart suits and Bond Girl outfits. We took photographs in front of a 007 backdrop - with the inevitable toy guns as appropriate props.

Having a backdrop is a great way to get people to act out themes. Everyone has fun and super photos are created. See more images here.

Talk to us about putting together your 21st birthday. View our gallery for more images.

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Photographing Comedian and Writer Michele A’Court

Jasmin and I were asked by AA Directions to photograph Michele A’Court for their AA Traveller feature.

We chose to photograph Michele in the Auckland Domain.  Because her favourite place is Napier, we began the shoot by capturing palm trees in the background, then moved into the Wintergarden for the rest of the shoot.

The brilliant thing about photographing someone as charismatic as Michele, who was an excellent and outgoing model, is that we can have fun and experiment with different poses in different locations. Really … almost anything goes.

And when photographing for a cover, it’s important to keep in mind that there needs to be space around the image for text, including a header, so when photographing the subject, it is necessary to keep the proportions of the page in mind. See more images at our Cultural Events Gallery
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Wedding Photography at Karioitahi Beach

On a windy and slightly wet evening, Freestyle Event Photography ventured out to a West Coast beach, Karioitahi, about 90 minutes from Central Auckland, to photograph a bride and groom after their wedding.

The outgoing tide leaves a fine surface layer of water on the sand, providing a perfect platform for photography. Both the setting sun and the people are reflected in it. A little bit of creativity can make the most of this.

Sunset photography is not easy! With the light going down behind them, figures are almost always in silhouette. We use a flash to provide additional light, called fill-in flash photography. And because we shoot in RAW, we are able to do a lot of post production editing, critical for this sort of photography.

Despite all the challenges, a setting like this - along with an able and willing couple who are a little adventurous - can produce spectacular results.

See more wedding photos here.


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Wedding Photography: Barbara and David

Freestyle Event Photography had the pleasure of photographing Barbara and David’s wedding in the Wintergarden at the Auckland Domain on a Saturday evening.

Barbara and David wanted a relaxed and casual wedding. We were there to record the event and take some portrait photos but without all the fuss that often accompanies these events.

More and more we are finding couples who want relaxed weddings: smaller and more casual. We enjoy these weddings very much. We like to interact with the various groups and take photos almost casually. It’s worth mentioning that such weddings are far less expensive when it comes to photography.

The other aspect of a wedding is to record the story – almost documentary style: the bride arriving in the car, the passing over of the ring, signing the formal documents, speeches etc. When you combine them all, you get a real sense of the wedding taking place. The client can then put a selection into a photo book or we can do it for them. See more wedding images here:

 

Wedding Photography 18

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Food Photography for Sanford

Sanford Fisheries called upon the food and people photography services of Freestyle Event Photography. Photographing food is one of our passions – although, as it turned out, this was photographing people in a lab discussing fish products. We were asked to take photos around a particular theme for a pull-up banner and other promotional material. Jasmin and I had to "set the stage", so to speak, arranging props and creating the kind of atmosphere that communicated research and development and collaboration. We were shown the location, and, once we had arranged the various products, we called the team in and had them gather around a table to discuss the products. Jasmin and I took photos in a photojournalistic style. One of the important things with this kind of photography is to make sure that the logos on products are visible to the camera. And sometimes it’s important that they are not! When it comes to sensitive research, we like to make sure, as photographers, that we have a very clear brief from the client so that we can ensure everybody's needs are met.

 

Sanford

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Hindu Wedding - Groom Photography

Freestyle attended a groom dress-up photography session. Part of the shoot was carried out in the groom’s home, while dressing, and the balance took place at the Auckland Domain with the groom's friends.

The event was on the 1st of January, marking the start of a new year of life for the groom. The weather was slightly overcast, and some of the time it rained lightly. Overcast weather can be great for photography, as we have better control of lighting. But light rain can be disastrous, as small droplets on the lens can ruin a great photo. 

An important aspect of any photo shoot is to have fun. Laughter makes for great images! In part of this shoot, the groom and friends re-enacted scenes from Bollywood. Other shots were more formal, but not at the cost of fun.

As photographers, we are challenged with suggesting creative poses for the model, and these are often entirely dependent on the location. It’s the part of the process that sets photographers apart. We need to think on our feet as well as click with our fingers! Check out our Wedding Photography Gallery for more images.

Freestyle Event Wedding Photography

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Family Photography in Auckland Domain

We were asked to do a session of portrait photography for a family in the Auckland Domain on the day before Christmas. The Domain is a really wonderful place to take photos. There is a great variety of locations, allowing a number of images with different looks. No wonder it is a popular place for wedding photography.

We began taking photos as soon as the family started arriving, while everyone was really casual, preparing, as it were, for the main event. This is often the best way to capture people: following them around, taking photos while they are chatting and kids are playing, then subtly, almost without people realising, arranging them. Later we took some more formal photos of specific groups.

Back at the studio we edit all the images, converting some to black and white, using filters for some, sharpening, cropping and a few of the other usual edits. The photos can end up being more or less creative, depending on client preference

Freestyle Event Photography

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Photographing a Crane for Website Images

Just before Christmas we received a last-minute call from Wellington. Could we please photograph something the following morning?

What was the event? Turn up at 7am … to photograph a brand-new crane in the process of installing an air-conditioning unit on top of a multi-story building in central Auckland!

At Freestyle we are up for all sorts of photographic challenges. And conditions were perfect for a photoshoot, with the early morning light cresting over Albert St. We were looking forward to it!

We found that the challenge with photographing a crane is being able to capture the machine in its entirety within the frame, being high and long. We used two approaches. One was to include as much of the machine as we could in a single image. The other was to use a combination of shots showing different parts of the crane as well as the action, so that when combined, the images give a good impression of the event.

For some of the shots I used a fisheye lens because this affords the widest angle possible. There are some playoffs, though. A fisheye does, at certain angles, cause quite an optical distortion. This can be used to graphic advantage, however.

I found that some of the angles of the crane led themselves to very graphic and architectural shots. It was fun to experiment and see what artistic expression can be obtained from photographing a machine.

Crane Image 7 001 

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Auckland Graduation Photography

The other day we received an enquiry to photograph a graduation. Each year there seems to be more and more graduates emerging from a variety of institutions. It is great fun and a privilege to be able to photograph people basking in the glory of their achievements.

This year we photographed a young lady who graduated in Visual Arts. And what fun we had! Time and time again we hear how important it is that the photographers are able to make people feel relaxed when having their photographs taken. We think that it's equal in importance to clicking the button on the camera. Here is what Sakina had to say about us:

“Working with Chris and Jasmin was more like friends hanging out rather than them just ‘doing their job’. I had such a great time being their model, they made me laugh and entertained me on set. They captured my moments of happiness perfectly through their lenses. I couldn’t have asked for better photographers! Keep up the good work.” See more images here

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Taking Portraits for an Annual Report

Freestyle Event Photography was asked by the NZ Planning Institute to photograph a group of people who had come together from around the country for a conference in Auckland. There were nine people to be photographed and all portraits were taken at the same time, over a period of about 30 minutes.

For portrait work we like to first visit the location to check lighting and the surrounds. In this instance there was a preference to have the portraits photographed outside. We were able to use natural light instead of flash photography. With the photography taking place during the lunchtime break, the sun was directly overhead. It was important to find a place where there was no direct sunlight, in order to avoid any areas of the face being overexposed.  We took photos with the lens slightly tilted upwards (while maintaining the person's eye height) so we were able to include trees in the distance as background.

Making people feel comfortable is very important and possibly the most challenging aspect of portrait work. Our goal is to be relaxed and cheerful and allow people time to adjust to being photographed. Being in front of a camera can be intimidating.

For more portrait photos visit here:Portrait Gallery

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A Photographer is only as Good as the Model - Photographing a Hindu Wedding

Jasmin and I spent eight hours photographing a Hindu wedding recently, held at the Te Atatu Community Centre.

We took photos of the bride as she prepared for the wedding, applying makeup and having her hair attended to. Along the way her many friends popped in and we took dozens of shots as she posed with each of them. Jasmin photographed the guests as they began to arrive and took their places at the tables. Much later, Jazzy took photos of the groom as he arrived and prepared for the wedding.

How to achieve the best photographs on location:

To get the best photos, we think it’s important that the photographers do a preliminary investigation of the location. The ideal is to find an area that can be set aside where the background is less busy, and good lighting can be achieved. This can become the location to photograph the bride and her entourage and it must be near where she will be doing all her preparations. It will make all the difference to the quality of the photography. Busy backgrounds make for busy photographs. And the photographer needs plenty of room to move around the bride. We need to make sure that there is nothing we can trip over, which can happen easily as we concentrate on what we see through the camera!

A photographer is only as good as the model. There is one great skill a photographer needs: the ability to make the bride and groom feel at ease, and relax and have fun. There is often a great deal of tension on the day itself. So it is no easy task to slip into the scene as a photographer, connect with the bride and try to make the photography fun and enjoyable. 

Bridal Collage

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Photographing Progressive and All Black Julian Savea

Freestyle Event Photography was asked to photograph the annual conference for Progressive, a lavish event managed by the fabulous Crowne Plaza and its great organisational team. It was a semi-formal occasion which included a sit-down meal and prize-giving throughout the evening. The stars of the night were, of course, the award winners, but the occasion was also graced with the presence of All Black winger Julian Savea. 

We have said it before but it’s worth repeating because I consider it such an important feature of successful event photography - the photographers need to be able to easily mix and mingle with the guests. And we are often called upon to assist in managing people to ensure the best shots. In this instance we were asked to circulate around the tables to make sure that the guests had an opportunity to be photographed with Julian. Jazzy and I chatted with the guests, making them feel relaxed and at ease. 

Towards the end of the evening we had a string of people come to us asking would we take their photo with so and so. This is often the best part of an evening for us, having people enjoying themselves.

Julian Savea was a very accommodating guest. He took time to pose for many, many photos, always with a smile. He handed out awards to winners in a graceful and elegant style - as you would expect from a top All Black.

Julian Savea

 

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Photographing a Muslim Wedding

Jasmin and I photographed a Muslim wedding last weekend. The photography started at home where we took photos of the bride – and groom – getting ready. The bride looked radiant with her jewellery and makeup, and she also had intricate henna patterns on her feet.

Later we went to the Al-Mustafa Jamia mosque in Otahuhu. At this point men and women separated and I went into the mosque to photograph the men and the ceremony that followed.

Once the formal part of the celebration was over, we had a meal together, which was a very enjoyable experience. We took photos of people in both formal and casual settings.

Then we joined the groom and bride and Jasmin took photos of them with their various families. Later there will be another reception where we will have the opportunity to photograph the bride and groom together as a couple. 

We aim to produce a ‘storyboard’ with our photographs, where we can show the events as they unfold. When both of us shoot together, Jasmin will often concentrate on wide-angle shots, while I specialise in close-ups, using a longer lens. 

As photographers, we had great fun at this event. We joined in the laughter (and the food!) while maintaining a respectful distance as professional photographers.

Wedding Collage

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Becoming Part of the “Family"

Jasmin and I attended the Fruit Wine and Cider Makers of New Zealand Awards held in the Sapphire Room at Ponsonby Central. It was a … umm … merry affair, where lots of cider spilled into cups.

We were tasked with the responsibility of photographing guests as they mixed and mingled, then recording the winners as they stood in front of the sponsors’ board. Finally, we took a group shot. If you’ve been a reader of this blog you will know that group shots are a bit of an art. The photographer needs the ability to gather the people up – this time I used a microphone – and make sure that everyone is well positioned and looking at the camera.

We also had the opportunity to meet and photograph Billy Apple, who has his own brand of cider. It’s a blend of brand, cider and art. (Many of you may be aware that Billy recently had a major retrospective of his work at the Auckland Art Gallery.) We also talked to Hamish Jackson, who was the other half of the cider-making process for Billy.

As photographers, the best way to get good shots is to try to mix in such a way that people think you are part of the “family”. In this way they are at their ease.

And, no, we didn’t. Have any cider. We were on the job, right!

Billy Apple

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The Casual Approach to Wedding Photography

It's not unusual these days for weddings to be tailored to particular couple's needs. Convention, as we know it, for some has relaxed. As photographers, we need flexibility and creativity to move with the ebb and flow of the conditions such as the location, the weather and the time of day.

Sure, we have ideas about what looks good, but in the end we might be called to take photos in Albert Park, in a last-minute decision three days before the wedding, where we have trees as a backdrop, and for the next we are in Barry Curtis Park in Botany Downs where a skateboarding area becomes the backdrop. Here the couple are sitting on steps right next to a skateboard park with young children playing in the background, and skateboarders doing their tricks nearby!

And people have different budgets too. That’s important. Most people want to be left with lasting memories without having to pay a fortune. What makes Jasmin and me different as wedding photographers is that we can usually find something special no matter where we are, using the environment and the conditions as a source of ideas. It's part of the fun – although it can certainly be a challenge.

We love a well-prepared wedding where we make a list in advance of all the critical photos, have the traditional set-up like pre-wedding shots of the bride, the rings, the shoes and the dress … but we love the casual and low-key approach just as much. In fact, we think it's our speciality.

Feel free to give us a call and chat to us about your upcoming wedding.

Wedding couple

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It's People that Take Photos - Not Cameras

Jasmin and I attended a 100th birthday celebration over the weekend. It was a really special occasion where we photographed families over several generations.135 people attended. We were tasked with taking casual shots of people interacting with each other and then arranging and photographing the groups of people, all descendants of Matt, the birthday boy.

Taking shots of people in a casual setting is quite an art. You need to be able to mix and mingle without getting in anyone’s ‘space’. Becoming part of the event is important: having small conversations with people, making jokes, while at the same time maintaining professional distance.

And taking photos of groups is as much about managing people as it is about taking the photo. We spend time making sure that everyone is standing in a way so as to be seen in the photo, and that they are not blinking at that critical moment. And here is another thing about taking group shots: once you have the group set up, everyone else wants to take photos with their point and shoot. It means that the people posing for the photo don’t know where to look. We always say – first let us take the photo, then you can have your turn. Sometimes you need to be quite assertive!

In the end, it’s not cameras that take photos, but people!

 

Blog Image 1

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World Xchange Event

Last weekend Freestyle Event Photography photographed a party held at Bar 101 in Darby St to celebrate the sale of the telecommunications business World Xchange to Vodafone. Repeat client and WXC co-founder and chief technology officer Paul Clarkin asked us to document the event. We last photographed Paul at his 50th birthday party earlier in the year. The event included stand-up Australian comedian Chopper, who took the stage for half an hour. Their act was followed up by the band The Feelers.

Freestyle attended the event for three hours, taking around 600 shots. The client selected 300 for promo use.

 

PaulClarkinandChopperWorldXchange3

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Envivo Event Photography

We recently photographed an event for Envivo, an engineering firm located in Auckland. The client gave specific instructions as to what they were looking for. This is always appreciated by our team. If the information is not provided, we most often go and ask for it! It makes our job all the easier and delivers a better result to the client.

In this instance we were asked to take photos in a square format, which suited the client's website layout, and to take informal shots through 'gaps' in the crowd: images showing people chatting, eating, drinking and having a good time. We were also alerted as to the ‘important’ people to photograph, being the directors of the company.

When taking these sorts of photos, as photographers we try to ensure that we blend into the crowd, chatting and joking with people because it eases the moment.

For the best results for your event, talk to us beforehand and discuss your requirements.

Envivo CEO

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Band Photography

Bands - Tips for Taking Photos

While in Orebro, Sweden, we were invited to the biennial music festival where we took the opportunity to photograph some fantastic local bands. Its great fun to be photographers at gigs like this. There is always a lot of energy spilling out from the players and this feeds into our photography.

You have to be quite brazen to be a band photographer, often squeezing your way to the front of a pressing crowd, then squatting down, or standing in front of others while you work on getting the shot you are after. And of course, the lighting for shooting indoors, particularly if you are not allowed to use flash (as it disturbs the players) you need to push the ISO up high.

Things to be aware of to get the best band/concert photography:

  • Check and see if you can use a flash. If you can’t, push the camera ISO as high as you can, finding the balance between noise and exposure.
  • See if you can get into the photographers pit. This really applies only for larger bands. For the smaller ones, push your way to the front.
  • Look for those interesting details. This can set you photographs apart from others. A tattoo on a hand, for example
  • At large concerts where famous people are performing, you will likely need to fill out a disclaimer. Organisers will want to know where you intend to publish work and you will only get a licence to use images for this.
  • You can do quite a bit of noise reduction using software after the photo has been taken, especially if you use RAW.

Orebro Punk Irish Fusion Band

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Concert Photography

As a guest of Tourism Ireland, I joined an international team of photographers and writers who attended the Van Morrison 70th birthday concert in Cyprus Ave, Belfast, where Van grew up. I have always been a fan of his music, so it was an exciting opportunity for me.


Photographers were given very strict instructions as to the requirements for concert photography, and we were required to fill out licensing agreements. We were only allowed to stand in one location – to the far right of the stage – and ONLY permitted to take photos during the first two songs. We were then ushered away.

To make matters more difficult, it absolutely poured with rain. Fortunately I was using the Olympus OMD EM5, which is waterproof, although I did need to make sure drops of water did not appear on the lens.  Flash photography was not permitted, so I set the camera to ISO 2000, burst mode, and, using the 300mm lens, took about 150 shots during the two songs.  It was also tricky because there were two mikes, and, from where I was standing, Van ended up behind one of them. Not ideal conditions … welcome to concert photography.


VanMorrisonTHISONE

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Five Things to Know about Professional Portrait Photography

1. Like it or not, how you look will affect what people think of you, and, by extension, your business, so it’s important that your portrait looks professional and conveys the idea that you take your business seriously.

2. Today, social media is a critical tool for business, and so professional portraits for Facebook, LinkedIn, etc are important.  Beware of the selfie!

3. Ideally, a portrait should be sympathetic to the culture of the company or person.  Consider whether you need a simple headshot or something a bit more creative.

4. The clothing and accessories you choose to wear for your portrait, whether casual or formal, should be professional.

5. If photographing a number of people across an organisation, discuss with your photographer beforehand how to maintain consistency in portrait style.

Blog Portrait

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The Australian Outback

Tree1

 

The Australian Outback is a vast arid terrain, where life lives … but on the cusp of death. The harshness sculpts the most magnificent landscapes. I loved walking around the plains heading into the rock ‘upstarts’ (mountains).

The photography produced dramatic images, ideal for black and white capture. Post production of black and white is best carried out with Photoshop, where the individual colours can be used to subtly adjust the black and white contrasts.

My thanks go to Tourism Queensland for sending me over to photo document the area.

Tree3

 

Tree2

 

 

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Taranaki Garden Festival

It’s coming up to that time of year when the fabulous Taranaki Garden Festival is about to … umm ... blossom.

Last year we were commissioned by AA Directions Magazine to write about and photograph a variety of individual gardens. Our article and images are due out soon.

Garden photography balances close-up imagery with wide-angle shots to give detail and context. And there are so many themes you can take advantage of: contrasting colours, transparency, reflections and shadows.

If you are vacillating about attending - don’t. It's a great experience. And while you are down there, take advantage of New Plymouth with its fabulous coastal walkway and the new and most amazing Len Lye Gallery.

 

Tupare Garden

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Horse Encounter

I'm currently travelling, courtesy of Queensland Tourism, from Longreach to Mount Isa, taking photos as I go for publication in New Zealand magazines. There is no WiFi in the Outback, so I'm using my phone to take images while on the road. I send these back via the cellular network.

The phone, despite its limitations, is increasingly being used by photojournalists around the world. It is accessible, versatile, the resolution is very acceptable, and if you are not doing anything larger than an A4 print, the quality is perfectly good. What you do need to watch out for is flare, as the lens is so flat and has no hood. Keep your eyes on future camera phones. They are likely to replace the point and shoot.

 

Scene

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Art of Remembrance

Having being the official photographers for the launching of "The Art of Remembrance" on the eve of ANZAC Day this year, Freestyle Event Photography was invited back to document the closing event three months later, the artwork being due to be taken down from St David's Church.

Again this was an evening event, this time in two locations: outside St David's Church and then across the road inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The same issue arose of how to capture various speakers and other participants positioned several metres above the level of the audience. This time I decided to get up there with the action and encourage each of the people "on stage" to face the camera for a couple of seconds. It makes a difference in capturing people’s faces at important moments, even if it means slowing down the ceremony!

In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre everything was on the same level and the proceedings were at a more relaxed pace. Once I had adjusted the camera settings that were appropriate for the lighting of the church interior, the photography progressed smoothly during the various presentations, speeches and performances.

 

Pictured above are Paul Baragwanath and Willie Apiata, the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand, and below are Willie Apiata and Paula Baghurst.

Art of Rememberance

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Dicker Data at the Auckland Museum

Freestyle Event Photography photographed another event for Dicker Data, this time at the Auckland Museum. The grand old foyer of the museum is a great space for this kind of event. It was a spectacular occasion where clients and Dicker Data staff got together for drinks and nibbles.

 

We spent three hours on site and delivered the client 180 edited images. This shot was taken when Jasmin snuck to the first level for an all encompassing view. The lighting was theatrical, with coloured columns, but despite this, the flash required a high ISO setting. With higher ISO settings, we generally need to spend more time in post production with noise reduction software.

 

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Photographing Stores for Rembrandt

We recently photographed a series of stores for Rembrandt for updating their website. We took a different approach to the photography here: rather than giving direction as photographers, we asked for direction. We did this by providing the client with a number of images, shooting the interiors from a variety of different viewpoints - close-up, wide angle, blurred backgrounds etc. The point of this exercise was to allow the client to see different ways of approaching the project, and to give them the control over what look and feel best suited their company. It gives us the chance to be a little more creative and flexible, while knowing that the client is free to choose their 'look'.

It's a win-win for photographic results!

 

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Using the Convex Lens

From time to time we like to take shots using the convex or fish eye lens. It produces a certain kind of look that can be startlingly graphic, and takes in a very wide view. In this photo we photographed a group of people at the Bluestone Store who were busy celebrating a combined 40th and 50th birthday.

 

The thing to be aware of with a fisheye lens is that it distorts the perspective. Rather than try to correct this, we like to exaggerate the effect, which is what creates the graphic. Check out more images on our event gallery>




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Capturing the Essence of a Company

Freestyle Event Photography was recently called in to photo document an industrial company supplying oil products. Lubricants make their own oil products, have their own brand and are now beginning to export their product overseas. It's a great achievement and a great company. And we love to support enterprising New Zealand business.

We first got to know one of the company directors as we photographed her mother's 80th birthday. We always appreciate and enjoy photographing repeat clients. We get to know them on a business as well as personal level.

For this project we spent some time wandering around the warehouse photographing people as they went about their tasks. Then it was time for a group photo. It takes a bit of management skill to get everyone together and lined up in a way that makes an image work. Part of a photographer's skill is to be able to relate to all sorts of people in a fun, interesting and easy way.

Lubricantsphotographer

 

But we also like to "horse around", as in the photo above, where the team played up for Jazzy. We laugh and make jokes, as we think this is an important part of capturing the essence of people and business. We don't just want to capture images - we want to capture the mood and spirit of a person and company. We think it makes the difference between one photographer and another.

In the above photo you will see we've played around with the editing of the image in what we call "post production". We've converted the background to black and white to highlight the group and the photographer.

See more of this company in our gallery here>

 



 

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"How come my shots don't look like yours?"

This was what a client recently said when we showed her the photos of her daughter dressed in her ball gown, taken at Sky City.

"I was standing in the same places as you," she told us. And yet her photos were not the same as ours. We are pleased, of course. Taking a good photo has many dimensions to it. Sure, you need to point the camera and "click" at the right moment.

But we also consider things like depth of field - so that we can blur the background, or raise or lower the viewpoint of the camera to change the perspective. And we can zoom in so that we get a head shot or a full body shot. And sometimes, as in the above image, it's more effective to "chop" a bit of the head off (I know that sound ghastly) as this adds tension. We consider the composition, sometimes following the rule of thirds. And then after all that, we often break the rules - just for the hell of it.

Rhea, shown here, was off to her first ball. She made a lovely model: easy to manage. Check out her mother's testimonial on the "Home" page here and you can see more images here: < portrait gallery>

Rhea Portrait

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“You’re the professionals, I’ll leave it to you!"

Last weekend, Freestyle Event Photography photographed a 40th and 50th combined birthday bash, held at the inner city Bluestone Store in Auckland.

Jasmin and I know that as photographers, we are also directors. To get the best photos of an event, it's important to take people casually, but even more important for the photographer to get people together for group shots, as in this photo. It can sometimes take a loud voice or a shrill whistle but it's worth it. Group shots can also be a lighting challenge. In this photo we used a flash bounced off the ceiling and with RAW image files can sufficiently edit to get a good result.

 

40th 50th Combined Birthday

'Staged' photos mean encouring people to turn and face the camera - a gentle tap on the shoulder, "Hey, would you three like to get together for a shot?" Even the birthday boy needed some directions, as in this shot, where Jasmin staged the T-shirt gift. We recognise that lots of people are shy in front of a camera and sometimes need a little guidance to get the best out of them. All our clients are grateful post event for these sorts of photos. It's the kind of thing Freestyle does really well. We are great with people, have fun and get great shots. <view more images here>

 

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Indian Wedding Photography

Freestyle Event Photography photographed their first Hindu wedding a few weeks ago. It was a marvellous, festive occasion with lots of colour, celebration and religious ceremony.

In the images here you see a very special and emotional part of the ceremony, which is where the bride officially leaves the parental home to start a new life with her husband. With wedding photography, it's important to capture these special moments, as they record memories that last a lifetime. Photographers need to be where the action is, but not get in the way. It's a special skill we have.

Jasmin mingled easily with the bride and groom and their family and was able to photograph many special moments and some artistic details that show the wedding off to its full effect. We felt privileged to be able to capture this special time for the couple.

She used a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24 to 105 lens and an external flash. See more images here<family event gallery>

It's a good idea when planning a wedding to talk to the photographers in detail about the wedding occasion. That gives us time to prepare for taking the right shots.

 

Wedding Photo





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Through our Lenses

The evenings are cool but at this time of year, the setting sun produces a wonderful light for photographers.

This shot was taken by Jazzy in the early evening and with a blurred focus (called 'bokeh' for photographers - the word has its origin in the original Japanese word bo-ke meaning blur or haze) the imagery is quite artistic. The lights take on a whole new look and feel.

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90th Birthday Party

Having recently photographed two 80th birthday parties, it was a step up to be asked to photograph a 90th! This was held at a lovely house in Coatesville, Auckland. The afternoon sunshine coming in through the windows was beautiful - but added to the challenges of photographing the event. We had to nudge a number of people into better positions to avoid any photos being ruined by the light. People don't like being moved around...

 

Jasmin's gift of capturing the  decisive moment produced many delightful photos of the occasion, this one showing the enjoyment that children manifest at parties.

 

Betties 90th 117

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Event Photography - Dicker Data

We responded to a last-minute request to photograph this corporate event in Mt Wellington, Auckland. It was to celebrate a name change - from Express Data to Dicker Data - so it was a very exciting moment for the people concerned. The cutting of the red ribbon was a focus of the evening, and so I decided to make it stand out in this image by rendering the scene in black and white, apart from the ribbon itself.

 

The most challenging shot of the evening was the group shot (as it often is). People don't really like being moved around ... You have to put the taller people at the back and make sure that no one is cutting anyone else off. Metaphors for life, really! The photo of this trio was much easier to manage: it was really just, "Hey, guys, look up!"

 

Dicker Data 075

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Auckland Photo Day

For ten years running, a designated 24 hours some time in June has been a "field day" for Auckland City photographers. Part of the Auckland Festival of Photography, the Nikon NZ Auckland Photo Day has been  an annual competition since 2004, open to anyone with a camera to document an interesting city scene.

 

I entered the competition last year and my photo entitled "Lazyboy Time" won third place. The judges commented: "A building site becomes an outdoor lounge for three men relaxing, using wheelbarrows as loungers, it's an outdoor setting with the intimacy of a living room". I won a Nikon Coolpix P340. Interestingly, I took my winning photo using my cell phone!  

 

It's such a shame that Auckland Photo Day is not being held this year. However, I have decided that I will be out with my camera on Sunday 7th June regardless, in search of my own Auckland Photo Day images.

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Auckland Harbour Bridge

I took this image using the Olympus OMD Em5 on a long time exposure. The amazing thing was that I did not use a tripod. Instead I propped the camera against a lamppost and that combined with the in-built camera shake reduction did the trick! The lights are a temporary installation celebrating Auckland Anniversary.

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Art of Remembrance Event Photography

The Art of Remembrance at St David's Church in Khyber Pass, Auckland, was unveiled by Central Auckland MP Nikki Kaye at a ceremony on the eve of ANZAC Day.  This unique artwork by renowned New Zealand artist Max Gimblett was inspired by the Tower of London poppies and consists of 100,000 brass quatrefoils which commemorate the New Zealanders who served overseas in WWI.  The installation will adorn the church for three months.

 

Anzac26

 

About 300 people gathered at the outdoor event, many of them volunteers and funders who helped to bring this project to completion, under the directorship of Paul Baragwanath, a trustee of the Friends of St David's. 

One of the challenges of photographing outdoors in the evening is that there is progressively less and less light available and camera and flash adjustments are being made all the time.  I like to change lenses for close up (70mm to 200mm)  and wide angle (24mm to 70mm) so as to capture both portraits and crowd shots. I changed my position many times to capture images both from the point of view of the audience and at the high level where the speakers and performers were standing.

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Tribute to WWI Soldiers

The artwork doubles as a memorial to WWI soldiers and as a fundraiser, each quatrefoil being available for purchase.  Proceeds will go towards the restoration of this building of  national significance, which has potential for being not only a war memorial and church but also a school facility and community venue for all.  (See www.rememberthem.nz )

 

Anzac48

 

With event photography I like to linger on the scene for as long as possible so I am able to photograph not only what is scheduled on the programme but also the spontaneous happenings.  At the conclusion of this event, Paul called for a line-up of many of the people who supported the project, so that they could have their photos taken.  Ted Manson was one of them, and he is pictured here with his wife, who is appropriately wearing a Max Gimblett designed dress.

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Event Photography: Birthday Party

These people know how to party.  The theme of this combined husband and wife 40th birthday celebration was "Rock Stars" and so we had the experience of photographing a variety of "celebrities" from the music world during this most entertaining evening. 

Aside from the glamorous/grungy clothing, props included: a red carpet laid across the lawn, a fake cigarette which passed through many hands, wigs galore, and, yes, a rock and a star.  Needless to say, the atmosphere was enhanced with appropriate music.  Photographing subjects who were more than happy to pose was a great help in portraying the energy of this event.

 

Boy

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Cultural Event - Pasifika Festival

Pacifica2015022

On Fire Design commissioned us to spend the first day of this festival taking photos of particular events onstage as well as capturing the diversity of visitors and experiences taking place in the 11 villages set up for the weekend in Hayman Park, Manukau City.

Our images give you a feel for the sights, sounds and tastes on offer during this celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage.

See more images here.>>

 Pacifica2015244

 

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In Gaza - War Zone

These photos were taken on my trip to Gaza where people were essentially ignoring the war going on around them. 

The portraits were taken on the the street.  With street photography there is a balance between taking a photo of people before asking them, or just taking them. I do both. For close-up shots, you obviously seek approval. Then you take photos 'between photos' so to speak: one being posed, the others snapped either side of the pose. The idea is to capture a moment which reveals a story or an emotion.

Warzone2

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Neighbours Day

I was asked if I would provide a collection of images pro bono for Neighbours Day, so I did the neighbourly thing and got on down to Freyberg Place with the Olympus OMD EM5.  The chess was particularly popular and I decided to render this image in black and white in keeping with the colours of the pieces and the concept of two opposing sides. 

NeighboursDaySinger

The music on the informal stage was colourful and continued on through the afternoon rain to enliven the scene.  

Cloudy days can, in fact, be beneficial for photography outdoors because it enables better management of light.

In New Zealand midday sun can be blinding.  It is often quoted that the best light for a photographer is early morning or late afternoon.

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Microsoft Partner Awards

Freestyle Event Photographers took centre stage last night at the Pullman Hotel to photograph the Microsoft Partner Awards Auckland. There were 300 guests, a stage show, live band and, of course, Microsoft CEO Paul Muckleston handing out prestigious IT Awards. Guests arrived from across New Zealand. Of particular interest was the new award The Rising Star Award.

This is the third event that Freestyle Event Photographers have been involved with for Microsoft. View more images of our coporate events photo gallery>>


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Photographing ALL WHITES coach Anthony Hudson

Freestyle photographers were recently appointed the official Rembrandt Clothing photographers for the Auckland area. Our first photo shoot was on location, where we took the ALL WHITES coach Anthony Hudson being fitted with a new suit and overcoat. Shooting on location has a whole series of challenges, especially lighting and backdrops. And it can be particularly tricky if you want to take a black suit!

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Microsoft Imagine Cup Awards

Freestyle Event Photography were the official photographers for the Microsoft Imagine Cup Awards - an exciting event where students presented Apps they had created to a panel of judges. At the end of the evening a winner was announced and an award (a large cheque) was presented by Paul Muckleston, CEO of Microsoft Auckland.

The Award is a chance for young people to experience IT at the cutting edge and gain an opportunity through support finance and recognition to move forward in business.

The event, held at the Auckland Town Hall, contained laser light shows, screen projections with movies, still images and confetti. A fabulous event to photograph. <see more images in our corporate event gallery>





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Cultural Event - Pride Festival

Freestyle photographers were on location for the Pride Festival which took place in Ponsonby Auckland. An annual event, with extravagant floats and fancy dress the event was a colourful and exciting place for us photographers. See more images click here <our cultural event photo gallery>

I was shooting with a new Sony A7ii which is a full frame mirrorless camera which I was testing out for D Photo magazine. Pick up a copy of the next issue of the magazine to see my review.

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At the Botanic Gardens

Freestyle Event Photography paid a visit to the Auckland Botanic Gardens on the weekend and took this photo of a sunflower with a mobile phone. If you zoom up close, you will see the bee is covered from head to toe with pollen. Isn't that amazing - such great detail from a mobile phone.
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Our Own Model

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will recall that we spent some time during our holidays - taking portraits of Jasmin!

Since posting a few of those images on social media, we received a number of requests from people for portrait photos. So we thought to extend you an offer. Book in for any portrait photos before April 30th and receive a 20% discount. to see more images <click on our gallery page>

Call or text Jasmin on 021 985 300 or Chris on 021 942 197

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Photo Books

Everything looks better online. Right? Not quite.

Demand for printed photo books is growing and nothing is more satisfying then flicking through a collection of your images in a well designed coffee table book. There are many places online you can order a book from. At first, it seems easy.

Load your images into the template, hit the button "ORDER" and ten days later you will flick through your book and... there is a flicker of disappointment. The colours are not what you expected, the layout a little underwhelming and the images are darker then how they appeared on your screen.

At Freestyle Event photography, we have set up our systems to make sure that what you see on the screen is what you get in your book. We take the risk out of the process.

We are GIVING AWAY a copy of our photo book BODYOGRAPHY. <<see images here>>

Have you got an event on the horizon or know someone who does? For bookings made before April 30th we will post you  out a copy of Bodyography.

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Cultural Event Photography: Taranaki Garden Festival

AA Directions magazine asked Freestyle Event Photography to visit the Taranaki Garden Festival held at the base of Mt Taranaki. We had a fabulous time, visiting magnificient gardens and talking to the wonderful and interesting characters who created them. Here is Valda Poletti, owner of the Te Kainga Marire gardens, with her long time friend. It's a native garden and a peaceful encampments.<<Cultural Event Photography Gallery>>


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Event Photography Tip: High and Low Res JPEG's

When taking event photos, we usually process images as JPEG's - either high resolution or low resolution.

Low resolution JPEG's are used for viewing photographs online, so it's good for social media or adding to your website. High resolution JPEG's are good for printing - like photo books.

But there is one more thing you need to be aware of: that both high res and low res come in a DPI (dots per inch) setting. Generally, 72 DPI is good for low res and online viewing. To ensure that you get really good prints, use 300 DPI for saving the high res prints.

If you're thinking of getting a photo book, send us an email and see what Freestyle Event Photography has to offer.

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Event Photography: Engagement Party

On the weekend we went to a beautiful country estate to photograph an engagement party. We took advantage of the terrific sense of humour of the hosts (they had a mock wedding) and had some fun with the photogarphy. This image used a wide angle fish eye lens.  The event was attended by about 60 people and we ended up with sending the client around 250 high resolution images, many of which will find their way into a great photo book. See more images here: People and Portrait Gallery>>
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First Birthday Event Photography: Baby Photo

Freestyle Event Photogrpahy attended a big weekend occasion!  We took photos at a one year old birthday party for a lovely Indian family. We thought the baby doll had stunning blue eyes and looked amazing in the arms of the beautiful birthday girl. Jazzy used  a 24mm to 70mm lens while I used a 70 to 300mm lens which gave me some really great close ups. Portrait Photography Gallery>>
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Creating an Artistic Portrait

Over the holidays we had some time to play creatives and created this portrait photo of Jasmin. We used a 50mm lens which gave us good control of depth of field. Portrait photography is increasingly part of our business. People always need photos for websites. And fashion portraits are a big part of ad agency business. Sometimes we take photos in our studio using controlled light. Other times we take photos on location and incorporate the backdrop into the photos. These sorts of photos are ideal for people who find it difficult to take time out of the day and prefer to have photos taken at the office. Portrait Photography Gallery>>

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Fantastic Auckland Volcanoes - Love Your Mountain Day

Freestyle Event Photography was asked to photograph a cultural event organised by Friends Of Maungawhau, a local community group active in preserving our fantastic Auckland volcanoes. Chair of the Albert-Eden Local Board, Peter Haynes gave the opening speech. We photographed various events including a demonstration of Maori weaponry, a butterfly release, face painting and conch blowing which took place around the crater top of Mt Eden. See more photos at our Cultural Event Gallery>>
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Photographing Northpower's Christmas Party

Our coprorate event photography project for Friday evening was the Northpower company Xmas function down at Auckland's Floating Pavilion venue. There was a fancy dress competition at the event - people got dressed as their favourite actors.

There was a disco and with this photograph, for fun, l slowed the shutter speed considereably and while activating the flash rotated the camera. I liked the party effect.

Visit the Gallery for more examples of our corporate event photography>>

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Photography for Christmas Parties

Ho ho ho! Its that time of year again. 

Before you think about presents, you've got a Christmas party to plan, and hiring a professional photographer (or two) for your corporate Christmas event or social party guarantees that everyone has a good time, that all that hard work you put into organising an amazingly memorable party is not forgotten! And is talked about for weeks to come. 

Here's some tips to consider when booking a photographer for your Xmas bash!

  1. This time of year is busy for everyone associated with events, including photographers, so do make sure you book early. 
  2. Invite the photographer to scope out the location, identify the locations where all the action will take place, the speeches, guest arrivals, or under the mistletoe?
  3. Who are your VIPs - a important thing to consider for photography at all corporate events - make there's plenty of pictures of the boss looking like a boss! 
  4. Work with your photographer to plan a group shot, what is the best location, best timing... These are hard to co-ordinate, and you don't want to spend too long away from festivities, so prior planning is really useful. They can make a great Christmas card, which builds morale as well as loyalty. 
  5. How will you use your photos, in a Christmas card? On your website and in social media? Get the most from your time and effort and amplify this opportunity to show yourselves as the fun folk that your are. 
  6. Think outside the square, what will you do for an end of year photo? Maybe we can help. 

Did we mention Christmas is a busy time of year? Get in touch today

 

 

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Diwali Festival Auckland

A few days ago Jasmin took this photograph while attending the Diwali Festival in Auckland. It shows that photographing an event is more than recording images of the day. It's about capturing those special moments, what in the photographic industry is called the 'Decisive Moment'.
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All Ireland Hurling

I attended the All Ireland Hurling Final at Croke Park in Dublin Irealnd and got a prime position as a press photographer on the grass behind the goal - in front of 82,600 spectators. I was using the Olympus E-M5 with a 100mm lens - micro four thirds.

Here is an article I wrote at the time to go with the sports images. Meath Chronicle Article

 

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