A few weeks ago I was part of a team of photographers who judged the Photographic Society of New Zealand‘s North Shore Salon. The PSNZ North Shore Salon is an annual event which is now in it’s 19th year, and although it is run by an ‘amateur’ photographic society, it attracts entries from both amateur, professional and semi-professional photographers.
I was part of the ‘prints team’ who judged physical entries (as opposed to digitally submitted entries) and we had a great day looking at the images, deliberating together (i.e., arguing in the nicest possible manner) and making our selections. This is the second time I’ve judged this particular competition, and being amongst all those very keen photographers pursuing their art for their own personal pleasure was so refreshing and enjoyable. You can view all of this years’ winners HERE
Being in that environment made me reflect upon the first competition I entered when I worked for Photography by Woolf. The Woolf family was always heavily involved and a firm supporter of the PSNZ and as employees we were enthusiastically encouraged to enter the various national competitions. I still remember my boss’ stunned expression when I opened the results packet from my first ever entry and innocently asked, “What’s the Maadi Cup?”. It turned out it was the top B&W award and it was pretty much unheard of for it to be won by a first time entrant.
I’ve kind of been hooked on competitions ever since!
I dug through my old neg files for this post and found a ‘reject’ print of my entry in the folder. The winning image was a portrait of Rebecca, a gorgeous girl I went to school with who had agreed to model for me for my 7th form bursary portfolio.
Well it’s officially winter now and I am meant to be in my ‘quiet’ season but so far I’m yet to get there! This is due in large part to my inclusion in this years’ Auckland Festival of Photography with an exhibition comprised of portraits of some pretty tough Waiheke locals!
The exhibition came about because the kickboxing gym that I train at decided to do a “Fight Night” as a fundraiser for the local schools. Being a longtime lover of the art of the studio portrait, I jumped at the chance to capture the promo shots of the fighters and was so excited by the images that I decided to turn it into an exhibition while I was at it! A couple of the promo photos…
Called “Fight” (I know, soooo imaginative aren’t I?), the exhibition was selected by D-Photo magazine as one of the photography festivals picks to visit, which I was pretty chuffed about.
The images are a collection of strongly lit, dramatic studio portraits, complemented by audio interviews and a poem selected by my wonderful friend Selina Tusitala Marsh from her poetry collection, Dark Sparring.
Laying out the prints on the floor while I decided on which pieces would go where…
The opening night of the exhibition was amazing, with a great turnout of the fighters, other Waiheke photographers, friends and members of the general public. Of course I was so busy
having a good time being a good host that I didn’t take any photos, although I was very lucky that Julianne from the Waiheke Weekender took a few snaps for the ‘Scene on Waiheke” section of the paper and sent me through this one…
Anyhooo… the exhibition finishes on Monday 9th so this is the last weekend to come and visit (I know, I only just told you about it!!). So please come and have a look at these spunky and courageous Waiheke Islanders who are gracing my studio walls… I’ve got to admit it has been a bit hard to concentrate on the computer work this week!
A couple of months ago I was approached by Waiheke Libraries to run an after school workshop for kids, with an eye to creating an exhibition which would run alongside the Auckland Festival of Photography.
Article in the Gulf News about the Emma Hughes Photography kid’s workshop on Waiheke Island
The workshop itself was so much fun. Our main focus was on composition and looking for new and interesting angles, and I was really impressed by both the enthusiasm and the abilities of the participants.
The results are now up on the wall at the library and will be there for the next few weeks …. go and check out our young talented Waiheke photographers!
Ok all you mothers out there, are you ALWAYS the one behind the camera? Your mission today is to go and get your family camera, hand it to someone else and have a photo with your beautiful children. Doesn’t matter when or where … It doesn’t even matter if it’s a good photo … it only matters that you are IN it!
Better yet, get me to do it … Actually, if you book your photo session with me in this month of May and mention this post I will waive your session fee – that’s a saving of $185 dollars. No excuses. Be present in your children’s lives and memories.
A photo I love of me and my kids, showing off their ‘amazing’ t-shirt art skills… I love how my little boy is playing the joker (as always) while I look on indulgently and the contented look on the face of my lovely daughter. And how my head is chopped off (ummmm, thanks for that honey…). See I told you it didn’t have to be a good photo!
March was one of those months that really did feel like it went forever while simultaneously seeming to disappear in a snap of the fingers. It was my first month in my new studio and this was AWESOME (and also a little challenging while we got new internet systems in place and nutted out some networking issues and all the other little things that come with ‘shifting house’).
I’m really enjoying playing with the new light sources I have in my studio and have been shooting up a storm in there, including a few ‘play shoots’ of my lovely family, portfolio shoots, portraits and shooting the promo images of eleven fighters who are preparing to jump in the ring in late May (can’t show you those yet though). That’s not to mention the weddings… it’s been a busy month!
Some of these adventures + other random happenings of my life are on my Instagram feed… feel free to follow along if ya wanna;
TOP ROW: Sunrise Waiheke style, Jessie in the studio, Graffiti in a Waiheke Alley
MIDDLE: Joe being crazy at the beach, Opening of Waiheke’s newest Bar/Eatery, Yellow Rose (gift from hubby)
BOTTOM: Stolen moment at sunset, The Macklemore & Ryan Lewis concert, My friend Selina working her magic at the Pacific Poetry All Stars
OK… a couple of real photos now:
make up by the Amy Crawford from The Beauty Spot
This week is more than a little exciting… that’s assuming that ‘exciting’ is a suitable synonym for super stressful, of course. The Grand Opening of our new photography studio is happening this Friday evening from 5-7pm and as of the start of this week it looked like this;
So… um, it’s not quite finished. BUT, I have been confidently assured by the lovely Lancelot that it will be all done and dusted by the time we are ready for Party Blast-Off at 5pm (in two days time, gulp!). If you want to find out if we make the deadline I guess you will have to just come along on Friday night to 106 Oceanview Rd in Oneroa and see.
All welcome, celebratory drinks provided. (Cross your fingers for me, OK).