Archive for Portraits

1 + 1 = 3

I thought I would interrupt all these gorgeous 2015 summer weddings on Waiheke by introducing a new blog segment I have been planning for ages: 1 + 1 = 3?  What?!  That’s right, you heard correctly; one plus one really does equal three when two beautiful people meet, fall in love, get married and … make babies!!!

Quite often my brides and grooms come back to me a year or two (or three or four) after their wedding day to capture portraits of their growing family and I LOVE seeing what my couples have ‘made’!  And now you can too…

The beautiful Renu…


combined with the handsome Vinay


equals… the scrumptious Shaan!!


I hope you enjoy this new blog segment as much as I do!!  You can see more photos from Renu and Vinay’s 2012 Cable Bay wedding HERE

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Starting the year with a bang!

One of my images which scored a Gold at last year’s New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Iris Awards and helped place me as a finalist in the Illustrative Category has been selected as part of the submission to represent New Zealand in the 2015 World Photographic Cup!

Gold Award_NZIPP Epson Iris Awards 2014

Yippie! My image will stand alongside the work of some amazing New Zealand photographers including last year’s NZIPP Photographer of the Year Richard Wood, media darling Holly Spring, fellow Waiheke photographer Blair Quax and awesome wedding shooters Jake Thomas and Jason Naylor (and that’s just to name a few!).

This year there are 27 countries vying for the title so it’s pretty exciting! Cross your fingers for our NZ submission x

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Pre-wedding / engagement / ‘cherish the dress’ photography shoot!

Well as you can tell, I wasn’t quite sure what to call this shoot!  My business is a happy mix of Wedding and Portrait Photography … always has been … “Anything People” is what I tell anyone who asks what I love to shoot (and thus I manage to avoid the regular requests to shoot the spectacular houses and holiday homes that are so plentiful over here on Waiheke Island!).  For me there is just not the same level of satisfaction in shooting something I can’t make smile!!

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Occasionally these two worlds of portraiture and wedding photography collide like it did when I photographed Thanh and Tao recently for their pre-wedding Waiheke Island photos which will be shown at their wedding over in Vietnam next year.  In between now and then they are also having a pre-wedding day shoot in Vietnam so are bound to have an awesome array of images to celebrate their love together.

It’s not very common in New Zealand to shoot your photos on a completely different day to your wedding BEFORE the actual date, although I do get several enquiries each year from couples looking to do a “Wedding Shoot” separate of their wedding day for one reason or another;  sometimes they haven’t been happy with the images they had received from their photographer on their actual wedding or had run out of time on the day… or they just want to play dress up again! (a most excellent reason if you ask me!).

Whatever the reason, it’s such a lot of fun to travel this beautiful island with a couple of lovebirds and no time constraints. OK, enough of my talking, let me share some images with you from Tao and Thanh’s shoot… we started with a few engagement portraits in regular clothes at one of my favourite quick-stop spots.

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Tao and Thanh were so wonderful to photograph and seemed to really enjoy the shoot.  They had a very relaxed and loving connection with each other which always makes my job easy!

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We popped into the my studio in Oneroa and I did a few quick shots in there before we headed out to explore the island again.

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I just looooooove this photo above…

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It’s so nice to have the time to go to different locations and get such a range of images that you don’t normally have the time to capture on a wedding day.

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Onetangi Beach Wedding Photo on Waiheke Island

Um, wow Onetangi Beach… you are looking pretty amazing!

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We were fortunate to have a brief golden sunset to end the day.   (A little too brief actually, but I’ll take what I can get!)

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Love the bird!!

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And then it was home again on the next ferry to Auckland… thanks Thanh and Tao for sharing a really enjoyable afternoon with me here on the Island of Weddings (as I heard someone recently refer to Waiheke as!).  Enjoy your beautiful life together x

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Fight Exhibition … Auckland Festival of Photography 2014

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!

Fight Exhibition_Duan Marshall

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…

denisa kolouchova - fighting spirit ii, waiheke island

Fighting Spirit 2, Duan Marshall Gym, Waiheke Island

Steve Jackson vs Jean Arlove

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.

fight exhibition - selina tusitala marsh

laying out the Fight Exhibition _ Emma Hughes
Laying out the prints on the floor while I decided on which pieces would go where…

Fight Exhibition_Anna Desbonnets

Fight Exhibition_fist

Fight Exhibition_Damien Babillaud

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…

emma hughes_fight photography exhibition 2014

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! 😀

Fight Exhibition_Emma Hughes Photography

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Mothers Day Special Deal…

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!

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Instagram Love

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;

Instagram Love
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

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Concert

Macklemore_auckland concert



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