“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

– Ashley Smith

Having wanted to do a shoot for a very long time with the spring blossoms, I finally got the chance.

The last few years I've been working so much that I hadn't had the opportunity. Before I'd know it, the blossoms along Deans Ave and around Hagley Park would be gone. It's such a beautiful and inspiring time of year that I'd always wanted to do a shoot to celebrate femininity . What's more feminine than pretty pink flowers? haha

Courtney is also a Christchurch based photographer, but she has a modeling background... still occasionally taking the time to participate in shoots in-front of the camera. Her modeling background has made her photography journey kick right off from the start. Even working with her (her as a model) I can see how confident she is in herself. Good at taking direction while also giving her own feedback and ideas. For me, Courtney is one of the best models I have worked with. I feel we get on pretty well and have a great time on shoots!

While we both have the determination to make the best of our passions and work towards making our dreams a reality - we've both found it a struggle to get past certain obstacles. Some parts of the photography community can be a bit hard to navigate. We've also both struck unreliable models and found it hard to get others interested in our ideas and concepts.

But I think we can both agree that our strength is our determination and drive.

That was kind of why I knew Courtney was the perfect model for my idea. Sometimes an idea comes to you and you know automatically who you want to work with.

As much as I wanted the shoot to follow femininity lines and work towards that image, I didn't want it to be this cutesy cute photoshoot with a bleach blonde barbie. My photography leans towards shooting the average woman... real women. Courtney's a real woman with a strong character. She's brave.

Which lead me to the second part of the shoot... the Hot House at the Gardens.

I thought the "safari" concept would be perfect for also bringing that strong vibe into the images. What's more courageous than a woman charting and exploring the "unknown"? I also knew I had the perfect dress in my wardrobe ;)

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”

― Bernard M. Baruch

We both believe that the community should be more accepting and inclusive. So we have been in discussion about organizing a few group meetups and events.

Keep an eye out for what we have planned!