April 21, 2015
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It’s finally here!  As much as I love that I can now sleep in my own bed and I can lounge in front of the TV on my own sofa, what I’m really excited about is having all my camera equipment back in my hot little hands!

The day after it arrived I was able to test it out at the Panaga Highland Games held on the field at Panaga Club here in Seria.  The Highland Games are a tradition in the Seria expat community and is organised a year in advance.  It includes all sorts of games and competitions for both kids and adults including sack races, egg races (for the kids) as well as the welly toss, tug-o-war, caber toss, shot put, sprints, medium distant races, and even market stalls for competitive shoppers.

The kids’ events were held in the morning and I had a great time capturing a few details during their activities.  There was SO much going on that I couldn’t possibly catch it all but it certainly got me back into the chaotic swing of things.  It was great to see them having so much fun!

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My husband was roped into ‘tugging’ for the Chieftains tug-o-war team… kilt and all!

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April 02, 2015
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Wow… It has been a long time since I’ve written anything here in my blog.

As I look back over the past year, it seems to be a real whirlwind of life events twisting, circling, entwining and funneling into this moment.  One day I’m hiking the Grampian Reserve in Nelson, New Zealand and the next day I’m lounging in half empty temporary accommodations in SE Asia waiting for all my worldly possessions to arrive by shipping container.

Knowing for the past year that this day would come, I had calmly kept my camera all to myself and set out to explore as much of my surrounds as possible.  I wanted to spend my spare time capturing everything that New Zealand meant to me.  Because New Zealand was the best place I’ve ever lived.  It truly is a magnificent country full of rugged majesty, sensory brilliance and wide open spaces.

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As much as I’ll miss these broader aspects of New Zealand, I really am excited about my new adventure here on the island of Borneo.  I’ve come back to some friendly faces and the necessary tropical temperatures that make me the happiest.  I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends’ families and photographing the kids I haven’t seen in over 2 years.  How much they’ve grown and changed!  I’ve missed capturing their smiles and laughter.  I even have new families eager for a session or two.  I’m so excited!

There just seems to be more of a desire to capture ‘life’ and life’s moments here. A lot of the people have moved around quite a bit already and there is more of an awareness that time is fleeting and precious; that life will change dramatically again in the next year or two.  There is more of a sense that ‘this moment’, in this country, needs to be captured before moving on to the next posting.

I love the idea of photographing people again who are just as excited about getting in front of the camera as I am behind it.  I can’t wait!

My equipment arrives at the end of April and it will be the first to be unpacked, set up and used without delay!  So if anyone is reading this, better get ahead of the game and book a session!  I look forward to hearing from you!

May 18, 2014
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I had such a fun photoshoot with the kids of Piccalilli!

Piccalilli is a clothing line designed and crafted by Deborah Sax here in Nelson.  They exude such an old world charm with colourful patterns mixed with complimentary textures. Using upcycled materials and fresh ideas Deborah has come up with her own unique style.  Her two kids are so lucky to have a whole wardrobe to choose from.  And I was lucky to be able to photograph each of them in a few different pieces.

The kids were delightful little models and awarded me with perpetual smiles and contagious laughter.  Even in the rain, they stuck it out!  Check out Deborah’s clothes at the Saturday Morning Market across from Whitcoull’s and BNZ or go online at piccalilli.co.nz.

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March 21, 2014
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From time to time I get some really cool assignments!  Last week I was invited up into a helicopter in New Plymouth to take photos of other helicopters, oil rigs and miscellaneous detail shots within the organization known as HNZ.

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I have done this before.  When I lived in Malaysia I took photos of new aircraft introduction ceremonies, aerial photos of the twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, as well as aerial photos of our local airport and surrounding areas so that engineers could fit a brand new simulator with real life terrain images for training pilots in the simulator.

Before Malaysia, I did some aerial photographs in an S76 of Vancouver and the surrounding scenery.  It was stunning!

This time I was in New Plymouth where we flew over open water as well as along the shore with Mount Taranaki in the background.  I had to wear a ‘wetsuit’ along with a harness and a ‘leash’ that strapped me to the inside of the helicopter.  We flew in ‘formation’ with another helicopter so that I could get tight shots of the aircraft in flight.  It was exhilarating!

Our first flight we went out to sea to capture the other helicopter landing on an oil rig platform.  The door of my helicopter was closed from take-off and only opened once we approached the vessel.  Luckily for me, one of the crew, James, came along to open the door for me as it was heavy and there was no way I’d be able to reach back and close it again.

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The second flight I had the doors open from take-off to landing and had a wide open vista in which to take pictures.

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Many thanks to the amazing pilots, Brent and Russell and my assistant, James, for keeping me safe on an incredible shoot!

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February 23, 2014
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As a Nelson New-by, I haven’t quite fallen into the ‘events’ schedule as quickly and as efficiently as I would have liked.  There is so much going on at any given time that I keep finding out about things after the fact.  Even though I search online, read local magazines and newspapers and snatch up flyers when I see them, there is always something I end up missing.

Fortunately, Opera In The Park has been on my radar ever since my first visit to Nelson last year, several months before moving here.  Friends of mine have been regaling me with their wonderful memories of past concerts and I bought tickets as soon as they became available for this year’s dates.

My husband and I spent the day packing up a picnic basket, choosing wines and cheeses and buying fresh warm loaves of ciabatta bread.  We loaded the car with a blanket and low chairs and set off to meet up with friends who had staked a claim in the grass directly in front of the stage.  Once settled, we opened our collective baskets and enjoyed a warm, sunny evening of delicious food and pre-concert entertainment.

Eventually the main event started and we sat back to take in the incredible operatic vocal range of Amina Edris from Egypt, the lilting tone of  Tama Wairapa from Wellington and the witty, most amazing trumpeter/tromboner from Australia, James Morrison.

Although my husband and I have never paid much attention to opera, we thoroughly enjoyed the show!

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February 17, 2014
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The Nelson Lakes region is absolutely gorgeous!  We drove through several months ago to visit some friends who have a bach up there.  The scenery was breathtaking!

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So when my husband discovered there was going to be a SUP race mixed in with the more specialized outrigger races on the weekend of February 14, he jumped on the registration and created a training plan.  For weeks he did his requisite 5km around Tahuna Beach and practiced manipulating the water in all kinds of weather.  He had a goal and he was sticking to it.

When we arrived at Lake Rotoiti this past weekend for the races, he was prepared.  He got his registration number and studied the course. We were both impressed with the Maori opening tribute and ceremony to the lake and it’s surroundings before the competition began and we were happy that the weather seemed to be holding despite the cold temperatures.

When all was said and done, my husband won his race!  He won because he was the only participant in the Male SUP race.  *sigh*  But at least he did it!  Goal accomplished!

 

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January 10, 2014
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There is a buzz on the street lately that so many women have been talking about.  It seems to be spreading like wildfire and I’m tempted to leap into the coals and find out what it’s all about.

Many women are transforming themselves and creating, or perhaps just uncovering, their own personal style through one-on-one sessions with Image and Style Consultants.

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I remember a time in my early twenties when a friend of mine threw a ‘makeup’ party and part of the program was having each of our ‘colours’ analyzed to see if we fell into a ‘spring’, ‘summer’, ‘autumn’ or ‘winter’.  From there, we were shown which colours suited our complexion as well as how to apply these colours to our faces to maximize our best features.

Only 2 years ago a girlfriend of mine went back to the UK to visit her family and hired a personal shopper to help her find all the right clothes for a new job she was about to start after being out of the workforce for many years.  Although not particularly free with her money, she found the experience well-worth every cent and is still thrilled with the results.

Today, the system is far more complex and all-encompassing.  Personal branding, as it has been referred to, includes analyzing body type, shape, lifestyle; are you athletic, a business-woman, full-time mom or homemaker.  It also includes colour analysis which can greatly affect the appearance of a woman, making them look older, younger, more radiant or lifeless, professional, sporty, trendy or chic.

Truly amazing!  Isn’t that what we are always asking ourselves every time we walk into our closet?  How many times have you stood in front of your wardrobe in confusion and frustration asking yourself, ‘what am I going to wear today?’  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to walk in there, pull anything down and know immediately that you’re going to look great?!

Not only that, but some Consultants will come to your house and stand in your closet with you and tell you what you should keep and politely tell you what you need to donate.  What woman doesn’t need that?  We’re asking our husbands and partners their opinions all the time and, quite honestly, what do they know?

And if that wasn’t enough, some Consultants will take you shopping…  it’s like a dream come true!  Where do I sign up?  Obviously there is a cost to all this.  But I figure what you make up in buying the right clothes will save you from buying, and eventually tossing, the clothes you’ll never wear.  Personally, I like my odds.

Now I know I’ve just been using the feminine form up to now, but I do know of some men also who have seen a Style Consultant and are very pleased, if not surprised, about how much they got out of it.

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As I don’t normally endorse people I haven’t worked with personally, and please note I never get paid for any endorsements anyway, I have heard some great things about a woman here in Nelson who has done consulting for all my friends.  Her name is Bebe and she is an Images and Style consultant for the House Of Colour. Check out her site here.

That being said, I know there are some other very reputable consultants in the city.  Take a look online and see if anyone tickles your fancy.  If you want a ‘quick fix’ and don’t have the money to spend, I found a website called Joy of Clothes.  You can take an in-depth Style Quiz that helps you find the same kind of information regarding your personal style, shape and colour palettes.  It will place recommendations in your Style File for reference.

Either way, it’s great to know there are resources available to help shed some light on the bane of a woman’s existence and stop them from saying, ‘I have nothing to wear!’

January 09, 2014
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Valentine’s Day is, by far, my favourite time of year!  It may have something to do with all the chocolate, fresh flowers and secret admirers, but mostly it’s the idea that love is bountiful and free-flowing.  It’s a time when that special someone declares his or her undying, passionate love for you.  Granted, this shouldn’t only come once a year, but it’s a definitive occasion to do so if one feels they haven’t shown it enough or would like to re-iterate with certainty of their true feelings.

I am a sucker for all things ‘love’ and ‘devotion’ and ‘passion’.  Which is why I love capturing timeless, emotional, authentic images filled with love, joy and happiness.  Kinda mushy, hey… yeah. That’s me.  A hopeless, if somewhat dramatic, romantic.  So let me capture that for you.  It will make me very happy!

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January 05, 2014
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Cricket is a game that can only be understood fully if one has grown up with it.  I have not.

It has confounded me for as long as I can remember.  My husband, on the other hand, grew up with it in South Africa.  Played it in school.  Played it as a young man.  Played it with his son from the time he could throw a ball.  As my husband sits for days watching one Cricket match on television, I have stared blankly at the screen wondering what the hell they’re all standing around for as some lanky guy comes running across the screen and has an epileptic fit before releasing the ball.  And when the players finally start jumping up and down I’m wondering what the hell just happened to make them so inexplicably excited. And they do this day after bleeding day!  It is a mystery that has plagued me for the past several years as I’m forced to watch and wonder in vain and irritation.  I’m slowly getting over ‘the giggles’ every time I hear LBW…

However, my husband has taken it upon himself to relieve me of my frustration and slowly, over time, explain the rules.  It’s a delicate procedure as too much information only leads to an overwhelming sense of confusion.  Too little information leads me to losing the will to live as I watch the madness.

A great opportunity for my ‘training’ arose when the New Zealand Black Caps hosted the West Indies at our little sports field here in Nelson.  Tickets were bought and a whole day at the field was planned.  I packed my iPad and a novel.  The few days leading up to our excursion, my husband focused on watching the Ashes – England vs Australia.  Australia was hammering England and it seemed everyone was irritated with the game.  I was in good company.  But this was my husband’s last opportunity to bang the theory of the game into my head so that Saturday’s outing would be a little more enjoyable for me (and for him).

I have to admit, it was starting to stick.

When we arrived at the game and took our seats, Brad immediately started pointing out the intricacies of the game.  I was getting it.  I was understanding. I started calling the plays before Brad could tell me himself.  There must have been some serious osmosis the past few days because I was ‘having fun’ watching Cricket.

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I’m not usually star-struck.  Let me re-phrase.  I AM usually star-struck, if I actually know I’m in the vicinity of a ‘famous’ person.  Normally, I’m so oblivious to who is around me that anyone can walk right by me and I’ll never know.  And if I do happen to recognize someone, my heart starts to pound and I literally start walking the other way because I’m so nervous of making a fool of myself.  Also, being from North America, I’m very aware of the paparazzi antics and never want to be associated with that crowd so I’ve learned to keep my camera down out of respect.  But as I watched the crowd, I noticed that a lot of kids, desperate to get their paraphernalia signed by these sports figures, were confidently calling out their names and asking openly for the players’ attention. And to my surprise, the players would jog right up to them and oblige!

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The looks on the kids’ faces were priceless and I had to capture it.  Unfortunately, as I was standing at the fence with them, I couldn’t get the right angle.  So I forced myself to get shots of the players signing ambiguous items.  It was strange to be pointing my camera at a celebrity who had not asked me to take their photo.  But I figured if some young adult could boldly ask for a ‘selfie’ with his favourite player, I could make an exception.

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I also saw Guy Williams.  He is a New Zealand TV personality who grew up in Nelson.  Although I’m not necessarily a big fan of his, I figured, as it was my day of ‘firsts’, that I would actually approach and ask to take a picture of him.  He insisted on getting the picture together so he asked his friend to take the shot…  In true ‘Tina’ style, I became tongue-tied for absolutely no reason and think I mumbled my way through it before thanking him and running back to my seat where my husband was sitting and laughing at me.  At this point, a whole lot of witty conversation items came to mind.  But it was too late.  Oh well… here’s the shot:

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January 05, 2014
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Giveaway-January

I love the idea of the first baby of the year!  What a way to ring in New Year’s with a beautiful new life.  I’m always fascinated by the news stories on TV and in the newspaper that describe a couple’s few hours prior to the birth of their child on New Year’s day. I inevitably start crying just feeling their joy.  For this reason, I’d love to have the opportunity to photograph one of the newest members on our planet or soon to be newest members.  If you’re interested in capturing these first few days of your child’s life (or the last few months before your child arrives) then I look forward to hearing from you!

FREE SHOOT DETAILS:

4 free photoshoots to 4 separate individuals (or couples), either maternity or newborn, booked before 29 February 2014.  Each winner will also receive 5 free digital images from the shoot on a thumb drive.  Winners must be in the Nelson region.

HOW TO ENTER:

To enter to win, simply become a fan of  Tina Louise Photography on Facebook and leave a comment on my Facebook page by answering the following question:

“What was your favourite ‘baby’ moment of the past year”

Deadline:  Friday, 10 January, 2014 at 11:59pm NZST.

Winners will be chosen at random using randomnumbergenerator.com