Getting foodie again...

Our youngest fellow, Vin, has finally started school. It's been a bit of a busy time in the last months, although I can testify to the fact that I can't really recall the last occasion that I've felt things are slow. I now find myself with pockets of time that I can sometimes use to take pictures for my own enjoyment.

I've also been learning. One of the things about being a photographer is that you are often very alone in your work.  I've been disconnected from the photographic community for a really long time now, as there really wasn't much I could contribute when I was knee deep in kids. I remember a couple of years ago, going to a succession of exhibition openings for people I knew from my time as a photographic tutor, and as a fully fledged card-carrying member of the professional photog scene. Going to those things as a stay at home mum was really surprisingly intense and weird, and I felt like not only did I not have a whole lot to say about the work (being somewhat out of practise), but the people I knew from that old life really didn't know what to say to me. I was out of context. Having children gradually became what defined me, and I felt like a has-been, and a might-never-be-again. It was depressing.

As the kids have moved off to kindy, and now to school, I've had more opportunity to use my art brain again. I've been to galleries, read things about creativity, and started to really contemplate what will make me into a better photographer. I know I need to keep edging towards stronger portfolio work - technically cleaner, with a more absolute control over the light. I've been learning too - following food photography workshops by people like Andrew Scrivani and Penny de los Santos. I'm starting to work on using light sources other than window light. I'm also considering the purpose of the images I'm making. Are these for hanging on a wall? illustrating a cookbook? selling a product? I am planning and shooting now with purpose. Hopefully that'll start to become apparent in the pictures over the coming months.

Here are a small handful of images from the last little while. Again, these are 5-10 minute shoots, so I'm not dragging out the studio lights quite yet, although that's going to start happening soon. But, I think my vision is getting clearer.

A new era for the Tui Brewery

In a recent post about Nick and Rosie of The Experience Collective, I showed you some pictures of the clever pair, as they prepared marketing imagery for launching their new business.  They're fully under way now, managing the customer experience for Tui and Monteiths, co-ordinating events and running tours.

I had the very great pleasure of spending a couple of days up at the newly minted Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka, shooting the last bits of the brewery install, and some promotional imagery for the marketing of Tui HQ.

Firstly, (and I didn't think I was going to share this, but I guess I am...) I have only been driving for about 3 years, and only achieved my full licence this year.  Driving all of that way by myself felt like an achievement of sorts.  I conquered the Rimutaka incline without incident, and coped just fine with the long stretches of open road and fast country drivers.

The shoot was super varied - Tui HQ and the brewery premises, tour photos, food, customers relaxing at the cafe and bar, a little bit of merchandise.  I loved the chaos and frenzy of it.  I think I am most in my element photographically when I'm troubleshooting and working fast with imperfect circumstances.  The pictures below are a smattering of the many shots I made over the two day stretch.  The new brewery is a smaller enterprise than Tui previously was - but it's a beautiful new space, with its' shiny tanks and abundant natural light.

If you're passing through on State Highway 2, I can really recommend the Tui Brewery for a visit.  The food is delicious, the people are completely real and warm and awesome, and I think plenty of exciting things are happening with the beer with head brewer Tupu at the helm.