The Koi Boys Bust Out

Kiwi crooners The Koi Boys - favourites on Channel 9's The Voice - are on the up and up with a major record label signing and multiple video releases.

I spent time recently in the studio photographing Kevin, Danny and Nuz - great guys who are working hard and having a ball as their star rises.

Hollie Smith Publicity Images

A while back, my pretty friend the singer asked me to take some photos of her. She had some music to release and needed a solid set of press images.

So we spent a day in the studio and came up with these looks. 

Styling by Sammy Salsa and hair and make-up by Tane Tomoana.

Grace Under Pressure - BTS of a Video Shoot

Making a music video involves a lot of talented people - all of them using their unique talents to create something special and unique. At the centre of all this whirlwind of focussed activity is the star herself, who must draw on her strength to deliver a performance amongst the controlled chaos.

Erykah Badu - Live at The Palais Theatre, Melbourne (Flashback)

Sometimes its nice to revisit the files from an old shoot and see how you'd treat them today. Way back in February 2012, I was sent to Melbourne to shoot Erykah Badu as she performed with her Cannabinoids crew at the gorgeous old Palais Theatre in St Kilda.

I had the run of the theatre for the entire show - which is always nice - so had time to cover the performance properly and especially to look for those gestures and special moments which are almost impossible to catch under the typical "three song" rule. Photographing Erykah is easy as she's a proper Diva - talented and beautiful - and boy, she knows it. Her stagecraft coupled with her sheer confidence (arrogance?) means that she is in total command of the audience at all times, never letting their attention stray for a second.

Though the Cannabinoid crew are stellar performers in their own right, the eyes of the enraptured audience never once left Erykah, such was the intensity of her performance. My job was to try to capture some of that power and emotion.

Originally processed and output in colour, a new treatment in B&W, removing all possible distractions, seems now to be the only way to go with these images.

Nikon D300/ Nikkor 17-55mm 2.8G/ 70-200mm 2.8G VR1 lens, Lightroom 5

Dead Bedfords

Driving around rural New Zealand, you will be treated with the sight of hundreds (thousands?) of abandoned work vehicles - a fair number of which seem to be Vauxhall Bedford trucks.

Sure, derelict trucks may be a photographic cliche, but these handsome beasts are often fascinating - particularly their beautiful rusting skins which are testament to the hard lives they have undoubtedly lead. 

I discovered this eighties model quietly abandoned in a cul-de-sac adjacent to Tokatoka Peak in Ruawai. It seemed a perfect final resting place - overlooking the Dargaville River and across the dairy farms of Te Kopuru and out to sea.

However, I returned to this spot a few years later and it was gone - hopefully relocated to a final resting place with just as much dignity.

 

If you travel from Wairoa to Rotorua via the Waikaremoana Road, you will see dozens of 'retired' farm vehicles - especially around the tiny township of Ruatahuna. 

This guy from the seventies sat in small field by the road facing the traffic and seemed almost to be begging for another chance to be put to work - you could almost felt sorry for him.

 

The aptly named Dry Road on the Whanganui Inlet in the Golden Bay area, hugs the shoreline alternately cutting through bush and traversing tidal mudflats on the way into the North West Nelson Conservation Park.

Along the way, I stopped for a classic sixties flatbed guarding the letterbox of a bush-hidden property. Standing proud in the baking midday sun, it's history writ large in the textured metal and fractured glass - had someone taken a shot at the owner? - I could only speculate.

 

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.40: Hopetoun Brown

I caught up with Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart of blues duo Hopetoun Brown at The Lab Recording Studio in Mt Eden where they were putting down some new tunes.

I had offered to do some publicity images for them in between recording sessions, but as it turned out Tim was full of a cold on the night so I had them all to myself for a quick 45 minute photo session.

I started with the guys up against a black backdrop for some bad ass 'blues-style' shots and then followed up with a more contemporary look against white.

Nikon D4/ Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8G, Nikon SB900 Flash/ Westcott Rapid Box + Umbrella fill, Lightroom 5.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.39: Paula Kelly

Its not so long ago that Scott Kelly turned forty. Now Paula Kelly (they're married) has reached the same milestone.

What can I say? Paula looks like she's thirty and acts like she's twenty (in a good way). Despite that, I managed to capture Paula looking her most serene. Mostly.

Its nice to catch up with friends around a significant birthday and to take a few photos. We had a nice cup of coffee and took a few photos while Chewie kept an eye on proceedings.

Nikon D4/ Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8G/ 85mm 1.4G lens, Nikon SB900 Flash/ Westcott Rapid Box, Lightroom 5.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.38: Sam Irvine

Company executives typically require photographs that can be used not only for internal collateral (profiles, annual reports, etc.) but also LinkedIn, Facebook as well as for use in magazine and press articles.

Having a coordinated photoshoot means having a range of images to suit different needs, without the last minute panic to meet a deadline.

Here is sample from a suite of images I did recently for Sam Irvine of Freeview in and around his office in Auckland.

Nikon D4/ Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8G & 70-200mm 2.8G & 85mm 1.4G lenses, Nikon SB900/Westcott Rapid Box, Lightroom 5.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.37: Mark (MC Slave) Williams

Occasionally, studio shoots for clients run ahead of schedule and you are left with a bit of spare time to do a mate a favour. Slave needed some new head shots, so I gave him a call and he joined me at White Studios after picking the kids up from school.

Using a Profoto head with a beauty dish against a bare white wall, we got to it and quickly got a range of different looks.

Powerful strobes allow you to work fast - just as well since the kids were getting restless.

Nikon D4/ Nikkor 85mm 1.4G / Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8G lens, Profoto Head/ Beauty Dish White, Lightroom 5.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.36: Cam Mansel

Natural light headshot-style portraits of Cam Mansel.

Nikon D4/ Nikkor 85mm 1.4G lens, Lightroom 5.