celebrate success

it's fitting that i start this redesign with a note about achievement. this past year has been an incredibly difficult one, probably the hardest of my life if i'm being honest. if there's anything i've learnt from the last 12 or so months, it's that it's so important to celebrate your own successes no matter how big or small. 

earlier this year i randomly reconnected with some family friends of mine that i haven't seen since i was 17. they have a record company and have an artists in development programme as part of it. they work with young musicians over a year with everything from brand and social media to song writing and recording sessions. they also get help with styling and photo shoots. i got asked to shoot two of their artists, a gorgeous 15 year old singer/songwriter named nikita and a hip hop artist and creative who goes by lil trigarow. 

having not done any commercial (read: paid) shoots for a while i was pretty nervous but chris and i work really well together, she has the same aesthetic and diy approach that i have. turns out both nikita and trig were a dream to shoot and the images came out great. i felt really good about them so when chris told me that one of the trig shots was going to be on the cover of their label magazine i flipped. i mean i really lost my shit big time. it may not be the type of magazine that most of my friends or people i know read but for any photographer, the chance to see your work in print is always a good feeling. when it's a cover it's even better.

i just picked up my copy yesterday (ok i took 5 copies) and it looks fucking sick. 

so at then end of a shitty year having a tangible success of mine in my hands gives me something to celebrate. it also encourages me to reflect on what has been and what i've learned. i suffer from anxiety which has been somewhat crippling recently. i forget to stop and breathe for fear of having it all come crashing down. it's in these moments that having something like this mag forces me to appreciate my achievements.

it's been awesome having the chance to get back into photography on this level. having my work acknowledged and supported has done wonders for my confidence. nakita and trig are both incredible young artists, both so motivated and driven to make a difference with their art. nakita's song 'one voice' is an anti-bullying statement which was downloaded over 50,000 times within a week of being released. trig not only writes, produces and mc's on his tracks, he also creates a ton of music videos plus makes his own clothes. i've never met or worked with a young guy that is so sure of himself and his brand. he's also really sweet. also we met mos def when we were shooting. no biggie. he was rad.

i also want to take a minute to thank chris at bunny creative for giving me these opportunities. she is a fantastic art director and i highly recommend her to work with.

to check out the full size images used in the magazine head to the images section of the site.

liltrigarow.com

nakitaturnermusic.com

bunnycreative.co.nz


kesler tran

I came across Kesler Tran's work about two years ago, I can't even remember how. I've been following him ever since, on Tumblr and Instagram. His shit is incredible. I can't even begin to explain how good it is, really. As most photographers and artists do, I was having a slight creative block at the time, I had zero confidence after finishing my diploma in photography at uni, had just had a baby so couldn't afford gear or film, and had almost written of myself as a photographer for good. I started slowly rediscovering my love of it, not by taking photos but just looking at other people's work. In some ways this probably made me feel worse about my own abilities for a while but it became almost like a creative release. I began to take everything I'd learnt and pretty much critiqued everything I looked at. So when I began following Kesler Tran I found I couldn't fault it. At all. Like every single image was so raw and full of emotion and yet he uses minimal gear, mostly natural or available light, and rarely uses makeup artists or a stylist (well you don't really need one when your models are mostly naked). 

He's based in LA and from what I can tell, he runs workshops every so often, probably not here though. It's a bit far. 

Check out his shit, follow his Tumblr, Instagram doesn't allow boobs and shit so it's not as good on there.