10 things I have learnt in 10 years as a Photographer

little girl playing with mum in the forest

Ten years. Ten years as a Family Photographer. I know I can hardly believe it either. We currently call Hawkes Bay home but I have predominantly spent time with families in Waitomo, as well as Auckland region, Greater Waikato, Gisborne and Palmerston North. So far its been alot of fun!

So here we go. Ten things I have learnt over the time I have been allowed to enter people's homes and special days to capture who they really are, what they love, and document it all to hold that time and place forever. 


  1.  Kids will do more for me than they will for their parents
    I know, it's hardly fair but I am the new shiny toy in a way. You as the parent are way too comfortable for them, it's too easy for them to say no to you.
  2. Don't ever let anyone tell you to step away from your passion
    Teachers, other photographers, well-meaning friends, someone somewhere will tell you no. You have to learn to silence the no's in your head from your inner critic as well as the no's from those around you. 
  3. Not knowing the technical stuff won't kill you
    There is a lot to know about cameras and editing software. If you waited till you knew it all you'd never be able to start. Practicing something is the best way to learn. 
  4. I love love
    Being surrounded constantly by people who are in love with their life so much they want to document it has to be the biggest joy in my life.
  5. You have the be willing to put yourself out there
    I'm not just talking looking silly in front of teenagers to get them to crack a lol. It's also knowing that you have to go out and ask for help with things and sometimes even ask for work.
  6. Being a creative is mostly really hard work
    Sometimes you can look at someone who does something creative for a job and think wow that must just be lovely. I promise you it is lovely but it is mostly really really hard work to be creative 100% of the time. And I don't mean its a drag, its making sure you are constantly finding inspiration and learning.
  7. Nature inspires me to work with people
    That sounds strange but for some reason, the more time I breathe in that fresh goodness being on my own in nature, the better I am at my job. I'm forever trying to emulate nature into my work with people.
  8. Fart jokes always win!
    What did one butthole say to the other? Let's get the ffffaaarrrtt out of here!
    See - I bet you cracked a smile. They always work.
  9. Every child is special and memorable for me
    And so beautiful in their own way. I love finding that special thing about each child to capture.
  10. I love ALL my families
    I can't quite believe that ten years on I still get to do this. In the hundreds ( maybe even thousands - I should really keep track more!) of families I have had the honor of spending time with I can count on one hand the bad experiences. So thank you for your support - even if it's reading my blog, looking at my images on Instagram. But mostly if you are one of my Photos for Jean families - I am forever grateful!

Family Photography is changing. I have offered for a while now what I call Everyday Life Sessions. I basically just come and hang out with you and your family in your home and document the beauty of your everyday. All the small things that actually make up the big bits. Because your life now is not what your life will look like in ten years time. This deserves to be documented!

As part of hitting the ten year mark with Photos for Jean, I am offering a FREE Everyday Life Session and a FREE Branding Session. Head to my Facebook page to enter before the 17th of September.