Dawn is a NZIPP Accredited Photographer based in the Northland region of the North Island, New Zealand.
Hi Dawn! Can you please tell us about yourself, what is your background and how did you get into photography?
I was born in a small town in the middle of Zimbabwe but now live with my husband and 3 teenage girls in sunny Northland. In my past life I was a paramedic until I had very premature twins, the twins were super sick for a few years, at one stage I tried to go back to work but dealing with sick kids all the time and then going to work and dealing with sick people was a bit too much . I had no idea what I was going to do after quitting the ambulance service, it was my hubby that suggested doing photography as I had been doing stuff on and off. So I threw myself into a Diploma in Freelance photography and here we are today, 13 years later. There was a time that I would have gone back to the ambulance in a heartbeat, but I am happy with what I am doing and it works around my 3 very busy girls.
Did you have any “aha” moments? Such as the first photograph that you took, or an inspiring artist? When did you know that photography was what you were going to do?
No “aha” moments more like it was something that I was good at so let’s make me better at it and let’s turn it into something that I can be proud of. Every day is still a learning day for me, I swear I do everything the long way round. There are so many artists that inspire me that it is hard to define one, some of which are part of this wonderful organization. But I can tell you that when I watch make-up artists at work I am in awe. I am not a girly girl, never wear make-up, don’t even own any currently except for Thin Lizzy….. they honestly make it look so easy and it is incredible how they can transform so many different faces. It’s crazy.
What type of Photography do you do most?
I don’t do one genre in particular, kind of a Jack of all trades, but I refuse to do real estate, I just can’t get it right….I do love weddings but especially love kids between 6 months – 5 years. Their personalities are so pure. I do wish I could call myself a landscape photographer, I sure try hard sometimes, but don’t feel I have the patience. I might have to work on that a bit more.
What type of gear do you shoot with and which one is your favourite?
I use Canon and always have, I refuse to be pulled into the Nikon, Sony, Canon debates, simply because I started with canon all those years ago and I am happy. At the moment I am trying to use my 50mm 1,2 more, as over the years it has been a very expensive paper weight, still not loving it yet though, I do however much prefer using a zoom lens than a prime.
How important is photoshop in your final images?
I tend to not use Photoshop too much, just for the basics really. I am not a graphic artist and I take my hat off to all those who create amazing imagery using Photoshop. Every winter I set a goal to learn more on Photoshop…. It never happens though, there is always something else to do.
Are you currently working on any personal projects?
No current personal projects at the moment as life is far too busy with 3 teenage girls ( they are competitive swimmers), a farm and a business. But I am currently cleaning out my computers, redoing my website, redoing all my price lists and info sheets, this should keep me busy for a while.
Your best memory as a photographer?
Photographing one of my oldest clients the week before she had to have her breasts removed because of breast cancer. She wanted to celebrate her breasts and wanted to show people what breast cancer can look like as it is not always a lump, hers started as a dimple. She was so strong, stood tall and had a blast during her session. I was so humbled that she chose to share this with me and for her trust in me to help her get her message out. It might not be all flowers and roses that you would expect with a “best memory”, but it was a celebration, a morning of laughter, 2 woman coming together for a purpose. We both tried so hard to nail that “Demi Moore pose”, I think she did better than me.
What is in your Camera Bag?
3 canon bodies, I only use 2 but always have a spare, 24-70, 16-35, 70-200, 2x flashes, loads of batteries, SD and CF cards, plasters, panadol, small microfiber towel and some other random things, like the essential chocolate and jelly beans, (blue and white are out of bounds for anybody other than me….) you will however have to be fast if you want to share in any.
Why did you join NZIPP?
I joined NZIPP because I felt that it was essential to my business and my learning to be a part of an organisation of like-minded people that I could learn from, that could teach me, and that could assess me and hold me accountable. I also feel that being a part of a professional organisation and being Accredited gives my clients confidence that I have reached a standard of professionalism that is recognised by my peers.
To follow Dawn on social media or to visit her Website click on the links below.