Rochelle is the owner of Pure Images Photography based in Papamoa, Bay of Plenty.

Visit her website and social media by clicking the links below: 

Tell us a little bit about you:  

I’m a Mum of two teenagers, married to a wonderful Southland man. One of my kids has high special needs; we have our challenges but from him we’ve learnt so much.  

Why did you become a photographer?

I’d had experience in film labs and in the 90’s in Queenstown took a job in a purpose built photo-lab that provided  photography services for adventure tourism operators. One day they were short a photographer and I remember my boss handing me a Canon 5D film camera and instructed me to putting it on P for portraits, then pop it onto TV, and film speed of 500 to catch the white water rafters coming down the rapids, “oh, and try and get them in focus”. So I did, came back and I’d done okay – from that moment I never wanted to become stuck in the lab again. 

How long have you been a photographer?

Approximately 25 years  

Whats in your camera bag?

Way way too much! I carry 3 bags with me but my standard kit in one bag and used the most are two Canon bodies (both 5D’s Mark 111 and 1V),  Canon 50 mm, Canon 24-70 mm, Sigma 85 mm, Canon 135 mm.   

What is your favourite piece of gear?

The heaviest: Sigma 85 mm believe it or not.  

What genre(s) of photography do you photograph?

Mainly weddings and (informal) family portraits.  

What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?

It sounds cliche but the people who let us in on their very special moments. They share their unique and sometimes very personal stories, it’s honestly a privilege to have this job. I have to say I love being able to bring to them something they were just not expecting. 

Do you have any funny stories from a shoot?

I have a few dumb moments of my own like when I stood on the long veil of the bride just before she reached the Groom. I was thinking to myself “this is great, she’s paused, I’m getting such great shots of him over the Brides shoulder when it became apparent I was the one who’d pressed pause on the proceedings.  

What is the most memorable moment in your career as a photographer?

If I went into detail of some of the experiences myself and a few other photographers had as adventure photographers back in the 90’s, OSH would curl their toes. To this day I really don’t want to share them hence my daughter ever finds out! 

What advice would you give yourself as a new photographer entering the market?

Don’t throw in your day job just yet. 

Why did you join NZIPP and what do you get from being a member?  

I joined because I felt the market’s standards were lowering. I wanted and needed to improve my skill-set and I knew NZIPP would hand it too me straight.  feel I have improved but know there is so much more to learn.  It’s also provided me with insight into others viewpoints. Looking back I can see I needed to have more respect for others art even if I don’t understand it.