Thursday, 25 December 2014

Abandoned House in Christchurch [Trigger Warning for Earthquake Survivors]

After an amazing week in the Coromandel we flew down to Christchurch to pick up Isaac's new van. Our flight was delayed so we didn't get in until 10pm. His dad picked us up and drove us to where he had his housetruck parked up in a red zone. After the 2011 earthquakes alot of buildings in Christchurch were damaged beyond repair and left abandoned. We were exhausted after our long trip so we went straight to sleep in the new van. When I woke up I realized where we were and couldn't help but feel curious... so I went exploring this nearby house and took my camera with me.

This was actually the first time I'd photographed something other than people. It was an interesting experience for me which I really enjoyed. I made a point not to move or touch anything, every object was found exactly where it had been left. Each image has a bit of a story to it, and they all tie together with a common theme.

1. the dandelion was the first thing I saw, growing right in the middle of the driveway, which tempted me to go and explore the rest of the place. It had emerged from a crack in the brick and has become this magnificently beautiful plant. I love the natural symmetry and the intense colours in this image.

2. the dried up pool and the estuary at low tide looked so surreal right next to eachother. I put these two images together because I feel there's a significance, in that the feather represents freedom but it is stuck under the brick, and the boat is a potential way to escape but there is no water around it. Deep I know haha... I thought they tied together nicely anyway.

3. this traffic cone looked so out of place that I had to make it stand out even more by partially desaturating the rest of the image. These bits of the old fence had been piled up in the back yard so I made use of them aswell. I love the depth of field in this one, I counted nine different points of focus. See if you can spot them all...

4. I like this image for alot of reasons. I like that although the original plant is dead, the fresh new plant has grown out of the area of the pot which has broken away. And I like all the details like the crack in the wall on the left side and the little seashell carved on the broken off piece of pot. This has alot of meaning that I can't explain in words right now, but it's all open to personal interpretation anyway. It's art after all.

5. this one is a little bit strange. It's not very pleasing to the eye, but then again, it's not supposed to be. I love seeing things that just look totally out of context. Like I said before, I made a point not to move anything around. This missing piece of a children's toy happened to be lying in the overgrown garden. And it also happened to be my favourite number, three.


Monday, 17 November 2014

Polly and Blue

It was a pleasure to photograph my friend Polly and her baby Blue in Wellington last week. His full name is Indigo Blue Besley Le Dorre and he's nine months old today. The idea of this shoot was inspired by a project called 4thtrimesterbodies which is "dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding." 

My goal was to make sure Polly was comfortable the whole time and to capture some beautiful natural moments between her and her baby that she can cherish forever. It was my first time photographing a child and also working with a semi-nude model so this was a good learning experience for me. Polly said to me afterwards that this was a scary thing for her to do but I made it easy. That meant so much to me because that's what I'd hoped for, and that she can see how beautiful she is from these photos.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014


My new friend Teesh and I had a wonderful adventure in Wellington's beautiful Botanical Gardens on tuesday. We accidentally ended up spending three and a half hours there and got sooooooo many amazing shots that are all so different and awesome! This is actually the coolest place ever. We both brought along some clothes to mix and match and they all just looked perfect. The yellow jacket and the space top are mine, the red jacket and the stripy dress are hers and the checkered dress is her friend Anna's. I have 300 photos to choose from so you'll be seeing plenty more of this gorgeous girl in the next few weeks.

I've been up in Wellington for two weeks now and I had so many plans and people to meet up with and photograph. If I was meaning to catch up with you and haven't yet, please forgive me. We might have to postpone until next time. Sadly I was in a terrible headspace for the first week where I didn't want to leave the house or see anybody. I got over it after a while and my amazing friends helped me snap out of it. Thank you so much to everyone who sent me messages or came and visited me. I don't know what I'd do without you. I'm so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.

I've had an amazing time up here over all, I've made alot of new friends and had heaps of fun going to gigs and dancing and having picnics and partying and chilling out. I've done two photoshoots now and I'm keen to squeeze a couple more in in the next couple of days if I can. Photographing people makes me so unbelievably happy. Thanks so much Teesh for reminding me of that when I needed it the most.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Kasolite Vomiting Flowers

I had the idea for this photoshoot a while ago but had no idea who to ask to model for me. Then Kas came and stayed at my house in Takaka and she was keen to collab. I was expecting her to be weirded out when I said "ok so first you're going to be vomiting up flower petals" but she went along with it enthusiastically, and patiently did it over and over agin so I could get the perfect shot. And she didn't even get annoyed at me giving directions like "ok good, but look even sicker, like you just ate the most foul thing you've ever tasted" and "hey just come and lie down in the wet grass for 10 mins while I rearrange every little piece of your hair and throw flowers around you." Yea... we had fun though!

I decided to do something super colourful for a change. Isn't her hair amazing! And that dress is perfect, I'm actually so jealous. We had a lovely time catching up and I expect you'll be seeing more of our work together in the future.


Behind the Scenes: Tribal Photoshoot with Summah Noakes

On Saturday a group of us headed out to Nelson's boulder bank for this tribal inspired fashion shoot. The photographer is my friend Summah Noakes. You can check out her work at her facebook page Summah Noakes Photography. The wonderful models are Fearn Bonner-de Bruyn, Kaya Micheals, Kessha Fetu and Isaac Dixon. Necklaces were borrowed from the Bead Gallery. Thank you Isaac Henry and Levi Boffa-Martin for driving us out there. I did the makeup and supplied some of the clothing.

This project was heaps of fun and I'm glad to have been a part of it. I'll be posting more behind the scenes pictures on facebook soon.


Lilly la Rouge ft. Daisy D'Bloon

Here's a teaser for a brand new burlesque routine starring Lilly la Rouge and Daisy D'Bloon. They actually made it up on the spot during our photoshoot. It was so good to catch up with my friend Jasmine (aka Lilly) and we had heaps of fun creating these images. These ladies are utterly hilarious! Thanks so much to Gale and Hilary at Paradox Club for letting us use their stage and lighting equipment. 

I've attended Lilly la Rouge's burlesque basics classes and I can confirm that she is an amazing teacher and there's always heaps of fun and laughs to be had. The next class she'll be running is "Spice Up Your XXXmas - A Burlesque Teaser Workshop" which is designed for beginners. It's a two hour workshop held in Nelson on the 26th of November. The next show she's performing in is Attack of the Killer Showgirls at Club Paradox on the 15th of November. Both are totally worth checking out!

I'll be posting more photos soon on my website and on my facebook page Maniana's Creations. I'll post these like a story board in little sets of two or three.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Storm and Freya

I spent last Saturday afternoon with these two beautiful creatures whom I had the pleasure of photographing. I'd had the idea for the last image when I was at Freya's house a few weeks before. I was sitting in the lounge waiting for her to get ready and staring into the corner where the empty armchair was. I thought that it would make a wonderful background, and I'd been meaning to photograph her for ages anyway, so when I got home I drew a stick figure version of the composition so I wouldn't forget. 

Then when the photoshoot day came I happened to be chilling out with Storm and a few of our other friends after a crazy night on the town and he said he was keen to come and help. So we all turned up at Freya's house in the afternoon, after going on a mission to find our cars and get some food, and lay down in the sun. You can see the behind the scenes photos here if you want.

Our friend Renee had her little suitcase full of all her gorgeous handmade jewelry and Storm bought this awesome necklace. You can check out her facebook page Renegade Strange or see her around selling her things and doing hair wraps on the streets of Nelson and Takaka or wherever she happens to be. 

I'd bought the red oriental jacket at Lady Bug Boutique a few days earlier, even though it didn't fit me and the colour wasn't quite right, I'd just had a feeling that it would find it's place somewhere in my life. Sure enough I got Storm to try it on for the photoshoot and immediately I knew it belonged to him. Since him modeling had been a spontaneous decision I didn't bring any appropriate male clothes. But it worked out fine because I had been wearing some gold flared pants the night before which happened to fit him perfectly and worked with the outfit I had for Freya. I love it when everything just flows together like that.

I had such an awesome day, thank you to everyone involved. I got the exact picture I'd imagined and so much more!


Modeling for Gabrielle Wee

So the other day I was just chilling at home in Takaka and Gabrielle messages me asking if I want to come out to hers to do a photoshoot. I almost didn't even make it because I couldn't get a ride there but mum suddenly realized she'd forgotten something in town so she said we could have one hour max!

First we jumped over some fences onto the neighbor's farmland and did a few levitation shots which were soo much fun! Then I climbed up on a massive tree that had fallen over in a recent storm, but was somehow still growing fresh leaves, I think half of it's roots were still in the ground. That was pretty amazing, I was at least three meters up in the air balancing on the tree trunk. I told Gabrielle that in any normal situation I'd say "hell no I'm not going up there!" but for the sake of art I'd do it without question! Then we went back to her house where she'd prepared a little studio backdrop where we played around with bubbles and mirrors.

Check out her page Gabrielle Wee Art Clique for more of her amazing photography and artwork. This girl is seriously talented!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Dare Darla Winter Lookbook Collaboration

So it's taken me a while to get to posting these, we did the shoot at the beginning of September and I waited for Darla to release the lookbook on her website before I blogged about it. We had eight looks to get through in one afternoon so I modeled the other half of them. Check out the final thing at

Darla is an awesomely talented fashion designer. She grew up in Golden Bay, New Zealand, and now she has a studio set up in Takaka where she hand makes all of her garments. Alot of these are one offs and they are very high quality but at a reasonable price. Please check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram aswell.

We'll be collaborating again soon for her summer lookbook! So keep an eye out...


Monday, 6 October 2014


I have so many amazing shots of this girl, it's always so hard to choose! Here's a few but I'll be posting more soon on my facebook page Maniana's Creations. Brooke was awesome to work with, she's so relaxed in front of the camera and took direction really well. Definitely serious model potential right here! Cheers to her little sister who came along and patiently helped carry her things while we wandered around. Also thanks heaps to the weather for staying fine for our entire shoot after a typical Nelson spring day of changing its mind every half hour. After I took the last shot of the day it literally started hailing. I enjoy what I do so much and I love meeting other creative people, so please feel free to get in touch with me if you want to collaborate. Hope you enjoy these images!