Golden Hour is the time of the day when the sun sets and rises. Something I picked up in film school while discovering a passion for cinematography; if the sun is present its light appears more reddish. At the time I was also playing with using the flash during daylight for effect. So I got Whitney and Luke to go experiment. I love working with these two! 


Rangitoto is Māori for ‘Bloody Sky’, with the name coming from the full phrase Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-te-kapua (“The days of the bleeding of Tama-te-kapua”). Tama-te-kapua was the captain of the Arawawaka (canoe) and was badly wounded on the island, after having lost a battle with the Tainui iwi (tribe) at Islington Bay.

Because Whit grew up on the Shore, she helped pick the location but I also feel it’s a bit
serendipitous that I set out to capture ‘Golden Hour’ which refers to the redness of sunlight featured at dawn and dusk – then ended up shooting at a location that means ‘Bloody Sky’ without knowing at the time…


I shot this on a Canon 550D that I bought for $600 from Cash Converters in Hamilton. At the time I was lacking confidence as a photographer, but also using the flash and aiming to publish photos in colour – it was all new and intimidating. There are shots from this shoot I wish I could use but there are small things I missed when shooting which make them almost, but not quite shots. One example is nailing a good moment of one model and forgetting to check the others’ facials. Reflecting on this shoot I realised I needed to slow down and pick my moments more carefully.. I also think I’d need a stronger lens that can handle focusing on subjects better so they’re sharper in the distance whilst including the background/wide shot.


I like that both models are chill/gentle humans, I think that translates through the shots. I like the contrast of branded streetwear in something organic like the ocean, just not sure exactly why yet..possibly got to do with the deconstruction of what you’d expect? In the  shot below I love that the sun is shining over Rangitoto like a spotlight and the flash is what illuminates the models in the foreground. There’s something that feels really classic about this composition to me and, with a better camera, I would like to do it again properly.


 Whitney also styled the shoot. Check out her Instagram of one off pre-loved pieces HERE

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