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Behind the shoot- Maori Carver

I have found that by taking on other projects that I don’t normally shoot, my creativity levels are raised not only for that project, but then I come back to my bread and butter work of shooting outdoor adventure images and see things in a different light there.

A few month’s ago I was approached by Te Karaka Magazine to photograph Rongomai-Tawhiti Parata-Taiapa who recently graduated from New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute’s (NZMACI) Te Wānanga Whakairo Rākau (National Wood Carving School) for an article that they were writing about him.

Here are some of the shots I got of him:

Rangomai showing off one of the carvings he is working on

Rangomai showing off one of the carvings he is working on

Rongomai at home with tools in his hands and shaping wood

Rongomai at home with tools in his hands and shaping wood

Rangomai in the Marae with a Taiaha he carved

Rangomai in the Marae with a Taiaha he carved

Some of the challenges with this shoot was

  • He was not used to being photographed and was really stiff and tense to begin with but by having him actually working on the carvings made him relax and allowed me to capture his real personality.
  • I was not sure what the lighting was going to be like, so I did bring some studio flashes as well as a speed light but decided to use mostly available light and the speedlight as fill. Partly to be a bit less intimidating to him and partly because both locations were bright enough without getting the studio flashes out.

 

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