Commercial photographer Vinesh Kumaran was born in the small rural town of Ba, Fiji, but at the age of five his family relocated to Māngere, Auckland. Following this move to New Zealand, Vinesh spent much of his time growing up working in the family owned and operated dairy with his dad and siblings. “We spent endless hours behind the shop counter. This meant at times we would miss out on family gatherings and social events,” he says. “Working at the dairy has given me first-hand experience of the real cost of running a small business.”
Having been immersed in the Māngere community for so long, Vinesh decided his first solo photography exhibition would celebrate the town’s diversity and uniqueness. In his series How Much Does This Cost? he mixes photographs and video to showcase what small business owners bring to Māngere. “It shows the stories and personalities of each business owner and highlights what Māngere Town Centre is today. It’s a chance to celebrate the contribution a small business owner gives for the benefit of the wider community.”
Bringing out the hero in everyday people is something Scott McAulay always aims for in his photography. Whether he’s photographing his family and friends, or small business owners and television personalities, his end goal is the same: to capture the hero in everyone. So when the opportunity to photograph TVNZ’s Survivor NZ contestants came along, it was a perfect fit.
“My passion for photography stems from photographing real people in their environment and making them look a bit heroic. Survivor puts real people into harsh, volatile environments and follows them as they make their way through numerous social, mental, and physical challenges,” Scott explains.
What started as a three-week holiday in New Zealand around five years ago ended up with Hakan Nedjat and his wife moving to the country just six months later, basing themselves in Auckland. They’d fallen in love with the place. He’d bought a Sony NEX-5R just before they travelled here so he could capture good quality holiday snaps to show friends and family. And that’s really how Hakan’s passion for photography began. Hakan was hooked, and eventually upgraded to the Sony α5100.
During his time with the Sony α5100, Hakan — who works as an accountant by day — started to experiment with photographing what he describes as astroscapes — beautiful scenes of the night sky in all its glory. “After seeing some inspiring photos of the night sky by very talented New Zealand photographers, I had to try it out for myself,” Hakan explained. “My first photos of the stars were so bad! I laugh when I look back at them, but at the time I was so happy with the results I was achieving.”
Imagine a life where you travel to every region in New Zealand every three months. You get to experience living in a luxury hotel for some of the time, while also sleeping in the back of your car in gorgeous locations, ready to capture a perfect sunrise. Sounds like a dream right? Well, it’s also Talman Madsen’s everyday life. The self-described photographer, adventurer, and storyteller says he’s embracing this lifestyle and couldn’t be happier with how everything’s going so far. And it’s not too hard to see why, when you hear Talman talk about just a few of his favourite experiences that he’s experienced with his Sony α7R II and Sony α7 II in tow:
“A few of the highlights have to be a sunrise doors-off helicopter flight around Tititea Mount Aspiring, climbing Mount Ollivier, spending 65 days on the road shooting in preparation for my book, exploring Milford Sound via helicopter, getting lost off-roading in a Trekker Adventures Land Rover Defender, coming face to face with Hoiho (Yellow Eyed Penguin), spending two months hitch-hiking around New Zealand sleeping in a tent, dancing under the strongest Aurora in over 10 years, spending countless nights under the stars, climbing Mount Ruapehu…”