To celebrate women's sports and outdoor adventure,
and to use photography to raise the profile of women's sports and outdoor adventure in New Zealand
I am inspired by women who rock at sports and outdoor adventure! Women who are strong, brave, skilled, graceful, fun, bold and passionate.
When I watch women playing football at a national or international level, it inspires me to keep improving my own ball skills, to work on my strength and flexibility and fitness, and to get out there and play with skill next time I'm out on the field.
And I'm inspired by my friends who rock at their sports, like Elise who is a rock climbing queen even when 7 months pregnant! Or Nicola, who is a mum of two and has competed internationally in Crossfit competitions. Or Maria, who is insanely fast on skis and can leave most guys in her dust. These women inspire me so much!
Growing up on the West Coast of Auckland, surrounded by wild beaches and rugged coastline, I spent a lot of time outdoors, at the beach or going on bush walks through the Waitakere Ranges.
Each summer, my family would go camping and explore somewhere new, to a beach in the Bay of Islands in Northland, or the Abel Tasman great walk in the South Island, or black water rafting at Waitomo to see the legendary glow worm caves. During winter, we would get up early and drive to Mt Ruapehu to play in the snow, then pitch tents at a nearby DOC campsite. There is something unforgettable about using a bucket to scoop your own drinking water out of a freezing cold river surrounded by ice and snow!
Throughout my teenage years, I belonged to a group called Christian Surfers, where I met my husband, Tim. We would go on surfing road trips around the North Island, getting up a dark o'clock so that we could arrive at the surf just as the sun was coming up. Since then, Tim and I have travelled around New Zealand in our converted van, with our giant brown dog, Mango. We also travelled to Canada recently, to live and work in the Rocky Mountains as a cook (me) and horse wrangler (Tim).
SPORTS AND OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
I've always loved sports. I've played football (soccer) since high school and am still obsessed with it, almost 15 years later! All year round, I play different combinations of winter football, indoor soccer, futsal and summer soccer! I also love running, yoga, snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing and surfing road trips.
I've loved photography since I picked up a black-and-white film camera at high school. And I've worked in the photo industry since 2006, including a few years as a military photographer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. My favourite memory of the Air Force was taking part in a search and rescue mission on an Orion to Kiribati.
I live at Bethells Beach in West Auckland with my husband, Tim, our 1-year-old son, Malachi, and our giant brown dog, Mango. We are blessed to be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Waitakere Ranges, with its bounty of bush walks and rugged coastline and wild beaches.
I am a big fan of natural beauty, of faces without makeup. I believe we look beautiful without it. And not just some of us, but all of us. But we women are so often told that we are not beautiful unless we wear makeup. That we are not good enough, not acceptable, unless we change our faces to look more attractive. Sure, we are told that makeup just "enhances" our natural beauty, but that's just another way of saying that our beauty isn't good enough without enhancements!
So I'm a whole-hearted endorser of natural, makeup-free photo shoots! Let's be freakin' proud of our faces and our bodies, just as they are, no enhancements, because we can do amazing feats with them, like climbing mountains and running marathons and creating little humans!
And on top of that, I believe that a smile full of joy is more beautiful than just about anything else. And I believe that who we are as people is far more important than what we look like. As the saying goes, "it is kindness in a person, not beauty, that wins our love."