One of the things we value highly at Niwa Photography is the continuing education and development of young people and inspiring the next generation of budding photographers. Whether it’s hosting an Inspiration Day at Tania’s childhood school in Waitara or judging photographic works of graduates from CATC Design School and presenting the Fibonacci Award for creative excellence, we are always encouraging students to aspire to be their very best and give them hope.
Each year we offer a number of internships to highly motivated photography students who gain first-hand experience and an insightful look behind the scenes on what it takes to become a successful photographer. The students also have opportunities to work as a photographer’s assistant, develop post production techniques and support marketing campaigns.For example, this article was written by fellow intern Vanessa Zhang who is studying Photo-Imaging at CATC, works for her family’s swimwear company while also balancing an internship at Niwa Photography. Our interns definitely have a lot of variety and are continuing challenged whilst working in the industry.
One of this year’s interns, Anne Poremskis, shared her experience below as a photography assistant on a two-day commercial shoot for the Australian Academy of Beauty and Spa Therapy. The shoot involved capturing the wide range of culturally diverse students of all ages actively involved in their education of beauty and spa therapy. The imagery has been used for their website, social media and to advertise their new courses available at their locations in Castle Hill, Chatswood, North Strathfield and the new training facility in Kogarah.
Anne said, “as a recent graduate of the Photo Imaging Diploma at CATC Design School, The Rocks, I was very pleased to gain an internship at Niwa Photography to be mentored by Master photographer, Tania Niwa.
I must admit I felt a little daunted upon arrival as the presentation room was brimming with students and this was the first large commercial shoot which I had assisted. It was tricky to remain low key during the lecture, whilst still getting the job done in a friendly and professional manner. Engaging and coordinating effectively with so many people was a process requiring patience and consistency.”
Anne continued, “Tania quickly guided Ziva (Tania’s assistant) and myself through the equipment set up and were instructed by Tania to be her second set of eyes, from pointing out the removal of distracting items to straightening creases in clothes. This attention to detail would result in superior images and avoid unnecessary time consuming post production. During the shoot Tania mentored Ziva and myself on methods to capture subjects which would produce more flattering results. For instance, when a subject is looking downwards the head should not be tilted too far forward ensuring the nose does not cross over the mouth and outer line of the face”.
Anne concluded, “the shoot went very well and regardless of the challenges the mood remained friendly and fun for all.
I was quite in awe of Tania’s persistent hard work and patient, friendly, encouraging attitude when engaging the subjects to achieving the results she knew the client would expect.
I have learnt that no amount of formal education can truly be a replacement for on the job training and direction from those who have acquired professionalism through years of experience and hard work. A big thank you to all at The Australian Academy of Beauty and of course to my mentor Tania Niwa for this great and rewarding opportunity.”
One thing I love about personal branding portraits is working out the best way to tell a story visually, exemplifying an individual’s unique style.
Michelle Walker Architects is one of Sydney’s leading residential architects with over 20 years of experience. As a previous client, we worked closely with Michelle to help set up and capture her personalised portrait to express her brand and creative skills. One of her company’s core business beliefs is to design smart contemporary architecture, based on the concept of good living conditions and enduring value.
Positioning for Personal Branding photo shoot:
As an architect who is very artistic and creative, it is very important to show Michelle’s hands as showing hands in a portrait can help convey trust, an essential part of building established clients in any business. Instead of having Michelle standing straight to the camera and potentially feeling a little awkward, we made her use her iPad and a cool red ladder to hold on to during the shoot. This not only reflects her kinesthetic side in a visual way but also represents herself and her brand as being proactive, always busy and willing to get the job done for the client. You will also see I intentionally stayed at eye level when taking her portrait to convey approachability and equality with potential clients, small details matter for my personal branding photography.
Choosing a location for a Personal Branding photo shoot:
One of the first things to take into consideration when photographing commercial portraits for personal branding is the location and time of the day to shoot. For Michelle, we chose to photograph in her newly renovated home by Jetcharm Builders as it represented herself as a brand authentically and showcased her style. I used a mixture of natural light coming through the tree’s shade with sunlight bouncing off the poolside tiles and placed Michelle next to the wooden bench with wooden ornaments for that warm and homely feeling.
We also captured a commercial portrait of Michelle and her newest team member, Danielle Apap, against the colourful orange wall of Michelle’s car port to give a sense of vibrancy and warmth whilst maintaining a consistency across the images.
Personal branding is a crucial part of any successful business, showcasing what is unique about you to your potential market. Here is a case study about a Sydney interior decorator we created a photographic portfolio for, which reflects her unique style and talent.
Northern Beaches Interior decorator Anna Allen has joined forces with Sophie Duffy, founder of The Dressed Nest, Mosman. Having already worked with Sophie, and understanding her needs, the idea was to maintain the consistency and the same personal branding philosophy as displayed on The Dressed Nest website launched last year.
With this in mind we set about to create a portfolio showing a selection of Anna’s recent designs.
What did you want to convey from a portfolio point of view?
“I wanted the photos to showcase my use of colour, pattern and texture in particular. I was more interested in capturing a vignette rather than an entire room in one photograph.” The growth of the business prompted the need to showcase Anna’s work and this required a tailored portrait for their website to highlight her style and flair.
Why was a business portrait important for your personal branding?
“I wanted a warm and authentic representation of myself in my own surroundings and we chose a location in my own home that could do this. It needed to be both a warm and professional photograph of myself whilst also offering a view into my signature decorative style.”
We wanted to surround Anna with key decorations and design elements within her own home for example, her textured green wallpaper with worldly ornaments and the vibrant Bamileke, a traditional Cameroonian feather headdress.
Anna’s approach to Interior Decorating:
“I have always been inspired by how interesting and beautiful interiors can uplift our senses. How a space feels, looks and functions is important to me – to want to look, linger and not rush through a room is central to my designs.
I enjoy fusing charming and historical pieces with more modern and interesting objects. Colour, textiles and art, rugs, family, friends and travel all inform my designs. I am like a Bower bird, I am always searching for individual and interesting pieces to bring a uniqueness and warmth to each interior.
A home should be welcoming, timeless, functional, and of course, beautiful. I see my role as translating a client’s ideas into a fully functioning space reflective of them and how they choose to live.”
Below is a newly refurbished boutique store in Mosman called Burke. Here Anna wanted to feature the special lighting she chose and also see a glimpse of the wallpaper.
Testimonial from Anna Allen:
“I could not have been more impressed with Tania’s professionalism, dedication and natural talent. Her attention to detail is second to none, she puts her heart and soul into every shot and not a moment was wasted trying to convey my message, she just gets it immediately. I’m really looking forward to our next shoot together.”
To view Tania Niwa Photographer portfolio please click on these links Interior and Architectural Photography, Business PortraitsWebsite. Available for photography assignments in Sydney, Auckland, Taranaki, Hamilton, Wellington, Coromandel, New Zealand. For enquiries please contact our Brookvale, Northern Beaches Professional Photography Studio: +61 2 9939 5553
Over the last few months I have taken on an exciting new role working alongside ASP Pro Junior World Champion Ella Williams who is from Whangamata on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Ella is the first Kiwi to win a world title and has become an inspiration for young people regularly featuring on Television and in print media. As a high performance athlete Ella needs a very strong support base so she can stay focused on her dream to be a World Champion. This support comes from her extraordinary parents Janine and Dean along with older brother Braedon, and my business partner Tony Kemp who is Ella’s manager. Together we make up ‘Team Williams’.
My role with Team Williams is to manage digital strategy, social media and image consistency. I also liaise with Ella’s sponsors and help with the acquisition of new sponsors, alongside Tony. I also work very closely with Ella’s super-human family who also manage to run a busy shop in their seaside town called Whangamata Surf.
I am very passionate about supporting Ella Williams as she has such an incredible level of excellence, an unsurpassed positivity and strong self belief, which are qualities I really admire in her. I am a big advocate of helping people realise their potential. As I help Ella on her journey it has been very rewarding seeing her inspiring others to realise their potential in whatever field they choose. There’s a special place in my heart for surfing, having grown up with the surfing culture in Taranaki, where I was the photographer for the Waitara Bar Board Riders Club. My passion for photography actually started with a love of capturing all my mates surfing the wild and varied Taranaki breaks as a teenager. Working with Ella has reignited a childhood passion. As part of our journey with Ella to realise her potential we have a very intensive strategic plan created by Tony (ex Kiwi Rugby League Player, NZ Warriors Coach and Kiwis Manager).
I have just had the wonderful opportunity to take photographs of two beautiful Killara sisters, Chelsea and Sydney with their curious cinnamon Tabby Point Siamese cat, Abby.
Abby is their pride and joy! She enjoys being pampered with plenty of treats as well as toys to keep her happy. The most quirky thing about Abby is that she has been trained by Chelsea and Sydney to walk on a leash, what a unique thing to see!
The sisters said, “we keep her as an indoor cat, but she loves to walk around in the garden on her leash and harness, sniffing grass and chasing lizards (so far she has not caught any!)”. Abby is a beautiful cat who turned on the charm in front of the camera and posed perfectly with the help of some fluffy distractions behind the camera with her latest favourite toy being a stuffed monkey. “She likes to play fetch with it, she also loves to sit on our laps,”The photo shoot went so smoothly thanks to Chelsea and Sydney’s beautiful smiles and Abby being the perfect pet to photograph. If you would like to see our cat portraits portfolio click here. To contact us about family and pet portraiture please call us at our Brookvale, Northern Beaches studio on ph +61 2 9939 5553 or email us.
It is always fascinating working alongside some of Sydney’s leading architects, manufacturers and builders, photographing their exquisite property projects around greater Sydney. The most recent assignments have been on the Northern Beaches and Sydney’s North Shore. From a photography perspective, the first step is to gain an insight into what their clients needs were, then consider how best to exemplify the way in which the architect has brought this vision to life. By choosing to use professional architecture photography instead of just ‘record’ shots or ‘snapshots’ it allows architects and builders to showcase their grand design expertise to the highest level. As you might imagine, many professionals are so busy working on projects that they don’t always find time to keep their website folios up to date, yet it is a vital marketing tool for potential clients to see the unique skill, creativity and functionality on offer.
The home featuring in this post is a newly completed internal and external renovation by Michelle Walker Architects. Director Michelle Walker heads a leading Northern Beaches architectural firm based in Balgowlah. She is well-recognised in her profession with outstanding designs for residential architecture, interiors and outdoor spaces.
Michelle’s client brief was to upgrade the home to make it more suitable for the family’s needs which included a more suitable environment for their teenagers. There was also a desire to renew the character of the home to give it more presence, befitting the spectacular location, harbour views and courtyard design. Michelle was given access to all areas of the house which allowed her to come up with a design focusing on lines, angles and colours.
From a photography perspective, it was very important to observe and then reflect how the new colour palette and architectural angles fit within the relaxing, outlook: blue skies, water views along with the sandy tones of the shoreline. Attention to detail, a careful observation of the best times of day for most fitting light were required to complete this shoot.
Michelle says she is most proud of, “the external colours and substantial impact the colours have had on the character of the home. The clients were brave enough to go with a bold and considered paint scheme, which emphasised the structural elements of the home, rather than choosing to have all the external surfaces matching”. The colour palette had to feature a pale sea green ‘Seaglass’ as it was a favourite colour of the client inspired by the ocean views of the home, which also complimented the home’s existing furnishings.
The internal works included improvements to the teenager bedrooms, the renovation of existing staircases, new flooring, guest accommodation and the creation of more space for leisure and relaxation.
The exterior works included a new entry and entry canopy featuring natural timber, steel with glass, new balconies, balustrades, new decking, stairs connecting the central courtyard to the upper floor terrace, new external colours and soft landscaping.
What challenges Michelle Walker was able to solve:
“The two biggest challenges were to create an appropriate entry to the home (as the existing entry was uncovered and via a pair of sliding doors) and to improve the usability of the main outdoor areas of the home – the courtyard and the upper floor terrace. ”
“The new entry is marked by a timber & steel structure with glass over, providing an entry canopy & shelter to the new timber front door with round timber door handle. A new lift stop &lift door was also incorporated the new entry, without increasing the footprint of the home.”
“A new steel & timber staircase now links the courtyard to the upper floor terrace, which means the upper floor terrace is being used more. Originally the bbq was planned for the courtyard, but it has been relocated to the upper floor terrace…what a view for the chef.”
Why Michelle Walker chooses to work with Jetcharm Builders:
“I have completed many projects with Jetcharm over the years. They make my job easy, with their care and attention on-site, good workmanship, experience and good relationships with clients. The clients for this project had used Jetcharm for their previous renovation too.”
It was absolutely wonderful to see the magnificent makeover Michelle has instilled in this Chinamans Beach home and the positive impact it has had on the homeowners. Ever since I can recall, I have always had a fascination for understanding how things were invented, designed and built. In my very early days I studied Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture, Art, Art History and Technical Drawing, hence my love for industrial and architectural photography assignments just like this.
Earlier this year I was approached by renowned Australian photographer and educator, Matt Granger, to take part in his popular YouTube interview series ‘Inside The Photographers Studio’. In the interview you will hear me speak about the beginnings of my love for photography influenced by my father since the age of three. I then discuss how I developed my personal style and skills as a fine art, portrait and commercial photographer over the last three decades.
It was rather humorous being on the other side of the camera! After the initial butterflies settled, I was able to speak about my love and passion for photography and draw upon all the defining moments that have helped shape and develop my passion and career for photography. From delving into my childhood growing up in Taranaki (New Zealand) and making the big move to Australia 19 years ago, I have recently realised that my biggest motivator and driving force is how i can use my gift of photography to make a difference to others.
Matt Granger’s YouTube channel has grown to become one of the largest and most-viewed photography channels worldwide thanks to his friendly nature and down to earth approach that has allowed him to become a well sought-after photography workshop host and speaker at events worldwide.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to become a part of the renowned series that showcases other leading international photographers. Thank you to Matt and Tina for making this interview possible and allowing me to share my love of photography.
For the past two weeks my home city of Manly was transformed into a highly professional surf city when it played host to the HurleyAustralian Open of Surfing. This event and the buzz it created has been an absolute highlight of the year!
As a teenager back in the eighties, my passion for photography stemmed from surfing. Having grown up in a coastal town on the North Taranaki coast of New Zealand, there was [and still is] a really strong surfing culture. Our province offers incredible surf breaks, where within one hour’s drive you will usually always find an offshore wind with a decent break to surf. Some of the best breaks like Stent Road are not always for the faint hearted. Amongst Kiwi surfers the province/people are fondly referred to by the same name as a popular surf brand, ‘Taranaki Hardcore’.Hurley Pro Australian Open of Surfing Winners, Brazilian Adriana de Souza and Hawaiian Carissa Moore in Manly, NSW Australia.
During my youth some of the best surfers in the country came from our Waitara Bar Board Rider Club including NZ Champions like Jason Matthews, Motu Mataa and my cousin Brent ‘Hench’ Hutchieson who took out the Open Champ title when he was just a Junior (as did Motu before him). Most weekends I went on surfing adventures with our club to spots around the coast. Sometimes we would trek through paddocks, over barbed wire fences, weaving through cow paddies and sheep to secluded rocky points like Puniho Road. This would then be followed by some big stints in the Waitara High School darkroom processing black and white film, then printing my favourite photos which would often be published in the local community newspaper.
With a smile, I remember surfing posters plastered all over my bedroom walls (oh and…Bob Marley posters on my ceiling). My favourite international surfers were Californian Tom Curren (three time world champion), Aussie Tom Carroll (two time world champ, three times Pipe Masters Winner) and Tahitian Vetea ‘Poto’ David. Down the track (living in Sydney) I was lucky enough to get to know and take portraits of Poto and his French model girlfriend who both stayed with my Kiwi friends each time they visited ManlyWorld Champ Carissa Moore (above left) with Pro Junior World Champ Ella Williams who surfed in Round 4 heats together and both progressed to the next round of 12.
Fast forward 20 years and my Kiwi business partner and great mate, Tony Kemp, has brought Niwa Photography back to the surfing world through Ella Williams, the current Junior World Champion whom Tony is mentoring and managing. Under Tony’s guidance and motto ‘Imagine, Dream, Believe’, the 19yr old Kiwi from Whangamata has reached new heights, finding herself ranked 10th in the 2014 World Qualifying Series after competing at the Australian Open of Surfing in Manly. At the event she surfed alongside inspirational surfers like current world champion Carissa Moore, shark-attack survivor and motivational speaker Bethany Hamilton whom the movie Soul Surfer was created about. Our role was to document and capture a range of imagery of Ella for marketing, branding and social media. This meant that our Niwa Photography team were down at the beach covering all the action of the 2014 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing. As a result of the Williams family being so happy with what we have achieved with them, I’m now officially part of the Team Williams family and am helping with ongoing photography/social media strategy. Niwa Photography weekly team meetings have taken on a new level of smiles with this new Kemp-Williams-Niwa partnership. My assistant photographer Jack Coghlan and intern Shannon Pomare are mad surfers, so this is a all a bit surreal for them. It is also a great opportunity for our other intern Vanessa Zhang to use her fantastic journalism talents. Carissa Moore showing her crazy, amazing talent and strength in the final of the Hurley Pro in Manly (yes she successfully pulled this one off).
Runner-up and fellow Hawaiian Alessa Quizon showing her class at the Hurley Pro.
Crowd favourite Australian Julian Wilson was a shining star of the event pulling off a myriad of 360s. It was a photographers dream to follow his progress. Unfortunately in the final he just didn’t manage to finish off his aerials like he did throughout the event.
So what’s next on the surfing calendar??? Well just when we thought things couldn’t get better… I have an invitation from Team Ella Williams to the 2014 ASP World Surfing awards at the Gold Coast next Wednesday night. It’s going to be incredible being with Ella’s family to see her presented with the Pro Junior World Title trophy in the company of icons of the sport. Ella made history last year being the first New Zealander ever to take a world surfing title. Imagine Dream Believe:-)
We will be posting more about Ella’s journey next up.
Here are our latest artworks from a family portrait session at their home on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Meet caring big sister Sophie, and her cheeky little sister, Lucia.
Part of the magic of capturing a family is being prepared for the unexpected and seeing what unfolds. Our best laid plans went out the window when Lucia had alternate ideas of what she was keen to do and not to do, so we collaborated with their mum Allison, to find a solution that would keep Lucia interested and in the same spot for more than a few seconds. The teepee and the intrigue of a jar of lollies saved the day whilst also creating something special and unique for this Terrey Hills family.
The Wildman’s motivation for family portraits was to have some personalised artwork that reflects the special love and connection between Sophie and Lucia.
Here’s what Allison had to say about their experience working with us which we received as a fantastic Google review:
“Thank you so much for capturing our daughters, we absolutely love the photos and have them proudly displayed in our living area for all to see! You may recall our youngest daughter wasn’t 100% that day and being rather naughty – not at all interested in having her photograph taken. I really appreciated the efforts and the patience you demonstrated to ensure we came with a fantastic selection of photographs. Your assistant and the distractions she provided during the photo shoot were well thought out and very helpful.”
Allison further commented, “I particularly liked your organisation from the very beginning of the process, including your interest in getting an understanding of the girls, their individual personalities and what they enjoyed doing, down to the very practical advice re best choices on what to wear and where and when to have the photographs taken (given we wanted the photos to be taken outdoors). There was a lot we needed to think about and you made it all very easy and straightforward with your pre-planning and professionalism on the day. Thank you again so much – we adore the photos, they bring a smile to our faces at each glance and I am already looking forward to the next time you photograph the girls.”
If you would like to enquire about having family portraits please contact us or view our portfolio. We offer a complimentary consultation in our peaceful, child-friendly studio just behind Warringah Mall, Brookvale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
A Niwa Photography photography gift certificate is a heartfelt gift for family and friends that keeps on giving. Photography gift certificates are beautifully presented and customised (free postage). We have a special deal that gives you a $500 gift voucher for just $150.
Each family portrait gift voucher includes a $150 portrait session which can be taken at either our Northern Beaches studio; your home or an outdoor location such as Balmoral Beach, Mosman; Freshwater Beach; Centennial Park, Sydney; Newport Beach; Tamarama Beach; Eastern Suburb, Sydney. You will also have a $350 credit towards any purchase. Check out examples of our product range and some of our packages.