The Frida Affair

I have a few blog posts to catch up on, not least of all, a very fun shoot with the amazing ladies at Just Teasing Hairdressing for their branding and advertising campaign.

We started out with the owner Gale's picture, which was used in her first ad and business cards.

Gale loves everything Frida - and indeed if you take a look around her salon, it is filled with beautiful flowers, paintings and colourful artefacts dedicated to Frida Kahlo. Much of the art is made by friends, and there is a feature wall (by Ellen Coup) in green - styled from a very famous magazine cover of Frida Kahlo.

Behind the scenes:

This initial branding worked really well - Gale used to do a wall calendar every year for people to collect, so it feels quite right to have a little piece of Just Teasing to take away with you. This year Gale is celebrating 20 years of her salon - indeed a Wellington institution.

Five Señoritas and a beautiful Eclectus parrot called Arthur

Fast forward a few months, and we were ready to shoot the rest of the team for their cards, and make an Anniversary calendar! I arrived ready to shoot and was delighted to meet Arthur - a beautiful Eclectus parrot bought in by Charlotte.

Charlotte & Arthur











And their 20th Anniversary Poster


We're on school holidays in our house, and its been the most incredible time for creativity. In lieu of having a darkroom available, I've been playing with a sunprint kit - taking things back to basics - photograms, silhouettes, shadows, light, chiaroscuro...

I can't wait to access the darkroom to work on some more process work.

Harry Callahan

I'm having a week of revisiting the photographer's that inspired me so much as a student. Today, Harry Callahan. His simple, beautiful work so evident of love for his wife Eleanor.

Eleanor, Chicago, 1949

Eleanor, Chicago, 1949

Eleanor, 1947

Eleanor, 1947

Eleanor, Chicago, 1948

Eleanor, Chicago, 1948

Eleanor, Chicago, 1949

Eleanor, Chicago, 1949

Here's a little about him as a Photographer:

Harry Callahan ( 1912 – 1999) was an influential twentieth century American photographer.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Callahan began teaching himself photography in 1938.  A talk given by Ansel Adams in 1941 inspired him to take his work seriously.  In 1946 he was invited to teach photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago by László Moholy-Nagy. He moved to Rhode Island in 1961 to establish a photography program at the Rhode Island School of Design, teaching there until his retirement in 1977. Callahan left almost no written records—no diaries, letters, scrapbooks or teaching notes. His technical photographic method was to go out almost every morning, walk the city he lived in and take numerous pictures. He then spent almost every afternoon making proof prints of that day's best negatives. Yet, for all his photographic activity, Callahan, at his own estimation, produced no more than half a dozen final images a year.

He photographed his wife and daughter and the streets, scenes and buildings of cities where he lived. Even prior to the birth his daughter showed up in photographs of Eleanor's pregnancy. 

Callahan's work was a deeply personal response to his own life. He encouraged his students to turn their cameras on their own lives, leading by example. Callahan photographed his wife over a period of fifteen years, as his prime subject. Eleanor was essential to his art from 1947 to 1960. He photographed her everywhere - at home, in the city streets, in the landscape; alone, with their daughter, in black and white and in color, nude and clothed, distant and close. 

Easter Inspiration

Easter is my family's favourite celebration of the year. Decorating eggs, Easter egg hunts, playing with our friends and pets; coming together to celebrate and eat with family. So what better time to team up with an amazing Florist and Stylist, and do a shoot! I've been wanting to work with Mindy Dalzell of Twig and Arrow for ages, so a few days later, here's what we came up with:


Tommy's 200th Issue

Tommy's celebrated their 200th issue of their Tommy’s Lifestyle magazine on the 13th March. Craig and I (as Graphic Solutions Ltd) have been lucky enough to be involved with this from its inception. Tommy’s was set up in 1999; a new style of agency run by Tommy Heptinstall and David Platt, who’d worked together for years as real estate agents then decided to set up a new type of agency – one where agents worked together collegially; no easy feat in a sector known for its cut-throat competition.

David Platt + Tommy Heptinstall at Emporio Coffee, Abel St Street

David Platt + Tommy Heptinstall at Emporio Coffee, Abel St Street

Rosa's Birthday

We had a lovely weekend celebrating my daughter's 9th birthday, in which she embraced the woodland theme, which I am so very fond of! This included a making of Teacup Terrariums to take home :-)

Teacup Terrariums


Berhampore has always been one of Wellington’s more low-profile suburbs; an area people drive through on their way from Newtown to Island Bay’s coast. Nicola Young writes about the latest up and coming new businesses popping up in town.

The suburb’s name has fascinating origins: in 1757, the British East India Company (the world’s first multinational) won a decisive battle against the Nawab of Bengal at Berhampore (about 150km north of Calcutta). The victory is considered pivotal in establishing British colonial rule in South Asia and the East India Company’s century-long domination of Indian trade. (It’s hardly surprising that, when the English language acquired Indian words, one was ‘loot’).

George Hunter, the first mayor of the Wellington Borough (1842-43, before we attained city status), had close connections to Berhampore, where his English father-in-law had served in the Army. Wellington’s smattering of Indian place names (Khandallah!) can be traced back to Hunter, although it’s been said Indian names in Wellington are as relevant as Maori place names would be in India.

Hunter was also, inadvertently, responsible for New Zealand’s Eight-Hour Day.  While sailing to New Zealand in 1840, Hunter asked a fellow migrant to build him a store in Lambton Quay; the carpenter – Samuel Parnell – agreed, providing he only worked an eight-hour day.  It was an international first, although not recognised by statute until 1857.

Now Berhampore has become the ‘new’ Newtown; with its charming houses (many of them ripe for renovation), and its small commercial centre attracting some interesting businesses.

Chocolatier Jo Coffey opened L’Affaire au Chocolat four years ago, moving her boutique chocolate kitchen out of her home. “I knew Berhampore was the on the rise,
and then had the opportunity to buy the shop”.

L'Affaire au Chocolat

Jo rates her hot chocolate as the best in Wellington, but it’s her hand-made, soft-centred chocolates that attract customers from as far away as Eastbourne and the Kapiti Coast.  “New Zealanders are becoming very knowledgeable about chocolate, and their tastes are maturing. My chocolates are very grown up, not candy; the best selling flavours are caramel and raspberry.”

Baker Gramercy is almost next-door; a specialist bread shop that opened a few weeks ago. Its owner, Wellington College old-boy James Whyte, worked as a commercial property broker, then – wanting a change of direction – trained as a chef in New York before returning to his home town. 


“Berhampore was a forgotten suburb; under-appreciated and lacking identity. It wasn’t really on my list when I was looking for premises, but I soon realised the area’s attractions: only five minutes from the CBD, where commercial rental prices are four times higher; it’s got a real sense of community; and I found premises with an established catering kitchen.”

James is focusing on a narrow range of breads (baguettes, ciabatta and sourdough); using traditional techniques many have abandoned; his sourdough bread ferments for up to two days, allowing the flavours time to develop. “I can only produce small batches, as it’s all made by hand, although I’m hoping to expand into pastries – simple ones! – shortly.”

James makes a maximum of 200 loaves, and it’s usually sold out by 1pm. “It’s good to make a product that’s being so well-received. The ingredients are high-cost and quality, although I’m determined to keep the prices accessible, in line with the prices of breads made by much bigger bakeries.

“I want to develop my business the same way as I make my bread: slowly and deliberately.”

Goose Shack

Across the road, Goose Shack HQ opened a few days after Baker Gramercy, having evolved from a food truck business serving barbequed meats, fish and sandwiches at the City Market. Goose Shack HQ caters for local Berhampore families wanting good quality, simple food – most of it cooked on a wood-fired oven. Owner, Haydn Turner, has worked in the hospitality industry for years, including a stint on the floor at the River Café (one of London’s trail-blazing restaurants, and Jamie Oliver’s training ground). 

Rimsky-Korsakov is a cafe run by Rosie Smyth – a displaced Lyttleton-ite, who wanted to recreate the sense of community she missed when she moved to Wellington. Unusually, Rimsky-Korsakov holds ‘pot luck’ dinners when locals bring their own food to the café to eat while listening to live bands.  Rosy is delighted locals have embraced her café as a community hub; she wants to set up a mums’ group and, further down the track, start life drawing classes.


Berhampore’s renaissance mirrors what’s happening in Britain, where artisan foodie shops are resuscitating moribund high streets.  Let’s hope Berhampore is trail-blazing, and other suburbs will follow.   

Nicola Young