Photographic Highlights of 2010


Wow… what … a …  year!

I happily left 2009 behind and welcomed 2010 with open arms. And it seems that 2010 has been hugging me back all year long.

This has been a very eventful year for Doug and I. With travels through India and Nepal. Our engagement. Our first home together. The birth of Heather Ellis Photography. The Christchurch Earthquake. The planning of our wedding. Trips to Australia, Queenstown, Dunedin, Tauranga and recently our whirlwind trip to Blenheim to have our engagement shoot with our fabulous wedding photographer Jessica Jones.

I’ve met some amazing photographers, learnt so much and that in tow have had some incredible personal growth. I’m proud to say I’m not as hasty as I once was. I did say ‘as’  with italics—family!!!! I feel like a sponge, taking in so much around me and open to everything. 2-3 years ago if you served me a meal I’d probably say “I don’t like that, don’t like that, ewwww”. Granted I don’t eat potatoes, but that’s personal choice. If I haven’t tried something… I’ll try it. For a girl who has never eaten seafood, in the space of 5 minutes I had an oyster (body shuddering gross), crab (surprisingly yummy), prawns, salmon and all that other stuff that comes from the sea.

A lot has been going on for the people around me. Some bad, some good. With the earthquake, Doug’s 100 year old family home lost all 5 chimney’s. Slowly over the past 3 months, with rain and wind – holes are opening in the ceiling and daylight is coming through. Not a peachy scene. I’ve only been there once whilst it was raining, drips coming from all over… even a spout has been made from the passageway ceiling into a bucket. It broke my heart. But Doug’s parents and sister just ran around like clock work to make sure things were covered up. Doug’s mum had a smile on her face and simply said “She’s an old girl and old girls have leaks”.

I’ve realised this year that life doesn’t always go to plan (duh). But with doors closing, there’s always another opening. And if it’s not, that’s because you forgot (or perhaps may be to scared to) turn the door knob and push. Opportunity’s are presented every day. Sometimes you fail to recognise them as opportunity’s, but with an open mind, a positive attitude and enthusiasm… opportunity’s seem clearer. This for me leads into expectations. I have high expectations for myself and where I want to go – that drives me. But my expectations in life have developed into a somewhat grounded state. I feel happy for what I’m given and I’m always happy to work for what isn’t. I feel this makes dreams reachable and life so much more enjoyable.

Thus, starts a very special year, my photographic highlights.

The year started off with a bang with our proposed trip to India and Nepal, that we planned just 1 month after returning home from our world travels. In February, Doug and I set off for Kathmandu and into the Himalayas to trek to the base camp of Mt Everest in Nepal.

In the small village of Phakding, one of the first before heading up in altitude. Small children freely play in tiny dirt lanes with parents out of sight. Simple toys are played with. You know how kids enjoy the wrapping of a Christmas present over the present itself? These children were playing with plastic bags … over their heads AND running with scissors. Ya, shocking! I know! But they seemed happy. (For now)

This was our 8th day of the Trek to Base Camp of Everest trip. It snowed through the night in Dingboche and at 7am we woke to this amazingly beautiful winter wonderland. This was our 2nd acclimatisation day. Because it snowed, from this day forth it completely changed the landscape from mud and rock to something out of a fairytale for the rest of the trek. It is my absolute favourite photo and favourite day in Nepal, topping seeing Everest at dawn.

Whats even more wonderful is, this image won me 1st prize (and a snazzy new printer) for Photo and Video International “Best day of my life competition”. That was an exciting day.

Trekking to everest base camp in nepal

After leaving beautiful heartwarming Nepal, we headed across the border to India. 7 weeks travelling India was beyond amazing. From the Thar Desert travelling by Camel…

Thar Desert Jaisalmer India Camel Landscapes

…to Udaipur, the city in which James Bond’s, Octopussy was filmed. Where sitting having a coffee on a small street and the legs of an elephant walk past. And where we met Mohammed. The traveller that travels through tourists. His pride in all his postcards sent from many lands and the people he’s met. He gave me a whole new perspective on travelling.

Udaipur India March 2010 portr

But for anyone who knows Doug and I. Agra at the Taj Mahal takes the cake for India and for the year. As this is this is the destination Doug choose to ask me to marry him.

Agra India Taj Mahal Sunrise

And as you can see, we are jumping for joy, the 1st day into our engagement.

Taj Mahal Agra India Engagement

I made a very special wee friend in our last 10 days in India while relaxing on the beach in Goa. Manju was our peanut supplier. Every day as we lye on the beach loungers, he would hound us to buy peanuts. Lets just say I bought 20 packets more than I intended to. I will remember 7 year old Manju forever.

boy Peanut seller goa beach india

Yes, this is my very special engagement ring. No Doug did not carry this through our travels. So I had something exciting to come home to. On proposing, he presented me with a slim silver band that he bought in Kathmandu and I now wear that on my thumb.

engagement ring

My sister, Carol. Who HATES photos.. asked to have some portraits taken of her. What did I say? “Heck yeah!”. So my yummy mummy sister and I captured some delicious images together at the Art Center.

carol schimanski portraits art centre

My good friend Becca came down from Tauranga for a wee visit. I missed out on seeing her pregnant with her first child, so this was super exciting for me to see her like this. So I did, what I do best and I snapped up the oppurtunity to shoot some maternity photos.

Balmer bun in oven pregnancy

Balmer bun in oven pregnancy

Charlie Floyd at the tender age of 11 days. Charlie belongs to Becks and Tristian, a killer kiwi couple who we met during our South America travels. I hadn’t blogged this image, so this is a perfect oppurtunity to share the joy of yet another wonderful addition to this world.

charlie floyd 11 days old

Ella. Oh Ella. I had so much fun on our shoot. The Damsel, Ella has told me that of alllllll of Carol’s friends… I am her favourite! How can I not be honoured by that?!

ella in spring hagley park

Trina and Luke. My gorgeous friend with her true love. How can I not love my lifestyle. I have the joy of capturing love and all it’s glory. Even if Luke was a little shy at showing his affection.

trina and luke at waimak reserve

trina and luke at waimak reserve

Lucy and Eddie. My first Wedding of the season. Lucy answered my ‘free wedding’ advert to help progress my portfolio. I think I couldn’t have found a better couple to fill the slot. They weren’t even going to have a photographer. You know what I said right? “WHATTTTTTTTT?”. I’m so pleased I could help them out, as they did me.

lucy and eddie rangiora wedding

lucy and eddie rangiora wedding

Sophie and Danny touched my heart. Sophie said to me that she has had a birth, death and marriage all in 6 months. Her strength through her Dad’s illness seems unbelievable. Sophie’s Dad passed away the day before her wedding. Sophie, her mum and her sister’s still smiled through their hearts knowing he was there in spirit. I commend you Sophie. You are one of the bravest people I’ve met.

sophie and danny dunedin wedding

sophie and danny dunedin wedding

The birth of Flaunt that Dress. Derived from ‘Trash the Dress’, ‘Drown the Gown’ and the many other names it’s given. This started for me as an idea for more wedding portfolio images and since it worked sooooooo well has turned into an add on in my wedding packages price list.

bernadette flaunts the dress with a cup cake

bernadette flaunts the dress in little hagley

bernadette flaunts the dress in little hagley

bernadette flaunts the dress in little hagley

This year I’ve made a very special friend. Kim of Kimberely Cheyne Photography. It started with Kim leaving a comment on one of my blogs. I looked her up and found her work is stunning. By the end of the day we were both avidly texting each other with huge excitement. We found out that we were both getting married soon, we’re of the same age and we are both in our first year of business for photography. We hit it off instantly. Kim came up with the idea to do a swapsie engagement shoot for one another. She’s from Dunedin, I’m from Christchurch. So we met in the middle in Timaru. Liam, Kim, Doug and myself had a fantastic day together and we’ve all made friends with one another. If you haven’t already, check out their photos Part 1 and Part 2.

kim and liams engagement timaru

kim and liams engagement timaru

kim and liams engagement timaru

kim and liams engagement timaru

10 Days before Kim and Tony’s Wedding in Dunedin, I saw on Facebook that my good friend Jenna Young was in search of a second shooter for this wedding. I couldn’t have been quicker if I tried. I think I almost begged her if I could join her. I didn’t even give it two thoughts that this was taking place on my birthday… as far as I was concerned… Happy Birthday to me! And it’s alright, I got home 15 minutes before midnight, so I got 2 shots and cocktail in me in celebration of my 24th birthday. It was a great day and it was so fantastic catching up with Jenna after sooooo long.

kim and tony's dunedin wedding railway station

kim and tony's dunedin wedding railway station

And with Kim and Tony’s Wedding, I’ve put together my first Queensberry Album. Exciting stuff.

With a trip up to Tauranga to meet the bump that you saw earlier. Becca’s friends Sarah and Adam were overdue. I took this photo literally 30 hours before baby Brooke was born. And I was soooo lucky to meet the wee girl at a few hours old just before I caught my flight home.

Master Max. Big brother to the bump (who you will meet reallllyyyyy soon). The sweetest wee boy. With lots of toot toots and laughs. Max’s whole body illuminates when he smiles. I love you cool dude!

max balmer tauranga portraits

Here is the bump… but he has a name now, lets call him Luke. If I have kids sooner than I intended Luke, I’ll hold you responsible.

luke balmer tauranga portraits

luke balmer tauranga portraits

luke balmer tauranga portraits

The wonderful Sleeman family. I am enjoying watching the kids grow up. Wonderful, wonderful family.

sleeman family halswell quarry

harlan sleeman portraits

My second Flaunt that Dress shoot. Modelled by the gorgeous Roslen Langton. I have soooo many ideas running through my head I am so glad that I have a supportive family to help make my visions reality. I can really get creative on these shoots and lets face it… it’s just so much fun. I hope my future brides take me up on this offer.

Roslen falunts that dress 1950's style

roslen flaunts the dress 1950's style

roslen flaunts the dress 1950's style

roslen flaunts the dress 1950's style

The sun is setting on 2010. Let 2011 be even better than this. Happy, harmonious, driven and successful. I hope I, along with everyone else strives to reach the goals they set for themselves and take the good with the bad and the bad with the good.

Happy Holidays to all far and wide.

Love Heather and Doug xxx