Sto­ries of K Rd on­line

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Cap­tur­ing Karanga­hape Rd on cam­era and shar­ing in­spir­ing sto­ries on­line has kick­started a new ca­reer for Chris Pem­ber­ton.

The 26-year-old is an elec­tri­cian by trade but opened his first pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hi­bi­tion at the week­end. And it all started with Face­book.

Pem­ber­ton is the pho­tog­ra­pher and cu­ra­tor for the Hu­mans of K Rd Face­book page, fol­lowed by more than 21,000 peo­ple.

Almost daily, the Royal Oak res­i­dent up­loads a photo of a stranger from K Rd along­side in­spir­ing mes­sages of in­di­vid­u­al­ity and car­ing for oth­ers.

Pem­ber­ton says he was in­spired by the Hu­mans of New York page, which is fol­lowed by more than 11 mil­lion peo­ple.

‘‘I think that this whole world­wide ‘ Hu­mans of’ street pho­tog­ra­phy phe­nom­e­non is great for in­creas­ing mankind’s ca­pac­ity for em­pa­thy with­out us even re­al­is­ing it.’’

Pem­ber­ton has vis­ited K Rd at least once a week since he started the page a year ago.

‘‘I used to al­ways think: ‘ K Rd is dead, it’s rain­ing, I’m not go­ing to get any in­ter­views’ in the early days.

‘‘But now I just have faith that all I have to do is park on one side, jump out of my car, walk down and up the street and by the time I’m back at my car, whether it was a rainy day or not, I have at least three good in­ter­views.’’

He was en­cour­aged by friends to get into pho­tog­ra­phy last year and found he had a tal­ent for por­trai­ture.

Choos­ing the K Rd theme to fo­cus on was a ‘‘no­brainer’’, he says.

He says quirky and colour­ful K Rd is New Zealand’s an­swer to New York.

‘‘In­ter­est­ing, di­verse range, arty – it’s got the works,’’ he says.

Now he’s chan­nel­ing his own cre­ativ­ity into sus­tain­able art.

Pem­ber­ton has helped up­cy­cle large wooden wheels into cable ta­bles. They are fit­ted with so­lar pan­els and pow­erpoints to charge phones and de­vices with. The ta­bles are fea­tured in the Sum­mer in the Square fes­ti­val in Aotea Square.

Pem­ber­ton’s pho­tog­ra­phy is be­ing shown at Q The­atre as part of the Ex­hibit Q se­ries. Both events fin­ish on De­cem­ber 20.

The cable

ta­ble

will be auc­tioned on TradeMe on De­cem­ber 17, rais­ing funds for Sus­tain­able Coast­lines.

Pem­ber­ton hopes to put his pho­tog­ra­phy skills to use while trav­el­ling over­seas next year.

Pic­ture per­fect: Ella High was fea­tured on the Hu­mans of K Rd Face­book page in June.

Photo: YVONNESHEARER.COM

Snap happy: Pho­tog­ra­pher Chris Pem­ber­ton started the Hu­mans of K Rd Face­book page last De­cem­ber.

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