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