New Zealand D-Photo



With an awareness of the photograph­y giants she follows and a crew of fellow travellers supporting her, Vanessa now roams the city capturing the urban strata with a quiet passion and unobtrusiv­e craft.

Like many of the social documentar­ians before her, she has often found her lens pointed squarely at the people in her community standing up for their beliefs. Instances of protest and civil disobedien­ce have long attracted some of Aotearoa’s best photograph­ers, and Vanessa has been on hand for such Auckland uprisings as the Black Lives Matter march and anti-Asian hate protests.

“I document it because I’m there. It gives an understand­ing of who I am.

“I love that people are passionate about their causes. It’s a big part of our history, and it always has been, to have a voice on the issues in our country.” Vanessa is quick to note that she does not really consider herself a ‘protest photograph­er’, these photos making up just a small part of her overall output. The images do indeed appear as isolated instances of loudness in a portfolio dominated by the photograph­er’s innate ability to evoke the softer, quieter aspects of life.

The big moments definitely have a part in shaping our world, but it is perhaps the unremarkab­le constants of our daily lives that have the biggest role in creating our realities. This is the milieu Vanessa clearly loves to play in: the geometry of street signs and window arrangemen­ts, the shape of a loving couple’s embrace, the unique geography or a hand hard at work on its craft. Vanessa does not so much bring her world to us, as offer us a beautiful new way to consider our own. Whether shooting an environmen­tal portrait inside someone’s workspace, a barren streetscap­e dominated by graphic architectu­re, or the subtle play of light across a range of untouched hills, each image is imbued with something personal to Vanessa, creating surprises from the familiar and familiarit­y in the alien.

“My biggest aim is to accurately document parts of my environmen­t and surroundin­gs. I often photograph friends, or friends of friends, or things through a connection of some sort. I’m also drawn to space and something that evokes a nostalgic feeling for me, very New Zealand specific.”

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