NZ Life & Leisure



PAST: Kirsten grew up on a farm under the

Kaweka Ranges in Hawke’s Bay, an upbringing she describes as idyllic. From a very young age, she was drawn to all things creative, particular­ly landscape painting, and studied art history at university. As an adult, she spent many years in Australia working in Sydney, the Northern Territory outback and Perth before returning to home base (Napier) and “settling down with her husband to have babies”. ( The couple now has two teenage boys.) While working in marketing, she discovered a passion for photograph­y after taking the work camera home on the weekends to photograph her young son. “It was like a creative light switched on in my head,” she says. “I started to live and breathe everything about the craft.” She went on to complete a diploma in photograph­y.

PRESENT: Kirsten continues to work two careers that closely complement each other

— as a profession­al photograph­er (see her work on page 111) and in communicat­ions and marketing. “This year, I undertook a project with a charitable trust that allowed me to travel, meet and photograph awe-inspiring volunteers dedicating their lives to helping their communitie­s thrive. Meeting these selfless people, hearing their stories, then capturing the photos, was the most rewarding assignment that I’ve ever undertaken.”

FUTURE: Kirsten says she’s fixated on finding the time (and excuses) to travel around Aotearoa to photograph it from her perspectiv­e. “I want to explore every inch of our beautiful country with my camera.” But while she’s working on those excuses, she needs to finish the renovation­s started on the family home and continue working alongside “inspiratio­nal local brands who are doing the mahi and achieving great success”. kirstensim­

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