Press Photographer and Photojournalist

Fishhead Magazine Volunteers Feature

These images were shot back at the end of March. I couldn’t publish them here until the magazine had been published. No matter what the difficulties and challenges of doing editorial work, I have to say, I really enjoy it. I get to meet a lot of different, interesting people, and if I’m lucky, get go to some great events.  When you’re photographing for someone else, it can be incredibly difficult knowing whether you are going to come away with a decent selection of shots that fit the brief. It can be very challenging and rewarding to create interesting photographs from what are potentially mundane surroundings, especially in a short space of time.

The photos for this feature were a challenge on two fronts. Firstly at Kaibosh Food Rescue, the sorting of the food is done after 6pm in a barren, windowless environment, lit by fluorescent lights. Not a good start to say the least. The second challenge, as well as doing portraits, is  to photograph the volunteers while they are working. In a confined space with many obstacles and people moving around (especially if it’s an indoor environment and the lighting is bad), getting a decent candid shot can be very difficult. This is where my conflict arises. As someone who sits on the border between photographer and photojournalist. Do you simply take a documentary approach and just photograph whatever happens, with no guarantee that you will get an interesting,  useable shot, or if time is limited (as is often the case), set-up the photograph so there is a good image to fall back on. Or do both.

The soup kitchen was a great example of this, especially as the guests could not be recognisable in the background of any images. Time is a critical feature, especially as the volunteers want work, and not spend ten minutes setting-up and posing for photographs.

Michelle Jackson (left) and Amirah Mujahid sort food donated to Kaibosh Food Rescue which will be distributed amongst charities throughout Wellington. Michelle wanted to make a positive contribution to the local community with her spare time while Amirah was motivated by the values and ideas which are the foundation of Kaibosh Food Rescue.

Volunteer Anthony Cabraal has been with Kaibosh for 10 months. Like many Kaibosh volunteers, wanting to help solve the problem of food waste motivated his venture into volunteering with Kaibosh.

Volunteer Anthony Cabraal has been with Kaibosh for 10 months. Like many Kaibosh volunteers, wanting to help solve the problem of food waste motivated his venture into volunteering with Kaibosh.

One of the many things you encounter on freelance jobs is having to work with what you have. Anthony was not volunteering on the night I photographed him here. It was the only time he had available. I was hoping there would be some rescued food which I could place in the fridge behind him, but alas there was none!

NZQA senior policy analyst, Amanda Burgess volunteers at Kaibosh Food Rescue once every fortnight. Along with other volunteers, she helps sort collected food for distribution to charities the next morning. Amanda has been volunteering at Kaibosh for six months. Hating food wastage, Kaibosh was an easy volunteering choice for Amanda.

Sue Sullivan has been a volunteer at the Compassion Center soup kitchen for over 18 months. For as long as she can remember, Sue has always wanted to volunteer at the soup kitchen. “To provide someone with a meal, it’s so basic. So practical”.

Had to get my photographs in the shot! What can I say.

Diane Hornsby has been volunteering at the Compassion Center soup kitchen on Tory Street for over 6 months. Diane volunteers because she has the time to give. She chose to volunteer at the soup kitchen because she liked the way the volunteering process was set-up, and because there’s plenty of support for new volunteers.

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