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Villa Maria Estate

I was invited to a farewell lunch for my good friend Jose who was soon to be leaving for Australia. It was a small get together at the Villa Maria Estate cafe in Mangere, Auckland where we enjoyed a delicious cheese platter and sipped on award winning Villa Maria wine. I had booked a photoshoot with a client for that afternoon and was planning to head to it after lunch. However my client wasn't able to keep our appointment due to other circumstances and we had to postpone our appointment. So I was left with a free afternoon and it occurred to me that I was together with friends who were dressed up nicely for our lunch outing, we were at a beautiful vineyard location, and I had all my photography gear with me in my car, so I made a suggestion...

"Hey do you guys want to do a photoshoot?"

My question was met with a unanimous round of yes's, and so it was decided. We finished up lunch and I sussed out some spots appropriate for a farewell photoshoot for Jose. As usual, as soon as the camera actually came out, all my friends became suddenly nervous and self conscious of posing. I told them this was normal, every single photoshoot I have done has started with comments from my clients of feeling awkward, not knowing how to pose, etc... And i understand because I feel the same way when I am the subject of a photoshoot. So I did my best to ease these nerves and then I captured some awesome images of the group. As a friend of this party (instead of being just the photographer), i had to include myself in a few snaps, so my tripod came in handy to allow some automatic timer shots including me too!

Its never an easy thing to say goodbye to the people that you love but dreams have to be chased, new waters have to be tested and challenges have to be faced. Leaving everything you know and starting up somewhere else is such a difficult but rewarding experience. And its not forever anyway, so for now its only 'see you later'.

Enjoy my favourite pics below.

Thanks to Steven, who took this shot of me with the departing guest of honour. (I don't often get to be in my own photos and feature on my own blog).


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