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Tag Archives: baby photography Christchurch

Getting acquainted with my power tools {Newborn photographer Auckland, Palmerston North Photographer}

I love power tools.  Always have.  I was the girl who took wood working for a few terms in High School – and not just for the boys :)  And given that we sold or gave away pretty much all our furniture upon moving “back” to Canada, the new house is now a little empty.  Perfect chance to start over and choose pieces that I really love.  I have wanted a farmhouse/rustic table and bench for years, so figured this was the perfect time to make one.  I got the timber from a local mill and decided to go all out and build a full 2.5m 10 seater one!  It’s pretty darn huge, and luckily the room can handle it because it’s awesome.  The grain is beautiful!  Although I’ll admit it seems much bigger than the tape layout I had done…  Never mind, I LOVE it!  I’ll just need to make sure that the next house I move to has a room big enough for it because I’m not giving it up! hahaha  At some point I’ll get the chairs and a burlap runner that I’ve already decided on in my head, but for now I’m just enjoying having a table to sit around – one that I’m sure will be a centre for family activity for years to come.

Go ahead and give building something a try!  It’s fun, way less expensive than the shops, and you will be oh so proud once done.  If you need a good starting point check out Ana White – awesome free plans for all types of projects.

Have a good weekend everyone!

xx Shari



Here’s the finished product all set and ready for a feast!  Who want’s to come for dinner?!  Next up, getting my gallery wall up!!


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3 months young {Newborn photography Auckland, Newborn photography Christchurch, Baby photography Palmerston North, Maternity photography Auckland

This is little baby M.  She is 3 months young.  She is very special to me because she is my first niece :)  We had tried to organize a shoot sooner, but life just got in the way.   But luckily I was able to snap these in about a 10 min window between showers for mom and dad after a sleepover at my house.  Worked a treat and I’m so glad I was able to capture these for my family.  I think these may be some of my favourite images to date, love it!


Maternity Photography – Newborn Photography – Family photography. Auckland | Christchurch | Palmerston North


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NZ I’m coming back so I’m sharing the positive juju and having a giveaway!! {Auckland photographer – Christchurch photographer – Palmerston North photographer}

NEW ZEALAND I’M COMING BACK AND THIS IS FOR YOU!  Win over $1300 worth of photographic memories!  It’s all about sharing the positive juju and following the sun!

Think of where you’re going not where you’ve come from - Just lift your eyes and follow the sun” – Evermore

This is something I’ve been trying to live by since I first heard this line of lyrics.  It helped keep me from going batty (more than usual hehe) during a mental time with so much change and emotion that I felt a bit lost  - I’m not lost anymore, I’m know where I’m headed and it’s NZ :)  But the lesson is – There is always a light to make the shadows fade, choose to follow it :) So the fun part! 1st prize wins a custom session, high res digital collection, a 11×14” fine art wall print, and 10% off if you’d like any further purchases during the personal ordering session. Value of $1355!  2 runners up will receive a custom session, 2 high res digital files, and 10% off if you’d like any further purchases during the personal ordering session. Value of $355!

Heres all you need to do

  • Show me something sweet
  • Show me something fun
  • Show me something or someone that inspires YOU to follow the sun.
  • Email me a photo of what the above means to you, along with a little blurb and what type of shoot you’d like (eg maternity, newborn, family ect)  Also include what city you are in if outside the Auckland area.  A travel fee of approx $150 will be the responsibility of the winner/s to cover travel costs to Palmerston North or Christchurch as well as flexibility on dates.  Contact me for details

I’ll post it to the Cherry On Top facebook page*

Tag it if you want!!**

Get your friends to like it as well if you want!**

Get your friends to enter too if you want!**

At the end of the month I will draw the winners

I’ll notify you by email, followed by an announcement on the facebook page.

Come on people, lets share the positive juju!! 
* Understand that your photo will be published via me on fb, so you are agreeing to their usual photo upload/sharing copyright terms and conditions that apply to all uploads.
** Not a condition of entry
*** Sessions to be booked within 4 weeks of contest close.  Flexibility on this may be considered for a newborn shoot dependant on due dates.  No cash value on prizes.  No further purchase necessary unless so desired.  Valid within the Auckland area, travel fees may be charged for areas outside of this.  A travel fee of approx $150 will be the responsibility of the winner/s to cover travel costs to Palmerston North or Christchurch
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My unexpected journey {Auckland – Christchurch – Palmerston North photographer}

Well, as I’m sure you can guess from the title of this post, I am moving back to New Zealand!  This is a totally unexpected twist of fate and fortune, and honestly something I never saw happening again.  But alas, life happens and you never quite know what it has in store for you.  You just need to roll with it, and hope it’s all happening for a reason.  An opportunity has been offered to my family that we simply can not ignore or turn down.  As you can imagine, this is a very hard time personally for myself, family, and friends, as we all saw the kids growing up together, family dinners and holidays, and many more things that get dreamed up when coming home to loved ones.  As hard as it is, I am choosing to see the positives, and to hold onto special memories even tighter.  To see this as another adventure in the journey that is life.  ”Think of where you’re going not where you’ve come from - Just lift your eyes and follow the sun” – Evermore.  I am very lucky to have loved ones – family and friends, in two amazing countries and I’m proud to call each one home.  This move is all happening very fast, so I will be packing my bags (and house again!! argh) before the end of February which will hopefully mean I can still catch a bit of that good ol’ kiwi summer!

So what does this mean for Cherry On Top?  It means I’m coming back to a wonderful country where I found my passion for photography again, and was able to share that with amazing clients.  I will be expanding my service areas to Auckland, Christchurch, and Palmerston North.  It’s all kind of scary and exciting rolled up into one, but I’m positive it will all come right slowly and surely.  So pretty please with a cherry on top, if you are a past client or a fan from afar, spread the word that I’ll be back and jumping to go.  I love personal referrals and recommendations, and even more I love saying thank-you to those who so kindly spread the positive juju my way – not to mention I have a referral program to help say thanks ;)

I’ve decided that as a way for me to start spreading that positive juju myself, I’ll be announcing a massive giveaway in a couple of days!  My inspiration for it has been hinted at in my words, and I’m excited to see who wants to join me while I try to spread this positive mindset :)  Keep your eyes posted, and as always thank-you for all the love and support!

xx Shari

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Turn a purse into the perfect padded camera bag for under $30!

I should start this by saying that I am not the first by a long shot to do this, and I’m glad I’m not, because I don’t think I would have come up with it on my own.  Google is your friend :)

As a photographer and a woman who happens to love bags, it’s always been hard to figure out the best way to carry all the goodies in your regular purse, plus carry a camera around.  Yes you could use a traditional camera bag, or wrap your camera in a big scarf and chance it in your purse, which is what I’m guilty of.  Silly I know, but it’s actually ooh so common.  But both options left something to be desired.  I didn’t want to carry a second bag that screamed “Hey I’ve got a camera in here!”, and because it’s nice to stick to your style of dress right down to the bag you carry.  Also as a mother of two young boys, a second bag for me to try and not loose is just asking to much!  I found that I wasn’t taking my camera out for everyday stuff as much as I wanted to because of these reasons.

I started looking into purses that double as camera bags and there are some fantastic ones out there like Kelly Moore and Epiphaine, especially if you aren’t a DIY type.  But personally for the price of $160 and up I’d like to have a leather bag that I can use with or without the padding for many years to come.  Thanks to a few fellow lady photogs I found my way.  And remember, you can use a bag that you already have, just make sure it’s big enough for the amount of gear you want to carry.

I started with finding the perfect leather bag (thank you mom and dad for the birthday present!) which I got for a wicked sale price.  Then I measured a couple existing purses and decided to make the padded insert a size that could fit multiple bags for more flexibility.  Next I hit up the foam shop for high density foam, and the fabric store for fabric and Velcro.  Total for all the supplies was only $26 not including the cost of my new purse, and I have tons of fabric left over!  I’m going to make a couple little pouches with the leftovers to carry cords, batteries ect.  I chose two different fabrics, a soft flannel for the inside, and a fun pattern for the outside.  This ended up making it slightly harder because I had to wing it with the instructions a bit, but in the end it turned out great!  If you do decide to give it a try, my tips would be to make the base piece with two layers of foam for extra protection, and to make sure you measure around your bottom piece of foam well.  I measured short and ended up having to add in another section.  I think this was a result of me trying to sew at midnight!  Also I had forgot what size Velcro to buy and mine ended up being a bit thin, so I’m going to add in another row of peel and stick for more grip for the dividing panels.

After 2 weeks of using it, I couldn’t be happier!  I’m no longer worried about my camera getting banged around in my purse, or having to keep track of a second bag.  I will still use a couple traditional camera bags when I need to carry all my gear for work, but day to day this is perfect.

It really was pretty easy and so worth it for the savings, so I hope this will inspire a few of you to give it a try.  I’m not going to post a step by step because make it and love it already do such a good job, but here is a snap of the finished product.  Note how the tin of beans acts as what could be another lens.  hahaha  Hey, I had to work with what I had on hand since all my extra gear is not with me.  The open hole is where my body with attached lens fits in multiple ways, and the wallet and sunglasses case section could easily hold a flash.  This particular bag even allows me to carry all this plus my iPad, wallet, and sunglasses in the non padded area without looking or feeling to huge to carry out and about.  Super flexible!

Happy sewing and I’d love to hear if anyone gives it a go :)



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