At Home & Work with: Naomi Haussman


Everyone, meet Naomi Haussman. Naomi, this is everyone.

Naomi is a Christchurch-based photographer who captures light and mood and meaning for a living. Lucky. Actually not lucky – relentless. She picked up a camera in high school, and now, over 10 years later (including 3 years travelling the world with an Aid Organisation as a documentary photographer), she’s built her own freelance business and honed her craft through the sheer passion she has for it. One of her largest clients is Neat Places, who have sent her all over the country in recent years to shoot some of New Zealand’s best destinations for shopping, dining and arts and culture. Along the way, she’s also capturing people, products and places for other clients, and fitting in her own photographic ‘experiments’, side projects and a few weddings, too.

Morning coffee with flattiesWinston the Persian. Such a regal name, Winston.

Corners of Nay’s home


My morning routine looks a little like this:
Mornings are usually pretty mellow unless I have a shoot early. Get up around 7/8am – I’m someone who likes to wake up and lie in bed for at least 30mins to gather thoughts and do a run through of the day before facing the world. Normally will have a coffee with the flatmates, we are all self employed so we usually have breakfast around the same time which is nice.

We have recently moved into a beautiful new build, its amazingly warm over winter and also is predominantly made of untreated wood and aesthetically is a bit of dream so I have been able to double up using this as a studio, if I am doing product shoots I will stay home and do that first. 

If I don’t have a shoot on in the morning, I will head to a cafe and down a couple more long blacks then check emails before heading into the office for a day of editing.

Morning musts at Supreme Supreme

Naomi works from The Collect – Christchurch’s shared creative office space

For work this week, I….
I am working on a creative project for a magazine and am fighting a creative block so spending a lot of time mulling over photos and trying to pick which ones I want and what I need to reshoot/discard.

I have a day of shooting out in Waipara at one of my favourite wineries, Black Estate, its truffle season and a company I work for – Neat Places – are doing a guide to the best places for truffles.

Product shot for new healing oil skincare brand, Tahi

Truffle honey

For work this week, I….
I am working on a creative project for a magazine and am fighting a creative block so spending a lot of time mulling over photos and trying to pick which ones I want and what I need to reshoot/discard.

 I have a day of shooting out in Waipara at one of my favourite wineries, Black Estate, its truffle season and a company I work for – Neat Places – are doing a guide to the best places for truffles.

For the rest of the week I’ll spend time in the office editing and planning for next week’s shoots…and of course attempting to get all my admin done….the Never Ending Admin.

The highlight of the past week was…
Probably spending time shooting in the Port Hills. During winter they are all misty and magical and having a good reason to get out amongst the beauty on a chilly day is really awesome.

Those misty Port Hills

Portrait shot for NZ musician Nick Dow

A challenge/frustration I’ve been dealing with is:
The aforementioned creative block and the never ending battle of time management. I think one of the hardest things for me is translating my vision well, especially when there is a time restraint and when it’s being produced for someone else. It’s easier to capture what someone else has created than it is to communicate your own vision. For me it’s a very vulnerable thing to do and so I end up questioning my choices a lot.

Something I’ve learned recently is…
How much people around me believe in what I’m doing and how much they want to support me.

Part of an editorial Naomi is working on for Flint & Steel magazine

Recently, I’ve been…

Listening to:
A lot of Solange with a hint of D’Angelo, Aldous Harding and a rediscovery of Kimbra

I’m the classic multiple book reader, currently getting through Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography and also mulling over a book called ‘First we make the Beast Beautiful’. It’s about anxiety and rethinking it. Its cover is beautifully done.

Looking forward to:
A trip I am doing in August with a bunch of ladies to Milford Sounds. I always need good trip away to refresh / rethink / gain perspective and read a lot of books and have a lot of laughs. Especially in beautiful places that I can take snaps in with zero agenda.

Going to Kaikoura for the day to check out some of the awesome places that have opened there. Kaiks is one of those places that has a special place in my heart, probably because it delivers mountains and ocean all in one backdrop.

Wanting to Buy:
A new camera body and a new lens. New glass is always exciting to shoot through and currently I have a very small selection. Whilst I am a big believer in becoming good at your craft with whatever you have, I am due for a wee upgrade.

Its pretty hard to go past the truffles at Black Estate, I’m also a sucker for gnocchi and they do a damn good job of it – not to mention their wines – I just tried their chardonnay and for someone who is not normally a fan of white wine , this was a treat.

Black Estate organic winery – shot by Naomi for her Neat Places

If you’d like to hire Naomi to shoot your product or place (or person),
you can check out her portfolio here

Follow Naomi on Instagram here





At Home + Work With: Renee Boyd

When I think of the contemporary New Zealand ceramics scene, one of the first names I think of is Renee Boyd. She’s actually been a potter for over 10 years, having worked at various commercial product ceramic studios (and under a number of NZ ceramic legends) honing her craft before slowly making the move to running her own studio full time. Working from home in Auckland’s Glen Eden, Renee makes everything from tableware, to planters and sculptural pieces. She produces for retailers around the country and her own customers, and works on commissioned pieces too.

How did you first get into ceramics?

My early exploration of ceramics was when I was at high school. I met a really great friend Acushla and her dad John Green was a real life potter living in the bush at Anawhata Beach (one of the far West Coast beaches). We would spend every weekend driving out there in our old beat up cars to just hang out at their place, surrounded by all of his pottery and friends drinking endless cups of tea made in beautiful hand thrown teapots.  It was there I just soaked up the atmosphere and was given the chance to have a go myself, and thats when I started to become hooked on clay. The generosity and kindness from all the people and potters I met out there sealed my love for clay, I was just a teenager but really enjoyed learning what I could from all the artists and oldies about clay and also pretty much life in general.

How do you find working for yourself, by yourself?

I have been working full time for a while and I’m fortunate that I can work the hours I like, so I try and manage my time as effectively as possible, trying not to have too many late working nights. I used to work quite long hours… but I’m slowly learning the art of work/life balance; it’s certainly not easy! And because I love what I do it doesn’t feel like work mode to me.  I actually find hanging out in my studio by myself very relaxing.

Tell us a little about your creative process?

I always have ideas going on. Pottery has endless possibilities so I will always be occupied with things I could make!  I scribble a lot of ideas on paper first and then cut out shapes to experiment with where I’m going with the pieces.  I always love ceramics before it is fired in a kiln. Just after its been glazed and drying. There is something about the matt tactile-ness of the forms before they are glazed that appeals to me the most. I have spent many years experimenting with my own glazes to achieve this look in the final glaze.

What’s been some of the work highlights of the past year?

One of the highlights has been part of the mug mates subscription founded by Wundaire . It is a great idea and has really been loved by the makers and the collectors. It’s made me do more time on the wheel which is so good for getting the practice in – working on the wheel is something that is all about putting the time in.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m just in the process of making my own full dinner set for me to use. I can’t wait till I finally finish it and then can add it to the everyday use cupboard. I use my bowls all the time and am super stoked when I see my little boy Jed (6) grab one of my bowls for his breakfast over the commercial ones. Success!

I have a cupboard in my kitchen where I hold all the pottery over the years that I treasure and I’m always slowly adding to it. These are the pieces that I don’t use everyday as I’m too scared to break any as they can never be replaced.

Where do you think the current love for ceramics comes from?

I’m into making work that is minimalist and thoughtful, and allows people to fall in love with the tactile qualities of clay and glaze so that when they buy a piece its for life. And I personally feel so attached to pieces that I have bought from friends etc over the years that I’m sure it all begins and ends with hands, from the hands of the maker to the hands of the end user.

At the moment there is another wave of people loving handmade pieces and work that actually has some thoughtful design behind it which is awesome. And the support out there for New Zealand made is lovely, as it also pushes the maker into always trying to get the best they can from the piece they are working with… pieces that last a lifetime are the real deal.

The carport at Renee’s house has been converted into a light-filled home studio

You know I couldn’t resist a shot just of little old man Murray. Good boy, Murray.

Renee finishes these mugs with either a white, black, soft pink or sage green glaze

…and pretty things all in a row.
(I’m going to have to buy one of those speckled planters, you know that don’t you.)

We LOVE love love Renee’s ceramic wall hooks. 

Renee Boyd ceramics are available online from Renee’s own website, and from
NZ homeware stores Sunday, Paper Plane Store, and Blackbird Goods, amongst others.


Imagery captured by Auckland freelance photographer
Michelle Weir for The New



At Home and Work with… Penney + Bennett

Loren, and Sarah

 Testing out their own range of sleepwear (which is coming soon)


Choosing materials for an upcoming (secret squirrel) project


Tweaking details for their upcoming display at Auckland’s INEX (interior design exhibition)

Lunch stop at little vietnamese joint, Try It Out – the girls often order this in if they’re working late
(Try It Out? Best English-as-second-language name ever! How good does this look?) 


Back in the studio – time for some emails and phone calls (Oh, and a baben portrait)


Planning the roll-out of the new collection 
Wrapping and boxing orders for retailers and customers
Refining patterns for linen house slippers – coming soon!
Penney and Bennett art prints have hand-applied gold leaf
Penney and Bennett sleepwear – coming very, very soon…
End of the day – bread, red wine, good cheese – that’s all the food groups.

Sarah Carson and Loren Marks first met at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, where they collaborated on a few projects that combined their varying fine art practises. They found a shared passion for homeware, fabrics and furnishing, and during breaks between lectures they’d go to cafes and drink tea and talk about how they could turn their designs into beautiful textiles. After graduating, they each went into the workforce for a year, but kept meeting up for those chats over tea. The informal cuppas soon turned into more serious meetings on evenings and weekends, as they began to design and develop what would become Penney and Bennett.

Today, Sarah and Loren are both 26 and Penney and Bennett is almost three! And they’re about to launch their third collection, Guardian. Inspired by New Zealand’s native forest, it’s a moody, botanic direction, with a palette of deep greens and autumn shades.

Each surface pattern is created using a media mix of photography, painting and digital design, then printed onto metres of beautiful quality linen, cotton and silk, and transformed into cushions, pillowslips and bed linen, throws and more. Their range also includes table linen and large scale art prints.

Sarah and Loren live at opposite ends of Auckland, so sometimes before a big work day, they have a sleepover at one of their houses. It’s a chance for them to make the most of the day, starting with some early morning exercise to get the brain humming. (On this day, they went for a walk around Auckland’s Te Atatu Peninsula boardwalk). Days are spent getting orders of their dreamy printed textiles out to their customers and an expanding fam of retailers, and developing new collection prints and new products. Specifically, on the day Jonny visited them, Sarah and Loren were choosing materials for a whole new product line, checking the progress of their display stand for an interior design expo (INEX – happening in Auckland later this month), testing a new pattern for their linen house slippers, and finalising details of their new sleepwear range – a full range of pyjamas, which will come in plain linen, organic cotton and printed cotton.

Watch out for their new 2017 collection of cushions and throws, Guardian, in-stores very soon.
Explore the Penney and Bennett catalogue here:


Thank you Jonny!
Follow Jonny’s Narrative of Love Instagram here.


Design Diary – Wellington Photographer Meg Wyper

I’m looking forward to bringing you a bunch of these Diaries going forward, as a look into the lives of all sorts of New Zealand creatives.

Today’s the turn of 31 year old Meg Wyper, Wellington-based photographer, stylist and coffee roaster. Meg lives with her husband Mark and baby girl Eilidh in Karori, Wellington. As well as being one of our amazing contributing photographers, Meg has her own lifestyle blog Meg and Lou, where she shares recipes, DIYs and more all in her quietly relaxing, atmospheric style – go check it out! (Oh, and if you’d like some lifestyle imagery for your brand, your product or just to record a moment or milestone in your life for posterity – you should definitely get in touch with Meg.)

Meg and Mark’s garden and greenhouse is a big part of their lives

Corners of the Wyper home (thanks for having us, Meg)

Little Eilidh – turning the big 1 next month
Meg loves her coffee and is a professional coffee roaster (for Wellington’s Flight Coffee)
Natural lemon cleanser – there’ll be a How To for this coming up on Meg & Lou
 Lemon, honey and rosemary cordial – Meg’s going to put this recipe up on her blog for you also
Silverbeet and pear coleslaw – recipe will also be up on Meg’s lifestyle blog for you
One of the first things I did this morning was… My daughter Eilidh was very impatient this morning and demanded to be fed, she felt that waiting for me to get sorted was much too difficult. Once she was attached, Mark brought me a cup of coffee and all was right again.
For work today, I… I work part time for Flight Coffee as a coffee roaster and professional coffee drinker, today was a non-Flight Coffee day so Eilidh and spent the day hanging out. We wandered the neighbourhood and foraged a little, went to the park for a swing and dug about in the veggie garden – well she ate grass and I dug. While she napped, I edited a recent photo shoot I’ve done for a client, worked on a story I’m writing for the blog, planned the next month and started thinking about the March calendar page. Yup March (insert surprised emoji face here).


The highlight of today was… Walking in on Eilidh standing up leaning on the edge of her cot asleep. It was both amusing and cute. Secondly; A shoot and recipe came together perfectly, I love it when a plan comes together!


A challenge/frustration in my day was: I’ve been thinking about a new sewing project for ages. I’d finally gotten around to getting everything together, I’d taken a couple of set up and progress shots and then, in the end, it didn’t really work. I’m a very basic sewer so I don’t think I quite had the skills to pull this one off, well, not yet anyway. Watch this space…


Today, I learned:  How supportive social media can be, it gets such a bad rap sometimes, but I recently I’ve met some really amazing creatives. Being self-taught can be a bit tough sometimes as I find myself in ruts quite frequently – so I’m hoping that a wee trade swap (I’ve recently set up) will keep me out of the ruts I find myself in.


The tastiest thing I ate/drank today was: Warm croissants dipped in this morning’s second cup of coffee.


If I could, I would … every day
Plan my days a little better, my days always start with a plan but I get to about 4pm and realise that I haven’t done nearly as much work as I would have liked. I then sit up late at night and swear that I will try harder the following day. It’s a vicious cycle. If Eilidh was still going through her ‘napping is for losers phase’ I’d be going crazy. Nap time is work time! One day I will be a superstar-planning-follow-througher! And… shoot on film, which was my preferred medium when I lived in the UK but have you seen how much it costs here?! Now it’s only a special occasions thing.
Meg & Lou portfolio   /   lifestyle blog   /   Meg’s Instagram

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