We have been discussing since yesterday whether to blog this shooting now or later due to the recent terrifying earthquake here in New Zealand. We have been checking with Megan and Jeremy if they are all good since both were supposed to be in Christchurch at this time. We are more than happy that Megan texted us that she is fine as well as Jeremy is back in Oamaru already.
We are very lucky not to be in that region right now. We sat on the centre place of Christchurch next to the cathedral a week ago on a beautiful sunny day. Unbelievable what just happened there yesterday. We are totally thankful that we again haven’t been on a wrong place at the wrong time and we wish that this is not going to change. Our thoughts are with the people in Christchurch. Although we can hardly do anything about the people there at the moment and our life will fortunately continue as well, and so does our work. That’s why we decided to share the story about our recent shooting in Oamaru with you out there and hope you like it as much as we do!
When we arrived in Oamaru the other day we basically didn’t know anything about this place. We came straight down from Christchurch and to be honest we thought we directly head further as we did not know what we could do in Oamaru :-)
While cruising through the old town with our van we saw that the buildings and shops looked very old and original. There was a bakery we stopped to get a coffee and as I (Ingo) walked in there to get us some “eye-opener” Carmen wandered direction the house we just passed to explore this area.
When I came back with two really tasty and well made cappuccinos, I found Carmen right next door gasping for air and trying to direct me into that vintage museum and to show me what’s so special about it. It turned out, that we have just landed right in the heritage old town of Oamaru. A closer look at this area made us almost freaking out. Vintage stores, museums, galleries, vintage wardrobes, vintage textile shops and productions, a library as well as a penny-farthing museum.
This place is a Victorian aged heritage town, or at least this part of Oamaru is. Especially in November, people have a huge festival throughout the town where (almost) everybody gets dressed in Victorian style clothes and thousands of visitors come to town.
For those of you who are a bit like us, in other words not an encyclopedia on feed, Victorian age is named after Queen Victoria (reign 1837 – 1901). It seams that people had a nice time then and a lot of them living in Oamaru try to keep this Victorian era alive. Which is totally interesting and fascinating for us. A few of them don’t just do it once a year but dress up everyday or at least while working in this district.
This being said, Carmen and I went from one shop to the other and could not hold back to shot a lot, some people and lot of props and stores. We so badly wanted to do a shooting but you guess right, if there are not much couples around this area and not too many young people. But then we came into a nice shop with kids/baby cloth and ask the shop girl Megan if she is into doing a shooting with us the next day in this amazing location. It took her almost 2 seconds to be on the ship and as we asked for a boyfriend or male model she immediately said, Jeremy from the Whiskey Store might be in as well.
We fixed the deal with her and spent the next several hours to organize props and to check out the locations in more detail. And here the entire thing about Kiwis literally blew us away.
The Victorian Wardrobe, which is ran by Dawn Sutherland, opens just once a week but we had a number to call. Dawn was super friendly at the phone and she was willing to meet us the next morning.
So we head a little further to a sweet store called “Tiger Lily’s” where Ame and Madeleine where selling Vintage clothes. We introduced ourselves and told them about our plans. Sure we would buy almost half of their store if we would not live out of backpacks but you imagine that they offered us to just look around, see what we need and take it out for the shoot tomorrow! We guess we spent like 3h in that shop and we almost could not decide what to use.
In the little handcraft store next to Tiger Lily’s there sat two elderly woman weaving and drinking tea. They had some amazing stuff as well and as we asked for the old suite cases we had spotted there, they did not hesitate to hand them over for our shoot. One nice beautiful dressed up lady was telling us even, that she had one really big suite case back home from here mother and if we want she could just drive home and get it for us. OMG, we did not even ask for this but it is just priceless how helpful people are. Five minutes later, she came back with even two cases. Both around 100 years old! How great is this?
And believe it or not, this was the way we were treated in Oamaru throughout all days of our stay. There was the bakery, run by a lovely Dutch couple, where Ed, the baker man, was right at our disposal when we came during the shoot to borrow his fantastic old bicycle. It was late, probably at a baker man sleeping time already, but now problem at all for him.
Jonell Johnson, a florist, is another example. We went in her shop to get a bridal bouquet, vintage style of course, but we did not see anything like that in there and we were about to leave. Jonell ask what we were looking for and we showed her a picture on the Iphone we took recently. She replied that she has these flowers back home in her garden and could just drive there and get it for us. Not really? Are you guys all kidding us? Is there a camera hidden somewhere? Unbelievable! An hour later we picked up a wonderful bouquet with even flowers from her neighbor in there to finish it up correctly :-)
Also Dawn from the Victorian wardrobe, as mentioned above, came into town just to show us her wardrobe the next day. We found some really amazing shoes and a wedding dress we could not wait to see Megan in.
We almost forgot Dave. The president of the penny farthing club of Oamaru. He saw us shooting in the street and asked Jeremy, they know each other very well, if he wants to get a wardrobe change and if we need some penny farthings. Damn yeah why not? The stovepipe hat itself is a fascinating piece and the box for it is from 1883!
Sure, there is the candy store, which was closed already. We were so bummed about it but guess what, the woman was still “hiding” behind her counter and reopened the shop for us for a few minutes. Sweet right?
So we met Megan and Jeremy the next day and they as well as we were thrilled about this shoot. We hoped that we can manage all things in our mind and these folks maybe went the whole afternoon like “What are they doing with us?”
Both, Megan and Jeremy, were brilliant together. And as said above they are not a couple. They just work next to each other and don’t know each other for that long. Sure, that’s what we know about them and to be honest, they were so real that we would not wonder if…. well you know what we mean ;-)
However, we had a blast! We shot almost 5 hours and you may believe us if we say, we could have shot at least 3h more, change outfits another 3 times as well as several other locations. We had a long list. It is a wonderful place. A photogs paradies! But at the end of the day, modeling is exhausting too. So we let them “free” after we got a few shots during sunset at the pear.
We were happy that we could invite them for a dinner and beer right after the shooting in the wonderful Loan and Mercantile before we went to ved (van+bed) and slept between crossing “stinky” penguins.
Megan and Jeremy, we again want to thank you very much for your time and patience! We had a superb day with you! Also we want to thank all the super nice and friendly people from Oamaru for there unbelievable and priceless help.
Well and readying is tiring too, so we let you “free” now with some pictures from one of our favorite shootings ever. Have fun!
Cheers from New Zealand
Carmen and Ingo