Stagebox Photography | Blog


Trying to decide between Professional photographer or friend to take your wedding photos?


Can't decide?  Read on


On the one hand there's cost..

on the other there's a lot more than just quality to consider



Does your friend have experience photographing weddings?

Do they know what they have to do?



Does your friend have good enough camera?  preferably 2 cameras?

Do they have good flash to get the reception?



Does your friend know what shots they have to get?

And where they need to be and when?


Does your friend know how to edit your wedding photos after the day?



Is your friend prepared to work all day from 10am to 10pm without a break?



I've done both - professional photographer and friend

we got married twice (yes to the same person) so can tell you from experience

Ballet Collective Aotearoa Subtle Dances

I'm so honoured to have created these hero images with Turid Revfeim, the Artistic Director of Ballet Collective Aotearoa, choreographer Loughlan Prior and dancers Abigail Boyle and William Fitzgerald for BalletCollective Aotearoa's premiere season, Subtle Dances.

I've known all four artists for many years through their careers with Royal New Zealand Ballet and during my career in theatre as CEO at St James Theatre and the Opera House, Wellington, the home of the RNZB and as Director of Tempo Dance Festival, as well as photographer, which makes it an even richer experience.  Turid was both dancer and Ballet Mistress with RNZB for many years.  Abigail and William were Principal dancers with RNZB.  Abigail is now Ballet Mistress with the New Zealand Youth Ballet Company and William is an independent dance artist and designer.  Loughlan was also a dancer with RNZB and is now choreographer in residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Director of Prior Visual and Co Director of Lo|Co Arts with composer Clare Cowen. 

Loughlan and I have also collaborated on photography | choreographer art works, which were exhibited at Across the Bridge Arts Festival 2020 and are represented at the Eade Gallery, Clyde - more on that later.

Subtle Dances is premiering at Auckland Arts Festival on 8 and 9 April 2021 and then at Dunedin Arts Festival on 16 April 2021.


Couldn't be more excited.

Subtle Dances is a programme of new works created by three of New Zealand's leading contemporary ballet choreographers - Cameron McMillan, Loughlan Prior and Sarah Knox.

The BalletCollective Aotearoa is a newly formed project-based dance company and is thrilled to showcase this new choreography by securing some of New Zealand’s leading dancers including Abigail BoyleWilliam Fitzgerald and Medhi Angot, alongside exciting young and emerging New Zealand trained talent. Harnessing the energy and vivacity of ballet dancers here in Aotearoa, the works show our unique creativity, shaped by the country’s isolation and rugged landscape. These three ballets aim to express our openness to new and immersive ideas through our many cultural influences and the innate curiosity of all New Zealanders

The BalletCollective Aotearoa is thrilled to be collaborating with the prodigious NZTrio - Amalia Hall (violin), Ashley Brown (cello) and Somi Kim (piano) - who will perform live John Psathas’ work HelixClaire Cowan’s Subtle Dances (commissioned by NZTrio) and music by Rhian Sheehan, arranged for NZTrio by Ryan Youens.

Witness new homegrown contemporary ballet, performed to live New Zealand music,  finding new ways to explore our uniqueness and how we fit within our everchanging landscape.

Ballet Collective Aotearoa Stagebox Photography 533x355 0127

Wairarapa wedding photographer

What's Trending in 2021?

Check out the Weddings in Wairarapa trend predictions for 2021 with image by yours truly



Stagebox Photography | Blog

Here I am in my happy place - set up ready to photograph the dress rehearsal of Royal New Zealand Ballet's Sleeping Beauty 2020.  Alongside photographer, Stephen A'Court and videographer, Jeremy Brick.

Never thought it would seem so unusual and special to be back in my old home of, the Grand 'Ol Dame, the Opera House Wellington, where I worked for 12 years. But this year has taught us to never take anything for granted!

The season of Royal New Zealand Ballet's Sleeping Beauty is now well underway. It's their last night tonight in Wellie and then they're off on tour Aotearoa New Zealand. Counting our blessings that we have live performances in New Zealand now.

BTW this is a cell phone photo not a Canon 5DIII photo.  Just needed to clarify that in case of doubt haha..

So how does photographing a dress rehearsal for a ballet work? 
Well, you have to be approved by the relevant ballet / dance company and all of your images have to be approved by the Artistic Director before they can be used. 

Stagebox Photography | Blog

I'm absolutely stoked to be running this 'Everyone’s a Photographer Until M (manual)!'  Photography Workshop at Across the Bridge Arts Festival Bannockburn 2020 on

Sunday 4 Oct 2020, 9am – 3pm, Coronation Hall, Hall Road, Bannockburn, Central Otago 
$95 per person

Book here: SOLD OUT


Got a fancy camera that’s still in Auto or Program? Still using your phone because you don’t know how to use your camera? Want to take your photography up a notch and create eye catching or artistic photographs rather than snapshots? This workshop is all about stepping up your photography by understanding and using the manual controls on your camera

Gibbston Valley Lodge wedding

"It only took one simple sentence to reduce this middle-aged scribe to a blubbering mess, “you should get married in New Zealand, I honestly think it’s for the best”."

Can you organise a wedding in 3 weeks? - you sure can!

I got a call from Alan to say that he and his partner wanted to get married at Gibbston Valley Lodge. "Fabulous and congratulations" I said "When?" "In 3 weeks time - can it be done?". "Absolutely - as long as you can get the licence - it can and will be done".
And so followed a busy and exciting 3 weeks of organising paperwork, location, schedule, clothes.

And what a day we had! Following days of cold and snow clouds with more of the same forecast, the sun magically and unexpectedly came out and warmed hearts, bones and smiles. After a seriously comprehensive morning of wine tasting with Gibbston Valley Winemaker, Matt Swirtz, the happy couple said their 'I Do's' on the lawn with Zelia, from Gibbston Valley Lodge and I as witnesses. Then off for a relaxed fun trip round the vineyard, wine cave and local secret spots for romantic photos.

I love an intimate wedding. So personal, so special. Thanks for asking me - I loved every minute.
Venue: Gibbston Valley Lodge
Celebrant: Andrew Bell
Photographer: Celia Walmsley, Stagebox Photography
Gibbston Valley Lodge stars: Zelia Horrell, Andrew

Check out the story by Alan Granville on today's www.Stuff.co.nz


With plans for a wedding in Ireland scuppered by Covid, Alan Granville decides on a new location for his nuptials.
Check out Gibbston Valley Lodge