Nov 242014
 
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Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Nicki Mora, I’m married to Tim and have 3 awesome grown-up kids. For the last 30 years I have been involved in working with young people, the last 16 of those have been spent running a youth programme here in Greymouth. Six or seven years ago I picked up a camera and have not been able to put it down since. I am passionate about nature photography, but I’m also exploring landscapes and the more outside the box creative side to me.
For me photography is so much more than just the process of taking a great image. For me it encompasses the joy you feel when you are in just the right place at the right time, or the first time you see a bird you’ve never seen before. The feeling is electric and I’m sure all of us have had those moments where our hands are shaking as we seek to just get that image before the moment is gone. For me photography is also a place of peace. In moments when life gets stressful or I feel worried or anxious, I pick up my camera and out I go, and within seconds of focusing on something beautiful through that lense, I feel the anxiety disappear and I feel at peace. I have also had the privilege of making some incredible friends through my photography, friendships I will treasure forever.
Photography is also the art of making memories. Every image I take has a memory attached to it, it might be joy and excitement, or peace, or being in a beautiful place with people I love, or moments when a crazy cool idea comes to mind and I just have to give it a go.
The image I have chosen to share with you has very powerful and precious memories for me…
A few years back now our community faced a terrible tragedy. We are an incredibly tight and close knit community and we all felt the weight of this time. It was as if time stood still and normal life stopped. It was as if we all held our breath. I guess many of you will know exactly how that feels. So I found myself out most days with my camera, seeking the peace it brings me, helping to remind me that the world is still a beautiful place.
One of these days were spent at local lake with family. It was a beautiful day and an incredibly peaceful place. As I walked along the lakeside I noticed a Welcome Swallow fly down and land beside me. I had always wanted to get an image of a Welcome Swallow, but they move so fast and are incredibly difficult to photograph. I definitely had the shaky hands as I tried to swiftly change lenses. Sadly I wasn’t quick enough and he flew off. I was gutted of course, but the next thing I knew, there he was again. This time I noticed he was gathering mud and he was not alone.
So I changed lenses and found a suitable spot on the grass by the lakes edge and for over an hour I snapped away as they landed and filled their beaks with mud and grasses. This hour was nothing short of a gift for a weary soul and an anxious mind. It transported me to a different place, if that makes any sense at all. I will always treasure that hour and the images I took.
Photography truly is a gift on so many levels. It teaches us to look for the beauty all around us, everyday. It brings peace and joy beyond words, and it records memories of times shared with those we love.
Sometimes we can get distracted with perfection, looking at our images and judging them against all the rules. For some of us we might find ourselves asking how a judge would see them. For me my motto is…. “Love the images you take and remember the joy you got taking them” remember they are a gift. So I will leave you with those words.
A big thank you for letting my share these thoughts and this special moment with you all.

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