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Stephanie Cartwright


How would you describe what you do?

Storytelling through photos.

What was your most recent project?

Interviewing, photographing and a live review for The Black Seeds recent Christchurch show for a music blog called Backseat Mafia.

What project have you worked on that you’re the most proud of?

My overall journey into photography I think. My father gave me his Nikon camera as he was dying of cancer and I promised to learn to use it. I attended Hagley night school and have since jumped on board to learn/experiment and experience any opportunity I could. He was a musician so I naturally gravitated towards live music photography and was lucky to be offered a regular gig photographing The Spaced out Sessions at Grater Goods for 212 Music over 2020/2021 which was fantastic. That year allowed me to grow in skill and pride in what I do.

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

Time and connection. Time to regulate, get out of survival mode and get into that magic zone of creative flow, time to collaborate and be inspired by other creatives.

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

The unique and creative new places popping up post rebuild. Despite several collectively traumatic events, Christchurch always seems to remain optimistic and resilient.

 What piece of advice about your creative work has served you well?

Don’t overthink or over set expectations, just trust your eye and your ability.

What’s the biggest misconception about your creative work?

That anyone with a good camera can be a photographer.

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

There are several that come to mind and deserve more recognition for sharing their incredible talent despite the lack of recognition and remuneration they deserve. Top 3 favourite musical artists would be Mark Vanilau, Deep Water Creek and Terrible Sons.

What artwork/piece of music/performance has taken your breath away?

Mark Vanilau, Mara TK and Troy Kingi at Blue Smoke 2018(ish), the most moving performance I’ve experienced. The harmonies were other worldly.

What do you wish you’d have known about creative work when you were younger?

To believe in myself enough to pursue my passions. 

What’s your favourite hidden secret in Ōtautahi?

Not so hidden but I love the creative hub that Lyttelton is, so many great live performances, artists and surprises pop up from there.

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