• Sara Orme

A drink with Sara Orme Interview

A Drink With…Sara Orme | Naturally Spirited 22/09/11 10:12 PM



By Amanda / September 14, 2011 / Features, New Zealand


You will honestly be hard pressed to find a more gorgeous, caring, and Naturally Spirited woman then

photographer Sara Orme, she’s the kind of person you meet and immediately want to be best friends with.

And guess what she’s also incredibly talented! We caught up with Sara for a quick chat about starting out,

her favorite images and her favorite haunts in Auckland, check it out below.


For those who don’t know much about you, can you tell us a little about your background?

I’m a photographer, a wife and a mother of 2 amazing boys, Sam and Ollie. I studied Art history, Sociology and then later, Photography. I have worked as a documentary and advertising photographer, dabbling in a bit of fashion along the way since the 90’s and now as my boys have grown up I am finding myself re emerging and reinventing myself as a fashion photographer. I am also continuing with my personal documentary and portrait work in any spare time that I may have.


What does being Naturally Spirited mean to you?

It’s hard to know where to begin!…Tasting life everyday! Living the now. This is it…life today…. there is no

great thing that is going to happen later on. This IS it! Feeling fearless of people and places. Maintaining a slight rebelliousness. Feeling free from rules and expectations. Saying yes to as many things as possible and being open to anything that comes my way. Being inspired by my dog who knows how to live and feel total joy at almost anything that comes her way for that moment, to let the wind sweep through her fur, and bask in the late afternoon sun…loving the moment. Keeping my spirit alive by not being afraid of change.


Who were your female role models growing up?

It’s just not possible to get away from this one, clichéd as it is but it would have to be my Grandmother and my Mother…. they were both slightly rebellious! They broke lots of rules in their time and were never afraid to follow their intuition. For my mother this meant single parenting and working as a teacher in the 70’s when this was not the norm. She was able to provide well for us as well as ensuring we enjoyed a lot of beautiful experiences in life. My mother was very creative in her own right and this was nurtured in me.

And then there was Madonna!!! She was there at the start of my young adult life. She was one of the first of my generation to own her sexuality and not be afraid. She also had this extraordinary ability to change as she moved through life.


How did you get started in photography?

I grew up in a creative environment with a mother who was an art teacher. Visual arts was always in my

vocabulary. My best childhood friend, Kitty and I were obsessed with photography , beautiful clothes and

beautiful places. 1970’s photographer, David Hamilton was our inspiration at that time. We would spend

days preparing amazing scenarios and then would photograph each other…no wonder I still love

photographing fashion. It’s such an amazing , indulgent fantasy. Later in life I studied photography and

then followed my passion from then on in.


Any advice for young photographers?

Love what you do. Try and draw on your life experiences as your inspiration and allow yourself to think

intuitively. Don’t get too bogged down if you don’t have the latest cameras, tripods, lights computers

e.t.c…..not all great photographers work this way.


What are your favorite memories/stories from shoots you have been on?

Interestingly it’s the disaster stories that spring to mind first . They seem crazily funny now but were

probably really stressful and far from funny at the time. They’re a constant reminder of realizing that life

goes on and those problems are nothing in the grand scheme of things. There are of course lots of great

memories and it is actually quite hard to isolate just a few. It’s the people and teams I worked with who are the most memorable. To me all my photo shoots should be an experience no matter how small or big they are. I always love to have good food, good music, good company and wicked treats on my shoots as this epitomizes the good things in life.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Extending beyond commercial photography and focusing more on my personal work. I want to work more

on the social documentary projects I have already started and continue researching and writing for them.


Can you provide your top 3-5 images you have taken in your career and the reasons why

they are your favorite?


This was the hardest part for me…selecting only 5 favorite images! Every year presents me with favorite

shots but there are a few that stirs up memory. I have picked these images not necessarily as the top images of my photographic career but they are images that are of importance to me now both visually as well as personally.


From : ‘This is not the red carpet’

This is from a story I did while I was a student of photography back in the 90’s. It’s about the events

surrounding the Cannes film festival and there was a sort of patheticness as the girls made themselves so

available for these men who were quite gross and posing as ‘photographers’. I was the only woman there

and had to become fearless as I threw the lens back onto them.




Rangi and her horse : Te Teko

I have been shooting here in Te teko for a few years now. It is part of an on-going personal project. Rangi

epitomizes Freedom in one sense. There is a lot of hardship in this community and a lot of missed

opportunities but there is also a great joy from the people who live here. They know how to enjoy the

moment when it is presented. This horse was Rangi’s great love.




Sofia and Jordan One of my mottos is to never cancel a shoot. Through torrential rain and freezing cold air I was able to convince my girls that this could be extreme fun. Freedom for me is never stopping at anything whatever

the natural elements throw at us. I love never quite knowing what the day is going to bring when I shoot.



Lili and Kitty:

This is part of an on going project for 2011 called ‘Freedom’ in collaboration with Courtney Sanders. It has become quite autobiographical and personal for me. It’s about a whole lot of things but personally it allows me to unleash myself and for me these shoots become quite innate. Kitty and Lily are more than just

models for this shoot they are very part part of the Freedom journey.



Sopfia: Just feel it




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Lili in my spirit:

You can check out more of her incredible photographs here.

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