After 15 years spent wandering the world, living in countries as diverse as Turkey, Belgium, the UK & Italy, I’m home and starting over in New Zealand.
Home, and full of the energy and excitement that comes with returning to the people and landscapes I love.
Home to a people who speak the same language, right down to the vowel ‘mispronunciation’ that made sure I was noticed where ever I wandered. I have been mocked all over the world, had a Belgian husband interpret my English for non-English speakers and Italians who, in exasperation, told me to ‘speak #%!! English! Making me laugh because there was so much affection there in their outrageous demand.
I returned to New Zealand from a life lived in Genova, Italy, and I’m still missing the depth and texture of that 2,000 year old city that I love more than any other.
But it’s good to be home.
I’m living with Dad. He has a little bit of Alzheimer’s, so I’m keeping him company and helping him out. Friday night is our new RSA night (Returned Servicemens Club), and I get to join him at the Kiwi Blokes table, here in smallish town, NZ.
I’m a photographer, specialising in people and portraits. Events. And photography workshops for women. One-on-one or small group workshops. I teach as I learned, hands-on, repeating it till you understand, no shaming if it takes time :-)
I love photographing pets but I’m up for almost any challenge … so just ask me.
Past clients include New Zealand film director, Peter Jackson. The NZ Defence Forces, the British Army too. I’ve taken 1,000s of photographs out on Flanders Fields, Belgium. I had a photography exhibition based there, and I’ve covered all kinds of WWI commemorations.
I have client comments below, and you can explore my galleries if wanting to view some of my work.
Client Praise …
Photography workshop clients: My passion is all about working with women and introducing them to the way that their cameras work but more importantly, inviting them to understand and own their unique ways of seeing and capturing the world.
I strongly believe that there is no right or wrong in photography. There is simply your way of seeing. And once you discover it, this new sense or instinct, then the world simply opens up to you in a new way.
Not only has Di changed my perception of the city I have called home for the past six years, she has also taken me beyond my own limits as a photographer. She has inspired me to stop living my entire life on the default settings I have grown so comfortable with. By pushing a camera to its limits and learning how to manipulate the manual settings, I, for the first time in my life, realized how much potential I was wasting by always deferring to my default auto setting.
WOW!!!! Three days later and I am still buzzing from Di’s photography workshop. Learned so much about how to use my camera settings to really get the picture I want. Finally I understand how my camera works and how to get the best out of it. Di has made it so easy. I love the way she is able to explain the technical terms in an easy to understand manner and quickly takes you on to practice the learned. Her workbook is proving to be such a valuable resource to go back to again and again. Thank you Di for a wonderful day of learning, discovering and taking my passion to the next level. Ellen Carlson
Photography has swept me up and into a life full of the most marvelous adventures. I spent 3 months living in Berlin, working as sole photographer for a huge international exhibition.
The curator of Berlin’s TASWIR's exhibition wrote:
Any time I raise anything on stage, I ask Di Mackey to join the project. Her photographic work is magnificent and I love her presence: her portraits are stunning, they expose intimacy, humor, and pensiveness; her photographs capture the space, the movement, human interaction deliciously, in a way that one feels invited to an event long after it disappeared from the public scene.
In all her unobtrusiveness when working with the camera, Di is great fun to hang out with, the artists, scholars, thinkers, curators of our big Berlin exhibition highly appreciated her, and when working together in Cairo, Istanbul, Berlin, or wherever else, I enjoy her kindness, humor, and delightful presence.
I miss her at the time when we are “in between projects.” One of the first things I will do when starting a huge new project is to ask Di Mackey whether she wants to do the photographic work. I hope she will.
Work has taken me to Norway, Spain, England, Berlin, Italy, and Cairo. I have explored Rome, wandered all over France, become familiar with Paris and Amsterdam, played in Naples, returned to Istanbul to take a few thousand new photographs, and finally got to explore tiny parts of England and Ireland. I even returned to America almost 20 years after my first visit. I spent 6 weeks working in Rarotonga too.
I call Di when I needed some pictures of me and my interiors for my business. I have always considered myself to be good at taking pictures and to have a good artistic “eye” so I first tried to do everything myself… with lots of disappointment.
What a difference it makes to work with a professional photographer!
Di’s pictures are not only beautiful; they capture the spirit of a moment or in my case, the essence of a person. I don’t know how she does it: somehow she gets invisible so that you don’t have to pose or to pretend to be different from what you are. Then, she captures your authentic self! The result is that my professional portraits are different from the usual “business pictures”, they are true and vibrant and are exactly what I was imagining.
Francesca Puccio - Director at STANDING RENOVATION
What I really got out of our time together is a deeper relationship with my camera - in the past I think I've always considered my good shots to be lucky shots and haven't felt like I had much control over the outcome. Our time together, learning how to play with the ISO, exposure compensation and using bracketing (often heard about but never knew what it was) has meant that I'm taking photos that, when I look at them, my first thought isn't 'oh I'll fix that in Lightroom'. They are rich and colorful.
Diny Naus, Early Childhood Learning Support Coordinator, Hong Kong.
To give you an idea of how some of my work and I are perceived, I'll leave you with the words that others have written of me because, in the end, that is the simplest way ...
The disk arrived 4 days ago and I still can’t get my head around the amazing amount of information, details, memories and emotion that you have captured and generated! The pictures are simply amazing, you have an exquisite gift for creating such intimate portraits that are completely natural and utterly captivating. I cannot thank you enough for the photos that have formed such a critical record of what really was one of the highlights of my life.
Garry Brown, MD and Parent, Seraphim Choir Tour, Belgium
Working with Di is a pleasure from start to finish. Her love of people and passion for art and communication translates to an experience where those in front of the camera are as relaxed and happy with the photography process and results as the one behind it.
Veronica McCabe Deschambault, Freelance Writer/Communications Professional.
I am an opera singer and an amateur photographer. I have been surrounded by photographers (both amateur and professional) for most of my life and I can say, without any hesitation, that Di is the best photographer I've worked with.
Di is professional and friendly throughout the whole process. A wonderful human being who is truly interested in her subjects and what they are about. She uses that knowledge to inspire and inform her photography.
Di's photos are just plain wonderful. Beautiful. Alive. Truly capturing the moment (I know it's cliché, but in her case, it's true). Her photographer's eye is just... incredible. Wonderful. Awe inspiring. How she see things that we witness only in passing and captures it to its fullest depth is astounding.
I give her my highest recommendation. Period. She is superlative.
Peter Gage Furlong, Tenor.
Di è riuscita a catturare in un paio d'ore tutto quello che rende ciascuno di noi unico e speciale. Con la sua presenza discreta e tanta naturalezza ci ha messo subito a nostro agio e la sessione fotografica è stata un'esperienza piacevole e divertente anche per i bambini. E che dire del risultato? Decisamente al di sopra di ogni aspettativa: foto bellissime, originali, divertenti, commoventi e tanto, tanto speciali.
Paola Ottonello, Client, Italy.
Stunning is the word I've been thinking when I saw what she did. The way she is capturing details, moods, the vibes of the moment. A very talented lady. And discreet too when working, good listener and good observer and very prompt to finish the job too. So what more can one want?
Fort impressionée par le résultat de son travail et la façon dont elle le réalise, très recommandable.
Heel professioneel, afgewerkt, haar foto's vertellen een verhaal. Indrukwekkend, keer op keer.
Dominique, Author and Historian, Belgium.
The photography lessons fluidly led from detailed descriptions to anecdotes and to stories of Genova. Somehow I think I’ll always think of Genova and my new friends when I use my camera now, and I like that very much. While my Nikon D3200 hadn’t really budged from the automatic setting in the last year since I bought it, Di helped me break out and feel confident shooting in Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes.
At first, it all seemed a blur of ISO, F-stops and trying to sort out what aperture numbers really meant. But by Sunday afternoon something happened. We were taking photos of the fountain in Piazza de Ferrari and it all came together. Suddenly I could control the settings on my camera to make the spouts of water long and smooth or stop the action where it felt you could see the drops of water. Just by turning a dial. And it worked. And it made sense. Helen was sitting serenely on the side of the fountain and can attest to the fact that I resisted jumping up and down again. But just barely. My camera, I am pleased to say, has only been back to the Automatic setting a few times since I’ve returned. I’ve still got so much to learn, but after only a weekend with Di I feel like I am on my way.
Laura Thayer, from Ciao Amalfi.
Before we met in Genoa for a weekend's photography course, Di sent me a workbook with exercises. I thought that was very helpful. I learned a lot about the functions of the camera and after studying it I understood much better how I can learn to take better pics. During the practical session in Genoa, we took tons of photos and analysed them afterwards. I got over my fear of technology!
Outi Maattanen, Journalist/Writer.
... and the number of times I had the instruction book out could have been embarrassing but it wasn’t. It was FUN, huge fun, I got to fiddle about with f-stops, and shutter speeds, depth of field, and ISO it was like remembering a lost language.
The main thing I discovered with A New Way of Seeing is that I have so much more to learn. That photography is an integral part of my language and it’s one I love sharing with you.
Lisa Chiodo, from Renovating Italy
I had the privilege of joining a Di Mackey photography group workshop for the day on a Sunday. I needed insight and guidance to get me through a ‘wall’ that I had found a little impenetrable between my camera and myself.
Frustrated with photos that didn’t turn out to be what ‘I saw’ and envisaged, I needed to learn about the basics of my camera.
Di took me individually from the point of using my own camera . Covering make and style perspective, she sourced the information for me that she knew I would need and I had a most rewarding day learning about shutter speeds, using aperture and investigating what style of photography I was individually drawn towards . She balanced and blended time well between all in the group.
It was a rewarding day for me of tips and techniques that immediately lifted my photos to a level I am now working on with enthusiasm and delight.
Thank you for a wonderful day of information,, new connections with a common interest, a delicious lunch and wander through that has opened me to kindle and connect with a passion my journey and stories from hereon through.
Lynette Day, Brussels.
Di was able to explain the finer points of photography in a way I could understand and apply. Di supported me in applying my new skills and we critiqued the results together, discussing why the photo looked as it did and what I might do to improve this.
Julie Madgwick, Jules Hikoi.
Compelling, engaging, vibrant, sensual...Di's ability to translate a sense of person and of place through her photography is remarkable. Her images permeate the beholder and have this way of coming to feel like old friends when you revisit them (which you will). That is quite difficult to do in this age when everyone with an iPhone fancies themselves a photographer. But one has only to view the world through Di's eye to know that she is the real deal.