20 Women I have photographed over the last 9 years (not models)

Now there are definitely more Women whom I would like to add to this blog post that I haven't featured I've only dug through 2 of my hard-drives so far there will most likely be a second one of these blog posts.


Now I know I talk alot about my Muses and my Models - yes there important and they inspire and help me but so do ALL THE OTHER WOMEN whom I have had the privilege of getting to know and photograph that aren't models.


I hate the term real Women - because we are all Women regardless of our age - shape and ethnicity.

I meet Women from all walks of life, you may know some of these Women as your Childs school teacher,

your Hairdresser, your Checkout girl, your Mums best friend, she could be your Sister, Your Aunty, Your Nana

Every Women featured  here has left an imprint on my heart and mind in someway and I can't tell you how thankful you I am to all of you.


Thankyou  for sharing all of your Story's, your Journeys, your Life Experiences, Your Triumphs, Your Heart-breaks...


Your Fears, all the good stuff and all the bad stuff... thank-you for trusting me - for sharing with me - for welcoming me into your homes.


Thank-you for supporting me - inspiring me and thank-you for being you.


There is no-one in the world like you and you are a LIMITED EDITION BABY.


I hope you never forget that!!!!


There is nothing I LOVE more than seeing a Women that's starts giving back to themselves. Self-love its a journey for sure but one

we should all pursue. Z's is bright and bubbly and I loved her willingness to give everything ago even in the rain :)


I really loved how PROUD Wina is of herself and her family. The  story she shared with me about her Korowai was so special. Shes incredibly real - authentic and honest. I LOVE me a Women like that. Her name rhymes with mine we joked about that.


I met Paula in 2012. I booked her to take photos of me and my then bf now husband I loved her straight away as soon as she started to talk 'dirty' to us - you had to be there. A few years later Paula is one of my best-friends. I can't say enough good things about her. She is not afraid of hard work and pursuing her goals. If she tells me she is going to do something even if its crazy I know she will. I love you PAULA.


The most important thing to Carol is her FAMILY. She has rock solid values and a heart of fucking gold. We worked together for 15 years. She has all-ways supported my dreams and aspirations of being a full time photographer. I miss her dearly. I loved her Wit and Sense of Humor. She is like my adopted Aunty. Everyone needs Carol in their life. I LOVE YOU CAROL.


When I met Robyn we sat in my kitchen and drank coffee and soon lost about 3 hours talking. I learnt so much about her and so much from her during that time. She has re-in-forced for me how important it is embrace and celebrate (US) as we grow older - 30S/40S/50S/60S - we are beautiful at every stage of our life. I also really loved how spiritual she is. I feel like am too. I still have my gift Robyn I charge it up in the full moon. Thank-you Robyn X


We all get thrown obstacles and challenges in life and I admire Tracey for the

way she has chosen to deal with those things. I also LOVE what an AMAZING MOTHER she is - this photo is from a session she gifted to herself and her daughter. You keep shining your light gf. x Awhina


Nadia like many Women is a Women who all-ways puts her family's needs before her own. She is incredibly self-less. Her sister booked her this session

as a Christmas present. I LOVED seeing her go through this experience and doing something for herself. When was the last time you got to feel feminine and beautiful? Or the last time you had your make-up and hair done? Your a delicious Women Nadia don't you ever forget that! She reminds me that sometimes we need a little push or encouragement and that's ok.


I have this saying about my sessions and the weather. I truly believe you will be given the weather you need for your session. It literally poured down during Michelles photo-shoot. It was wonderful to see her let go and embrace it it all - she needed it. We all need a cleansing sometimes and time to create a deeper connection to ourselves. Nature gives us that.


Linda. Where do I start. Some people just throw out happy and good

vibes to those around them. Linda is so in-tune with herself and the universe.

She teaches yoga. At the time I was having back trouble and she gave me

some exercises to do. That was so nice... I loved all her story's of her travels.

She is just a fabulous Women with a great heart and personality! I want to be a little like her when I grow up. x Awhina


Things I loved about LIZZY. She swore as much as I did. She brazenly peed behind my car with-out giving a damn. I've done that before too lol she has great taste in fashion. She definitely does not let life knock her. She was so much fun and I adore that beautiful big smile of hers.


I first met Kyla at her newly established Salon Halycon (back when they first opened up) I fell in love with their salon its huge and a photographers dream to shoot in. So I booked her and her team and her space for my Wedding she created my Vintage wedding hair... since that we have done a few creative projects together. She has been a great role model for me as a Women in business. She is an Educator, a Leader, a Mother and a Wife an all around amazing compassionate loving Women. I really look up to her! Our favorite session we have done I can't share... ' boudoir in the salon' it was hot! x Awhina

If you need a bomb as hair-dresser



I remember the weekend I photographed Kelly and her best-friends Rachel and Ange they booked a combined 'rock your undies photo-shoot' these Women were so much fun. To make it a short story I went home after their session and told my Aunty about these amazing Women I got to photograph and how I wanted to friend them all... so I did. Kelly loves fashion and art and creating as do I she is a fine art photographer - her self portraits are amazing.. She introduced me to Brown Brothers red wine which is now now my favorite alcoholic drink...I love her attitude and humor she all-ways makes me smile!!! LOVE AWHINA

Kellys photography account



Katherine's daughter gave her a gift voucher for a fine art portrait session with me. Katherine nearly didn't book it in like many Women she was nervous about the experience. After alot of back and forwarding messaging I was able to convince her to come meet me in person so we could talk. Katherine told me her story of how she had recently lost her husband he was a lover of motor-bikes. She is proof that we can still still smile and remember and honor our loved ones. I really admire Katherine. Shes a beautiful

human being. If shes part of your life your pretty lucky. x Awhina


Sheryl is one of my favorite fashionable Women in Invercargill. We often run into each other at the op-shops and then talk for ages because we both love fashion and a thrifty find. I really want to go through her wardrobe...her style is A++++ I adore her and wonderful way of expressing herself and who she is! She is also extremely creative and a dab hand with the sewing machine, she makes all-sorts of wonderful things vintage pinny s and teapot cosies. I can't wait to see Sheryl again. I miss seeing her and her Mum at Checkout :( LOVE AWHINA


Shirley shared with me her culture she welcomed me into her home and treated to me

to the most delicious spiced Indian tea that I have ever tasted. She shared with me her her passion for dance! Her husband also gave me some great business advice which to this day I still remember. I was sad when she moved to Dunedin! I hope yous are doing well if you are reading this its been a few years now xx


I think that everyone that's put them-self in-front of anyone's camera is incredibly brave. I remember the day I met Bernie she had on fabulous boots - she was head to

toe fashion. I loved her straight away. She sat with me and let me show her all my photos the year I photographed the Hokonuis. Thank-you Bernie for sharing yourself and my passion for fashion. You are an incredibly beautifully real and raw Women I love the strength you oooze in these pictures and your ink! I love Women with ink!

xx Awhina


Lis is my height she is a dreamy porcelain 6 foot wonder... her sister gifted her this experience. I love that! This red dress was her own and it fitted it her perfectly I think if I remember rightly its been a few years she found it in Queenstown for a steal of a price. Do you remember the fan-tails that followed us through out the woods...


This session is going back a few years what I love about Mavis sessions was that it re-connected her to the beach a place she had not been to since loosing a loved one. I think it helped her heal a little. She was fierce and so beautiful in my yellow address and I love how she fully embraced the wild weather.


Andrina is a Women who I admire. She is relentless in her pursuit of building her own business Hazel May. She is a wonderful Mum and Wife. She is incredibly hard-working and disciplined. I love talking to her and we can talk for hours...

She made the dress she is wearing. Shes not a model. But I made her model it.

This full series is on the blog list if you want to see more!



Things I love about Melissa. She all-ways gives you a gigantic hug when she sees yous.

She has a great can do attitude and will give pretty much anything a go!!! She has a great sense of humor. I love this photo of her standing in the storm holding herself in such a beautiful manner! If you need your arse whipped into shape after this lock down she is your girl. I might need to do some classes myself!




Debbie booked herself and her daughters in for a fine art portrait session earlier this year. We hit it of as we are both super creative beings! She in an incredible dress maker. I loved talking to her about new photo ideas! Its great when you find someone you can bounce off! She has a great personality and a big heart! I have a feeling we will be talking for a long time xx Awhina



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© 2020 Awhina Russell Fine Art Photographer Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.

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