Best of: 2018

I’m sitting out in my garden in a scorcher of a day as we count down the hours until we witness the last sunset of the year, reflecting on what has been this year. At first glance it’s pretty easy to see the negative and off the bat I would say 2018 was a tough year of no sleep feast to soul destroying famine, with many new challenges as we experience global developments us as freelancers have to adapt to in order to survive and here is to illustrate that creative life isn’t all lollipops and candy canes. Something you ought to learn sooner or later. I experienced the most quiet soul destroying winter of my life. Dead as shit to put it more bluntly. Spent my days chasing work often leading to dead ends or useless exposure tips making me doubt my work (literally so many ‘am I shit’ moments). However I used my winter drought to utilise these exposure tips and turn them for my own benefit, as opportunities to further learn and develop my craft. As the day you stop learning is the day your creativity dies. I look back at that struggle period and I see that it was more valuable than any gig or ‘sick gram’. It forced me to think more and really hustle. In saying this, with only being my second year fully concentrating on this life post uni and surfing a pretty sweet wave of my first year I can’t really say much haha.

What did I say about its really easy to see the negative. A year is made of 12 months, not three, and looking through my 2018 archives made me feel all warm and fuzzy and often a ‘wow i took that? Was that this year?” As a creative and a perfectionist I always point out what I did wrong and just conveniently miss what I actually did right! 2018 was a heap of fun, with so many epic challenges and experiences including being harnessed in with my gear at questionable heights. Highlight of course being the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April this year, which feels like ages ago to be honest, as well as meeting and working with a bunch of new people and exploring many other areas of the world of photography! I also for the first time ever was a finalist at the New Zealand Sports Journalism Awards a few weeks ago! And to just put in perspective, more photo shoots this year than last!

I’m all about keeping it real for you all so here you are! Huge thank you too all of you for the love. I would be nothing without you all! Now I will stop speaking endless amounts of shit and let you have a long scroll through my best of 2018 with a glass of wine. Leesh xo

Best of 2017

2017 was a big year for me. It was my first year out of the study grind, meaning I could 100% focus on... well... earning a living (haha) and focus on my career! From disrupting the Auckland CBD worker's evening commute home by transforming the Britomart Atrium into a Pole Vault Spectacle at Vertical Pursuit 2017 (the encore 2018 edition brought to you by SKYCITY,  Athletics NZ and yours truly is going to be oh so lit on March 18th) to shooting the biggest multi-sports event on the planet on home soil: the World Masters Games.  To capturing you all Just Do It putting on the honourable hat of Head Photographer at Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club here in AKL to literally saying "fuck it" and booked a plane ticket to the land of the Queen after receiving accreditation for the biggest Track and Field event on the planet behind the Olympics: the IAAF World Champs in London, not only my international debut and a dream come true but the gateway to many bloody exciting opportunities later including the World Hockey League in Auckland (where our girls got silver weehuu) and of course, conformation to the Commonwealth Games and the opportunities to mix and mingle with other commonwealth sports and on top of all that I also shot my first wedding! I've experienced a lot of cool shit as you can see via my Instagram (@alishalovrich > check it) ive been hella busy.  So while the last few hours are counting down to this whirlwind of a year I decided to attempt to collate my highlights of 2017 in photographic form. Enjoy, have a great New Years and see ya round! Love you all xo

KITE BOARDING DEBUT: While Auckland hit record high winds and everyone was hiding, we did just the opposite...

Last weekend as all you Auckland folk were well aware, Auckland hit MASSIVE 100km/h + winds, and heck I did notice it while driving my little Swift across the Harbour Bridge as I felt I was going to be blown across the harbour.  None the less I thought it would be an intelligent idea to hit up the Devonport wharf with kiteboarding superstar Lukas Walton-Keim for a few shots in these rather ruthless conditions. 

Its harder than it looks but heck its a lot of fun. The sun came out to play setting behind the Harbour Bridge providing some treat shots. The riders move fast, really fast, no mucking around here! 

Armed with a couple of Canon Beasts: the 7D Mark II with the beauty 70-200m 2.8 IS II for that 1.6x crop (woo). And of course the baby 5D Mark III with a Tamron 24-70 VC 2.8 to get arty with. I got wet, very wet (started raining on us of course) plus the wind blowing the salt and sand into your face. All very well worth. (Remember to always wipe down your gear after the beach kids, and also dry it out, you can buy those sealed containers to suck the moisture out but I just chuck it laid out in the same room as a dehumidifier. Anyone else got any other cool ideas?).

Check out some images from below. Heap of fun doing this! This will be the first of many other flying humans on boards shots I will endeavour. Watch this space as we work on some other cool projects! Follow what Lukas is up to on his Instagram here @lukas_walton . 

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London 2017: Beyond the lens trip video

Hey guys! Yes I have been home for 3 weeks now but something called real life happened. But anyhu here is a taste of my trip in London beyond the lens. Enjoy :) Shot entirely on iPhone minus the photos at the end. Song is not owned by me (obviously, its a banger collab from Coldplay and The Chainsmokers called Something Just Like This) and this is 100% made for fun.

IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: LONDON 2017

This might be long but it's an expansion on what you have seen via Instagram so here you go.

Threw myself in the deep end here. They say it's the best way to learn. So why have a smaller competition like a National Championships as your international debut and just jump on the second biggest track and field stage there is behind the Olympics (haha). So that's what I did and next thing I was booking flights to London. 

Probably the best decision I ever made. It was pretty scary at first never travelling internationally solo before yet alone to the other side of the world yet alone with a heap of camera gear but you learn pretty fast. London is English speaking so was a good call for my first comp. The London public transport is incredible tho, it was so easy to get around I was able to explore the city and of course explore the incredible Olympic Stadium. 

My god it's was bigger than I imagined, times that by 5. The Olympic park itself was massive and it would take a decent walk to get to the actual stadium, then pretty much getting yourself mega lost to get inside the stadium where the media centres are. I legit got somewhat lost every day. 

Lucky for me I had made friends with American sports photographer based in Portland, Howard Lao, an ex track athlete himself, on Instagram so we finally connected and it was nice having both of us getting lost haha. Through him I met the amaaazing Jeff Cohen god of track and field photography, which was epic and it was so epic seeing what he produced at the champs. 

After a while I knew the stadium at the back of my hand from walking around finding photo spots it forced you to learn. Stadium shooting was a big challenge but a good one. Back home in NZ I pretty much can roam where I like round the track, whereas here you were super limited to the outside and even then you were limited, so forced you to be creative which helped my photography immensely.  You had to apply for infield access which I was lucky to get for day 1 for my girl Eliza McCartney's Pole Vault Qualifier and my mate Ben Langton Burnell's Javelin Qualifier. You got one jump/ one throw so don't miss ahahahha. Lucky for me I knew exactly where I wanted to go, I just had to remember this is in the same layout as the tracks in NZ, it's all the same minus the 40,000 people. It was beyond epic going inside!!! 

We were super super lucky to have Canon CPS services on board these championships!!!! They provided a loanout service so I was super stoked to be able to give the gods gift to photography Canon's flagship 1DX Mark II a whirl every day. As well as some beautiful prime lenses to give extra reach and add to my arsenal. Shout out to Sports Lab for fixing me upon my return to work from carrying a stupid amount of equipment. Not only new stadium but a new equipment I was getting a hang of which was a beautiful challenge. 

And on top of that I made awesome friends who were all super talented photographers! People who I look forward to seeing in the future!!! Worlds was the greatest experience I ever had, and I look forward to many more to come! I was exhausting but so rewarding and exciting all at the same time. You might be tired during the day but when the night came, when all this went down, you were beyond awake!! Something like no other!

So here below is my fave image from each day , not necessarily for the image itself but for the story behind it I experienced.

Day 1: Eliza qualifies for the Final, and my first experience infield. 

Day 1: Eliza qualifies for the Final, and my first experience infield. 

DAY 1: Yes Bolt ran, yes Mo Farah won his last ever 10km but for obvious reasons this was my fave from day 1. Not only the nerves from shooting in this stadium for the first time and any athletics in a mass stadium for that matter, but also shooting one of my close friend in the infield. Hahaha stress levels very high. But it was amazing I got to shoot a whole round as well as this one :) the dark sky and floodlights provided an amazing background, as well it being pretty special to share the infield with Eliza even tho it was only for 15 minutes hahah. 

Day 2: Bolts finale: the big 100m and his lightning bolt!

Day 2: Bolts finale: the big 100m and his lightning bolt!

DAY 2: Bolt's last solo run! What a moment! Yes he got beaten and yes it wasn't the most fairytale ending but it proved he was human which made him more likeable. Even tho he didn't win he was still the star of the show, the respect the crowd gave to him was absolutely amazing ! What an epic race as well. Calling it, Christian Coleman is going to be the new sprint goat. He even shooed the tv cameras away so us photographers could get this shot <3

Day 3: Proud. She gave it everything she had and did it with a smile on her face.

Day 3: Proud. She gave it everything she had and did it with a smile on her face.

DAY 3: My boo gave it her all. Super proud friend moment right here!!!!! From a banger 2017 opener to a crater in the road, Eliza still hung in there and fought till the end. Despite everything she STILL made the final coming 9th which many could only dream to do. No matter how bumpy the road no matter the setback she still gives it her all with a smile on her face. And that's what I am most proud of, evidence of her character and who she is as a person. I'm proud how she fought this whole journey leading to this. This is just the beginning of her ever exciting journey!

Day 4: Walsh on top of the world!

Day 4: Walsh on top of the world!

DAY 4: It's pretty special hearing your own national anthem blasting through this giant stadium! Proud kiwi moment right here. Congratulations Tom for your epic performance and heres to many more to come! 

Day 5: One hell of a pole vault showdown: Kendricks takes Gold.

Day 5: One hell of a pole vault showdown: Kendricks takes Gold.

DAY 5: On a cold London evening, there was one epic pole vault battle! Sam Kendricks, Piotr Lisek and World Record Holder, Renauld Lavillenie battled all the way to 5.89. Chagrui Xue scored a PB as well as a National Record of 5.82. End of the day it was 24 year old Kendricks on top for his first World Title after taking Bronze in Rio last year with 5.95, with still a big future ahead!

Day 6: Fire and Rain: The Women’s 400m Final.

Day 6: Fire and Rain: The Women’s 400m Final.

DAY 6: It was again, cold, and this time raining (great). Well at least the outfield photographers were under cover when the rain behaved. Rain is always a fun challenge, makes for epic photos! The women’s 400m was one heck of a race with many surprises!!! The Olympic Champion who fought to the line to take down Allyson Felix in Rio, Shaunae Miller-Uibo pulled up towards the line, injury or straight up 400m lactate (us 400m runners know exactly what that is) when she was looking like she was going to take it out, coming in 4th while Phyllis Francis of the USA fought hard to take her first World Title and a new PB of 49.42!!! Salwa Ed Naser of Bahrain also clocked a PB and a new National Record of 50.06 to take the silver with Allyson Felix coming in bronze with a 50.08! So much drama so exciting!

Day 7: Ben Langton Burnell in the Javelin Qualifier.&nbsp;

Day 7: Ben Langton Burnell in the Javelin Qualifier. 

DAY 7: Another time to experience the infield!! By day 7 things are starting to heat up!! So it was an epic experience being inside of it! I got one throw and this was it then I was out, and I was pretty happy with this! It would be the last time I got the wicked experience of shooting in the infield these games. 

Day 8: Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs take down the might of Africa in the steeplechase with Gold and Silver to the USA!

Day 8: Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs take down the might of Africa in the steeplechase with Gold and Silver to the USA!

DAY 8: Holy what a race!!! Firstly Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya took a wrong turn an missed the first water jump, but first time ever two americans took the top two places in the event!!! With Emma Coburn for the win in a new championship record! Such an epic race. 

Day 9: Sally Pearson regains her title after her injuries writing off Beijing and Rio

Day 9: Sally Pearson regains her title after her injuries writing off Beijing and Rio

DAY 9: Awesome to see Sally Pearson back on top again in an awesome race with a stella field including an Olympic Rio Champion AND the World Record Holder!!

Day 10: USA Destroy the field in the 4x400m and Allyson Felix gets her 16th World Championship medal and another title to add to her resume.&nbsp;

Day 10: USA Destroy the field in the 4x400m and Allyson Felix gets her 16th World Championship medal and another title to add to her resume. 

DAY 10: USA killed the 4x400m relay!! Lead start to finish and destroyed everyone, but there was an epic race for Poland and Great Britain for silver and bronze. And when the Brits are in medal contention, the crowd goes wild!

SPECIAL MENTION:

The dude that stole the show pre Bolt's 100m final ahahahahhaha entertained the media room for ages. Shout out to the security for his commitment tho. 

There you have it, Worlds 2017. What an experience and I look forward to many more to come!!!! Click here for a gallery of a selection of images from the champs.  Now, this long journey home… Next stop for the major events: Commonwealth Games across the ditch next year! Stay tuned :)