We are John and Melody Anderson of Wayfarer Images and regard ourselves primarily as image makers. We have worked for many years in commercial photography specialising mainly in producing professional product images. More recently, we have brought our Love our Birds® concept to prominence as the focus of our image making efforts.
The origins of
We are lucky to have spent more than 25 years living in and around Auckland's Waitakere ranges, now living in semi rural Oratia. Constantly exposed to bird song and bird behaviours and with access to professional equipment, it was natural for us to begin photographing them. Even with professional cameras and a decent long lens, photographing birds and achieving great results is immensely difficult and challenging. But we persisted and over the last seven years or so, we have been sharing our best results in the form of handmade cards, prints and stretched canvasses and selling these online and in stores in Auckland and Wellington.
Through making and selling our work during this time, we've had the opportunity to meet and engage with many wonderful and enthusiastic people and are left in no doubt that we New Zealanders really do love our birds. However, many of our birds are also little recognised and under threat. The more we learned and experienced, the more we found ourselves wanting to encourage and inspire people to share our enthusiasm for New Zealand birds and to care for and conserve them.
First came 'Love our Fish'
John is no stranger to the effectiveness of this approach. A keen diver for many years, in 1972 when he became president of the South Auckland Underwater Club, he gave up spearfishing and took up underwater photography. He had become deeply disturbed by the wanton slaughter of reef fish in spearfishing competitions and wanted no further part in it. In the face of opposition from within his own club and from the wider spearfishing community, John actively campaigned to government in support of the unique Poor Knights Island becoming a marine reserve, in order to protect the astonishing diversity of fish life in a location accessible to NZ divers.
In the same year, SAUC conceived of, organised and ran 'Underwater World 72' at Auckland's Hotel Intercontinental in conjunction with the NZ Underwater Association, bringing dive personalities from all over NZ and overseas to present at the conference. This resulted in tremendous publicity for the sport of diving at the time.
In January 1974, John opened NZ's first real professional dive school and dive shop South Auckland Divers. It was the first professional dive shop in the Southern hemisphere to have a dive training pool right on the premises. However, spearfishing was still very popular in NZ. Determining that he did not want to promote spearfishing in South Auckland Divers’ dive school and at the same time recognising that trying to turn people against spearfishing would not work, he decided on a policy of encouraging his students to love the underwater world. Through the use of slide shows showcasing the beauty of sea life and expressing a love of just being in and experiencing the underwater world, John also promoted photography as a hobby within the sport.
These endeavours proved to be extremely successful. In the ten years he ran his dive school and shop, South Auckland Divers probably sold the fewest spearguns of all the dive shops in NZ.
Everyone can love our birds...
Fast forward to the present time. Through our bird photography work, we have become exposed to the harsh realities that face NZ's rare and endangered birdlife. Unlike the underwater world though, experiencing the wonder of our birdlife is something anyone can directly participate in and enjoy. And thanks to the efforts of conservationists, including thousands of volunteers, as well as those working within conservation organisations, we are lucky to have many excellent bird sanctuaries and protected and predator proof environments around the country. Anyone can play a part in loving our birds and caring for our birds - whether it’s participating in bird counts, data analysis and predator elimination or simply setting up a backyard bird feeder.
And the more people love our birds, the better the chances of bird conservation efforts gaining the resources and protection they need to thrive - thereby helping to ensure that future generations also get the chance to love our birds.
Buy our Birds...
Choose and purchase from our complete range from this website.
Nzique, in Petone, Wellington has now closed down.