March 02, 2022

(analogue) Photographer of the Month (March '22) - Arapata Hapuku

(analogue) Photographer of the Month (March '22) - Arapata Hapuku

Name: Arapata Hapuku
Instagram handle: @aptheholmie

How did you get into photography? Did you study it at all?
I’ve never studied photography apart from youtube :p but I have always been interested in taking photos. What pushed me to start photography and putting my work out there was actually my wife. She encouraged me and helped me believe that my pictures were good and that people would enjoy looking at them. She actually bought me my first camera 2 years ago. It was a Pentax MZ-50 that I still love today. Some of my most favourite photos were taken using it. 

It seems you’re relatively new to analogue photography, what attracted you to the process?
What got me started was the plan I had for the day I proposed to my wife. I thought buying a disposable and using it would be a nice way to document the day. I bought the camera plus three extra film not realising how disposables worked. The photos I shot of the day I used to make my first photobook and gifted it to my fiancee for Christmas. Having three extra rolls of film and a new camera that my fiancee gifted to me for Christmas, and seeing the way she reacted to the photobook, I figured it was fate (lol) and God telling me to start shooting film.

Do you shoot much digital?
Not much but I have been using digital more often lately. I think it's something to do with the rising price of film lol.

Did you start out with digital first?
Nope, I learnt all that I know about using a camera using the Pentax MZ-50.

Do you have a preference between the two, or more importantly, how do you choose which to shoot?
I definitely prefer film over digital. The whole experience and the excitement of waiting for the photos to be processed, and the way you treasure those photos, it's like sugar, you feel yourself craving it over and over again.

A lot of your images feature your family and really organic NZ scenes, is this something you look for and enjoy shooting or is this just a reflection of your life?
It’s actually all of the above. I love candid shots/photo journalism so I take my camera with me pretty much everywhere I go. Over summer I shot 12 rolls all from trips I had with my family and friends all over NZ.

What film camera/s do you use?
A lot of different brands ranging from Canon, Olympus, Pentax and even random ones that I can get my hands on. It's thrilling testing out different cameras and seeing the results. My most used would have to be my OM-10 but when I get tired of manual focus (lol) I use my Canon EOS 50. When I get tired of all that I just use a random Point n shoot.

Your portraits have a lot of emotion in them, do you pose the subject or is it more natural? Do you arrange to shoot them?
I try to capture them being natural but if the moment passes then I might ask them to do the same thing again, sometimes it might annoy people because I get real specific but I know they’ll enjoy the photo once they see it. Most of my photos are just off the cuff with no prior arrangements. As I progress though, I would like to start setting up more formal shoots.

Quick fire ten questions

  1. 35mm or 120? 35mm gang lol
  2. Colour or B&W? Colour but B&W has more emotion imo
  3. Zoom Lenses or Fixed? Fixed 
  4. Portrait or Landscape (Orientation)? Portrait
  5. Flash or Natural Light? Natural
  6. SLR (or TLR) or Rangefinder or Point and Shoot? SLR
  7. Must be razor sharp or more about the aesthetic? Aesthetic fo sho
  8. Favourite Camera? My pentax? 
  9. Favourite Photographer?  @vuhlandes (!!!)
  10. Favourite Photo Book? @jolielefeuvrephoto ‘the spaces we inhabit’


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