It’s easy to recognise the photographers in our lives – they’re the ones missing from all our photo albums (or Facebook news feeds!). For this installment of the Weekend Name Drop, it’s time to turn the camera around on one photographer and celebrate someone who makes it her mission to celebrate others. Meet Maria Cole.

Name: Maria Cole 

Creative field: Photogapher, Publicist

Location: Taumarunui, New Zealand

Best known for: MC Event Photography, publicist for Taumarunui High School

Gradpalmy (172 of 328) (2)My connection: I work with Maria at Taumarunui High School and we are friends. Our sons have both served as Head Boy at the school and our children are singers and musicians. We have shared many proud evenings watching them perform, and we proclaim the greatness of their exploits online. We are also immigrants to New Zealand (Maria’s from England) and know the importance of sharing these performances with family overseas. Thus, we have been the videographers in our families, often experiencing events through a lens so that others can re-experience them.

Inspiration for this writer: In a sense, Maria has been a publicist for her family before she became publicist at Taumarunui High School. And in this capacity, she proudly shares the exploits of all her children (ie the students) at our school. Whatever the event, Maria is there with her camera, often boldly stepping forward to ensure the best shots can be captured as a memory for those in attendance as well as for family and friends of the school who can participate from afar. Maria is also an energetic developer of students, often sharing her skills and talents with those keen to take on the role of school photographer. Maria’s coverage of school and other events through her MC Event Photography business, is shared regularly by other community groups on Facebook, making her one of the most influential people in our community in terms of how we see ourselves and our accomplishments.

Why you should check her out and share with others: In a recent interview with the Otago Daily Times, poet David Eggleton said, “The poet is the conscience of society, fulfilling the outsider voice, the independent voice.” The poet, the artist, the photographer all naturally assume the position of outsider, the position of observer, and this vantage point provides unique perspective. In the case of event photography, I would suggest this perspective offers, not so much a conscience for an audience, as much as it does a shared celebration. To capture life’s moments of joy and community is an art form in itself and, like all art, requires some sacrifice on the part of the artist. Maria Cole willingly makes that sacrifice for her family, her workplace, her clients and for her community. Please check her work out and join me in celebrating a terrific person who’s vocation has been to celebrate the lives of others.

Sample of work:


Maria also hosts a YouTube channel:

Find out more: Google+FacebookYouTube, Instagram or contact Maria  about covering your event at:

The Weekend Name Drop is a weekly feature on this blog, promoting people I have encountered who are doing creative things.

Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. He is the author of three novels: Redeeming Brother Murrihy, Te Kauhanga and The Chain.

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