When I saw an opportunity to do something for myself with the STUDIO81 post on Facebook about #Supermum, I took the chance. I am so glad that I did! I put myself on the back burner all of the time – I don’t do a lot for myself but I do do a lot for others. I usually put others first before me.

There are so many reasons why I decided to have a makeover and photo shoot. Our family has had a rough couple of years – we lost three of our family members, while I was pregnant each time. One of those special people was my mum. I am a mum who works full time: full time study, a taxi driver for the children, nurse, etc. My husband also works full time (shift work), and does dialysis three times a week for five hours each treatment (waiting for a kidney transplant).

Everyone at the studio was so welcoming. The makeover and photo shoot was something for me to have time to myself for a couple of hours. Annalise made me feel beautiful being the strong woman that I didn’t know that I was. Annalise listened to my story and shared her experiences with me which put me at ease and relaxed me even further. Jeff made me feel at ease and guided me through the process, which was a calm environment.

After the shoot was finished, I  was called in to see the photos. I had a little tear as it felt like the person in the photo wasn’t me; I looked like a whole new different person.

The whole experience made me feel like I am, and will always be a SUPERMUM.



Check out our other #supermum stories here on our online magazine.
Find out how you can do transformative photoshoots here on our Modern/Glamour page.


I tried to find my story but couldn’t, however I found a old email when I was doing all I could to help Michael fund the money for his treatment. Feels like a long way my family and I have come. It brings painful memories but knowing Michael and I have passed that point has made us stronger.

#LoveYourself STUDIO81 Mele Glamour

My name is Mele Siniva and my husband has Stage 4 melanoma and we are needing the drug Keytruda. We have been married for 2 years and have a son who is 6 months old.

The reason I’m writing to you is because I wanted to see if you could help me and my family. I’m another voice fighting to get Keytruda government funded. So I am left to try and fund the drug Keytruda please check out our give a little page at givealittle.co.nz/cause/keytruda4michael

My husband who has always had issues with his health, from birth he was known as a blue baby and was later diagnosed with a complex congenital heart disease at 8 months. At the age of 2 he had a stroke and lost the use of the left side of his body but was able to regain most of these functions back. At the age of 12 he contracted pneumococcal meningitis and was able to beat it. Due to him not being born with a spleen (making his immunity very weak) he got very sick and was taken into hospital on the 1st of December 2015 with a unknown flu/infection and then on the 14th of December after what seemed like a myriad of tests we were told that this was not a flu but they had found a tumour 8cm wide(about the size of an avocado). My husband and I left the hospital on the 16th of December a day just before his birthday with no news on what it was just that there would be a appointment later with them to tell us what they had found so we left hoping and praying that everything would be okay. On the 23rd of December my husband was diagnosed with Melanoma but due to the specialities of the doctor it’s unfortunate that the one who gave us the news, the doctor being his long term heart doctor could only provide what it was but no information on stage or severity. After this visit we were told to just to enjoy the holiday without thinking about the cancer until the next year (2016) he would be able to see Oncology. During that visit the best option was surgery, so on the 22nd of March 2016 my husband had bowel surgery and unfortunately the tumour was not able to be removed due to it been attached to a main artery providing blood to the small intestine making any other attempts life threatening and thus inoperable then and in the future.

He started Dacarbazine (Chemotherapy) yesterday as we did not have the funds to buy the drug we were after but due to the cancer being Melanoma the treatment has a 20% chance to slow down the growth and even less of a chance to stop or kill the cancer. Keytruda raises the chance from 20% to 50% but due to it not being government funded it will cost $50,000. We need the first four treatments (1 treatment cycle) to know if this would help treat his cancer. I don’t want to feel like we didn’t try our best to attack and win against this cancer. I am scared he will never get to know and see his son grow up and that our son will never know who his dad was. For the first time in my life I have never felt so worried and helpless about my husband health struggles and I have also never been so unsure and scared for our families future. I know that my husband is a fighter he has beaten many life expectances and has struggled with his health all this time but he is still here and still living his life with and for his family. 

I would appreciate if you could help us.

This email was from last year and I wanted to come to you guys to make me feel beautiful as I was tired and overwhelmed with sadness. I honestly just wanted to feel positive and do something for myself. The experience I felt when I first entered was scared – to be honest I have never had my photo taken and was just nervous. I got my make up done by Annalise and I felt sooooo beautiful! I just really wanted to learn how to put the make-up on as she did such a great job. Honestly I still want to come in and learn how to achieve that beauty! Once I got my make up and hair done when it came to getting the photos done it was like I was a pro. Jeff was so lovely! He was telling me how to pose and I felt like a natural. Afterwards I met the lovely Dorin who was so cheerful and we all looked through the beautiful photos – was so hard choosing one. This experience was amazing and so worth it! It made me feel stronger! If I had to do it again I wouldn’t change a thing.

Thank you so much to the team at STUDIO81 – you guys rock xo

#LoveYourself STUDIO81 Mele Glamour


Photographer: Jeff Chan

Hair/Makeup: Annalise Taylor

Location: STUDIO81 Newmarket

Click here for more details on the transformative glamour campaign #LoveYourself


I didn’t expect to be chosen when I entered my name for the #LoveYourself Campaign. I was so excited & nervous, as I’m anything but confident in front of the camera. I personally love taking photos (as a hobby), but not having my photo taken. We are after all, as women, our own biggest critics, right?!
I come across as confident, but really, I have a lot of insecurities. I admire women who are confident, as it is awesome.

Growing up, I was always the skinny little runt that nobody took much notice of. I had bad skin, bad teeth, bad hair & hid behind a secret that not everyone knows about. As a victim of child abuse, I don’t think that I’ve ever fully accepted that I too, can be beautiful. Having my innocence taken away from me at a very young age, I still see my scars as being worn on the outside & although nobody else sees them, I most certainly do.

#LoveYourself STUDIO81 Nat Nolan

Walking into the studio, I was all flustered with hardly any sleep & Annalise was a breath of fresh air. She knew my name, grabbed the hangers I was holding, gave me a warm hug & made me feel at ease. Once my makeup was done, I felt like a princess, what with everyone making such a fuss over me, how could I not! And they all loved my hair, thanks to my amazing hairdresser, Devona, for hooking me up (#HouseOfBrown).

I was introduced to Jeff, who immediately told me what he wanted me to change into & started working on my poses. He was awesome, stepping in to show me what to do if I didn’t quite get it LOL. I mean, I’m no model so most of what he said left me with a “huh”!!! He complimented me, made me smile & helped me relax. Thank-you Jeff, for being so patient. One photo captures my personality in a nutshell (sitting on the floor, foot up & staring dead into the camera) … so many have said “wow, he captured the real you right there”. I felt sexy too when he made me don my little black number, yep, because all my hard work is slowly starting to pay off, yay.

Looking at all my photos on the big screen, I still couldn’t believe that it was me. WOW. I really did feel beautiful & here was the evidence to prove that my “scars” were not shown on the outside.
Thank you so much STUDIO81 for helping me feel beautiful. I guess life really does begin at 40 something – Nat

#LoveYourself STUDIO81 Nat Nolan Glamour

Photographer: Jeff Chan

Hair/Makeup: Annalise Taylor

Location: STUDIO81 Newmarket

We are running another #LoveYourself campaign – click here to find out more on how you too can win a glamour photoshoot. 


In February this year we ran our first #LoveYourself campaign – where we looked for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who have lost themselves in the midst of busyness being supermums, wives and career ladies, sometimes all rolled into one! We wanted to give them a time and place for pampering and to remember to love themselves again. We had a great time with these ladies and the feedback we received made it all the more wonderful. Here are some of their stories:

“I decided to do this photo shot as a new experience, I have never been confident enough due to being conscious of my acne and red face which I have suffered from since I was a teenager. When I saw the #LoveYourself campaign I thought it was time to give it a go. Not only were the staff at STUDIO81 lovely but they also made me feel comfortable. First time wearing make up – it felt great, I got to have a photo of one that made me look different and even better!”– Vanessa Price

STUDIO81 #LoveYourself Resh Shah

“I’m a single mum of two teens. I work full time as a registered nurse and study part time. My life is full on. I put everybody first except myself. I decided to participate in the #LoveYourself Campaign as I felt inspired by other busy women like myself. I thought that it was time that I put some time aside for myself. It was a lovely first experience. Not only did I feel beautiful, confident, energised and happy, but also special.  I needed this as I was feeling pretty run down with my busy lifestyle. Thank you STUDIO81.” – Resh Shah

“As a solo mum sometimes it’s nice to do something just for yourself and to feel sexy and special. I loved every minute of my photo shoot experience. Everybody was so friendly and made me feel totally comfortable from start to finish. Thank you for making me feel beautiful.”– Amalia Malaxianaki

#LoveYourself Sarah Lee White

“I’ve always wanted to do a photo shoot.  But the main push was I guess I had forgotten about me. You get so caught up in life. It was real fun and I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about doing one it’s well worth it. The team made me feel very relaxed. I thought it would be awkward posing for photos but the photographer was great and very helpful in making me feel relaxed and what to do. “– Sarah-Lee White

“I just happened to see this #LoveYourself campaign on Facebook and it wasn’t until the second time I saw it I decided to put my name forward. I was pleased the find out that I was selected.  This past year has been a hard one for me and I wanted to do something to remind myself that I am beautiful inside and out and no matter what life throws at me I can get through it . Doing this is such a great confidence booster and would recommend it to anyone.” – Catherine Marshall

We had the lovely Fritha McKenzie for a Maternity Photoshoot as part of our #SuperMum campaign recently. What a beautiful soul with an amazing story that we are glad to be able to share with you. 

Hi, my name is Fritha, I’m a 31 year old first time mum to be, carrying my partner and mine’s precious little baby girl.

At 29, I was diagnosed with a hormonal fertility issue. This was really scary as I didn’t want to miss out on being a mum to a child of our own.

At age 30, the public medical system said I wouldn’t qualify for fertility assistance until a year of failing to get pregnant, but that I couldn’t wait till 35 to start trying. So in February last year I used a medical herbalist to help balance my body to be able to conceive.

After only 7 months, we were pregnant with our own personal miracle, I was overjoyed! At our 12 week scan seeing our baby’s heartbeat and watching Bubs move for the first time was such an incredible experience and I felt so connected to this little life growing inside of me.

Just 4 days later my world was rocked to its core when I got the call to say Mums scan had shown a large  bowel cancer tumor that would need to be operated on the following day. My mum is my friend, confidant and my rock. This was scary news: Facing mum having cancer took a toll on my life and mindset.

By late February mum had had 2 rounds of her chemotherapy and had to be hospitalized with a reaction to the chemotherapy. After just over a week in hospital I got the call that no-one wants to get “Your mother is gravely ill from a rare reaction to chemotherapy and it is time to come and spend time with your mother.” 

It was heartbreaking news to receive that my mum was on the knife-edge of life and death and not expected to survive this rare reaction. Facing the loss of my beloved mum and rock before the birth of my precious little girl was devastating, my whole world fell apart. Sadly I lost all joy of my pregnancy and all connection to my baby girl, I was numb to the pregnancy and lost all my happiness. It has truly been the hardest time of my life.

Thankfully mum pulled off a miracle of her own and survived the unsurvivable. She is the first of three people to be treated for her rare reaction in Auckland Oncology specialist wards to survive this reaction. After 6 weeks of turmoil hearing mum was now expected to live was an indescribable relief.

When I saw the #Supermum campaign advert for STUDIO81 to celebrate the beauty and strength of mums and all that they do, I wanted to apply as an expectant mum.

I had quit my job, left my home in the far north, left behind my financial independence, career, and friends to come and support mum in hospital so I wanted to do something positive to reconnect me with pregnancy and celebrate my pregnancy again. Luckily I was chosen to have a makeover and maternity shoot as part of the #Supermum campaign with STUDIO81

The whole experience at STUDIO81 from welcoming, wardrobe selection, hair and makeup, the shoot and the slideshow viewing was an incredible experience. The team at STUDIO81 were so warm and welcoming. Annalise did a beautiful hair and makeup makeover that created the fun, warm, sultry look for the shoot we were aiming for.

Now I am someone who is self conscious of my teeth and smile in photographs, so I’m not the most relaxed person in front of a camera. So to say that Jeff made me feel relaxed and at ease during the shoot is testament to his reassuring, warm approach and gentle coaching to help you to get the best out of each pose and shot.

I trusted Jeff’s guidance and I relaxed, enjoyed myself and really had fun with the shoot. It was the first positive thing I’d done for my pregnancy after 7 weeks of life changing turmoil. Still, I had no idea how moved I would be by my viewing with the team.

I was blown away by how incredible the shots were. I didn’t expect to look so beautiful, and joyfully connected to that little miracle girl growing in my bump. Jeff captured me glowing, serenely happy and I looked like a confident, connected loving expectant mum to be.

Pregnancy Shoot Fritha STUDIO81

I was totally overwhelmed by those feelings and I burst into tears. Tears of relief, joy and a feeling of awe at this sense of joy and reconnection with my baby girl washing over me. Thank you so much to all the Team at STUDIO81 for the maternity photoshoot and what was truly a life changing gift that you have given me.

I not only have two stunning prints that celebrate the beauty of my pregnancy but the experience has reignited my connection with the joy of my pregnancy and love for my little pending arrival.

If you are:

• Reading this as a pregnant mum who like me had to fight to conceive your precious baby or

•  A pregnant mum who is unsure if you should have a professional makeover and photo shoot to capture your pregnancy or

• A mum-to-be or already well into the role of motherhood and you feel disconnected with your own beauty, sense of self and the strength and precious role that motherhood plays or

• A mum going through the fight of your life or supporting someone through their hardest time in their life, I would encourage you to value the lasting gift and special memories to look back on that a makeover and shoot at STUDIO81 offers you.

I would encourage you, even the most camera shy of women to have your own makeover and photoshoot experience so that you too can celebrate the beauty, strength and the power of filling that role as a mum.

You will leave with priceless images and memories to cherish for years to come.


Fritha McKenzie

Pregnancy Shoot Fritha STUDIO81

We have a video of Fritha talking about her studio photoshoot experience. We’re so glad to be able to share it here:

Photographer: Jeff Chan

Hair/Makeup: Annalise Taylor

Location: STUDIO81 Newmarket

Click here for more details on glamour pregnancy shoot.

Click here to read about other true life stories

Earlier this month we had the wonderful Jennifer Quirk in our Auckland studio for a Corporate Photoshoot. Jennifer is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Mary Kay Australia and New Zealand, and because we use Mary Kay products at STUDIO81, we were especially honoured to have her here with us.

Jennifer Quirk Mary Kay STUDIO81

We managed to get her to answer a few quick questions for us about her shoot, and Mary Kay:

What do you need the headshots for?
As head of Sales and Marketing for Mary Kay Australia and New Zealand, I think it is important to have a great photo that is representative of me but also the Mary Kay brand when I’m featured in magazines and for conferences etc.

What style were you going for? 
 ‘Casual Corporate’, if that makes sense. I really wanted a shot that that was elegant, stylish and friendly rather than a corporate headshot – and I think you nailed it! Thank you.

Why did you choose  STUDIO81?
Recommendation primarily and then of course for the fantastic Mary Kay make up and lip colours used for my photo shoot – why would I go anywhere else.

Why is MK the brand of choice for skincare and makeup for women today? 
Mary Kay products are safe, effective and deliver beautiful benefits customers want. From innovative skin care delivering radiant, flawless skin that defies age to tempting colour that suits you style. Mary Kay offers customised head to toe beauty for all women of all ages that is truly hard to beat!

Jennifer Quirk Mary Kay STUDIO81
Well Thank you, Jen – and thank you Mary Kay for amazing products that help our clients glow

Get your own professional headshot!
More info at: http://studio81.co.nz/corporate

Watch a short behind-the-scenes video of Jen’s shoot here:


Confidence – in particular body confidence – is something of a daily struggle for women everywhere. Even for those that once carried themselves with heads held high, it’s all too easy to have lost the way of self-love at some point. To top it off, it’s a topic we seem to neglect broaching.

This is why last year, along with a group of other amazing individuals, we were so blessed to run #ANewLight.

This ambitious project titled #ANewLight aims to show a group of deserving women a new perspective of themselves. In one way or another, each of these women have faced – or are still facing – an internal struggle. The stories vary, but all share a common factor. Each of the women have at some point forgotten how to love the way they look.

What a journey it has been, and what joy it is for us to finally reveal these beautiful images of the four incredible women of #ANewLight.

These photos represent beauty that lies within all of us, and sometimes we just need to see ourselves in #ANewLight.



ANewLight Annike

Annike Pieneman_glamour STUDIO81



#ANewLight Charlene Edwards boxingSTUDIO81 Glamour Boxing back


#ANewLight Kim Corley
#ANewLight Kim Corley



Annike Pieneman_glamour STUDIO81

#ANewLight Nerina Stephens

This project was a work of art and heart of many generous individuals, and we’d like to acknowledge them here:

Project Manager: Sin-Mae @OMGWTFork
Asst Project Manager: James Wood
Content Contributor: Annu Sharma of I AM WOMAN


Hair Artistry & Makeup:  Sarah of Blossom & Grace
Makeup: Dorin Chan of Blush & Peony
Hair for Charlene: Sarah Clark of Louis Gregory Salon


Styling: Johanna May of Johanna May Personal Stylist
Clothing sponsor: Augustine International www.augustine.co.nz
Clothing Sponsor: Blue Illusion http://www.blueillusion.com/
Shoe Sponsor: Mi Piaci www.mipiaci.co.nz


Videographer: James Yang of James Yang Photography
Video Editor: Kate Goiscoigne
Producer: Sol Chae
Volunteer for sound: Serena
Volunteer for video: Juliet

Jeff Chan of STUDIO81
Asst Photographer: Lyle

Thank you so much to all the special people who made this project so beautiful and to our amazing, courageous ladies – Annike, Charlene, Kim & Nerina – we are all inspired by your stories, and hope this will be the start of even greater journeys ahead as you see yourselves and your lives in #ANewLight

You can be part of the body confidence movement too! Join our Facebook group for info and updates of similar projects in the future.


I was lucky enough to have won an experience package with STUDIO81 when I entered #ANewLight competition and was chosen as a runner up. I have always looked at professional photo-shoots and thought to myself, I want to do that. But have never had the courage or confidence to do so. So that’s what made me enter the competition. I never dreamed it would lead to something AMAZING!!!!

vintage photoshoot at studio81

I am an extremely shy person and get anxiety with new settings and new things (just meeting friends at a new setting is really hard for me). During my younger years, I have suffered trauma; abused as a child, bullied as a teenager over how I looked and when they found out about my past I was cast aside by my peers even more. Fortunately, I am a survivor of depression (I was almost to the point of suicide) so my self confidence/self love was practically none existent and I spent my entire life “hiding” away from society. I would dress in baggy clothing, hide at the back and not talk much to anyone. 6 years ago I found Pole Fitness and recently I have discovered the Pin Up scene and all of a sudden I have found my confidence, and most importantly my love for myself, has changed hugely. But this was still a huge step out of my comfort zone. So much so, the night before I wanted to cancel as I was that nervous, but told myself I had to do it. I am so happy I did now. So unbelievably happy.

vogue pin-up photoshoot at studio81

The moment I walked through the door, Annalise knew my name, greeted my like a friend and made me feel so welcome any nerves I had disappeared into excitement. Pure excitement. Then I had hair and make-up done (I felt like a Princess) and taken through to the photographer. With everything going on; outfit choices, posing, being told what to do, etc, I had no time to feel nervous, awkward or anything or the sort. Jeff the photographer was amazing. Such a professional, and his direction was perfect. I felt so at ease, and the time just flew by. I was surprised when he said it was almost done. It had only felt like 5 minutes!

vogue portrait photoshoot at studio81

I had been on the fence about a boudoir shoot. With all my history, this was something I never thought I would be comfortable with. Annalise had set the path during the hair and makeup session about the boudoir shoot. She told me her experience and I thought to myself, you know what I can do this. So I did. I am SO glad I did. I thought it would be awkward, that I don’t know how to pose, old body demons started creeping back in; but once you get changed and start being directed by the photographer you have no time to think of that. I am most proud of my boudoir shots. I loved all the boudoir photos, and wanted to take them all with me. When I saw them, I just thought WOW… that is me. That is actually me! Posing in my underwear. I look so happy, calm, relaxed, and most of all I was enjoying myself. Right at that point in time, I have never felt so empowered as a woman.

boudoir photoshoot at STUDIO81

If you have thought of doing a shoot, I cannot recommend these people enough. I am truly grateful to have been given the opportunity. It was worth all the nerves. I have truly found the beauty within myself; all it took was some gentle coaxing and some amazing photos for me to see this. From the bottom of my heart, thank you STUDIO81. I cannot wait to plan another photo-shoot.


Photographer: Jeff Chan

Hair/Makeup: Annalise Taylor

Location: STUDIO81 Newmarket

Emma took home a 7 image Folio Box

Click here to view other empowering boudoir images at STUDIO81

STUDIO81 Glamour PearlLi3

Going to STUDIO81 and having a make over was a treat to myself as it was my birthday during that month. It was a warm welcome experience and made me feel like It was all about me. From hair to makeup to the shoot, it was a fun-filled day.

The reason I decided to do this as a treat not only for my birthday but also to remind myself that I’m a beautiful person inside and out no matter what life throws at me. The photographer captured some of my personalities like sexy (at times you feel sexy with your own skin and comfortable in it), fun (that I love joking and laughing with others around me), subdued  being on my own and having space for myself and not expressing much is sometimes needed)

STUDIO81 Glamour PearlLi2

Great team of people and I’d love to introduce to others who might want to do the same. Thank you Team STUDIO81, you guys totally ROCKED it.

STUDIO81 Glamour PearlLi1

Pearl took away a Folio box package

Photographer: Jeff Chan

Makeup: Stephanie Clarke

Hair: Annalise Taylor

Location: STUDIO81 Newmarket

Click here to view more modern glamour images