Auckland Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer bio picture

    Kirsty Mckay Photography is based in Auckland, New Zealand and serves the entire Auckland area. Kirsty is a natural light Portrait and Lifestyle photographer and meets her clients on location whether that be their own home, a favourite beach, park or urban area. She specialises in custom Maternity, Baby, Child, and Family photography with the occasional Pet session whenever she gets the chance!

    Sessions are fun and relaxed and directed posing is kept to a minimum. Capturing real, spontaneous moments as they happen is her specialty. If you'd like to book your own session or find out more contact her anytime at 105,110,102,111,64,107,105,114,115,116,121,109,99,107,97,121,112,104,111,116,111,103,114,97,112,104,121,46,99,111,109moc.yhpargotohpyakcmytsrik@ofni.

Ava Turns One: Auckland Baby Photographer

Oh, I love photographing one year olds!! They are just so much fun and full of joy, often newly walking and so excited about discovering the world around them – just like little Ava here, who had just turned one when we met up to photograph her next set of portraits (I was lucky enough to capture her newborn photos the year before and was so excited to catch up with her family again!):)

It was so wonderful seeing Ava all ‘grown up’ and we had such a fun and happy shoot, Ava just loves people and has the biggest personality ever, she will melt your heart with those sparkly baby blues and yep, it goes without saying her Mum and Dad are pretty awesome too!

I don’t think we stopped laughing and smiling this whole shoot, it was such a blast, so I hope you enjoy this little sneak peek and I’ll be back with another blog post very soon…


Baby Blake: Auckland Newborn Photographer

I have a very belated blog post today, but I’ve been slowly working my way through last year’s sessions and just had to share a lifestyle newborn session I shot last Spring of beautiful newborn Baby Blake! It’s always amazing to capture both a client’s pregnancy and then the tiny little baby behind the bump like I did with this gorgeous family and I know just how special this little guy is to his Mum and Dad. It was a true honour to capture his first few weeks, thank you H & N for choosing me!:)

Enjoy a little peek at sweet Baby B’s first ever photo session…


Happy New Year! Auckland Portrait Photographer

Happy New Year to you all! I hope your 2013 was a great one and you have lots of hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Before we look forward I always think it’s a good idea to look back to appreciate how far we’ve come in one short year. I wanted to share some of my lessons in 2013 and also share some of my favourite images from the last few months!


For me 2013 was a year of growth as a photographer and business owner (as I hope every year will be!) with the realisation of what works for me, my business and the families I am lucky enough to photograph. If you want to, please feel free to skip ahead to the images but if you’re interested or thinking about your own lessons or resolutions please read on…

Lessons Learnt in 2013

1.  Trust your instincts – this is true of life but I’ve found it never to fail me in business too. If something doesn’t feel like the right fit or isn’t making you happy then it’s likely not for you; you may need to find another way of doing things or take a different path. For me this means changing up some of my packages in the New Year to reflect the direction I want to take in my business. I believe change whether big or small is often the most exciting and challenging part of life, accept it, move forward and get on with being awesome!

2. Believe you can - One thing any kind of artist struggles with (and lots of other kinds of people too) is being ‘good enough’, we often have high standards for ourselves and what we produce and falling short of our own expectations is painful to the point where plenty of artists give up. Don’t. When I started out I found a lot of facets of photography were difficult and frustrating to learn. Learning to ‘see’ and assess the quality of the light around you is the absolute key to good photography and is an incredibly foreign concept to understand. From the fact that light has a colour (a warmth or coolness) to it at different times of day, to the way it bounces off surfaces around you and creates reflections or colour casts, to angling your client so they are getting beautiful catch-lights  in their eyes to make them sparkle, there is so much to understand! I feel as though with photography you’re learning all the time and this year has marked a leap forward in understanding for me, which has in turn fuelled the quality of my images. But like everything, early in my journey I had to try, fail, get up, try again, fail…and just keep trying until it made sense, because eventually it does! Some things take time to learn but you have to trust that you will get there.

3.  Embrace the imperfect - Nothing is ever perfect. I apply this to my own life and I think that it’s important for you guys to know that those happy, smiley photo shoots you see here aren’t just of ‘perfect’ families. They are all real people just like you, with real busy lives and kiddos. At a photo shoot there might be tears or tantrums along the way (and that’s just the photographer;)hehe j/k) and that’s okay! I am yet to have a photo shoot with kids where everyone is perfectly behaved for the entire length of the session, how boring would that be anyway?! Kids just don’t have that attention span, they don’t operate like that and who would want them to! My favourite images are the magical, candid shots when everyone is just messing around and enjoying each others company – loud, wild and crazy is fantastic to photograph!:)I love to embrace the realness of your family, that perfectly imperfect world that’s just yours. I consider it an honour that you let me in, the more ‘you’ that you are, the better your images. Promise!!

4.  Location, location, locationI’ve shot sessions all over Auckland in the past 12 months and I’ve come to find my own favourite locations, depending on the time of day, time of year or weather forecast! I feel like I now have enough knowledge to recommend the best place for a photo session, whether park , beach or suburban and it’s often not where the average person would think! What makes a good photo shoot location may not be the ‘prettiest’ area in reality, but works great in a photograph! In many cases in the past year I have allowed the client to choose their own location but I believe the best results are achieved when I am able to guide my clients, so that will be a change in 2014 that will better serve my work and my clients:)

5. Light me upThis past year has reinforced my love for a certain kind of light! If I could choose any time of day to shoot it is the last 60 minutes before sunset. The light is like honey – warm, ooey, gooey and just divine. If we are able to schedule your photo session during this ‘golden-hour’ outdoors I am one very happy photographer! I know this timing doesn’t work for everyone, especially those with young babies but if we can swing it then we will! There is nothing more beautiful or flattering than the last light of day.


Well, that’s it for me this past year, I’m sure there are more but those are the big ones! I hope your year has been as challenging and fun and that you enjoy seeing some of my recent images below. If you’re on my Facebook page you would have seen some of these but for those of you that aren’t here is a collection of images from some of my Spring and Summer shoots:)

As always thank you soo much to all of my clients this year for trusting me with your memories, it has been a pleasure and I hope to see you in 2014!


12 Months Old: Auckland Baby Photographer

As usual I am a wee bit behind on my blogging! But here is a sweet family session from a few months back (when it was still cold!) that I have been meaning to share for ages. This session was for an adorable family of three and their little daughter who had just turned One.

After rescheduling a few times due to wet weather the sun finally attempted to shine down on us and it was a lovely warm afternoon. Baby M is such a cutie and I had soo much fun capturing her little personality! She wasn’t quite sure about my big, scary camera to start with but I managed to capture some sweet grins when she thought I wasn’t watching and oh my goodness she really does have the best cheeky little expressions doesn’t she?! Such a character!

I hope you enjoy a few favourites from this cute family session at the park…


Hello Summer and a Photo-Book Recommendation!

I have more of a personal post today!:)I thought it would be fun to share some of my own recent images from my life and home and share my new favourite way to display them!

Auckland has given us such a warm, mild Spring and the arrival of warmer weather always inspires me to take so many more photographs of my own. These luscious pink peonies were the perfect muse for a lazy Sunday afternoon! Nature really does put together the most wonderful colour combinations, the watercolour tones of these pink peonies was so inviting and made my living room feel like a Summer day…so lovely!

Late November also means I’m right in the middle of the crazy busy season and I’ve found it’s so essential to take a little time out and find the time to capture some of my own memories too – even when I have so much editing to do I don’t get around to looking at my own images for weeks! I guess it’s a little like the builder whose own home is never finished right!?;)

Capturing memories is something I love doing for others, I just need to get better at doing it for myself, but one thing I AM proud of is the fact I have finally gotten around to doing something with my own recent photos by having a beautiful photo-book made of our winter Queenstown holiday! Our brand new photo-book is a gorgeous, hand-bound MILK book and it sits proudly on our coffee table. I’ll admit I completely underestimated how nice it is to be able to pick up an album of your favourite photos, flick through it and reminisce…or dream about the next trip away!

I know we all have hundreds of photos sitting on our computer hard drives that need to be organised or displayed so since we’re quickly coming up to Christmas and some of you may be thinking about having your own favourite images made into a photo-book (perhaps as a lovely Christmas gift!) I want to highly recommend MILK Books to you, they’re not the cheapest albums around (a 20 page book is around $45NZD) but the quality is beautiful and well worth the price tag. The photo below is of my own MILK photo-book and that handsome guy below is my lovely hubby of course…I think it was below freezing that day in Arrowtown!

I’ve tried a few other photo-book suppliers in the past at a range of prices and like most things, I really think you get what you pay for. The colour reproduction and finish of a MILK book is so professional and beautiful and a fantastic way to display your family photos! I really loved how you could choose the layout you wanted for each individual page and drag and drop your images in until you like the way they looked, adding your own captions as you go so you don’t forget the places you visited along the way!

I’ve included a few of our photo-book pages from the easy online design process so you can get an idea of what you can create! If you’re artistically inclined at all you will LOVE designing your own book, I had a blast with it!:)

MILK-PhotoBookOoh just looking at those photos makes me want to go back! So if you’re looking for a fun and personal gift idea this Christmas or just a fun way to display your own family photos a photo-book could be the perfect option! I’m really loving ours and looking forward to making another one after our Summer holiday:)

And no post is complete without a little something cute! Here is my beautiful fur-baby Nala on the front lawn the other week, such a little poser! I hope you’re all enjoying the beautiful weather this week and have a fun and stress-free lead up to Christmas, I’ll be back with a super cute family session soon!



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