The above slideshow images of Kirstie with her Kelpie X Flee, and her partner Shane were taken by Bitsa Bernard Photographer, Dani
Owner and Photographer of Bitsa Bernard Photography
I was the child with permanently sun bleached hair, preferably wearing mud rather than a dress and if you couldn’t find me on horseback in the paddock or cleaning tack in the shed, I was no doubt teaching our heeler new tricks!
During a family holiday to Fiji, while all the kids were in the resort pool, I took my 12 year old self exploring- camera in hand. I found myself in conversation with three young boys leading very skinny horses off the beach into their village. The previous day I’d been nagging my parents to allow me to go horse riding but at costly resort prices their reply was “you have two horses at home” and that was the end of the discussion. Somehow between the local boys extremely limited English and my Fijian extending as far as “Bula”, we negotiated a deal. I’d help them for the morning in exchange for joining their ride that afternoon! Later that evening I strolled back to the resort exhausted but ecstatic, only to receive a huge lecture! While I was honing my entrepreneurial skills, cuddling horses and photographing the boys riding, my parents were going out of their minds trying to find their missing daughter!
Years later, having studied photography and worked for a professional studio, I was encouraged to combine this love of animals with my passion for photography and took the leap to try out those entrepreneurial skills once more. Since 2012 I’ve been creating natural pet photography collections for my clients, published two coffee table books, and won national awards for both my pet and travel photography work- which occasionally, I’m able to combine.
As well as running Bitsa Bernard, I’m still the girl searching for hidden treasures- strolling through markets with Flee (my Kelpie-x) by my side, over-indulging at artisan cheeseries, immersing myself in contrasting cultures and exploring unfamiliar places.
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