Companies we love: FolkYeah

Header image: © FolkYEAH! photography from MOD2019 – Are personas problematic? session at Springload

Tell us about FolkYeah.

I started FolkYeah to be able to do what I love – photography and videography, and design. Being pigeonholed in a role with only one of these creative outputs doesn’t suit my personality, so FolkYeah allows me to create a breadth of content across a varied, but connected, medium.

What are you doing to design with humans in mind every day?

I’m always asking the ‘who?’, and the ‘why?’. Unravelling the perceived needs and putting people at the centre of the questions – this helps produce more engaging projects.

This year, you’re once again joining MOD as the official photographer and videographer. Why are you supporting MOD? Why do you think human-centred design is important? What are some key things you have gotten out of MOD?

YAY! MOD is a festival I love covering! Like many humans, I’m curious by nature – so having a Wellington-based design festival is AWESOME! As our community in Aotearoa is small, most festivals are Auckland-based, so having a whole week of great talks, seminars and workshops here in Pōneke a is a fantastic opportunity for our community to connect and keep learning new skills, explore new ideas, and hear about different philosophies!

Any interesting stories to share about MOD, when out and about on your MOD tour?

Last year kicked off with Laurent Sylvestre’s Three Critical Behaviours talk – this really resonated with me when he told his two life stories – one, his life ‘pitch’ story, and the other, his ‘real’ story. His talk showcased how important vulnerability is to cultivating real relationships and connecting with people on a deeper level.


© FolkYEAH! photography from MOD2019 – Three Critical Behaviours talk, with Laurent Sylvestre


When starting out what is one piece of advice you wish you had heard?

Knowing, and trusting, your own personality and putting time into your professional relationships for freelance is key! I can happily have a wine and a laugh with my clients, and this then helps our working relationship and style.

How do you capture the moment that tells the story of what you are shooting, what do you look for?

I’m always looking for people’s interactions and reactions – those micro-expressions reveal people’s truths – this is how I like to tell the stories of the event and the attendees and give people a sense of what it was like to be there.


© FolkYEAH! photography from MOD2019 – Creative Resilience masterclass from the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Toi Āria and Massey University


What is something that you would like our community to know about FolkYeah?

I believe that giving back to our wider community, using the skills you have, is important. A few years ago I started doing pro-bono and discounted work for two charities whose values and missions really align – Kaibosh Food Rescue and Wellington Free Ambulance. Helping these local charities tell their stories, through design and photography, not only helps the charities out financially but also helps grow your community connections.