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Our friends in the northern hemisphere may find it hard to imagine the festive season without snow, hot cocoa, and a warm fireplace, but in Auckland, New Zealand, where we're based, Christmas day is more likely to be beach adventures and a barbeque. We spoke to Kate Roberge about what makes a New Zealand summer, and our unique festive season, so special. And what does she do? She sends us photos with snow in them!

The Remarkables, Queenstown.

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The Remarkables, Queenstown.

Do you have a favourite or secret go-to spot in NZ?

Jacks Point definitely. It's right outside of Queenstown, on the east side of the lake. There are about eight different locations for photos, an awesome trail that goes along the lake, with a killer view, a beach, an epic clubhouse… honestly I could go on.

Kelvin Heights, Queenstown.

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Kelvin Heights, Queenstown.

What’s on your road-trip playlist at the moment?

The Kooks will forever and always be my road trip go-to. Whenever Inside In/Inside Out comes on, I immediately picture a convertible going down the coast of Cali, with sunnies and a leather jacket on. Indie and Rock had a baby and The Kooks were what popped out 9 months later — true perfection for an upbeat summer roadie.

Lake Wakatipu, Otago

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Lake Wakatipu, Otago

What’s in your camera bag?

Haha, it’s kind of jam-packed! At the moment, I’m using the Atlas Supply Co. Entrepreneur bag, and man, I’m loving it. It’s holding my Canon 5d Mark 3, Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 35 2.8, three extra batteries (I’m a bit obsessive), my trusty ThinkTank CF Card Wallet, Burts Bees Lip Balm, Kathmandu Hand Warmers — save me and my clients during the winter — and a notebook full of inspiration.

Wellington

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Wellington

Favorite thing about the festive/holiday season being in Summer?

This one is a bit hard to answer, I’m someone who goes crazy for Christmas. Like, we’re talking Michael Bublé’s Christmas Album in-my-car-year-round kind of crazy! I might also make my partner keep the odd Christmas decoration up around our house year round...

My North American friends and I even had a mid-winter Christmas this last July. I love everything about it, buuuuuut I don’t think I’m a fan of it being in the Summer *cringe in fear of judgement*. But hey, that's probably because I’m just a weird Canadian.

When I picture Christmas morning, it’s having that really old stop-motion Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer movie on in the background (if you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat), sitting in front of the fire with your new pyjamas on, with eggnog in your Christmas cup, and all the Christmas lights on because the sun doesn’t rise until 9:30 am. It’s cold, snowy, and all your family comes over in their best winter duds (read "clothes") to have a huge turkey or ham dinner, talk about the year to come and maybe even build a snowman or two.

I’m sure I’ll get used to the NZ summer, but for now, I’m still holding out for those ideal Canadian Christmas traditions.

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Top: Queenstown Hill, NZ. Bottom: Vancouver, Canada.

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Top: Queenstown Hill, NZ. Bottom: Vancouver, Canada.

What is your favourite thing to photograph?

L-O-V-E! As cheesy as it sounds, I just love LOVE! Photographing couples is my greatest artistic passion in life, and I am so glad I found my way to it. Being invited to celebrate two people’s adoration for one another, and being let in to their most intimate and epic moments, is something I don’t take lightly. And let me tell you, it’s one hell of a time. The best part is, everyone’s love story is different, and no matter what, they are amazing. It’s like getting to read an awesome romantic novel everyday!

Jack's Point

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Jack's Point

Do you have plans for the holiday session this year? What are you looking forward to?

Heck ya! First off, working until the last minute because I love my clients and definitely don’t want to miss out on anything. And then running away to Dunedin to spend Christmas with my partner’s family; to decorate the house, make Eggnog, wear Christmas hats and have a blast. It may not be a white Christmas, but it’s going to be almost as great!

Victoria x

See more of Kate Roberge's work at katerobergephotography.com, on Instagram and on Facebook.

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