Ika Mata

I’ve recently returned from a working trip in Rarotonga courtesy of Cook Islands Tourism. I spent 10 days staying in luxurious surroundings, meeting great friendly people and doing what I love taking pictures of great food.

I also hosted a food photography training session for 10 of the Islands photographers a mix of pros and amateurs to give them a full insight into capturing great images.

The highlight of the trip was being fortunate to photograph the newly launched Cook Island food festival. Guests chefs from New Zealand including Peter Gordon, Robert Oliver, Joseph Stubb and Oliver Fitton.

I also photographed quite a few of the Islands top restaurants….

The Edgewater Resort & Spa

After a cultural show at Te Vara Nui village and a lagoon cruise I was put to work with The Edgewater Resort being my first shoot and for this shoot I had 3 Profoto D1’s for the shoot ( more on this later – Thanks Daniel) First beach shoot I’ve done and also ended up with me laying on the rocks with my backside in a rock pool to get some drinks shots…


Little Polynesian

One of the Islands most exclusive resorts feature only 14 beachside villas of which I was lucky enough to stay in one of them for 3 days of my trip.

The food was stunning and the team most welcoming. It was here on the 2ndshoot that one of my Profoto D1’s managed to end up in the salt water swimming pool! My gracious host Daniel from Cook Island Tourism wasn’t quick enough in his assisting duties! Something about getting electrocuted in the pool – excuses Daniel if you ask me!


LBV – Le Bon Vivant Muri Beach

A Charming old school style café for an early morning shoot mix of breakfasts and café classics. Did turn down the offer of a glass of wine to accompany the shoot at 9.30am though……..


Sails Restaurant & Isobar

A tricky shoot in the afternoon perched on a veranda overlooking the sea next to lots of guest dining and people wandering along the beach in shot! Nearly lost another Profoto to the wind…


Pacific Resort

From the same hotel group as Little Polynesian another stunning location and food to match. This shoot ended up with me sitting in the sea in my swimmers on taking shots of the drinks selection available. One of my favourite shoots of the week..


Flambe restaurant

Really different food here – Kangaroo, Ostrich, seafood and thankfully chocolate – had a great meal here after the shoot.


The Islander Hotel 

Very different hotel and restaurant to the others I’d been to. Geared for the party crowd, (I know they kept me awake!) but charming staff. A tough shoot due to the wind, sand blowing everywhere and bright sunshine meaning light settings and placement was key to getting great images.


Cook Island food festival – Takurua.

Hosted at Te Vara Nui Village the closing dinner to the weeks food festival included korori pearl meat and coral cod, wild boar and smoked marlin, wild goat and black taro finished off with an uto coconut dessert – stunning!

What a wonderful work trip to the Island paradise that is Rarotonga. I met some of the friendliest locals of anywhere I have travelled and extend big thanks to Daniel Fisher and the rest of the Cook Island Tourism team for their help, assistance and hospitality.

See you in November for the next food festival!




I offer Food photography packages and training for any interested South Pacific Island groups please get in touch directly to discuss rates –


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