Telling the family story in the family portrait. The Cooles, year 10.

'Some spots on earth inspire in their owners a very special affection…an occult sympathy betwixt the elementals of the soil and those who touch its surface with their feet' - William Guthrie-Smith.

hawkes-bay-photographers

Lots of you will now be familiar with the cheeky, changing faces of the three Coole brothers. This is, after all, the tenth winter I've photographed the family on their annual trip back home from their base in Singapore.

This year we wanted the location to be somewhere with extra significance for the family, as well as a place that would always remind them of how special it is to call New Zealand home, even if you don't grow up here all year round.

Tutira, 40 minutes north-east of Napier, was home to the boys' great, great grandfather, William Guthrie-Smith. A man who broke in the land with hard graft then dedicated his life to chronicling the area's history and natural heritage, he remains a symbol of what we most admire about New Zealand's early settlers. He left his land in trust for future Kiwis to enjoy, and the Guthrie-Smith Outdoor Pursuits Centre has long been a place for city kids to go to and reconnect with rural NZ. And so that's exactly what we did with his three great, great grandchildren. I'm sure he would have been very proud to watch them learning to fish in the lake where he once did so himself.