Case Study: Capturing the Essence of Hawke’s Bay Airport

Hawke's Bay Airport (HBAL) is one of the busiest regional airports in New Zealand and is currently experiencing significant growth and expansion. In July 2018, SCP was contracted by Hawke’s Bay based graphic design studio, Coast & Co and HBAL to shoot and provide imagery for the company’s annual report.

Hawke's Bay Airport as viewed from the wetland

Fit-For-Purpose Photography

SCP was given a detailed brief outlining the different images needed to bring to life the people, places, and themes depicted in HBAL’s annual report. Adherence to the brief was vital to ensure the images worked with the contents of the report, which was designed and compiled by Coast & Co.

"Historically, we’ve relied on ad-hoc imagery and when it came time to produce something it was often a bit haphazard. We engaged with Simon to provide a more consolidated and structured approach, and a more consistent theme in our imagery.”

Dean Smith, Commercial Manager - Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited.

Air New Zealand aircraft approaching the airport

Private jet departing the airport

Skyline Aviation aircraft

Experience, Planning, & Adaptability Key To Successful Result

Simon shot from multiple locations in and around the airport, with shoots taking place over several days. Key shoot locations included:

·       Air-side to capture aircraft and the surrounding landscape.

·       The current terminal building and the construction of the new terminal building.

·       From Rorookuri Hill, Bay View shooting the landscape across the airport towards Napier.

·       Construction and landscape at the new airport entry and wetlands area.

·       At the airport car hire centre.

·       A studio set-up at the HBAL offices to capture key people.

As well as managing multiple locations, Simon had to account for, and adapt to, many additional factors when planning and shooting this project. The weather, flight times, airport events, staff movements, and a desire for nice light, all had to be factored in.

Air New Zealand aircraft arriving at the terminal

The view towards the airport from Rorookuri Hill, Bay View

Air New Zealand aircraft arriving at the terminal

Passengers boarding a Jet Star flight

A Broad Photographic Skill-Set

This project needed a photographer who was proficient at shooting in many different scenarios using natural and introduced light as required. SCP was able to easily combine, or switch between these technical demands with twilight landscape shoots, studio portraiture, and both candid and staged shots of people going about their work.

"Certainly having images of this quality lifted the final outcome in the annual report. Simon is awesome to work with and the lines of communication are effortless.”

Jason Juno, Design Director – Coast & Co.

Hawke's Bay Airport at twilight

Airport Fire & Emergency

Inspection of new air-side signage

Delivering On A Brief With An Eye For More

As well as the mandatory images in the brief, there was also a wish-list of additional images, meaning SCP was constantly on the look-out for other photographic opportunities.

“Simon caught all the mandatory images in the brief, but he also had an eye for things that stood out, that provided significant additional value to us. For example, things that were textural, creative, or just a bit interesting.” 

Dean Smith, Commercial Manager - Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited.

Passenger footpath from the terminal to awaiting aircraft

New terminal building structural steelwork against the blue Hawke’s Bay sky

Direction arrow

A Pragmatic & Personable Approach

SCP endeavours to provide a professional and reliable service that delivers results and makes life simple for the client.

"Simon is pragmatic, he really listens to the client’s brief and delivers. He’s very personable and readily available. There have been times we’ve needed him to photograph something with very little notice and it’s never been a problem. For example, a DC3 aircraft came through recently and Simon was able to capture it for us last minute.”

Dean Smith, Commercial Manager - Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited.

DC3 Aircraft taxiing from the runway

DC3 aircraft parked-up by the Napier Control Tower

DC3 aircraft parked-up by the Napier Control Tower

DC3 Cockpit

Trusted Partner

Following the success of his work for the annual report, SCP has been retained to build an image bank for HBAL by capturing events and other imagery as needed.

"We initially engaged Simon as a one-off for photography specific to our annual report and we’ve now retained him for quarterly shoots. I think that really speaks to the work he’s done. The imagery has been unanimously well received.”

Dean Smith, Commercial Manager - Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited.

Do you need imagery to communicate your brand’s story? If so then SCP would love to hear from you! Simply give Simon a call on 021 0824 6455 or shoot an email to

More images from Hawke’s Bay Airport…

Example pages from the Annual Report…