i'm Sara Tansy, I go by Tans for short.

I have incredible passion for connecting with people and storytelling through my work.

colour. life. joy. shadow. light. love.

Hanging onto the lifeline, peering over the edge of the deck, I see a giant white belly, with deep dark lines running along its length. A 40ft humpback whale, larger than our yacht. As I watch, the whale rolls, showing me its eye, which is the size of a basketball. 

Born in Fiji during the '87 military coup, I sailed the world for 14 formative years. Cruising with my parents on our teeny tiny sailboat, we were constantly on the move, spending a few weeks or months in port before heading to our next destination, finally ending up in New Zealand in the early 00's. Our longest passage was 63 days without seeing land and by the age of three I had been kidnapped twice. 

As a teen, my dad converted an old cowshed in Kerikeri into our family home, and I adopted an abused dog. But high school was far too conformist for me and by the age of 16 I’d dropped out, moved into a van and headed down to Auckland with my dog to become a model.

Working with incredible photographers ignited my interest in photography and I learned my craft on the job in Melbourne, Australia. Since then I have shot fashion, press and festivals, covered the historic release of wild native kiwi back into Makara Valley in New Zealand, linked arms with the crew and lead them back step by precarious step to the car in a white out on Mt Cook, floated about on a pool noodle to photograph an olympic swimmer, had work published in Sticks and Stones, Naked, Edward magazine and many more, and worked on campaigns for Dairy NZ, Capital Kiwi, Wellington City Council, Wellington.NZ, City Gallery and the Wellington Company to name a few.

I live in Wellington, New Zealand on a working farm station with my partner, a shepherd, his team of working dogs, my dog (Bagel) and my flock of rescue ducks, as well as a thriving Kiwi population. Life is never dull with this crew around, and I love every moment of it.

My nomadic upbringing gave me an incredible thirst for connection and I am incredibly adept at making new friends and putting people at ease, which is my driving force in the work I produce.

I will not rest until I have the shot.

Contact me for a chat anytime, I'd love to hear from you!

Tans xo

life + style




Fun, relaxed family portraits, shot at your house, on your schedule.

I also cover all kinds of family events and special moments, such as anniversaries, birthdays, reunions and more.

Contact me below for more details.

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