Like any normal person shopping I was carrying my camera and just so happened to have a 70-200mm lens on me to. How lucky?
I'm not into people photography really but this guy I HAD to shoot. If a face can tell a story then this guy's face can tell an library full of stories. Really nice bloke to talk to and a pleasure to shoot.
Fact is I think this is my first ever portrait.
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The man behind the Tā moko:
Tuhoe Isaac was born in Wairoa, New Zealand in 1954. By the age of 18 he had moved to the city, shifted to Australia, been imprisoned in jail and joined one of New Zealand’s most notorious gangs — The Mongrel Mob. Entering the mob world where the bull dog wearing a German helmet was their insignia and the lawlessness or anarchy ruled, Tuhoe took on the name ‘Bruno’ after the German helmet worn by the dog. Here he found true brotherhood and comradeship in the ‘house of the dog’ at a crucial time in his life. Amidst a raft of crimes and a number of lags in New Zealand maximum and minimum security prisons, Tuhoe emerged to become the leader of the King Country Mongrel Mob chapter. Shifting to Auckland as the President he presided over the infamous Ambury Park Convention of 1986 where a vicious rape occurred, despite a moratorium on violence. This incident led to the laying down of his presidency and his patch, but more than that it destroyed Tuhoe’s dream of a new and unified Mongrel Mob.
Tired of fighting, beer, drugs and a life in and out of prison he tried to find a new life. However, no matter what he did to change, his life always reverted back to the way of the mongrel. In 1989 Tuhoe was faced with a very real death situation. With no where to go he called out to God and found salvation in Jesus Christ. His eyes were opened to the reality of the darkness and futility of his gang lifestyle. Leaving the gang to live a God-centered life was hard.
In 1992 he joined Te Whare Amorangi Bible School at Pukekohe. After two years training he moved into full-time mission work from 1994 to 1999 traveling to Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Australia, Finland and throughout New Zealand as an evangelist. In 1997 he ran a successful gang reconciliation hui.
In 2000 Tuhoe created a trust to support the unloved of society, visiting the prisons and motivational speaking at schools. In 2003 he started a Diploma of Counseling and pastoral care. He worked alongside a qualified team in the counseling arena until 2007. Still involved in community work he runs a men’s group and visits the prisons to facilitate a prisoner’s mentoring program. He sat on the COGs committee at Manukau city for a number of years. He is also a well-known face at the markets and on the streets of Auckland selling ‘Kia Ora’ cards.
Above taken with kind permission from Mr Isaac from his website www.true-red.com