WEEK 23: The HAKA is BACK!

Back in the summer of 2013, I was introduced in France by some fellow photographers (Patrice Mestari, François Levillon and Fabien Dal Vechio) to the art of HAKA Photography. At the time they also created a HAKA GROUP on Facebook called the HAKA TEAM, a fun way to capture in photos the HAKA in our everyday surroundings. It’s been a blast and I just had to share this with the Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge community. The idea put a smile on Trevor’s face so the HAKA was introduced to the Photo Challenge in 2013.

You may be asking yourself what’s a HAKA? Wikipedia describes the HAKA as; The Haka (plural is the same as singular: haka) is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.

HAKA positions

For those of you into rugby, the All Blacks Rugby team performs a ritual HAKA prior to every game. The first step will be to familiarize yourself with the various positions of the HAKA (above) and view the video (below) for the complete visual experience.

Although WHAKA is the most commonly used position, have fun experimenting with different positions. The more participants you get in your photo, the better it will be!

The setting is as important as the models performing the HAKA. Take care in finding the perfect spot for your HAKA. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting. Backlit subjects and silhouettes will add a creative touch to your HAKA photos.

Just because you’re the photographer doesn’t mean you can’t participate. Don’t forget your tripod, set your camera timer and join your HAKA.

Steve and Francois HAKA

Not all HAKA pictures have to be planned and organized. Some can be spontaneous and just as much fun to make.

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN! Get creative and have fun with family and friends making the best HAKA ever.

To complete your HAKA Photo Challenge

Since this is a Photography Challenge, the Photography is as important as your HAKA performer/performance.

  1. Find participants, the more the better and don’t forget your tripod if you’re planning on taking part in your HAKA.
  2. Find an environment for your HAKA that will make your image stand out. Their are some great examples on the HAKA TEAM PAGE on FaceBook.
  3. Experiment with lighting. Backlit scenarios, light painting, etc… there’s no telling what special lighting can add to your image.
  4. The HAKA as performed by the All Blacks is to intimidate, smiling may not be all that intimidating 🙂
  5. Depending on your environment, a long exposure with participants standing still may just make your photo stand out even more.
  6. This is really about having fun 🙂


The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook GroupFlickr Groupor 500PX group (or all three). Tag the photo:  #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.


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About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.