We sat down for a chat with the face behind Happiness Loves Company, aptly named for such a happy lovely gal! She tells us why & when she moved to beautiful Queenstown and what floats her boat while she resides here. She even gave us an insight to her growing Instagram success.
Happiness Loves Company
I am Zemira, 29 the face behind one of New Zealand's most well known Instagram pages.
I'm from the Alps of Austria & moved to Queenstown in January 2016 to live with my boyfriend after two years of long-distance relationship. It took me a while to make this huge step, as my life in Zell am See was just perfect. My family & my friends are the best, I had a very well paid job, lived in a great house, & all up, I could not complain about anything. As I had to give this all up, I decided to take one year off & do what I really wanted to do all my life, something creative combined with travelling & adventures.
Fast forward to December 2016, photography & social media are my job now, not only I am a Social Media Manager, but also a Blogger on all my platforms. I am the best example that EVERYONE can achieve whatever they want, no matter how crazy it sounds or how unrealistic it may be. If you are willing to work hard, stay yourself & follow your passions, anything is possible! You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and my blog Happiness Loves Company.
How many times have you been to Queenstown? What is it that makes you return?
In February 2014 I visited Queenstown for the first time to see my boyfriend, who has now lived here 6 years. It reminded me of my hometown Zell am See in Austria SO much, that made my decision to move here really easy.
Describe your perfect day in Queenstown?
Hiking is my biggest passion, so obviously I would do a little hike -maybe to Ben Lomond Saddle, followed by a late brunch at Bespoke Kitchen. There’s nothing that I like more about the Queenstown area than exploring unknown places to hang out & take some Photos. A cheese platter, some really good wine, great company – yes, that’s the perfect way to end a perfect day in Queenstown!
If you could go anywhere in the world to photograph & write, where would it be & why?
There are so, so many places on my bucket list. At the moment it’s Thailand cause a) I’ve never been anywhere in Asia b) I was always fascinated by the culture & the endless opportunities to discover hidden gems at this amazing country & it's many islands.
Who is your biggest inspiration & why?
This is so cliche, but it’s my Mum. Since I was a child, I was always looking up to her, how she raised my 3 sisters & me to be honest & good people without judging anyone or anything. To be kind to everyone, help every being on earth & to never look away when help is required. I’ve never met anyone who gives so much unconditional love & is so selfless than her. My mum inspires me every day to be the best version of myself.
Travel Blogger & Photographer
Are you a trained photographer & writer or is it something you have picked up along the way?
Oh, I personally think I’m a terrible photographer & would never claim to call myself one. I’ve always had a very creative side to me & never knew what I should do with it. One day I started my Instagram account, so my family & friends could follow my travels. In a very short time (I still wonder what I’m doing) more & more people liked my photos & started to follow me, so I guess ‘my’ kind of photography ain't that bad as I’ve thought. I started to teach myself all my skills & to learn about photography as much as I can. My writing is actually even worse, haha!, as English is not my first language, it’s quite a roller coaster ride!. I am somehow not enjoying writing at the moment, so it’s quite, quiet on my blog, but I want to make more time for it, as there are so many opportunities I don’t want to miss to blog about!
When did you realize your hobby & passion had actually turned into a career?
I guess I am still realizing. I’ve moved to Queenstown to live with my boyfriend but also to start to work for myself & give blogging a go. So far, it’s really good, every day new doors are opening for me, New Zealand is such a grateful country to work at & the companies here are absolutely amazing! And no, I am somehow not a millionaire yet.
What was the best campaign you have had the chance to work on?
That’s a good one. I think the goal of every ‘travel-outdoor blogger’ is to get paid to travel & do cool activities. I’ve had the pleasure to go to Porters Ski Area with my boyfriend, & getting paid to ski & take some snaps, but also to explore the beautiful Craigieburn area, is something I am really proud of & I am still so stoked about it!. It was a great start to get interest from other tourism companies, brands & agencies. Currently, I just got a new campaign with one of the biggest companies in the world, everybody knows the brand & I am quite excited to share the good news soon!
Online Business Tips
Do you have any tips for people on how to start an online business?
It’s very simple: Just do it! And most importantly, stick to it! Create content that is 100% you, stay authentic, don’t take every job that is crossing your way & always make sure that you never work for free or for exchange of products only. Post, post, post & know that somewhere, somebody is always watching.
Can you give us your best photography tip?
As mentioned above, I actually have no clue what I’m doing – also everybody has a different style. I would say, try to take photos from different perspectives, people always laugh at me when I do the following; I hold my camera at the height of my hips (about 110 cm from the ground) -somehow I get the best photos from it. Editing is a huge part as well, I always use Lightroom first, followed by Photoshop & either VSCO or some other hipster filter app.