GISHWHES 2017 – CuddlyNinjas

After having so much fun last year, I decided to have another go at Gishwhes this year, which happened on the first week of August. For those who don’t know, GISHWHES stands for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (check out their website, for more info).

I made friends with lovely people across the globe from last year participation in this hunt, and a lot of us had decided to stay with the team “CuddlyNinjas” and do it again this year. I had a few more friends joining in from NZ this time around, and was glad to be able to meet up and do things together with the ones based in Wellington.

What I love about this is the fact that the items of the hunt bring people together, you get to reach out to people around the world, get to know them, and do fun things together, but one of the things I really appreciate about the hunt is the fact that I get to flex my creative muscle in a very different way. I had just came off a super busy period of work and happened to have a lighter workload that week, so I was able to put more time in it than I could last year.

So here are the items that I got to work on this year:

Item 5

Nobody likes elevator music in an elevator – unless it’s flute or pan flute music played by a wood nymph. (We must see unsuspecting passengers in the elevator with the wood nymph.)

If you remember, last year Silver Duck did a photoshoot with Kat Hardwick for her Panephone dress last year, this was one of my early go at model photography, and my first at costumed/themed photography. As soon as I saw this item, I knew I had to get her back into the costume to do this, because what she had was perfect for this. A team mate, Josh managed to borrow a panflute from one of his friends after asking on Facebook, and I went to pick it up earlier on the day of the shoot.

The weather in Wellington hasn’t been great that week, and so Kat had to carry the costume in boxes to her work, and I came to give her a hand from there to my work place where we were doing the shoot. Have you tried holding an umbrella in windy Wellington weather?! Usually I wouldn’t bother with umbrellas in Wellington, but this time I thought I should in case the costumes get wet from the rain. The wind only tried to take the umbrella away once, I thought that was pretty good. But we managed to get Kat into the dress and into the elevator, and I love the result:

Gishwhes 2017, Team CuddlyNinjas, Item #5 Photo by Ditha Angraini.


Item 20

This family’s toys ( get into sweet, crazy escapades at night while the kids are sleeping. Your family’s toys make that family’s toys look like do-gooders. Let’s see what happened with your family’s toys while you slept last night.

I realized a little late that I don’t exactly have the kind of toys I needed for the shot I wanted (those ones with movable limbs) – I have lots of vinyl toys – so I had to think of something else. Speaking of toys, we got our vintage “toys” out. So here’s the story behind it:

Like their owners, the boys also love film cameras, and they have decided to do their own photoshoot while we were asleep. Sam was the one behind the camera with Dean directing the poses and positioning, while Castiel and Crowley couldn’t agree with what they wanted to do during the shoot, so Crowley retaliated and summoned an army of the undead from our table top game collection “Dead of Winter”, seeing this, Castiel couldn’t stay put and decided to call for help from the Blockheadz Superheroes to combat this.

Gishwhes 2017, Team CuddlyNinjas, Item #20 Photo by Ditha Angraini.

Item 26

(Create an old-school STOP MOTION film – up to 1 minute.) A Romeo and Juliet story… Two young virile socks (unmatched) meeting, falling in love, being kept apart and finally ending tragically.

We did this at Lisa’s house and had enlisted Whisky and Humphrey’s help to do this. Took us a few hours, and I personally wished that we had more time to do this as there are a lot of things I wanted to tidy up, but I still love the result, and I love that Whisky got so good at taking the socks off the washing line that he started doing it to the other clothing items on the line to get more treats. LOL.



Item 29

It is either winter or summer where you are. (If it is not, please contact our support so we can send NASA to find you.) There’s something you love to do outdoors in the winter or summer where you live. Do the activity you love to do in the opposite season that you are in.

This was Lisa’s item and I was happy to be a part of this. Lisa loves driving around on the beach with the roof of her convertible down while enjoying the sun in the summer, and Wellington winter weather during the hunt week was pretty grey, wet and super windy… you get the picture ;)

CuddlyNinjas IMG_5414

Item 58

It’s time to recreate the epic historic Great Zombie vs. Vampire World War II. As you recall, this particular battle took place with Nerf guns (homemade or otherwise) in an arena, forest or field, and was wild, gruesome, and featured multiple soldiers.

Out of all the items I did, I think this one was the biggest challenge for me. I have never taken a picture with so many people in shot before! Earlier in the week Lisa and I went to several parks in Wellington to look for location, and after looking at a few locations, we nailed it down to the park at the top of Ellice St, Mt Victoria, Wellington, and I planned away on how I wanted to compose the shot.





However, the day came, and the rain hadn’t stopped (weather forecast said it was going to be fine, but that changed). Seeing how the woods setting is going to be pretty muddy and probably going to be wet too, we had to do a location change at the last minute. My first thought was to have it at a Laser Tag arena, and I tried to find out if anyone knows anyone who works at one or manages it, but then I remembered my friends who own PhotonFlux and how their setting is perfect for such purposes (since it is a post-apocalyptic space station), and they were kind to let me shoot there, and Anton from PhotonFlux and Asounes Photo helped me out with composing the shot.

Changing the concept from the woods to futuristic compound and coming up with a new back story was pretty challenging, but we got there in the end. Humphrey who was in charge of sourcing the Nerfguns turned up with 20+ of them, it was pretty epic looking at them being laid out on the big table. This was a solid team effort and I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without everyone’s help (full credits listed below).

Some awesome behind the scenes photos by Anton Sounes:





The epic Nerfguns collection:

Gishwhes 2017, Team CuddlyNinjas, bts of item #58. Photo by Ditha Angraini.

After several tries, here’s what we came up with:Gishwhes 2017, Team CuddlyNinjas, Item #58

Back story:

After the first World War where we Vampires came out of the shadows to protect our food source and worked with the humans to fight of the Zombies, an elite team of soldiers and scientists were assigned to Project Hades located deep inside a mountain to keep working on a permanent cure for the Z virus outbreak. At 1700, 11.08 PDT, year 2118, over half a century since your ancestors last heard of Vampires or Zombies, a human familiar trained as a lab assistant was infected by a scratch suffered accidentally while moving the dead body of a test patient. Within hours she succumbed to her infection, re-animated and infected our on-site food supply. Before long Project Hades facility was overrun and the infected had breached the training ground where we trained the our next generation of soldiers, and whoever was left alive (loosely speaking), had no choice but to fight. Knowing we still had no cure, our people intended to keep this outbreak within the vicinity, no matter the cost, including the death of our own Elder, the one you called the child vampire. This was the last image we received from the bodycam of Guard 42 as they attempted to secure the training ground, and they appeared to be overrun. This was the point where WW2 started.

Vampires: Paris Liu, Heston Hawe, Kat Hardwick, Keri Payton (Jellicle Cosplay).
Zombies: Leon Brooke, Crystal Hart (Lioness photography), Kererū Tamara Kumquat Albert, Kelly Wills (Daeresiel Cosplay).
Vampire casualties: Lisa Ellingham, Sophie.
Makeup: individuals + Kelly Wills (Daeresiel Cosplay).
Nerfguns coordinator: Humphrey Hanley (No Hands No Excuses).
Assistant: Lisa Ellingham.
Shoot coordinator, photographer & pose arrangement: Ditha Angraini.
Venue: PhotonFlux – thank you Anton Sounes for letting us shoot at your venue.

Item 77

Personify or embody your team name. Caption your image with your team name.

Wellington CuddlyNinjas team member gathered after the Vampire vs Zombie shoot (minus Josh), and Anton took photos of us for this item. This one is the one that we submitted:


A team member in Christchurch, Ashleigh also sent through her photo:


Sue from Taupo also sent through her photo


And here are some other awesome shots that Anton took of us:





I had so much fun this week and I wished it lasted longer. So happy to be able to get together with so many awesome people an did this.

Check out some behind the scenes from Humphrey at No Hands No Excuses (which includes the Vampire vs Zombies photoshoot & the Romeo and Juliet shoot), make sure you subscribe to his channel, he has a lot of interesting stuff going on :)


Until next time ;)

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