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Emerging Professionals at National Photography Awards

Media Release

4 July 2019

Emerging Professionals Succeed at Highly-Regarded National Photography Awards

Silver: Ashleigh Hemingway – New Zealand Diploma in Photography Student

A number of emerging professional creatives from UCOL have swept up, yet again, at the 2019 Iris Professional Photography Awards, a showcase sponsored by Nikon and open to all professional photographers both in New Zealand and overseas.

The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) has run the Iris Professional Photography Awards for 35 years and each year recognizes excellence and innovation within the photography industry by showcasing entrants work to both the professional photography industry and the public.

The awards are judged in a three-day process over a public forum with a mixture of highly regarded national and international judges, and among the successful award recipients were some of UCOL’s best, an achievement that Paul Gummer, a UCOL Senior Lecturer in Photography says is a positive reflection of the hard work and talent in the School of Creative Industries.

“The students who enter are judged as professionals and their work is judged equally with professional photographers from across the country and internationally. 14 out of the 20 years we’ve entered the competition, one of our students has taken out the Student of the Year Award, and at one point we had won Tertiary Institute of the Year Award 8 years in a row for the eight years it existed. This is a huge achievement as it’s the biggest professional photography awards in the country.”

Ian Rotherham, also a Senior Lecturer in Photography at UCOL, says “the Iris Awards aren’t for your average photo of a kitten. It’s about innovation, thinking outside the box and producing something with a story behind it. It’s amazing seeing the entrants coming up with quirky ideas that in a few years time you see becoming the trend. It’s revolutionary stuff and that’s what we encourage of our students.”


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