NZ Wedding Creative Photographer of the Year // NZIPP Iris Awards 2017

New Zealand Wedding Creative Photographer of the Year 2017

I have just arrived back from the NZIPP Epson Iris Awards 2017, held in Wellington this year, where I was named NZ Wedding Creative Photographer of the Year. It's always super awesome to be judged so highly by others in the industry who are some of the most respected and experienced around

I was named a finalist for both the Classic and Creative Wedding categories, and ended up winning the Creative category. The creative category sees a mix of in-camera skills and post production techniques, blended with contemporary ideas that reflect wedding moments, storytelling and strong communication

Entering the awards allows me to explore different ideas while focusing on growth and development as an artist. Photography is continually evolving and I am excited to be part of what is a very challenging and interesting industry. I was really delighted to be named finalist for both the Creative and Classic categories, and super stoked to have won Creative

Here are the 3 highest scoring images which won me the category, and a little story on each:

The image above is called 'Puzzle Head', and it's a story about how 'puzzling' married life can be sometimes (for both parties). I am married with 2 kids and as any parent and husband/wife would know, life can get pretty tough at times! Sometimes, you just don't get it. At the end of the day though, it's all about love and as puzzling as love can be, you know that the two of you are meant to fit together no matter what, just like 2 pieces of a puzzle

The image above is a scene of a first look, which is becoming very popular nowadays (when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony). I really enjoy the feeling of anticipation and excitement you get when you look at this image, knowing that both bride and groom are experiencing all sorts of feelings in this moment. The location for this scene is a staircase at Hotel DeBrett in Auckland

I try and find meaning in all of my work no matter how crazy or risky the idea is. The entry above won a Gold Award and is a reflection of modern day wedding scenes and the way that we often see it, and of course what other people at a wedding might see as well. Whether we choose to embrace or shun the modern day technologies, I believe that it is something here to stay so long as we can control the time we spend in front of our screens (especially on these kind of special days). Having fun is what it's all about, especially with your bridal party

The next 4 entries below were entered into the Wedding Classic Category, which I was also named a finalist for:

The image below was also entered into the Creative category, it's a multiple exposure created with an old DIY Helios Tilt Shift lens:

And lastly, a gangster pug who I saw in the streets of Bangkok while travelling there, entered into the documentary category and received a Silver Award:

I'm so lucky to have awesome couples who trust me to document their big days, capturing genuine emotion and real moments as they unfold

Thanks to my wife for always supporting my craft and being the most patient person I know!

The NZIPP Iris Awards is New Zealand's national and biggest awards and print competition for professional photography, and i'm really looking forward to seeing what next year has in store for me...

New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Epson Iris Awards 2017

Larissa + Andrew // Te Awamutu Wedding Photographer

Te Awamutu Wedding Photographer

These two love birds got married on Larissa's parent's farm in Te Awamutu, where she grew up. One thing I love about home weddings is the relaxed vibe of it all, with everyone in the family being close to a place they love and are familiar with!

Their relationship has seen them travel the world together, sharing many interesting experiences, all of this inspired their theme for their wedding with one of the coolest table seating plans I have ever seen

They had a special first look which was cheered on by their bridal party and parents. We then headed out to the farm for bridal party pics. Andrew has a thing about clouds, he really loves them, so he was super stoked that they played nicely on the day and gave some great backdrops. Many laughs enjoyed by all, a lot of good banter, and a random car that got stuck, blocking our cars from getting back to the ceremony. We all managed to get the car out in time luckily and headed to an awesome ceremony overlooking the hills, finished off with showers of popcorn confetti. The pics below are just a few of my favourites from the day

Wedding Photographer in Te Awamutu // Justin Aitken Photographer