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Photographers pick up awards

Rebecca Kempton’s award-winning landscape from Marlborough Sounds. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Five Wairarapa photographers have been recognised at New Zealand’s most prestigious photography awards.

The Iris Professional Photography Awards, run by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography [NZIPP] and held earlier this month, attracted hundreds of entries from New Zealand and abroad.

Greytown’s Esther Bunning won the overall highest scoring entry with a perfect 100, the first time in the award’s history, for her collaborative book project with sculptor and author Catherine Daniels.

‘The Secret Keeper’ used portraits of clay models to start a conversation about sexual abuse and trauma in childhood.

“Giving people who can’t speak for themselves a visual voice is very important to me,” Bunning said.

“I’m beyond thrilled that this small, soft cover book received such an incredibly prestigious award and a perfect score. I literally had to be picked up off the floor when this was being live judged.”

The book, together with her ‘New Zealand Pacific Studio Artist in Residency ANZAC’ flags, had her named NZIPP Creative Photographer of the Year, as well as being a finalist for the overall NZ Photographer of the Year.

Amber Griffin’s distinctive image of dancers Emanuele and Tabitha.

Dance photographer Amber Griffin was honoured to receive gold with the highest scoring print in the commercial category, which she attributed to her dance clients.

“Every dance portrait shoot I do is a collaboration between myself and the dancers,” Griffin said.

There is a plethora of creative young dance talent all over New Zealand and it brings me so much joy to be able to capture their grace and showcase their beauty in this way. Dancers pour everything they have into their art form, and it is my privilege to collaborate with them.”

Griffin’s image of Emanuele and Tabitha was also awarded first place in the movement category of The Portrait Masters international awards on Friday morning.

Terry Wreford Hann won Commercial Photographer of the Year with a portfolio of images from his ongoing project on New Zealand native and endemic freshwater fish.

“Winning the commercial section gives me confidence that my work is hitting the mark, technically and with creative originality in a highly competitive industry,” he said.

Rebecca Kempton took home the silver award in the Landscape Open category.

“There were some nail-biting moments waiting for the final results,” she said.

“This image was shot at the stunning Lazy Fish in the Marlborough Sounds. I wanted to create an image that felt moody but calm all in one.”

In the wedding open category, finalist Sharisse Eberlein used composite techniques to present a creative portfolio.

“I have some amazing wedding clients who let me experiment to come up with fun images, especially late at night under the stars, so I really enjoyed mixing it up in this particular category,” she said.

“There are some extremely talented wedding photographers who enter this category, people I really look up to, so to be named as a finalist with them was such an honour.”

Eberlein, also an NZIPP Honours Council member, received a silver with distinction, a silver and bronze in the Wedding Open Category, and a Gold in the Documentary Category.

“The NZIPP membership in Wairarapa is going from strength to strength, and it’s fantastic to see this coming through in the awards results.”

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