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‘100 Portraits: A Portrait a Week Project’

By UCOL on Tuesday, 06 March 2018

A photograph of UCOL Senior Lecturer Ian Rotherham speaking at an event

 “There are opportunities everywhere – you just need to look for them”

After embarking on the challenge of capturing one portrait a week for 100 weeks, Senior Lecturer Ian Rotherham launched his book ‘100 Portraits’ at the UCOL Public Lecture Series event on the  1st of March 2018 at the Palmerston North Campus.

Ian captivated an audience of over 95 people, relaying stories of the good, the challenging and the ‘awesome’ that came with such a large project. 

From introducing himself to random people on the street to roping in a painter doing work in his studio, Ian realised that this project was going to be unpredictable and he really had to get out of his comfort zone to get a great shot for the week. 

“This project was my pet project, and like pets, what starts as small and cute grows and gets bigger. 10% of the time everything went to plan, 80% of the time I was trailing along and finding subjects and the last 10% I was in a mad rush.”

Throughout his journey there were a lot of times Ian felt like giving up, however it was moments like these that made the challenge feel more rewarding. 

“It’s like going to the gym, sometimes you don’t want to do it, but once you do you feel so much better for it. I always felt a sense of achievement, whether it was big or small.” 

Ian concluded his speech by sharing what he had gained from the project and highly recommended anyone who was thinking of taking on a big challenge to just do it; 

“I learnt to enjoy the process and have fun. Sometimes it can be easy to get hung up on the outcome and what it is going to look like that we forget about the experience, the laughs and the good times along the way.” 

Along with the photos, Ian’s book demonstrates to people what techniques and lighting he used in order to get the perfect shot. He gave his book for free to all secondary schools that attended and all other proceeds from the book went towards the UCOL Student Hardship Fund.

Throughout the year UCOL will be holding more public lectures in which key note speakers will be sharing their knowledge across the Palmerston North, Whanganui and Wairarapa Campus. If you wish to be put on the mailing list to be notified when these events are on, please email