HomeNewsPhotography ākonga win big at Iris Awards

Photography ākonga win big at Iris Awards

By UCOL on Thursday, 18 August 2022

The UCOL Te Pūkenga photography ākonga

The UCOL Te Pūkenga photography ākonga | students won 34 awards, including Student Photographer of the Year, in the student category at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography’s Iris Awards.

Ian Rotherham, Senior Lecturer – Photography, said the students were a range of those studying towards photography Diplomas, Certificates and Degrees. 

“Not only did our students do well in terms of placing, but UCOL Te Pūkenga submitted approximately half of the 113 nationwide entries,” says Rotherham.

“It really highlights the commitment UCOL's photography school has to the industry and puts our students in good stead as they look to make their mark as professional photographers.”

The judges use the same criteria to judge the student category as the professional categories.

“We are pleased as punch to come away with 19 Bronze, 14 Silver, and Photography Student of the Year. It’s a fantastic result,” says Rotherham.

“They’ve also worked very hard behind the scenes, it’s a huge logistical exercise that supports the event. They’ve shown great teamwork and leadership, throughout the awards and at the Professional Photography Conference held over the weekend, which featured both international and New Zealand speakers. 

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity for them and we are exceptionally proud of how they have represented UCOL and themselves.”
From all of the entries, the top three students with the highest scores across three images submitted were re-judged by an international panel, with the best chosen as Photography Student of the Year.

“Two of our students made this final three, Andy Jenkins (NZ Diploma in Photography Level 6) and Louise Knight (Certificate in Intermediate Photography Level 5), both of whom we are incredibly proud of,” explains Rotherham.

Andy Jenkins receiving Photography Student of the Year award
Andy Jenkins receiving Photography Student of the Year award.

Andy Jenkins, a former soldier, won the Student Photographer of the Year award and says the experience of entering has been amazing from whoa to go. 

“Prepping for the Iris Awards was all about paying attention to the finer details and going over my images with a fine tooth comb to make sure they were as good as they could be. This was my second year attending the awards [first time entering] so I already had an understanding of the outstanding level of work from other student photographers around the country. 

Person surfing on a kneeboard

Two people looking at the moon at dusk

Young surfer running to the water

Mountain peak shrouded in clouds
Andy’s photographs entered into the Iris Awards

“I’m incredibly humbled and grateful to have been named Photography Student of the Year. It’s both an awesome and nerve-racking experience to watch your images being judged live and listening to the judges’ commentary. I have definitely taken away some good points from the judges to put into my work going forward.”