The 2017 NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards are now over.
Please join us in congratulating the following:

NZ Professional Photographer of the Year – Richard Wood

International Professional Photographer of the Year – Kelly Tunney

Highest Scoring Print – Esther Bunning

Commercial Category – Amber Griffin

Creative Category – Mandi Lynn

Documentary Category – Tracey Robinson

Illustrative Category – Richard Wood

Landscape Category – Jackie Ranken

Nature & Wildlife Category – Nicky Kerr

Portrait Classic Category – Esther Bunning

Portrait Creative Category – Richard Wood

Student Category – Roseanne Jones

Travel Category – Jackie Ranken

Wedding Classic Category – Emily Adamson

Wedding Creative Category – Justin Aitken


We would also like to thank all our sponsors for supporting us to make the 2017 Iris Awards such a huge success:

Epson – NZ Professional Photographer of the Year / International Professional Photographer of the Year

Canon – Landscape Category

CRK – Highest Scoring Print

D-Photo – Nature & Wildlife Category

Fuifilm – Portrait Creative Category

Ilford – Portrait Classic Category

Independent Photographic Supplies (IPS) – Student Category

Leica – Documentary Category

Momento Pro – Book and Wedding Classic Categories

Nikon – Commercial Category

Olympus – Travel Category


Please join us next year from 5-7 July for the 2018 Iris Professional Photography Awards.

In the meantime enjoy viewing this year’s winning images



The 2018 Iris Professional Photography Awards are organised by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP). These annual awards, open to all professional photographers, have been running for well over 30 years and celebrate the excellence of New Zealand’s professional photographers, providing a platform for recognition within the industry and the wider public.

The Iris Awards supports the commitment made by the NZIPP to raise the profile and standard of professional photography throughout New Zealand. The Iris Awards, showcasing cutting edge imagery and creative photographic talent, together with the NZIPP conference, industry trade show and Exposure (public event), form the annual INFOCUS event.

All entries are judged in an open forum over a three-day period, the best of which are awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards. Everyone who enters is encouraged to attend the judging to benefit from the educational nature of the critique process. Judging sessions are also open to the general public in order to educate, inspire and inform.

With strong sponsorship support and media interest, the Iris Professional Photography Awards provide an excellent opportunity for professional photographers challenge their photographic expertise and to gain widespread exposure for the fruits of their creative labours. The premier awards, including the announcement of the coveted New Zealand Professional Photographer of the Year 2018 award, will be announced at a formal, gala, black-tie dinner on Monday 9 July 2018, Wellington.

The NZIPP Honours Team wishes you all the best for a successful year at the 2018 Iris Awards!


You may also like to join the Iris Q & A Facebook Group.

Who can enter the NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards?

ANYONE who is a professional photographer, that earns an income in the professional photography industry. You don’t have to be a member of the NZIPP to enter, though the entry fees are significantly more beneficial if you are either a Provisional or Accredited Member of the NZIPP. There is a Student Category for any full or part-time student enrolled on a recognised photography programme.

Who is considered a professional photographer?

If you earn some level of income from your photography you are classified as a professional photographer. It is not a requirement to belong to a professional photography organisation, however the fee structure benefits those who are members of the NZIPP or reciprocal rights overseas organisations (including AIPP).

How many entries can I submit?

You can submit a maximum of 10 entries, with a maximum of 4 entries allowed for each of the main / open categories. Only 2 entries can be submitted into either the Book Category or the Student Category.

What are the categories?

There are 13 categories to choose from. This year we have introduced the Book Category.

The Book Category does have some slightly different entry requirements so please check out Pages 16 – 17 of the Call for Entries document.

How do I submit my prints?
  1. Login to the NZIPP website and register your entries online using the provided link.
  2. Print and mount your images, package and send in time for them to arrive at the specified address by 4pm, Monday 12 June 2017.If this is your first time entering the Iris Awards you will need to start by creating an entrant profile on the NZIPP website. This includes providing entrant details and uploading a head and shoulder publicity shot of yourself. Once registered you will receive an Entrant ID number that enables you to login and register your Iris awards entries. For more details, refer to the ‘Online Registration Process’document.
Can I enter digital photographs into the competition?

All categories require the submission of physical prints for judging. However, you are also required to upload digital files of your entries as part of the Online Entry Registration process.

Why are my digital files not uploading correctly?

A digital file won’t upload if it falls outside the required specifications. Files must be:

  • 4cm on longest side (3000 pixels on the longest side)
  • 300dpi
  • RGB colour mode
  • Adobe RGB (1998)
  • JPEG, Baseline 8 (Standard)
What size does my print need to be?

The ‘visible portion’ of an image, inside any matting, must be no smaller than 26cm on the longest side.

For images presented as a series, the combined length of the ‘visible portion’ of all the images must be no smaller than 26cm along the longest edge. ‘Visible portion’ refers to the image itself and excludes any negative space, gaps or borders. The largest print size accepted is 40cm x 50cm, which is the required size of the matt/mount board.

Is there a time limit that images need to have been taken within?

Yes, images entered must have been taken since 31 May 2015.

The one exception is the Book Category which has no time limit on when the photograhic content must have been taken, but the book itself must have been published or the design completed by 31 May 2015.

Can I enter a series of images?

Yes – most categories allow for the submission of a series, consisting of two or more images presented together on a single matte board. Refer to the rules for each category.

Can I enter the same image twice?

NO – you cannot enter the same image into more than one category.

Can I enter more than one image of the same subject?

NO – you cannot enter more than one photograph of the same subject. The spirit of the awards is to identify different and diverse images entered by one entrant. An entrant MUST demonstrate a professional ethic towards presenting images photographed on different occasions. If in doubt – leave it out!!

Can I enter a photograph that has previously won an award in another competition?

You can’t enter a photograph that has previously been entered into any previous Iris Professional Photography Award, but you can enter a photograph that has been entered into other competitions, such as the APPA’s, WPPI, International Loupe Awards, etc.

Where do I send my prints?

When you have completed your Online Entry Registration you will receive a series of forms and labels for you download and print off. This includes an address label for you to attach to your print case (or package if a first time entrant).

Make sure you put in the return addressed labels, declaration form and tax form with your entries.

Do I need a print case to send my entries in?

YES – prints are required to be sent in an official print case. These can only be purchased at the point of Online Entry Registration.

When purchasing a print case through the Online Entry Registration, package your prints carefully and send them in. Your prints will be returned following the judging in your new print case.

Why does the matt/mount board need to be 40cm x 50cm and no more than 7mm thick?

This is to ensure the prints fit accurately onto the judge’s print viewing panel when judging takes place. It also gives consistency when judges are assessing entries – the image becomes more important than how it is presented for a fairer judging process.

Can I make changes to my entry after I have paid?

NO – entries cannot be altered once payment has been made. Make sure you check your entries carefully before finalising your payment.

Can I win any prizes?

YES – awarded prints can receive Gold Distinction, Gold, Silver Distinction, Silver or Bronze Awards. In addition there are category prizes and the premiere prizes for overall winners. The total prize pool sits at just over $20,000.

What is the Iris Awards Entry section of the Member Profile?

This area allows you to view your entry submissions and to download PDF’s of the receipts and labels. The receipt and label PDF’s cannot be accessed after the close of online entry registration – 4pm, 31 May 2017.

What currency are the fees displayed in?

All entry fees and handling fees, in the Call for Entries and Online Registration Process, are in NZD.

What do my entry fees and handling fees cover?

Entry fees cover the cost of judging entries, including such things as the venue, equipment hire, specialist IT support, prizes and maintenance of the judging system. Handling fees cover the cost of the operating and maintaining the online registration system, costs of print case delivery from the collection point to the venue, print handling during the event and the return cost of print cases to entrants. All the people working or assisting at print judging do so on a volunteer basis.

Where will my images be used/shown?

All entrants are required to sign a declaration and release form as part of the entry process. Entrants retain copyright of their images at all times. To promote NZIPP and the Iris Awards, the creativity of professional photographers and the sponsors supporting the event, a selection of award winning images are chosen to be used in the:

  • Iris Awards Gallery, held during the print judging event
  • NZIPP Iris Awards online gallery
  • Iris Awards Touring Print exhibition
  • Epson/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards book

Award sponsors also receive the rights to use award winning images for their own promotion / marketing. These are all great opportunities to gain exposure for your work and build your public profile.

How does the points and Distinction system work?

NZIPP Accredited Members, Provisional Members, and members of International reciprocal rights organisations (including AIPP), entering the Iris Awards can earn merit points based on the award their images may receive, such as Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Merit points contribute towards achieving levels for NZIPP Honours Distinctions, including Associate, Master, Fellow and Grand Master. The NZIPP distinctions reflect the enormous efforts, and commitment to professional development, a member has made, over many, many years, to achieve and reach the highest of standards and creativity within their photographic work.

Only NZIPP Accredited Members or Accredited Members of International reciprocal rights organisations can be awarded NZIPP Honours Distinctions. These people can then promote and market themselves using the letters associated with each distinction level.

Further information is provided in the Call for Entries document.

Where can I get more information on the Awards?

All the information you will need to enter the awards can be found in the 2017 Iris Professional Photography Awards, Call for Entries document. Read this thoroughly as NZIPP takes no responsibility for entries disqualified for not meeting the entry criteria.


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