Graduate wins Photographer of the Year

News News & events

01 Jul 2016

katherine prize

Katherine Williams (right) in tears when receiving her award (picture by Doug Richardson)

Katherine Williams, a CPIT graduate (now known as Ara Institute of Canterbury), won the Photographer of the Year at New Zealand's top professional photography awards, the Iris Awards. She also won the Wedding Classic and Wedding Creative categories.

"I was totally overwhelmed and in tears. It was amazing because so many industry peers were there and they were all thrilled for me. It means so much when your business competitors celebrate together with you."

wedding photo

One of the photos Katherine entered 

Katherine started her own photography business Tandem Photography 11 years ago with her husband. She loves photography, but admits it's also a lot of hard work.

 "Making a sustainable career in photography is challenging, but if you really want it, it is possible. You have to be motivated and embrace changes. Because photography is changing all the time."

From a young age Katherine was playing around in the darkroom. She really wanted to master her passion, so she chose to study photography.

In the mid-nineties she gained her Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Professional Photography at CPIT.

"It was a fantastic course. My tutor had such a big influence on me. He encouraged me to be myself and keep my own style. When I participated in contests I was thinking about what the judges would like and entered that. But you always have to do what you believe in, because that's the strongest work.

Staying true to her own style definitely paid off, earning her New Zealand's highest photography award.