Shar Hayes | Creative | Gold


Judging of the Nikon Iris Awards will take place from 22-24th August 2020.



The Iris Professional Photography Awards are organised by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) and supported by major sponsor NIKON. These annual awards, open to all New Zealand and International professional photographers , have been running for more than 35 years. The Awards celebrate the innovation and excellence of professional photography today, providing a platform for recognition within the wider photographic community and with the general public.

The Nikon Iris Awards support NZIPP’s commitment towards raising the profile and standard of professional photography throughout New Zealand. It offers photographers the opportunity to challenge their creative boundaries. It showcases their artistic eye, desire to excel and surpass themselves against their peers with imagery using traditional and digital methods. You will see the very best of NZ’s photographic talent.

Entries in the Iris Awards are judged in an open (public) forum over a three-day period by panels of the respected national and international judges. The best images are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. The judging process is an educational, informative and inspirational event with all entrants, professional photographers and the general public are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

With strong sponsorship support and media interest, the Nikon Iris Awards are an excellent opportunity for professional photographers to engage in professional development through challenging and growing their photographic expertise. Success through the Awards also offers the opportunity to promote this as part of their business marketing.

The NZIPP Honours Team wishes you all the best for another exciting and successful year at the 2019 NZ Iris Professional Photography Awards!


Changes to the NZIPP Honours Distinctions have now been reviewed and took effect as of 1 January
2020. These include changes to the merit point values awarded to each of the Gold, Silver and Bronze
awards along with the terminology applied to the Honours Distinction levels and the number of points
required to achieve for each level.

Further updates on the reviewed Honours Distinctions will be available soon.

2020 Online Registration And Entry Dates

Online Entry Registrations Open:
9:00 pm (NZST), Sunday 21 June 2020

Online Entry Registrations Close:
9:00 pm (NZST), Sunday 9 August 2020

Expressive Category PDF Deadline:
4:00 pm (NZST), Monday 17 August 2020

Print Delivery Deadline:
4:00 pm (NZST), Monday 17 August 2020


Absolutely NO late entries will be accepted!

2020 Updates

A number of great changes were made to the 2020 Call for Entries Document:

📷 A NEW CATEGORY! we are SUPER excited about this one.
📷5 ENTRIES PER CATEGORY! This is such great news for those aiming for the category win!
📷REDUCED HANDLING FEE – for NZIPP Affiliate and Accredited Members
📷ONE FREE PRINT ENTRY – For Accredited Members.
📷Highest-scoring entry PER CATEGORY!!! – Two awards for each category is definitely better than one! As well as the challenge of being a category winner, you now have the chance of being awarded the highest scoring entry in a category too!
📷PRINT CASES (change in requirements) – Investing in your professional development is a no brainer and we have a lil sweetener for those dipping their toes into the Iris Awards water. You won’t need to worry about the expense of buying a print case, instead you can use a print box for a fraction of the cost. This means you can put more in to your entries which will give you the biggest return. [Print boxes will cost $12 plus p&h instead of $120 for a print case. Print cases will still be available for those who want them.]
📷 PRINT SIZES – We’ve reduced the print size (just a little) so you can fit more onto your paper. The length of at least one side of your photograph must be no less than 25cm. Full details in the Call for Entries document, coming soon!
📷 ENTRY VETTING CHANGES – Entry vetting is all about having a fair and even playing field for entrants. We wanted to make this process simpler – meaning, this year your USB/SD card only needs to contain the original (unaltered) capture files on the USB/SD card (RAW, JPEG, DNG and TIFF) along with the final flattened image. While you won’t need to send in your working files these may still be asked for if we can’t verify everything from your original files.

Please read the FAQs below for the new rules

Come view the judging / Academy Galleries, 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington Waterfront, Wellington.
Thursday 20 June to Saturday 22 June 2019

A judging schedule will be released & publicised approximately one week after the close of online registrations.
Entrants and non-entrants are welcome and encouraged to attend the judging sessions on Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June 2019


Entry Vetting Process: Digital Files - NEW REQUIREMENT

A random entry vetting process ensures that entries comply with the awards intent and all rules and
conditions of entry, as set within this Call for Entries document. Any entry that is deemed by the NZIPP
Honours Council as not conforming will be excluded from the judging, and disqualified.
To assist with the entry vetting process, you MUST include a named USB or SD card in your print case. The
USB or SD must contain ALL ORIGINAL CAPTURE FILES and ALL WORKING FILES for each entry
submitted (excluding the Book Category).

Prepare the USB or SD as follows:
1. In Properties, name the USB or SD with your initials and entrant/member ID, like JB-1234
2. On the OUTSIDE of the USB or SD, place a sticker or use a marker that clearly shows your full
name and entrant/member ID
3. USB or SD file management:
Create a folder for each image entered;
Name each folder with a short image title;
Copy ALL RAW/ORIGINAL files for ALL elements used in the image to the respective image folder
(including textures, borders, etc.);
Copy ALL WORKING/LAYERED files for each image to the respective image folder.
4. Place the USB or SD in a named envelope and include inside your print case.

Please Note:
Each entry MUST be in a separate folder and MUST contain the files for each and every element used to
create the entry. Files MUST be presented in a logical and organised manner. Files received that are not
appropriately organised, or entries received without the inclusion of the USB or SD card, run the risk of
being disqualified automatically.

The NZIPP Honours Council agrees to take all reasonable steps to ensure entries presented to the judges
comply with all rules and conditions of entry, however, neither the NZIPP Honours Council, nor NZIPP, are
responsible or liable should it later be determined that an entrant has breached entry rules.

Making changes AFTER completing online entries - NEW RULE

The Iris Awards online entry system is a closed system, to ensure the security and integrity of the entries for
judging. In the event of extenuating circumstances , for any changes requested AFTER an entrant has
completed their online entry registration, this service will be charged for. This fee, set at $70 per change, is
to offset the costs associated with undertaking these changes. Such circumstances will be at the discretion
of the NZIPP Honours Council.

Iris awards related queries

The Honours Team are unable to answer any awards related queries via Private Messaging. We are happy to
provide a response where an enquiry is submitted through the official channel. Official queries should be directed
to – *protected email*

Image Content

Each individual folder must include the category the image is entered into.The spirit of these awards is to
present judges with up to ten (10) visually different images, with the intention of encouraging and awarding
entries based on originality of thought, innovation, creativity and technical excellence.

No two images entered are to contain the same subject. An entrant must demonstrate a professional ethic
towards presenting images photographed on different occasions and of different subject matter; the
purpose of the Awards being to assess and recognise visually different images entered by one entrant.

All content and images must be 100% photographic , from original exposures made within 24 months of
the Online Entry Registration closing date (taken after 4pm 5 June 2017) , and created by the entrant (photographer). This includes all
composite elements of an image, including backgrounds, skies, text, overlays and textures. The use of
stock imagery, computer generated content, graphics, clip art or work created by a third party is prohibited
and will be seen as a violation of competition rules.


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?

Book Category
Commercial Category
Creative Category
Documentary Category
Family Category
Illustrative Category
Landscape Category
Nature Category
Portrait In Camera Artistry Category
Portrait Open Category
Student Category
Travel Category
Wedding In Camera Artistry Category
Wedding Open Category

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 4:00 pm (NZST), Wednesday 5 June 2019. 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?

All content and images must be from original exposures made within 24 months of the Online Entry Registration closing date. This includes all composite elements of an image, such as backgrounds, skies, textures and borders.
Images must be taken AFTER 4:00 pm (NZST), 5 June 2017​

Book Category: Must have been published / self-published, or the design completed AFTER 4:00 pm (NZST), 5 June 2017​

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

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 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 2019 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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