Franklin's New Grand Master Of Photography

Franklin's New Grand Master Of Photography

NZIPP Grand Master of Photography in Pukekohe

Pukekohe Photographer Harry Janssen has once again proven his creative flair when he was awarded Grand Master at the prestigious National Iris Awards, held in Wellington last month.

The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) ensures members adhere to the highest standards of creative and business practices, and the Iris Awards are an annual event showcasing cutting-edge imagery and top, creative photographic talent. It provides a platform for recognition within the industry and the wider public.

Every year Mr Janssen has enjoyed greater success, rapidly gaining recognition within the Industry. He has regularly been a finalist in various categories, was awarded NZIPP Auckland Photographer of the Year in 2011, and won the Illustrative Category in 2016. Over the years he has been invited to judge and assist behind the scenes, is now a member of the Honours Board, and has gone from strength to strength to achieve GMNZIPP.

The Grand Master distinction, GMNZIPP, is the highest distinction awarded and there are only eleven people to attain this level. Becoming a GMNZIPP, requires the photographer to demonstrate an exceptional standard of creative ability and superior communication and usually takes many years to achieve.
-The judges are looking for consistency, quality, technical execution and command of the craft of image making. The varied subject matter, from Global Warming and Animal Abuse to Human Troubles, Self Portraits, and images that are made for pure visual delight, makes Mr Janssen’s collection of prints extraordinary.

Worthy of Gold is a superb decaying bird, rich in detail and encased in power lines. In the form of a clock face it subtly emphasizes the relentless statistics on the number of birds cut down by power lines year after year. The progression of time from the live tree on one side of ‘the world’ to the opposing dead tree on the other side suggests that if we carry on with the way we use our Earth everything will end up dead.

Another of Mr Janssen’s images involving time is a Silver Award winning globe of clock faces all set to 5 minutes to midnight. Frozen in a dripping block of ice, time is running out, and melting away, a visual reminder of the reality of Global Warming. When will we work it out? It is the doomsday hour now.

A sad and expressive portrait of a chimpanzee gained a second silver with the words “I live in darkness and they are always watching. I live in silence and all alone for nothing I have done” hand-written with childlike simplicity around the circumference. The portrait is beautifully sensitive and the words give that extra dimension of compassion. Mr Janssen is questioning our actions and their consequences for others.

Haunting self portraits earned Mr Janssen gold and silver distinction; an image of dark trees where everything is uncertain, hazy and forbidding, and a lone figure is silhouetted in the light, and another dream scape with a glimmer of hope, a ray of light on the horizon.

Mr Janssen continues to experiment creatively resulting in entries each year that are different to previous years. “The awards encourage us to really push our boundaries and explore new techniques and subject matter. They keep us on our game and ultimately benefit our customers as we improve.” says Mr Janssen.

The Iris Awards recognise professional excellence and this is reflected at Harry Janssen Photography and Design, where Mr Janssen displays a technical style, and a deep understanding of photographic and graphic design coupled with artistic flair that is unparalleled in normal every day commercial work.

Mr Janssen’s body of work is incredibly powerful and was awarded three Gold, two Silver Distinction, two Silver and two Bronze Awards, and finalist in the Illustrative Category. As usual, Mr Janssen is modest about his work. “I really didn’t think I had a chance of winning the 2017 Illustrative category, Mandi Lynn and Kevin Gilbert, (the other finalists) have such strong work. I am so happy and proud.”

To view these award-winning images and others go to
or view all of the awards at

by Jan Maree Vodanovich