Jess Shirley, lens-based media tutor at NMIT Te Pūkenga, received a series of awards at the recent New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Iris Awards for 2023.
Jess Shirley’s photo of Marina holding her husband’s ashes, which was awarded the Silver Distinction Iris Award.
She was also nominated as a finalist for the 2023 Professional Illustrative Photographer of the Year.
“It was such a surprise,” Jess says, “I didn’t know I was nominated as a finalist until someone congratulated me on social media.”
“To have my name up there alongside renowned professional photographers is something else,” she says.
Jess received two bronze, two silver and two silver distinction awards from the twelve images she submitted to the highly esteemed Iris Awards.
Many of the judges were impressed with her emotive storytelling, with comments such as “tugged at my heartstrings”, “tell a beautiful story”, and “felt connected emotionally to the images”, being highlights of the feedback.
There was plenty of constructive criticism too, which Jess believes will be of great benefit in her classes.
“My students will be able to see the elements that were assessed and see the positives and the drawbacks in my photos.”
Jess Shirley teaches several creative courses at NMIT | Te Pūkenga, including digital photography, video production and website design, many of which can be completed online.
See Jess’ award winning images: https://www.nmit.ac.nz/news/awards-aplenty-for-nmit-te-pukenga-tutor/