Cap­tur­ing our many Young Achiev­ers


He’s the man be­hind the lens for the stun­ning se­ries of pho­to­graphs that por­tray Ro­torua’s Young Achiev­ers’, but he never planned on be­com­ing a pho­tog­ra­pher.

An­drew Warner took over pho­tog­ra­phy du­ties for the Ro­torua En­ergy Char­i­ta­ble Trust’s (RECT) an­nual recog­ni­tion of Ro­torua’s youngest and bright­est, se­ri­alised every year in the Ro­torua Re­view, when orig­i­nal pho­tog­ra­pher and Young Achiev­ers’ founder Owen Howard died.

For Warner, it all started in the late 1990s with a job at Ro­torua Mu­seum.

‘‘My role there was ex­hi­bi­tions tech­ni­cian/pho­tog­ra­pher so I was re­spon­si­ble for pho­tograph­ing all the ex­hi­bi­tions and ac­qui­si­tions as well as run­ning the small dark­room. I printed from amaz­ing old glass plate neg­a­tives and copied many old pho­to­graphs of the Ro­torua Re­gion,’’ he said.

‘‘Pho­tog­ra­phy was never an in­tended oc­cu­pa­tion but once I was given the op­por­tu­nity I knew that I had found my niche.’’

Warner said he got the call from then RECT chair Grahame Hall four years ago ask­ing to take over pho­tog­ra­phy duty, and ‘‘jumped at the chance’’.

‘‘I am al­ways con­scious of do­ing the best pos­si­ble job to hon­our what Owen Howard es­tab- lished and grew into a unique and special part of the Ro­torua Com­mu­nity,’’ he said.

‘‘I see my role now as help­ing to con­tinue its growth and rel­e­vance in the Ro­torua Com­mu­nity.’’

Warner said an­other unique as­pect to the Young Achiev­ers’ pho­to­graphs was the col­lab­o­ra­tion in­volved in their creation.

‘‘We meet with all of the stu­dents a few weeks be­fore the main shoot and the head and shoul­der por­traits are taken at this time,’’ he said.

‘‘Af­ter the pho­tos are taken we sit down with the stu­dents to dis- cuss how they would like their photo taken. This is a key part of the process be­cause it is the stu­dent’s idea which de­ter­mines the fi­nal prod­uct.

‘‘I am only a facilitator of their idea but it draws the stu­dents into the process as well be­cause they now have a stake in the out­come. My pol­icy is to say yes to the idea first and then worry about how we can make it hap­pen later.’’

The Young Achiev­ers’ por­traits will be on dis­play at Pak n’ Save from Oc­to­ber 30 to Novem­ber 18, and then at the Ro­torua Lakes Coun­cil foyer from Novem­ber 19 to De­cem­ber 8.

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