Ilan’s journey as a photographer only began in 2011 but he was quickly recognized as one to watch, winning a plethora of national and international awards, most recently being awarded the title of 2018 Auckland Photographer Of The Year by the NZ Institute of Professional Photography.
Ilan say's he is thrilled to be working in an eye-opening field that enables him to get amongst New Zealand’s culture. The people, the atmosphere and the landscape having all contributed to his shift into a photographic career where he enjoys exercising his creative spirit.
His project Bare Truth is a captivating collection of portraits of New Zealand men who are humble, courageous and vulnerable. Their edgy portraits are presented in monochrome to emphasize their shape and form, using simple background to eliminate distractions so the viewer can focus on their body language and facial expression. He says “In creating this collection, I aim to demonstrate a clear style, to tell a story while being imaginative and thought-provoking. My goal is to present work that is strong and distinguished with a clear narrative sense. I wish to inspire people with images that are crisp and sharp, to be creative and artistic, to evoke emotions and to show a personal vision.”
Cracked by Ilan Wittenberg
I met Alicia online and we began brainstorming ideas for a portrait photograph that was ‘timeless’. I loved the idea of applying a mask onto her face and extending it to her torso. The idea was to create a cracked earth background using drought as the theme. It took 2 hours to apply the paste onto Alicia. I love the sad look in her eyes!
Boy with a Hammer by Ilan Wittenberg
I met young Riley and his mum at the Radiology clinic and said that he should be a model! Bronwyn called me about six weeks later and I met them both at Wow Photography studio and this is the result! I love his innocent and confident eyes, his beautiful hair and the way his fists grab the large hammer – simply classic!
Beauty and the Beast by Ilan Wittenberg
I met Catalin and Elena at the Takapuna Sunday market. Catalin's message for life is written on his face and his head with his tattoos that read "another beautiful day", "watch your thoughts", "look within", "un-comfort" and "FREEDOM". His message is "it doesn’t matter what you look like. You don’t have to impress people. Look within yourself. Respect each other. Don’t give up on dreams".
Catalin dropped out of school at 17 having developed depression because of back injuries. By the age of 18, he had begun using alcohol and drugs because "that was the message in the media". At 21, he decided to run away from his problems and went to Australia. There he was arrested three times and collected minor convictions for bad behaviour. Then "it all changed". He left behind his bad associates, stopped using alcohol and drugs, and focused on "being the best I could be every day". His mission is to "inspire and motivate teenagers and young adults to make wise decisions, stay on the right path and never give up on dreams"
See more of Ilan's work at his website Ilan Wittenberg Photography