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NZIPP 2014 IRIS Print Awards

The New Zealand Institute of Photography IRIS Awards is always an inspiring and often nerve wracking few days of print judging. A collection of the best photographers in NZ’s work across a multitude of categories, with the most esteemed print judges in Australasia scrutinising every minute detail of your work is enough to get the heart racing for even a seasoned veteran. Sweaty palms, breathe held for the entire duration your print is in front of the judges and your heart trying to pound out of your chest, but a great feeling when you hear the score and get awarded a medal. Then you remember to breathe again. Below are my entries and awards from the 2014 event.

Wedding Creative: Silver Award

Portrait Creative: Bronze Award

Portrait Creative


   Portrait Creative: Bronze Award



  Portrait Classic: Bronze Award


   Portrait Classic: Bronze Award

Portrait Classic


Winter Recipes NZ – Wild Mushroom, Chicken & Chorizo Pasta – Rich Johns Photography

Winter Recipes NZ – Wild Mushroom, Chicken & Chorizo Pasta


I have always been a big time pasta fan and I have always been a little bit of this and a little bit of that flavour maker when it comes to cooking. Pasta seems to have a fair bit of leeway when it comes to mashing flavours together, but due to the more kind of bland make up of the starchy carb beast you really need something bold to make a statement in a pasta dish in my opinion.

This winter recipe has a few big bold flavours, but also has a few subtle flavours that can get buried when you get a little carried away, but get those subtle flavours correct and it really turns this dish into something you will want to cook over and over again.

This almost started out as your standard chicken and mushroom fettuccine, then as I rummaged around in the pantry I found some dried wild mushrooms and my mind ticked back to seeing something about soaking them in booze a few years ago. So creativity took over and this is the result, something to warm up another cold, bleak winters evening. I am not really one for measuring the ingredients out when I cook either, I am kind of ‘yep, that looks like it will taste about right’. So this is a guesstimate on quantities as I write this out, but yeah, pretty hard to go wrong really.

The aroma will have your neighbours beating the door down for a taste of your newly found pasta dish! The vermouth adds a interesting sweet quality and smell to this dish.



Ingredients: (serves 4)

400g pasta, I used fettuccine, but looking back on it now something like penne or small rigatoni would have been way better.

300g skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into chunks

200g mixed mushrooms, I used a bunch of dried wild mushroom and some button mushrooms

100g chorizo, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

70mls Vermouth

150mls water

juice of 1 lemon

olive oil

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

parmesan cheese


60g butter

60g flour

250mls cream

pinch of salt

parmesan cheese to taste


Fill a big pot with water, bring to the boil, season with salt and cook the pasta until al dente, drain, but keep 150mls of the pasta water to one side, rinse with cold water and put pasta to one side.

Take the 150mls of pasta water and pour over the dried mushrooms in a bowl, add the 70mls of vermouth and allow the mushrooms to soften.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chorizo until fairly well cooked, remove the chorizo, season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat until golden in the now chorizo fat filled pan.


Add the liquid from the soaking mushrooms to the chicken and cook until the liquid begins to reduce and slightly thicken.


In another pan fry the fresh mushrooms, garlic and some of the thyme plus some salt and pepper until well fragrant and golden. Add the now softened wild mushrooms to this pan and fry briefly.


Put the mushroom mixture with the chicken and put the chorizo back in to the main pan also, season with salt and pepper and add the pasta and mix until well combined. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon and grate over some parmesan.


Melt the butter in a pot then add the flour and mix until a paste, add the cream and stir until thickened, add the parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour 2/3s of the sauce over the pasta, mix well then pour the last 1/3 over the top, place in the oven at 200 degrees on bake for about 20min or so. Rich-Johns-Photography-Winter-Warmer-Chicken-wild-mushroom-chorizo-pasta_0008

Dish into bowls and top with some more parmesan, some grated fresh nutmeg and a sprinkle of fresh thyme, serve with a mad crusty bread!

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Hamilton Wedding Photographer – Woodlands Estate Wedding – Cole and Jen

The day I met Jen and she told me her Woodlands Estate Wedding was going to be following along the lines of a Mid Summer Nights Dream style theme I knew we were going to be in for some magic! Jen enlisted the services of the awesome Jenny from Great Design in Rotorua to create all the fantastic details which she crafted by hand from the floral head pieces and bouquets to the flower girl costume and right through to the table pieces and everything in between.

There was so much love and emotion at this beautiful wedding and it shows as you cruise through the images below. Lots of tears and looks of pure affection are scattered though the images. I had a real tough time deciding what to leave out! After dinner and before the dancing I happened to glance outside to see some of my favourite light on a summers evening, grabbing Cole and Jen who were more than happy to have a few minutes breather to themselves before the dance floor action, we ventured over to the bridge and soaked up the last of the beautiful sunset light in what was really a Mid Summer Nights Dream indeed!

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Rotorua Portrait Photographer – Rich Johns Photography – Personal Projects – Jaimee

As a full time professional photographer I find personal projects to be one of the best things for keeping me on my toes, pushing boundaries, learning, experimenting and creating works of art along the way. Creative freedom is something that most of my awesome clients give me, trusting in my skill, knowledge and execution to produce something we all can be proud of.

This is where personal projects are just so important to the development of a professional photographer, you can risk it all on a creative shoot and if it doesn’t work, you can learn from the experience and equip yourself to nail it the next time. Then when you are out frolicking in the beautiful light with a bride and groom you are ready when the opportunity presents itself to push the boundaries for your clients, producing beautiful art to hang on their wall.


I have eyed this stunning thermal waterfall location up numerous times over the years, thinking how sweet it would be for a shoot, but the timing has just never been right. Then one day I just thought, screw this, I am going to make the timing right, no point beating around the bush on the off chance that things might fall into place. Jaimee contacted me for some shots for a portfolio, so I chucked the idea of her jumping in a thermal pool in some cool dresses at her, she was keen.

Next was to suss permission to get into the location at the right time of the morning. This thermal waterfall is in the grounds of a major tourist attraction 30 minutes out of Rotorua and is about 2km past a locked gate that doesn’t open until 9am. The thing is I needed to be at the waterfall and shooting by 7.30am as the sun rises above the tree line, streaming over the top of the waterfall and catching the steam as it rises to meet the rays of light. Damned if I was going to carry multiple kg’s of camera and lighting equipment 2km’s to the destination haha. So I took a drive out to the tourist attraction and explained to the manager who I was and what I wanted to do, a bit of minor hesitation on their part turned from a no into agreeing that the groundsman (who would be onsite at the time I was after access) would meet me at the gate at 7am and unlock it for me. Success!

Throw in my trusty little lighting assistant Keri, 2 light stands, 2 Elinchrom Quadra heads,  a 100cm Octabox, a beauty dish and a snooted speed light on a monopod held by Keri, waist deep in muddy thermal goodness and we have the below set of images.

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Stay tuned as I will be adding more personal projects that I have been working on, including my favourite ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ and project that has been ongoing for a few years and is about to make a massive revival as our ‘Stranger’ comes out of hiding.

If you would love to see our latest work and stay up to date then check out our Facebook page!


Ohope Wedding Photographer – Nilesh & Hannah – Beach Engagement

Ohope Wedding Photographer

When Nilesh and Hannah mentioned they were getting married in Ohope just over the hill from their home in Whakatane I was stoked! Shooting on an empty Ohope Beach in the fading summer light rocks! Blending the rocky Westend landscape with the smooth sand of the East Coast beach creates some really dramatic images.

Throw in a beautiful, fun loving couple and you have perfection! Nilesh is one funny joker and he had Hannah in hysterics for most of the shoot. They met back in high school when Hannah arrived from England, Hannah remembers Nilesh making her laugh right from day one. They went separate ways after high school and then bumped into each other again 5 years later in Ohope and became best of friends before completely falling for each other in 2010.

Really looking forward to their wedding in a weeks time at the Ohope Golf Club!

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If you would love to see our latest work and stay up to date then check out our Facebook page!


Hamilton Wedding Photographer – Rosenvale Wedding – Braden & Lee-Anne

This beautiful Rosenvale wedding of Braden and Lee-Anne took place on a scorching day in January but we had so much fun capturing the many moments of these two love birds!

I had the awesome Clare from along for the day to help out, she headed off to Te Awamutu to be with the boys as they got ready (and to see another groom who doesn’t know how to iron a shirt haha, images of Braden’s Grandmother ironing his shirt below). I headed off to a beautiful old homestead just out of Cambridge to hang with the girls whilst they went through the awesome process of getting ready. So many fantastic details! Lee-Annes floral bouquet was stunning to say the least!

We then headed off to Rosenvale for the ceremony and to spend the rest of the day and into the early hours of the morning for the reception and dancing. Such a great day, check out the magic below! Including a very cool Monarch butterfly release ceremony.

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If you would love to see our latest work and stay up to date then check out our Facebook page!


Rotorua Wedding Photographer – Engagement Shoot Guest Book – Dean and Melissa

If you are looking for a use for your amazing engagement photos other than beautiful wall art prints and canvas, then check this cool idea out! An engagement shoot guest book!

These stunning lay flat, buckram cloth covered books are beautifully hand crafted and bound, with nice thick card stock pages suitable to be written on by a number of common ink based pens. We leave plenty of space around the images for your guests to be able to sign their names and leave a message to you. You can choose a photo strip cover or leave it as a plain cloth. These albums can also be embossed with your name and wedding date on the front cover or spine of the book.

Price varies depending on number of pages required. If you choose to go with one of our all day coverage collections you get an allocated Print Credit that can be used towards the purchase of one of these.

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Rotorua Wedding Photographer – Dean & Melissa’s Engagement – Powder Paint Fight Photoshoot

I love a couple that are keen to step out of the box and look for something a little different with their engagement photos. Dean & Melissa are one of those couples, we tossed a few ideas around, all of them involved tons of mess and them getting completely wet or muddy or yep, covered in super bright powder paint! Enjoy this powder paint fight photoshoot

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Rotorua Wedding Photography – Blue Baths Wedding – Matt and Lucy

 Matt & Lucy’s Blue Baths Wedding in Rotorua in January was one of my favourite weddings of the year! It wasn’t because of the awesome flowers, the venue or the stunning dress though. What made their day so beautiful was the obvious love between these two, the long stares of affection, the laughter, smiles and the tears.

Check out the images below and see for yourself. One thing I thought was very cool was the mothers of the bride and groom presented the rings to the couple, wait till you see Lucy’s reaction to seeing her wedding ring for the first time.

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Thanks for the epic time Matt & Lucy, you guys rocked and thanks heaps in trusting in us to illustrate your fairy tale!

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Flowers: Living Colour Flowers Rotorua

Venue: The Blue Baths Rotorua


Whiritoa Beach Wedding Photography – James and T-Ann

I knew as soon as James and T-Ann approached me to say they were getting married I knew this was not going to be anything close to a traditional wedding. James is a jack of all trades and T-Ann is an actress who you will be seeing a lot of in the future! The drive up to their Whiritoa Beach wedding on the morning of the wedding was full of rain, but once we got to the end of the street and out onto the beach the clouds began to clear.
This was one crazy dress up wedding, the bride was an Indian and the groom a Cowboy! We had Batman and Robin, a handful of pirates, Fred Flinstone, Mini Mouse, Pippi Long Stockings, a Jester, some futuristic warriors, a Deputy Law Officer for a celebrant and an angel for a witness and I was a Sultan (the most comfortable pants ever!) T-Anns Grand father walked her down the sandy isle to her awaiting cowboy, we then had some beautiful exchanges of words between the couple and a first dance amongst the hula hoops on the beach straight after the first kiss.
Then it was time for the monster slip in slide from the house to the beach, There was a bit of concern from T-Ann when grandad charged over the edge in an inflatable dingy at 95 years old, but he loved it and was keen to do it all over again!

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Thanks for the fun times guys!

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2012 – 2013 Wedding Season Coming Soon

Look out for all the latest updates from 2012/2013 wedding season, coming to the Blog shortly…

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