A Year in Review 2017

I was about to start this post with the same sentence as my 'year in review 2016' post " 2017 wasn't as rich in epicness as 2016" but then I had to stop myself, 2017 has been awesome for me. 

I've only been active in short bursts due to other commitments like working my full time job, building a house, teaching myself woodworking and looking after my family and I'm a bit bummed to realise I made my last portrait on 6th August!



My studio is currently shut down while I am relocating but expect a great line-up of portraits in 2018, starting mid to late Feb in my brand-new studio space. 

2 things stand out for me this year:-

Being voted Australia/New Zealand Emerging Photographer 2017http://www.capturemag.com.au/latest/who-is-australasia-s-top-emerging-photographer-2017

Making my first photography book, 'Artefact', which I entered into the NZIPP Iris awards to win a top gold award - http://www.paulalsop.com/blog/2017/7/30/artefact-the-book

There was also a couple of articles in a few publications:-

- Bay of Plenty Times Back Page - a local newspaper, but probably the best interview I've had to date - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11867340

- Progear - Joining the NZ elite photographers with a feature in their 'Photographer of the Month' section -   https://www.progear.co.nz/about/photographer-of-the-month/paul-alsop/

I've also had the opportunity to meet some excellent people and makes some excellent portraits, here are only a few:-


Many thanks to everyone who has supported me and a special thanks to those that have sat for me in 2017, looking forwards to sharing my work with you all in 2018!

Kia ora rawa atu (Many Thanks) and Noho ora mai (all the best). 


Artefact - The Book.

One of my ambitions as an artist was to make a book.

The first compendium of work by Paul M Alsop.

I had visualised making a book to compliment an exhibition. A few years ago, when I set this as an ambition, I saw this as a far away goal, something to work towards, I wanted it to be just right, I didn't want to rush it. At the time I didn't have a large enough body of work to make a book. I 'shelved' the idea (pardon the pun ...).

Head down and bum up, I've slowly been increasing my personal body of work over the past couple of years and I was heading towards having enough work to put into a compendium.

In anticipation of making a book, I had contacted a well known New Zealand publisher for advice. They were pretty black and white. "We would not take on your book, no offence, we really like your work, but ....." and here it comes ....

"Who in this day and age in New Zealand are buying books?" - not many people

"Of those people, how many are interested in Photography books?" - what's less than not many?

"Of those people, how many are interested in portraiture?" - I'm guessing even less than less of not many?

"Of those people, how many are interested in Wet Plate Collodion porrtaiture?" - I'm probably getting a number that might fit in a Mini?

"Of those people, who would want to buy a book of YOUR work?" - the penny dropped, I was the only person left in this metaphorical scenario - or maybe my mum?

Now I wasn't looking to make a fortune from making a book, I know most people that invest in making photobooks actually come out at a loss, it was more just for the experience of having a physical object that contained my work. Despite the dressing down by the publisher, I was still keen on having a personal book as a collection of my work for future reference, but as I said, the idea was shelved.

Fast forward to 11th May 2017, I get an email from Libby at Momento Pro, a well respected book makers for Australia and New Zealand ......

Hey Paul

I’ve been loving your Instagram feed and sounds like you’ve had an amazing time since I met you at the AIPA Image Nation 2015.

Just checking to see whether you had printed or published a photo book - because if you had I imagine it would likely do well in the first ever NZIPP Iris Book Awards.
— Libby Jeffrey - Momento Pro

....... The NZIPP what Awards? Book? I was well aware that the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographer had an annual event of print awards, but I'd never heard of a book category.  It was May 11th, the deadline for submission was 31st May and the Book had to be printed and in the hands of the NZIPP aficionados by June 12th!

My self doubt kicked in, there is NO WAY I can curate my work and have it all done in a couple of weeks. Then my self confidence kicked in .... "you always work better if you have a deadline ....".

To cut a long story short, I worked my butt of for 2 weeks solid, editing and compiling my work into a 78 page book called 'Artefact'.

See the video above for an idea of what was involved (oh, and it won a GOLD award). 


A year in review

I started off this new site, blogging that "If you're not going to blog regular, then don't blog".

Well, I may have to rethink that in the new year. As always, life gets in the way and I have literally been too busy to keep up with the regular blogs and here's why.

2015 has been an epic year, for my life and for photography. You're not here to read about the life stuff, so here's a bit about what happened with photography.

I was a bit bummed out that I was selling my house and also my garage darkroom, the prospect for making wet plates in 2015 wasn't looking good. However, before packing all my gear away for who knew how long, I had one last thing to do, make a plate of my good friends A'sha and Dylan on their wedding day. I remember one of the comments on the image after making it and showing social media was "you shot wet plate at a wedding? man you have balls!"

Image courtesy of  Danelle Bohane  

Image courtesy of Danelle Bohane 

Around the time of moving from the Coromandel Penninsula to the Bay of Plenty, I contracted a pretty nasty dose of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease - lying on my 'deathbed' I received an email from Tracy Stamatakos of OneBlackSheep and NZIPP asking if I would be interested in being a keynote speaker at their annual Infocus photography conference in Queenstown. This made me feel heaps better!

An awesome line up, what on earth was I doing in there?

An awesome line up, what on earth was I doing in there?

The photography stopped with the wedding plate being taken 7/2/2015. The next image wasn't made until 24/5/15, mainly because I had lost access to a dark room, which is essential to wet plate photography. Nevertheless, I had a plan.

After searching for a variety of different options, I settled on buying a retro caravan and set about turning it into a mobile darkroom, this meant, I didn't get our rental property stained with silver, but it also meant I could be mobile.

The mobile darkroom on the road

The mobile darkroom on the road

The story of the mobile darkroom caravan was picked up by the popular international photography blog Petapixel (click here to read) then subsequently a story was run by the Sydney Morning Herald (click here  to read ).

That's enough for the year already right? Turns out, no, there was still alot more in store! 

I had 3 exhibitions, one at the New Zealand Art show, one at The Wallace Gallery and another at Adrian Worsley Gallery.

Wallace Gallery exhibition

Wallace Gallery exhibition

Exhibition and making plates at Adrian Worsley Gallery

Exhibition and making plates at Adrian Worsley Gallery

In August, I was flown down to Queenstown to speak at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography annual conference, which was awesome for 3 reasons, a) here is a doctor talking to 200 professional photographers about photography for an hour b) I got to go to Queenstown in the snow c) I got to do it with my family.

After the 2015 NZIPP conference

After the 2015 NZIPP conference

Something that had been on my mind during the conference was the opportunity to make images with Luke White again at Kingsize Studios the largest and best studio in New Zealand, we made portraits for our collaboration 'The Auckland Project'. Again, I was lucky enough to be featured in the international photography blog Petapixel (to read more click here). 

The images were also featured in the international magazine BLUR which is dedicated to creative photography.

Making images at Kingsize Studios - Image courtesy of  Lee Howell

Making images at Kingsize Studios - Image courtesy of Lee Howell

A surprise email from TVNZ led an interview and segment on the NZ primetime TV show Seven Sharp. To watch it click here

Kristen Hall of TVNZ and Seven Sharp came for a visit

Kristen Hall of TVNZ and Seven Sharp came for a visit

Finally I collaborated with a bunch of hairy fellas for Decembeard, making tintypes to raise awareness of bowel cancer in New Zealand.

An ongoing project for 2016

An ongoing project for 2016

And that was pretty much it for 2015 photography-wise. In the 'background, I also moved house twice, moved job twice and had a baby!

I'm looking forward to 2016 with already a few things in the pipeline, however, it would be hard to beat 2015!