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2018 Auckland Photographer of the Year


Family Photography


“Matt looks like he really is enjoying himself, that’s nice. I like the no shoes! Maybe that’s what kept him genuinely smiling…  The background is symbolic with the two paths that appear to merge into one where they are, Megan and Matt are holding hands in the middle, not one giving or taking anymore of the others space just an equal share and they have such great expressions of happiness so that one eventually won. It must be amazing to be able to create such meaningful images, you indeed have a gift!” – Kelsey Hobson

I first came across Ilan Wittenberg several years ago at Silo Park in Auckland where I was very taken with his exhibited works. Last week I was asking around work for a photographer for some relaxed profile photos, when I heard his name I immediately remembered Ilan. We made contact and met very early the next morning. Ilan was a pleasure to work with and he immediately put me at ease. I am thrilled with the resulting images and just wish I could afford to buy more! If you want to work with a true professional and get the results you want then I cannot recommend Ilan highly enough. I had a web gallery that very afternoon and boy it was hard to chose just a few. I was expecting to wait a week for the final images but I got them the very next day. What fabulous service. Thank you Ilan, I won’t use anyone else again. – Kate Bilham If you’re looking for a professional photographer I’d highly recommend Ilan. We recently had a family photoshoot that included 2 children under 5, lIan was the consummate professional and managed both the children and parents beautifully! He has a great eye and understands the intricacies of taking amazing photos. We couldn’t be happier the end result! – Nathan Fraher So glad to have you take our family portraits on this winter morning. We had a wonderful time on Saturday, even though it was so chilly, it was totally worth it for the beautiful pictures you have taken. We are really happy with the portrait you have created and look forward to seeing it in full size. Thank you so much Ilan, we are so pleased with these pictures! – Susan Yong My husband and I booked Ilan to take our family shots which we had made into a composite canvas. It is absolutely stunning and we can’t wait for friends and family to see it on our lounge wall. During the shoot he did a fantastic job on the day with engaging us plus our three kids ranging from 13 years, 3 years and just 3 months old!!! He made us feel very comfortable, had us laughing and smiling with ease which made it nice and relaxing. When we went to his studio to select our prints he made the photos tell a story of our family and it made it really easy to choose which ones out of all the beautiful shots to select for our special canvas. We would certainly recommend Ilan to our friends and family. Thank you so much Ilan. – Debbie Churchill Fantastic experience from first point of contact to finished beautiful canvas prints ready to mount on the walls in our home. These will be treasured family items for years to come. Ilan was relaxed, fun and professional and made our experience of family portraits positive. Thanks Ilan!- Angie McMurdock

A recent visit from UK of my daughter and granddaughter, and daughter from Wellington, presented a rare opportunity to get some special photos to serve as a wonderful reminder of the time spent together. This was especially important to me as I had not seen my granddaughter, now three, since she was just three months old. The task of capturing special moments of me with my girls that we could all proudly retain as wall-art was given to Ilan of WOW Photography.

While my daughter from UK was happy to participate in the outdoor, beach-setting photoshoot with Ilan, she did say that a previous effort to obtain studio portraits of her with her daughter, in London, had left her a “broken woman”! Her little girl (Lexi) was not co-operative in smiling and refused to settle with any sort of pose for the camera.

The photoshoot with Ilan was a totally different story. In a short space of time Lexi was totally engaged, co-operative and let out her inherent happy disposition, smiles, laughter and personality to be captured on film. All the photos were simply stunning, but with Ilan’s guidance, we were able to select the best that suited our individual preferences: I chose a composite canvas, featuring a large family centre-piece photo, surrounded by four smaller photos, while my daughters each chose a large triptych with three large photos.

We are all thrilled with the wall-art created by Ilan which captures the magic and memories resulting from the rare opportunity to have all “my girls” with me at the same time. I thoroughly recommend Ilan’s services – he is a total professional and, after all, he wasn’t the 2015 and 2016 Auckland Photographer of the Year for nothing! – Theo Simeonidis

Photo’s taken by Ilan is experience and a journey, from the moment you meet to the moment your professional taken photos are presented, he is also one of the nicest and caring persons I have met, he will get the best out of you on the right moment. You wouldn’t be able to find a photographer who could stack up to Ilan, his flexibility and his amazing eye for detail and framing are unsurpassed, he knows all the right locations, when Ilan first show your shots it will be a revelation. – Bart Van Werkhooven We had a family portrait taken by Ilan Wittenberg in December last year (2016). We have never been in a professional photoshoot of the likes done by Ilan. I expected the photoshoot to be a quick affair. We would come in, Ilan would take the photos and that would be it.
However, Ilan took the time to explain his process and he got to know us a little bit. He managed to develop a good rapport with us in a relatively short period of time. This ultimately led us to be more relaxed and have fun during the photoshoot. The photos captured the joy of the occasion, which was largely due to the efforts of Ilan. We will treasure the memories, photos and the final product (canvas prints of select photos) produced by Ilan.
Thank you for taking your time and effort in getting to know us and using your great skills to produce amazing photos. Hope you keep building on your success, and best of luck with all your future endeavours. I would definitely recommend the service provided by Ilan, it is worth it. – Sahan Lalpe
We did a family portrait with Ilan in December. It was an early morning shoot on the beach. It was a first for our family and we were quite nervous. Ilan had a teenager to work with (apparently it is not cool for teenagers to smile) but Ilan got the most beautiful photos with smiles out of him! It was an amazing experience and definitely something I would like to do again in a couple years time! Thanks Ilan for an incredible experience, we will see you again in a year or two:-) – Keegan Rautenbach I needed a photographer for my sons’ 21st birthday and called a number of places – many didn’t bother calling back, but Ilan did. He could accommodate us at a time that suited us. Arriving at the studio, we were welcomed and made to feel at ease. Posing was a lot of fun and Ilan really engages with everyone to keep the smiles going. The photos turned out great, I am so happy with them, it was money well spent! Thanks Ilan, these photos and memories of the day will last a lifetime. – Janine van de Merwe At the last minute six of us decided to stand for the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board at the elections. One thing standing, as a team, for local elections is to market the group in the most positive manner. Good quality photographs are essential. We all had various ideas and then one of the team suggested that we seek the support of Ilan Wittenberg. That decision to engage Ilan was a most sound and proper course of action. The photographs were taken in record time and result was amazing. Thank you ever so much Ilan. – George Wood Many thanks Ilan for the awesome family portrait. We have 3 kids 5 and under and Ilan was kind and patient and managed to get a great shot with all kids smiling and looking which is no easy task. The back drop at Castor Bay is stunning and we are thrilled with the beautiful print which is now framed and up on the wall. I recommend Ilan to all who want a moment in time and spectacular image captured and we will definitely consider him again in the future. :) – Eclypse Lee Ilan was very calm and considerate when working with my 2 and 4 year old. He chose a fantastic location that had great light. He gave lots of options when choosing positions and setting. After the shoot he was fast and efficient at getting the photos ready for viewing. The viewing appointment was very special as he made the atmosphere feel loving and warm. Throughout the whole experience we were given options that would work with our family and budget. But the special memories that have been created will be ever lasting. Thank you, we have a beautiful piece of artwork- pride and centre in the heart of our home. – Theresa Wells Ilan has recently completed a series of family photos for me. The whole experience from start to the end result on our walls was fabulous. We wanted the shots to be personal to our family circumstance and this was no trouble. Of the many many shots that were taken on the day, Ilan selected the best 30 or so and we chose our favourite six under guidance and discussion with Ilan. We are extremely pleased with the results and proudly have hung them on our walls. = Penelope Baber I would rate along with my family this experience as a 10/10. Ilan made us feel very comfortable and happy during the photoshoot. He captured beautiful moments of our family in camera that now we will always have. He is very professional and passionate about his career. It was great having the opportunity to do this family portrait with Ilan. – Fernanda Muñoz Thank you for your time and taking beautiful family photos for us. We really appreciate your time and effort that has been put into taking our family photos.
And we’re happy with the stunning pictures. – Sammy Liu We have just received some fantastic family photos from Ilan Wittenberg. I was really surprised as I went to the photo session thinking “oh well lets see”, not really expecting much? but the photo session was relaxed and we came away delighted with the results. Thank you Ilan we haven’t had a decent family picture for many years. – Alison Bramley A Big Thank You Ilan for the phenomenal photos and the amazing experience, it was such great pleasure to meet you. I had the best ever costumer service, really felt special, cared and looked after.
I can say you are someone who really loves and enjoys his work so you make people feel great! Thank you! – Hiriczko Kinga
Ilan is a great artist. He makes you feel comfortable from the second you meet him and this shows in the amazing pictures that follow from his shoot. It was a privilege to have met him and have him take our family portrait. With some witty humour, he makes everybody smile. It was a fantastic experience and the result is astonishing! Thanks again! – Bert Berghmans Ilan has been a very professional fabulous person to deal with. Never putting any pressure on us to purchase whatever size photo. The photos produced by Ilan were of incredibly high quality (even if I’m not an expert in this field). In years to come, when wedding & grandchildren come along we will definitely be in touch with Ilan again. Many thanks for all your fabulous work Ilan. Go well. Kindest regards the ter Braak Family. – Rob ter Braak I approached Ilan at the beginning of December 2014, he was recommended to me by a friend after I viewed her portraits which looked amazing. We booked two sessions with Ilan, one with just me and my husband and the other with our family. Ilan was very professional and went out of his way to make us feel very relaxed in both sessions. I would highly recommend Ilan, especially to those who don’t like getting photos taken. With Ilan’s sense of humor and professionalism, not only will you have a great time but the outcome of the photos will be breathtaking. – Priya Sagar

Ilan helped create the exact portrait images I was looking for. His exuberant style brought out my natural smile and his warm personality made me feel at ease. I am very impressed with his creative photographic portfolio and wouldn’t hesitate in commissioning Ilan for a piece of photographic art for my wall. – Andrea Wouters

Auckland Portrait Photography

It’s those precious times in life that really count. My commitment is to capture those special moments, documenting love and interaction in your family with photos that will be treasured by generations to come.  My objective is to create priceless images that will stand the test of time. I have specialised in candid and stylish portrait photography in Auckland and pride myself on spontaneously capturing the soul and spirit of your family. A great photograph is a lot more than a picture; it holds your deep memories, evoking powerful emotions and showing everyone’s personality. Through dedication to my creative spirit and some hard work I have created a reputation of one of the most creative and unique portrait photographers in Auckland.

Capturing Your Memories

My role as a photographer is to gain your trust and make you feel comfortable so the images I capture will be spontaneous. One on the most valuable and enriching experiences we have is our relationship with loved ones. Life is wonderful yet brief and tender. Capturing precious memories is the best investment in your happiness and a portrait photo on your wall will make your sun shine every day as it had been proven to lift the positive energy! It is simply the ultimate gift that keeps rewarding – see the amazing Triptych collection to be really impressed!

Family Portraits

When booking your family portrait with me I don’t just take your photos – I am actually creating your family legacy! Portrait sessions are fun and informal. Please wear the style you are most comfortable with: simple, classic look or elegant. Wear clothes that reflect your personality and avoid logos and patterns. Arrange to wear solid colors of the same shade and tonal range. Agree to wear light or dark tones and bring another outfit so to have the option to change. Tiny toys are great with your infants and look adorable. Garments with sleeves photograph well while shoes are optional. The accessories that you bring say a lot about who you are; they make your portrait photos personal so please bring them: leather jackets, denim, hats, coats, scarves, favorite jewelery, cars etc. Pets will make your photos outstanding – please bring leash, toys and treats to keep them happy and co-operative. Please plan to arrive early – you will be relaxed and it will show on your images.

Initial Consultation

I tailor your photo session to your personality so we can be sure you’ll be thrilled with your family portrait. The photo session starts with a short consultation on the phone, in my Auckland studio or on site. This is my opportunity to get to know you and a great time for you to ask questions and get familiar with the process from start to finish. We’ll discuss everything that will take place and various ways that you can get the best out of the portrait session. I will also be looking to get a good idea of the style of photos that will be most suitable to you. The best way to book a consultation is to pick up the phone and call 282 4461 when you have your diary in front of you. Alternatively, just enter your contact details and I will respond shortly after.


It is important to choose the right location for your portrait session, it’s all about the right light and selecting a background that is complimentary without overpowering the image. Outdoor photos are great when taken on an overcast day which creates a soft and diffused light. There are some great locations at Castor Bay beach with iconic Rangitoto as a perfect background for an Auckland outdoor scene. Alternatively, Pehutekawa trees will provide ideal backdrop for your family portrait – especially when in full blossom. The beach helps in setting a more casual atmosphere with the family sitting down or walking together. Kids can have lots of fun which provides plenty of opportunity for capturing photos that are more natural. My studio, on the other hand, is perfect for creating more formal portrait photos with full control of the light setting and protected from the elements. There is plenty of space and lots of setting opportunities with different props to create the desired impact. Some of my best portraits are candid, an intimate moment or when everyone is enjoying themselves and having fun.

What to wear

Photo sessions are fun and informal. Plan ahead so everyone is looking at their best. Please wear the style you are most comfortable with: elegant, formal, simple, classic or smart-casual. Wear clothes that reflect your personality and avoid logos slogans, or other distracting patterns. Arrange to wear subtle and solid colors of the same shade and tonal range which are less likely to date. Try to coordinate your outfits, wearing items that complement each other in colour and style so they match and visually pleasant together. Choosing clothes with same or similar colours unifies the picture and keeps the focus on you and your family. Agree to wear light or dark tones and bring another outfit so to have the option to change. Garments with sleeves photograph well while shoes are optional at the beach. The accessories that you bring say a lot about who you are. They make your portrait personal so please bring them: leather jackets, denim, hats, coats, scarves, favorite jewelery etc. Avoid very bright yellows garments. For group shots, it’s best if everyone is wearing the same style: either casual or formal attire.