In an industry sometimes despised for its superficiality, friends of world-renowned fashion photographer Craig Owen yesterday remembered a man of great depth and soul.
Every seat was filled at All Saints Church in Ponsonby, Auckland, as the fashion community farewelled a man who was described as the "antithesis" of the shallowness often associated with the industry.
Friends and family described Owen as a down-to-earth and intensely loyal man.
Owen's cousin, actor Karl Urban, said he was a talented photographer with an eye for beauty and the ability to "capture the soul of a moment". He could also make an unbeatable Christmas ham, Urban added.
Owen's wife, model Grace Bracelos Owen, said: "I'm sad that I will never be able to see the world through Craig's eyes again."
Mourners included fashion designers Marc Moore and Benny Castles, Big Wednesday presenter Sonia Gray, and hairdresser Rodney Wayne.
Owen worked primarily shooting for fashion magazines and advertising. His latest work features on the cover of the current Fashion Quarterly and on billboards promoting Cook Islands tourism. He had also photographed actress Anna Paquin, supermodel Elle Macpherson, and was behind some of New Zealand's most recognisable landscape shots.
His brother and sister recalled Owen's wide-ranging interests - from driving "cool cars" to surfing, playing the bagpipes, and DIY.
Friend Tim Riley conceded there was "a deep sadness in his heart", with Owen not allowing himself to grieve the loss of his mother some years ago. Riley said Owen had become increasingly troubled before he was found dead in his home last Monday.
Bookings at popular hair salon D&M were cancelled to host a reception in the afternoon.