Mead Norton will be adding a new element to this year's Rotorua Bike Festival by offering a series of three paid workshops for aspiring photographers.

The award-winning American-born, Rotorua-based photographer successfully tested the workshop concept at Pepper's on the Point a year ago, and the bike festival events will be followed with one before Crankworx in March, and other non-bike specific workshops throughout the year.

Mr Norton, who has an MSc in photography from the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, and has been published worldwide, sees the workshops as a way of extending his core photography business.

"Workshops are starting to pick up in New Zealand, but so far as I am aware there is no one in the Bay of Plenty doing them. I am actually a trained teacher so I'll be combining that experience with my photography skills to help people take better images."


The bike festival workshops are aimed at beginner to intermediate photographers who want to learn how to better capture biking action during the festival and in general.

"I was originally only going to offer one workshop, but had so much interest that I have expanded to three during the festival and there are still spaces available."

Bike festival media manager Graeme Simpson said the organisers were "wholeheartedly" behind the workshops.

"Mead's been a supporter of the festival for the last four years," he said. "He's been one of our photographers and he's worked very hard and we know his work and know its quality."

Mr Simpson said the workshops were a good way to get people involved in the festival.

"Not only is he running three workshops, but he's also going to be taking students to events and that's valuable for us as well. We will get photographs sourced from people who are learning from someone who is world class."

The festival kicks off this Friday, February 12 and runs until February 21.