Capturing pure emotions and wonderfully crafted moments is Justin Aitken's expertise.

The Bay of Plenty based photographer has been named the Wedding Photographer of the Year 2018, at the Nikon/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards, after taking out both the Wedding In-Camera Artistry and Wedding Open categories.

This was the second year in a row that Aitken has won the Wedding Open category.

Aitken photographs weddings all around New Zealand, and is thankful to have couples who trust him to document their special day.


"I believe that my work is interesting and current, yet still timeless and natural - it's probably more documentary style, and less traditional. My focus is to capture real emotion, connection and love. Photographs with value. Created with passion," his website states.

It was Aitken's eighth year entering the awards.

"My heart still beats fast every time one of my prints comes up for judging. It's a great opportunity to explore various concepts and ideas, and push ourselves to grow and develop as photographers," he said.

"No photographer is bigger than photography itself, and because it's forever evolving, we need to continue learning, pushing boundaries and exploring."

These annual awards, open to all New Zealand and International professional photographers​, have been running for 35 years.