Tony Stewart - Grand Master Photographer from Christchurch


Tony Stewart Award-Winning Grand Master Photographer Christchurch

Having trained and worked as a secondary school teacher, Tony first became enthralled with photography while travelling overseas. Returning to New Zealand from adventures in over 65 countries, he took the opportunity to diversify his career by retraining at Christchurch Polytechnic.

Much of Tony’s work is Christchurch based, with frequent trips to other parts of the country. Wedding and commercial photography form the basis of his business, with assorted function, event, stock and portrait imagery also featuring prominently. For ten years, Tony also tutored part time in the photography department at Christchurch Polytech (then CPIT, now ARA).

In June 2005, Tony travelled to the highly respected Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California. This was a scholarship placement awarded annually by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. In 2006, as part of ongoing award entries, Associate status within the Institute was awarded. In 2007, Master of Photography status was reached, followed in 2010 by NZIPP Fellow. Subsequent bars to Fellow has since been awarded.

Until early 2010, Tony was Regional Chairperson for the Canterbury-Westland branch of NZIPP (NZ Institute of Professional Photographers). This was a voluntary position held for three years, overseeing a local committee tasked with organising meetings, seminars, workshops & speakers for professional photographers. Following on this, Tony was part of the NZIPP Honours Council for a further five years, tasked with overseeing the national professional photography awards each year. Initially a co-uthor, Tony subsequently took on the the role of Project Co-ordinator for the NZIPP-RSA WWII veterans project in the latter stages on collation. This saw the collection produced as a final printed book.

In July 2018, Tony was awarded the coveted title of Grand Master by the NZIPP. This is the top award accolade of the Institute, and is the cumulation of many years of award success. He is as the first recipient ever in the Canterbury Westland region.

Tony continues his industry involvement as an NZIPP Iris Awards judge, and has presented at several amateur and professional photography events about New Zealand in recent years.

More recently, his enthusiasm for adventure has helped develop ‘In Pursuit of Giants’. This is a small collective of photographic friends, intent on getting out in the great NZ outdoors for a laugh, doing crazy stuff, all while taking photos and video of all the shenanigans!

(Photo credits for top imagery – Glen Howey, Juliette Capaldi & Mathias Roehring)
NZIPP Logo NZIPP Logo Black

118 NZIPP Professional Photography Awards since ‘04

NZIPP Grand Master of Photography

“To find a job you love I think is a rare opportunity. I feel so fortunate to enjoy photography as I do, knowing this is only a rare possibility for many. For work not to feel like work, keeps me passionate about what I do. To feel passionate about photography is more than just f-stops and focal length. To me, this is about people.

I have met so many neat people through this medium – other photographers, students and a whole range of clients. For this, I am eternally grateful. I cherish the interaction that photography affords – the chance to thrive under pressure, share some of life’s most tender moments, to be able to leave a visual legacy for people.

The power of photography for me is not the magic of the darkroom discovered at an early age, or a first childhood camera. It is the people I have had the pleasure to meet, and the satisfaction I receive from knowing I have helped make them happy in some way”.


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Tony has an impressive knack for putting people at ease, so that his images capture them beautifully. I highly recommend Tony, particularly for his portrait photography.

Michele Hider
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Tony went above and beyond for our workplace photos for the re-vamp of our website. He allowed us to fit him in where we could and made us all feel at ease. The array of images are fantastic.

Jordan Robinson
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Tony is great to work with. He has been our go to photographer for the last few years. Tony has a holistic understanding of what makes a great photo which is great for Communications people who need to rely on the professionalism of a photographer. He is personable and professional and I enjoy working with him.

Fiona Russell
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Tony worked with us on a marketing project for our business. He was an absolute pleasure to work with. Efficient and very professional. What I liked most about working with Tony was his ability to listen attentively and take initiative by giving his professional opinion, helping us to make key decisions throughout our project. I would highly recommend his services.

Colleen Lynch
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Tony’s knowledge, talent, skills, experience and quality of equipment is evident in the photos that he produces. We would definitely use Photoshots again, without a doubt. I would also highly recommend Tony to anyone looking for a professional photographer, he exceeds beyond expectation in all areas and is a pleasure to work with.

Kitty Nicol
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Tony has been our commercial photographer for our facilities in Canterbury since 2019. Tony is a very hard worker, has a great talent and has continued to go above and beyond for us to produce high quality photos.

Andreea G