CPotY 2022 Judging Panel

Capital Photographer of the Year (CPoTY) is back for 2022.

We’ve assembled twenty of New Zealand’s leading creatives. Get to know the people making the tough decisions. To see their judging criteria, click here.


Entry is free and submissions close April 27 2022. Enter here.


Shalee Fitzsimmons Judging panel convenor Shalee (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is a creative director and designer currently based in Wellington. She has developed stories and campaigns for some of New Zealand’s leading brands, including Whittaker’s, All Birds, and Trade Me. She is currently the Art Director for both Capital and ArtZone magazines, winning Best Designer at the Webstar Media Awards in 2020. Read more about Shalee here.



Lisa Reihana Lisa (Ngāpuhi-Ngāti Hine-Ngāi Tū-Te Auru) is among the most renowned contemporary artists in Aotearoa. Her multidisciplinary practice includes film, photography and sculpture. In 2017 she represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Lisa has received numerous awards, including an Arts Laureate Award (2014), Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2018). Read more about Lisa here.


Chris Sisarich Chris is a commercial and lifestyle photographer who dabbles in the moving image. He’s also the only CPotY judge to have also been a judge on New Zealand’s Next Top Model. Based in Auckland, he’s shot in Prague, Los Angeles, Egypt, and Mali. Chris has exhibited work locally and in the USA, and was featured in Lürzer’s Archive Top 200 commercial photographers globally in 2013, 2015, and 2018.


Derek Henderson Derek photographed the iconic Vogue shoot of Jacinda Ardern and has documented cultures in all corners of the globe through his large-format travel photography. His work appears in exhibitions, archives, advertisements, and magazines across the world. Derek’s mixed focus of fashion, travel, and fine art photography has made him both a sought-after commercial photographer, and a renowned photographic artist in his own right.


Lizzie Bisley Lizzie is the curator of modern art at Te Papa. She studied at Victoria University and the Royal College of Art in London, working thereafter at the V&A, curating a number of major exhibitions on modernism and 20th-century design for their millions of visitors. Her recent exhibitions include Surrealist Art: Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist. Read more about Lizzie here.



Virginia Woods-Jack Virginia is an award-winning British-born photographic artist, curator, and arts advocate living and working in New Zealand. She is the founder and curator of Women in Photography NZ & AU. Her work has been featured in ArtZone, Harper’s Magazine, and Time Magazine among others. This year, her work will be exhibited in New York City, the UK, at the Aotearoa Arts Festival, and in Points of Return, an exhibition hosted by environmental arts project A La Luz. Read more about Virginia here.


Sean Aickin Born into a photographic family, Sean has always been around photography. Combining this interest with his love of live music, he spent many years shooting bands travelling throughout New Zealand. He opened his own specialist analogue photography store, Splendid Photo, a few years ago. Splendid services the needs of regional photographers shooting on all formats of film; and sells all types of film camera, from the cheap and simple, to the rare and vintage. Read more about Sean here.


Simon Devitt Simon is a photographer primarily concerned with architecture. He’s worked for clients and luxury brands all over the world, had images featured in numerous architecture and design magazines, and currently lectures in Photography of Architecture at the University of Auckland. Simon has also authored a number of award-winning photo books and established the university’s annual Simon Devitt Prize for Photography in 2008. See more from Simon here.


Roberta Thornley Roberta specialises in highly-composed series photography: imagery she uses to tell stories. An Elam graduate, Roberta was the 2014 Tylee Cottage resident and won the Marti Friedlander award in 2017. She has exhibited photography at galleries all over Australasia. With an active arts practice, Roberta’s skill with lighting and composition sets her apart from many photographers. Read more about Roberta here.


Janet Bayly Janet is a photographer and Director Curator of Mahara Gallery, the district gallery for Kāpiti Coast. Graduating from the Elam School of Fine Arts in 1979, she has been an independent curator specialising in photography and the moving image. Janet has lectured at Massey University, and worked in numerous gallery and museum spaces. Her photographic works are held in the permanent collections at Te Papa, the Christchurch Art Gallery, and the Sarjeant Gallery.


Mark Gee You can often find Mark nestled by his camera under a dark Wairarapa sky. He’s a world-renowned astronomical photographer, and when he’s not snapping our neighbouring stars and galaxies, he does digital effects work on Oscar-winning films. He received much acclaim for his viral short film Full Moon Silhouettes. In 2013, he won the Royal Museums Greenwich Astronomy Photographer of the Year award for his shot of the Cape Palliser sky, also winning the competition’s Space and Earth categories. His self-taught work has since produced a TEDx talk, and a book, The Art of Night. Read more about Mark here.


Harry Culy Harry is an artist and photographer from Wellington. He holds an MFA from Massey University and received the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award from the Arts Foundation in 2021. Harry has exhibited at galleries across Australasia, including City Gallery Wellington, Jhana Millers, Parlour Projects, and the Contemporary Centre for Photography in Melbourne. Alongside his photography work, he runs Bad News Books. Read more about Harry here.


Sarah Burton Fielding Based in London, Sarah is a Kiwi photographer and art director specialising in still life and portraiture. She recently featured in two major photography competitions, Portrait of Britain and Photographic Museum of Humanity, with works appearing in The Guardian and The Financial Times. Sarah has developed visual campaigns for L’Occitane, Marriott Hotels, Oxfam, and Swarovski, among others, and acts as the senior art director and photographer for ethical fashion marketplace Wolf and Badger.


Bridget Reweti Bridget (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi) is an artist and curator, as well as a member of the Mata Aho Collective which won the Walters Prize in 2021. Her lens-based practice champions Māori histories embedded in landscapes through names, narratives, and lived experiences. Bridget was the 2020/21 Frances Hodgkins Fellow at Otago University, is co-editor of ATE: Journal of Māori Art, and is the co-curator of the national evolving exhibition Māori Moving Image. Read more about Bridget here.


Conor Clarke Conor is of Ngāi Tahu, Irish, and Welsh descent, based in Christchurch. Since graduating from Elam in 2005 she has exhibited her moody photographic art throughout New Zealand. Conor has been the recipient of several residencies, including Tylee Cottage Residency in 2017, and the Waitawa Park residency in 2015. Conor has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas to take up an academic position as a photography lecturer at the Ilam School of Fine Arts. Read more about Conor here.



Shaun Waugh Shaun is a visual artist working within the photographic medium. A lecturer in photography at Massey, Shaun surrounds himself with the practice and theory of photographic art every day, and has explored things like cameraless photography and photographic sculpture. Working at the intersection of conceptual art and photography, Shaun has exhibited at City Gallery, Two Rooms, the Govett-Brewster, and the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.


Athol McCredie