Proof agency aims higher for NZ advertising photographers

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Auckland-based photography champion Luke White aims to elevate NZ professional photography to a new level by launching Proof, a modern agency representing NZ advertising photographers.

“The Proof photographers are all passionate about creating beautiful, authentic stories in their work,” White told M+AD.

“The photographers come from a diverse range of backgrounds which really informs their practice. For example, Lee Howell worked as a Formula 1 mechanic which influences how he approaches an automotive shoot.

“Lottie Hedley was a (friendly) lawyer in a former life and her empathetic understanding of people comes through in her portraiture.

“Collaboration is at the core of what we do and I’m excited to see what creative campaigns and personal projects our first year will bring.”

Passion – with humour
White says the Proof philosophy is one of collaboration, inspiration and constant growth with an emphasis on creative, personal projects. “The photographers share a set of values including industriousness, passion, openness and humour,” he says.

“J founded Proof as a platform to work with brilliant artists and help them to realise their very best work.”

He says he likes to think of himself as the Rick Rubin of photography but without the awesome beard.

“It has been many years since we’ve seen a new photo agency in New Zealand and I think people are ready for something fresh.”

RAF roots
White has been professionally immersed in photography for the past decade, prior to which he was an engineer in the RAF (“but that’s a story for another day”).

For the past five years he has run Kingsize Studios (the major Auckland photographic studio complex and equipment rental house) where he worked with almost every advertising photographer in the country as well as many from overseas.

“During this time I founded the Kingsize Scholarship course which selects a dozen emerging photographers each year and puts them through an intensive programme of assignments, critiques, guest speakers as well as classes on photographic technique, art history and business.

“I’m proud to have worked with around 40 photographers at the start of their careers who are now working in the industry in NZ and around the world,” he says.

White earned a BA (Hons), Photography, 1st Class, from Nottingham Trent University in 2005-08.

Passion play
“I work closely with all of the Proof photographers to help them cut away distractions and find their authentic voice. When a photographer makes work they are passionate about, it shows in the images and that’s when they produce their best work.

“Proof launched this week – I have been working with my photographers for a few months on campaigns and for years informally. Duncan Innes did a great campaign with Y&R for Land Rover earlier this year. Lee Howell shot a campaign for DJI Phantom recently, he also shoots for St John and is going to Nepal in October with Save The Children.

“Lottie Hedley has shot eight cookbooks and is currently in the USA working on personal projects. Fraser has mainly shot editorial jobs so far with a small number of commercial campaigns including Oyster Bay wine.

“I couldn’t be happier to be working with such a talented group of shooters and friends.”

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