Download FOTOFEST exhibition map here

FOTOFEST photography festival event Hastings Hawke’s Bay PRESS RELEASE 2022

What happens when a group of friends that share the love of photography start to plan an event that brings together the best of local and out of town photographers, exhibitions and workshops? A week-long Foto Festival is born!

With support from Hastings District Council’s city activation fund, FOTOFEST is going to get Hastings city buzzing.Organiser Shayne Jeffares of Foto Iwi said the idea was to create an event for all to enjoy with or without a camera, and as such exhibitions would feature in shop windows, pop-up galleries and more over the week.“From budding photographers to families looking for fun things to do, you will discover not only amazing exhibitions but also creative workshops, digital exhibitions and something for the kids … photography treasure hunts.”One of the exhibitions “From the Pit” comes from Sony, and is one of the country’s longest running musical exhibitions.“This will be a digital exhibition shown on a massive screen so locals can get a real taste of what it’s like to be behind the scenes at some of New Zealand’s top music gigs.”Also featured will be the talents of Petra Leary, who will be exhibiting her renowned drone images of basketball courts that show amazing geometry and design, with her signature bird’s eye view style, that will simply amaze, Shayne said.People can also expect to be captivated by photographer James Foy’s images of endangered African animals set against a stark black background, which he hopes inspires others to help be the voice for these beautiful wild animals.On the local front, Shayne said people would have the opportunity to attend workshops by Hawke’s Bay’s top commercial photographers, fine art photographers, inspiring youth photographers and an award winning sport photographer.“You could then attend a workshop from a photographer and filmmaker whose specialty is adrenaline sports who will share how to grow your following on social media.”To find out more about all that is happening over the week, head to the website so you can keep the date free to take in the competitions, daily prizes and limited spaces to book into the free talks and workshops.“All this and more held amongst the culture, cafe and art vibe that Hastings city is becoming known for.”FOTOFEST runs from Friday, September 30 to Friday, October 7.

Meet the man bringing Fotofest to Hastings

Hastings LeaderBy Warren Buckland15 Sep, 2022 05:51 PM

Since the 1980s, Shayne Jeffares has had a camera in his hand most days - usually as part of his job as a school class photographer.

He says he was lucky to be given an opportunity.

"Someone took a chance on me and I started in the photographic industry when I was 17."Shayne says the chance he got when he was young changed his life and he wants to give something back to the community to motivate and inspire local youth - which is where Fotofest comes in.With his wife Cath and three professional trustees Shayne has developed Foto Iwi Trust, a youth platform based on creativity using visual digital media.In 2012, Shayne and Cath owned a café and gallery in Napier.The gallery was photography-themed and ran a national photography event similar to Fotofest.The couple closed the business as the building needed earthquake strengthening and decided they wanted to focus on using their skills to introduce youth to photography through workshops.This year the Hastings District Council gave Foto iwi city activation funding for Fotofest.

Shayne said he wants to bring people into the CBD and create a week-long photography event for everyone to enjoy.Fotofest will focus on local professional photographers, hobbyists and filmmakers.The photography festival event  will also include national exhibitors, workshops and talks, 

He said that Hastings is becoming recognised as having a diverse and vibrant art and café culture.

"I would like to see Fotofest become an annual event; photo festivals are huge, worldwide," Shayne said.

He wanted the exhibitions to celebrate diversity, and the multicultural and Chinese associations have sponsored some local photographers. 

"If you like taking photos, you can enter competitions or if you aren't into taking photos, you can look at about 20 exhibitions and listen to creative workshop talks," Shayne said.

Workshops will be held by Hawke's Bay's top commercial and fine art photographers, an adrenaline sports photographer filmmaker and an award-winning sports shooter.

One of the talks will be from Jeremy Bright of Taupō, who will speak about taking photographs in Russia and Ukraine.Another New Zealand photographer, James Foy, has taken images of endangered African animals set against a black background. He hopes to inspire others to help be the voice for these wild animals.Some of the country's top music photographers will be displaying their From the Pit exhibition, a collection of images of Kiwi musicians playing live in New Zealand.The photographs are mainly taken from a small area between the band and the crowd where authorised snappers can find the best angles to record the musical action.The highlight for Shayne has been communicating with photographers he hasn't seen for years and working through the festival process with the council."It's been a lot of work and next time I would like a bigger organising team to help and bounce ideas off," Shayne said.

"I'd love Fotofest to be an annual photography festival event  and roll it out to about a month."