Peter James Quinn
Peter James Quinn is one of New Zealand’s most versatile and accomplished photographers.
Peter's career began in 1989 when he trained in professional photography and broadcast film/video production at the School of Design, Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University). Following graduation in 1990, Peter was immediately commissioned to photograph his first book: Staunch –an uncompromising documentary examining life inside New Zealand’s gang culture. The title was republished to a 3rd edition and a series of prints from it are now held in the permanent collection of Te Papa Tongarewa - The Museum of New Zealand, and by the Police & Justice Museum in Sydney, Australia. Many of Peter’s photographs have since been toured both nationally and internationally by Te Papa Tongarewa for exhibitions as far afield as the Tokyo Museum and the national museums of Mexico and Holland. He has held numerous one-man exhibitions of his work and has been included in group shows in New Zealand and the United States. A large scale solo exhibition designed by Peter of his Great South Road photo-essay, originally shot for New Zealand Geographic magazine, hangs permanently in the Fisher & Paykel foyer of the Vodafone Event Centre in Manukau City, Auckland.
Peter has worked as a contract photographer and writer for New Zealand Geographic for more than 20 years, culminating in 2010 with publication under the Geographic imprint of a 208 page retrospective hard-cover book titled New Zealanders in Focus - the documentary photography of Peter James Quinn. An earlier book co-authored with the photography by Peter titled Highway 35 - Travels around East Cape was shortlisted for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (Illustrative Arts category) in 1999 and in 2013 PenguinRandomHouse Publishing released his latest book Tūhoe - Portrait of a Nation following a multi-year project documenting the central North Island Maori tribe reach their historic raupatu Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Crown.
Peter’s international publishing clients include the Singapore based Apa Publications GmbH & Co, publishers of the Insight Guides and Berlitz travel guidebook series who commissioned him to update the New Zealand edition, sold in over 100 countries with 11 different language translations. He has also photographed for Jahreszeiten Verlag the Hamburg publishers of the prestigious German travel magazine, Merian.
Peter has created high-end marketing imagery for commercial clients like the award winning Pacific Resort Hotel Group, Aitutaki, Rarotonga and Te Manava –voted “World’s Leading Boutique Island Resort and Villas.” Along with this, he has concept designed websites and produced copy writing and photography for the bespoke Cook Island travel operators Tipani Tours and DMCK, both companies being subsidiaries of the Turama Pacific Travel Group. In New Zealand, the alpine ski areas, Mount Hutt and Treble Cone, along with the Helicopter Line, Franz Josef Glacier Guides and the eco-luxury Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge have all made use of his services at one time or another. Peter’s corporate clients have included Fletcher Paper and the State owned enterprise Solid Energy amongst other primary industries.
In 2002 Peter was judged Corporate/Editorial Category Winner in the Epson New Zealand Photographer of the Year Awards and New Zealand Geographic Photographer Of The Year in 2014.
And in 2019, the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Shed 11 on the Wellington waterfront launched a touring exhibition curated by Jaenine Parkinson, the gallery's director, titled "Working Life" spanning 30 years of Peter's documentary photography. The "Working Life" exhibition is scheduled to be shown at the University of Waikato's Calder & Lawson Gallery from September 21st, 2020.
Peter welcomes all enquires to commission him for his photography, writing, video or design services and he can be reached on (+64) 021 2634018. More details can be found on the Contact page.
Click here to listen to an interview Peter did with Radio New Zealand host Kim Hill on her "Playing Favourites" Saturday morning slot (unfortunately his song choices have been removed for copyright reasons) where he talks about his book "New Zealanders in Focus" and provides a background to his photography career spanning more than a quarter of a century. (33 mins)
Click here to view a New Zealand Geographic magazine feature profile written by the editor, James Frankham, on Peter's work for the magazine over 20 years, culminating in the book "New Zealanders In Focus".
Click here to view a New Zealand Photography magazine feature profile written by the editor in chief, Ted Gibbons, on Peter's work for the NZ Geographic over 20 years, culminating in the book "New Zealanders In Focus".
Click here to view an Otago Daily Times review written by Wellington historian, Gavin McLean, of the book Tūhoe - Portrait of a Nation
Click here to view Peter's 2011 Peka Chuka talk in association with Photoforum at Hopetoun Alpha building during the Auckland Festival of Photography. (7.50 mins)