Reporter Amy McGillivray sat down for coffee with Auckland War Memorial Museum photographer Krzysztof Pfeiffer to find out what has kept him in the job for 20 years.
He's done forensics, weddings, gallery work and events but it's the museum that's really captured his interest.
This month marks Krzysztof Pfeiffer's 20th year as the Auckland War Memorial Museum's only photographer.
"Why this job has kept me for so long is that every day is different. You might be starting with microphotography and finishing with aerial shots and everything in between. Everything is here. It's a challenge and you learn all the time," he says.
Mr Pfeiffer's time is split between photographing items from the museum collection in his studio and covering museum events or documenting field work.
He can often be found scouring the coastline at low tide for his current project.
It is his task to photograph every one of the 250 species that live on New Zealand's foreshore.
"It is quite interesting. I didn't know we had so many living species," he says.
Mr Pfeiffer is also working on another project which has him driving all around the country to photograph every marae for the Maori Maps website.
"It's a very rewarding job because usually I wouldn't get to see so many places. We drove 7000km just up in Northland. I think we covered every road up there."
Mr Pfeiffer is one of the country's most well qualified photographers.
He was born in Poland and started studying photography there when he was 14.
"I wasn't sure if that was a good decision but after a few months I was hooked."
He went on to do his masters and became a lecturer in photography before taking a forensic photography course.
Mr Pfeiffer says the 10 years he spent working as a forensic photographer taught him the importance of lighting.
Photographing footprints and other fine details requires very specific lighting, he says.
Mr Pfeiffer says his favourite projects are those that result in a book. He has contributed to some 40 books already.
Among his most well-known works are 150 Treasures, a book about the most interesting objects at Auckland museum, and Pacific Tapa, published in 1997, often called the "Tapa Bible".
Most recently he worked on Te Ara: Maori Pathways of Leadership with Paul Tapsell.
An exhibition of Mr Pfeiffer's photos from the book has already shown in Poland and England. It will open in Hamburg in October and will later be shown in the United States and China.
Last month a personal photo Mr Pfeiffer took of the Pohutu Geyser in Rotorua was judged winner of the best scenic photo category of the House of Travel photography competition. He won $5000 of air travel from Qantas and a Canon Powershot SX40 HS digital camera.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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