The cameras I have used over the years have been many and varied. While they have been useful tools for taking the photos, it is the printing of the images that sustains the excitement for me. It never ceases to be a revelation to see the negative, and to make from it a photo that holds the mystery of a vanished moment. For all the people who appear in my photos, known to me or otherwise, I have a special affinity, a feeling of a shared moment captured forever.

Marti Friedlander has had a long career as a photographer. Her subjects have been diverse; portraiture, rural, urban and suburban scenes and encounters, both in New Zealand and other places in which she has lived or visited.

Marti Friedlander was born in London and spent her childhood in a Jewish orphanage. She won a trade scholarship at age 14 and studied photography.  From 1946-57, she worked as a photographic assistant in a portrait and fashion studio in Kensington.  She married New Zealander Gerrard Friedlander in 1957 and came to live in New Zealand in 1958.

The first New Zealand photo Marti took was in 1960 at Auckland's Myers Park during a protest meeting opposing the All Blacks going to South Africa, featuring the banner 'I'm all white Jack'. The print was bought by the BBC for their series on Rugby..

 
 Pentecostal demonstration,
Auckland, 1972

Marti found settling in New Zealand very difficult and missed the excitement of living and working in central London.She was aware however, that New Zealand was on the edge of change, and made it her commitment to record this change. 

She began working as a freelance photographer in 1964 and traveled throughout New Zealand. 

She is well known for her work in the books: Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century (1972) with Michael King; Larks in a Paradise (1974) with James McNeish;  Contemporary New Zealand Painters A-M (1980) with Jim and Mary Barr;  Pioneers of New Zealand Wine (2002) with Dick Scott and Marti Friedlander: Photographs (2001) with Ron Brownson and Marti Friedlander with Prof. Leonard Bell  (2009).

In 1999, Marti was awarded the Companion of NZ Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to photography.  Her book Marti Friedlander: Photographs (with Ron Brownson) was shortlisted at the 2001 Montana Book Awards.

Her work has been exhibited at the Photographers' Gallery in London, the Waikato Art Museum, and in a large and celebrated retrospective at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2001, which was a comprehensive survey exhibition of Marti's's work.  The exhibition toured New Zealand galleries in 2002.  This show brought together an extensive range of photographs created over a period of 40 years. 

 
 Te Maika, 1975

In 2004, Friedlander was specifically requested to shoot the publicity photos and the album cover for the new CD by the Finn brothers.  In the same year she was the subject of a documentary film Marti: The Passionate Eye documentary directed by Shirley Horrocks, that screened throughout New Zealand in the 2004 International Film Festival, and was shown Internationally.

Supported by the Arts Foundation, the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award was launched in 2007.  The Award is presented every two years to an established photographer with a record of excellence and potential to continue working at high levels. The Award includes a $25,000 donation for the photographer to help further their career.

In 2010, Marti generously gifted her photographs from The Moko Suite, to Te Papa - New Zealand's national museum.  The collection consists of 47 portrait photographs of Maori kuia (female elders) with chin moko or traditional tattoos. Marti contributed images to historian Michael King's 1972 book Moko - Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century. They toured New Zealand to capture these kuia at a time it was thought the art of moko might be lost to future generations.

Marti Friedlander received an Arts Foundation Icon Award in 2011.

Words

2002
Michael King's opening talk at Marti Friedlander's retrospective exhibition, which toured New Zealand in 2001

Video

2011
Marti Friedlander (photographer) features on TVNZ 7's broadcast of 'The Artists', produced in partnership with the Arts Foundation following the 2011 Arts Foundation Icon Awards.
2009
Marti Friedlander disccuses photographing painter, Rita Angus

Galleries

2006
These images were originally shown in Rome as part of the International Photography Festival, held April - May, 2006
“I want simplicity...the simple portrait, in the long run, is the one that lasts.”
As well as being one of the country’s leading photographers and social documentarians for over fifty years, Marti Friedlander has initiated and been involved with a number of publications and other projects
1928   
Born, London, United Kingdom
1946-57
Worked as a photographic assistant in Kensington
1957
   Married Gerrard Friedlander
1958 
   Arrived in Auckland, New Zealand
1964
   Began working as a freelance photographer
1972 
   Moko shortlisted for Montana Awards
1974
   Exhibition at the Photographers Gallery London
1999
   Awarded the Companion of NZ Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to photography
2001
    Marti Friedlander: Photographs shortlisted at the 2001 Montana Book Awards 2002;Comprehensive survey exhibition toured NZ galleries
2004
    Marti: the Passionate Eye documentary by Shirley Horrocks screened at the NZ International Film Festival
2007 
   Launched the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, supported by the Arts Foundation
2009
Marti Friedlander by Prof. Leonard Bell, published by Auckland University Press (a finalist in the 2010 NZ Post Book Awards.
2010 
   Gifted The Moko Suite, to Te Papa - New Zealand's national museum, following FHE Gallery, Auckland, exhibition
2011
     Received an Arts Foundation Icon Award
2015
Receives the Doc Edge Superhero Award at the 11th Documentary Edge International Film Festival for dedication and skill in documenting Aotearoa through still images

Awards