Q&A: Photographer Simon Devitt  

Simon Devitt is a photographer specialising in architectural images. He currently works as a Photography of Architecture lecturer at The University of Auckland. He was a Capital Photographer of the Year judge in 2022.

Simon’s thirst adventure goes all the way his birth in 1973, being born in the most unlikely place – during a sandstorm beside a sleeping camel.

Simon enjoys immersing himself in new cultures and settings, working with light, people, and buildings. He is the author of the award-winning photo books Rannoch and the All Things Considered series, and his work is featured in many other publications. In 2008 Simon established the Simon Devitt Prize for Photography award at The University of Auckland.

“Curiosity is the engine behind any good photographer. Be brave and take risks.”

He talks to us about his hidden talents, how he’s keeping occupied, and the best local purchase he’s made recently.

What did/ do you want to be when you grow up?

I’ve always wanted to be a photographer. I blame my Dad for my love for photography. He always carried an SLR loaded with slide film. These slides invariably ended up in family slideshows. Boring as shit for most kids, I was enthralled! I got to see how we all looked and where we went, as pictures.
I’ve never wanted to grow up.
I’d love to write sketch comedy.
I’ve always wanted to be a parent. 

What’s a skill or talent you have that people wouldn’t guess?

I love roller skating. An addiction since childhood, visiting skate lands in Papakura.
And I’ve been collecting memes since 2014 which I unleash on my Instagram stories.

What are you watching, reading, or listening to at the moment?

Watching: White Lotus season 2
Reading: To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Listening to: Smartless (podcast)

What’s the best local purchase you’ve made this year?

During lockdown, I took my Reading Room interviews online and live on Instagram. A recent interview I did was with a New Zealand artist I’ve long admired, Karl Maughan. One thing led to another and boom we are the very proud owners of a wondrous Karl Maughan painting. Very local!

Who’s the most important person in your life and why?

At the risk of sounding like a hopeless romantic (which I can blame on my star sign #hellopisces), I would have to say the love of my life, Deanna Johnston, followed closely by her girls Margaux and Charlie.

What’s your biggest regret?

No regerts.

Read more Q&As here.


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