Faces of Humanity is a documentary collection with little or no changes to the actual scene. I asked people to look straight into my camera, so these are not candid photos. The strength of this series is in giving viewers a rare opportunity to connect with people in their natural environment. This diverse group of people serves as a timely reminder that, despite our many cultural differences, we can unite as a community through the power of photography.

This is a celebration of our shared values: hard work, the importance of family, and caring for each other as humans. I hope that through these photos viewers learn more about people with different backgrounds from around the world: Ruanda, Morocco, Tanzania, Cairo, Jerusalem and New Zealand. The show offers opportunities for people to contemplate, absorb, and increase their awareness of the complexities of human experience. Each photograph reveals an individual with a story that has shaped their life.

We connect with others by making eye contact – reading their expressions, feeling their emotions and getting a glimpse of their souls. I want viewers to form meaningful connections with these people: to see them as human beings, not simply subjects in front of a camera. I purposely created portraits that allow viewers to make direct eye contact with each person, so visitors can form emotional connections with these individuals.

In sharing this portfolio, I encourage viewers to show empathy: to accept others and to recognise the value of cultural diversity. We would all experience an enhanced sense of community if we took the time to appreciate interactions which allow us to discover the world beyond our familiar boundaries. We are all wonderfully unique, yet, at the same time, we are deeply similar.

I am presenting these photographs in timeless monochrome, to ensure consistency and flow of the series amidst the chaos and clutter of the busy environment. The portraits are crisp and sharp, to allow the details to inspire the imagination and to evoke emotions. My aim is to create an authentic portfolio of diverse individuals in a foreign land. My goal is to tell their stories using a clear narrative style and enduring quality.

Exhibition Details

Click here to see the wonderful exhibition clip!

Click here to listen to an interview by Lynn Freeman on RNZ Standing Room Only

Where: Parliament Building, the Executive Wing (Beehive), Te Papakura, Level 2, Wellington

Kindly sponsored by EPSON New Zealand


I just had the pleasure of visiting Ilan Wittenberg’s “Faces of Humanity” exhibition at Te Papakura gallery in the Beehive – really very impressive! … if you can get down there, it’s worth the trip. Congratulations Ilan – truly beautiful work. Catherine Cattanach

Insightful and thought provoking to see in person. I wondered about the lives these people live, their struggles and their beliefs. I wondered about the conversations that Ilan had with them. They portrayed a sense of tiredness and of being worn down by the challenges life brings. But I realised eventually, that it is weariness, defensiveness, curiosity and pride. Just as we wonder who they are, they; in that moment are wondering about the future of that photo. Who will see me? What will they think? Carrie Lagerstedt

Thank you Ilan for your invitation and drawing my attention to your Exhibition which I plan to visit over the next few weeks. I viewed your photography via the link you included and they are striking and capture the natural insight of humanities and cultures around many parts of the world. Congratulations and best wishes on your photographic exhibition. Faafetai, Lemauga Lydia Sosene MP

Kia ora Ilan
I have had the recent pleasure of visiting your wonderful exhibition, and wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us all in Parliament.
Ngā mihi nui, Sarah Pallett MP for Ilam

Dear Ilan,
Thank you for your sharing your exhibition at parliament this evening. It was great to meet you in person, and I appreciate the time and effort you put into making this a success. Simon Watts MP for North Shore

Portrait Photographer Auckland

Tires – Morocco

Portrait Photographer Auckland

Clyde Scott – Auckland

Portrait Photographer Auckland

Frank – Auckland

Barber Shop New Zealand

The barber – Auckland

Faces of Cairo

Shish Kebab – Cairo

Travel Photography

Knife sharpener – Morocco

Faces of Humanity

Man with a Hat – Jaffa

Portrait Photographer Auckland

Shells – Taranaki

Portrait Photography Auckland

The Library – Auckland


Boy and his Eel – Taranaki

The Fish Merchant – Akko

The Counter – Akko

Blue Collar – Jaffa

Dead Chickens – Morocco

The Garment Merchant – Jerusalem

The Paper – Jerusalem

Souvenirs Galore – Jerusalem

The Fist – Jerusalem

MAGGI – Morocco

Bric-à-brac Rwanda

Tutsi Girl – Rwanda

Men with canes – Rwanda

Woodwork – Rwanda

The Barber – Morocco

Arthur was sitting and waiting for customers in the same barber shop that his father established 60 years ago in Melbourne. It took three visits to the store and $100 to convince Arthur to have his portrait taken. I then had my haircut… AIPP Silver with Distinction Award.

Faces of Humanity

Boys and Cart – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

John and Rebecca – Auckland

Faces of Humanity

Queen Deemi – Auckland

Faces of Humanity

Just Bagels – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Essential Oils – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Wayne and Jennie – Auckland

Faces of Humanity

Sitting on a Cart – Cairo

Faces of Humanity

Man with a Beany – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Backgammon – Jerusalem

Man with a Ring – Alexandria

Faces of Humanity

KAKAO – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

SINGER – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Father and Son – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Three Brothers

Faces of Humanity

Hubble-bubble – Alexandria

Faces of Humanity

Bananas – Cairo

Faces of Humanity

Two Men – Cairo

Faces of Humanity

Sitting by the Cross – Alexandria

Faces of Humanity

Scales – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

The Department Store – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Money Changer – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Boy with a cart – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Souvenir Shop – Jerusalem

Faces of Humanity

Mono Rhino – Jaffa

ITANGA – Rwanda

Dying the Wool – Morocco

Magazine Shop – Jerusalem

Delinquents – Auckland

Just Beads

Man with a leather Jacket – Auckland

The Donkey – Morocco

Brass and Copper – Morocco

Shoe Shining – Rwanda

The Fly – Egypt

Egyptian Presidents

All the presidents – Egypt


Man and his Dog – Auckland

Standing Proud – Morocco

Cowhide – Tanzania

The Hut – Tanzania

Timid – Tanzania

Standing in the Rain – Tanzania

Joy – Tanzania

Maasai Women – Tanzania

Sewing Machine – Cairo

Sitting by the hut – Tanzania

Sitting Down – Tanzania

The Look – Cairo

Shoe Laces – Cairo

The Maasai – Tanzania

Man with an Apron – Morocco