Ilan’s journey as a portrait photographer began in 2011. In 2014 Wittenberg was given the opportunity to present his art on Auckland’s scenic waterfront. Titled Black, White & Colour, it was his first endeavour to share his creations with the public in a solo exhibition, featuring portraiture, landscape and fine art.
During 2015, Wittenberg had the opportunity to document people in the Old City of Jerusalem. Ilan created a compelling portfolio, capturing their character and the special atmosphere. Faces of Jerusalem was chosen to be exhibited at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in early 2016 and was featured in f11 Magazine as well as in Art New Zealand magazine. Ilan won the Travel Photographer of the Year award from TRAVCOM for photos from this collection. Ilan became a Fellow of the Photographic Society of New Zealand after submitting 18 prints from this collection. He went on to become a Finalist of both the Documentary category and the Portrait Classic category in the 2015 Iris Awards. Wittenberg then won the honour: 2015 Auckland Photographer of the Year.
Ilan’s Bare Truth portfolio is a collection of portraits of New Zealand men who are humble, courageous and vulnerable. It was chosen to be exhibited at the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney as well as the Signature Programme of the 2016 Auckland Festival of Photography. In 2016 Iris Awards Wittenberg won The Highest Scoring Print award for a set of nine portraits from this collection and won the title Auckland photographer of the year.
Ilan is also a qualified judge for the Photographic Society of NZ.