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From the moment he received his photos back from the ‘one hour lab’ as a six year old, after saving up his pocket money to afford to process his first roll of film of a sunset shot out the car window while on a family holiday, Cory Scott was destined to follow his talent into the world of photography.
By age 13 his hobby has grown into a passion and the backyard garage had been transformed into a full working ‘Black & White’ darkroom. Self taught through pamphlets and books from the local library, Cory forged a career for himself through sheer determination and self discipline. An international gymnast at the time, he used the  qualities needed as a world class athlete and transferred these to his now chosen profession to fast track to become New Zealand’s leading action sports photographer. A stint at a leading new sports agency covering a variety of top level sports and breaking news provided the learning curve needed to become a complete photographer. Having learned from the masters of the game ‘How to tell a story through a picture’, it was the extreme action sports that caught his attention and once offered a full time position as staff photographer for a surf magazine Cory grabbed the opportunity to become New Zealand’s only full time surf photographer. 13 years on and after travelling the globe and his homeland constantly in search of the world’s most perfect surf he reflects “my search for the perfect photo has seen me travel to the ends of the world, to places most people have never heard of let alone visited. The scenery, cultures and experiences that I have had the pleasure to have laid eyes on and capture through my camera, and to then bring home for the world to see, it’s an honour to be in this position”.
Known in the industry as being a workhorse, it is his standards that he sets for himself and his constant strive for perfection that stand out from the rest, however it’s his professionalism he brings to every job that create the demand for his services. International publication companies and the world’s top surfers are in regular contact all wanting a piece of the next photo shoot he may be doing. Cory has never been one to chase the limelight; however his photos have won the following awards and recognition:

1998 –  Finalist Qantas media awards

2001 –  World surf photography awards -Most futuristic photo

2003 – New Zealand Sir Terry McLean sports journalism awards -Best sports photo

2009 – Qantas Media Awards -Winner Best single sports photo and Best sports portfolio

A last comment from Cory sums up his drive for perfection, “I guess you could compare photography to surfi ng a wave, there’s so many ways you can approach it and when you think you’ve ridden that wave the best you can you realise there’s still room for improvement, other angles and directions you could take…” While Cory has developed to become a  specialist in surf photography particularly in the water, the skills and added fl air in search of a unique image have also been utilised across a broad range of  extreme action sports.  A stint working as a press photographer for Fotopress news picture agency, covering everyday news, and premier sports of the New Zealand Warriors, the All Blacks, the Silver Ferns and the Black Caps honed his journalistic style. However it was the outdoor extreme action sports that captured his imagination, working one on one with some of the best Surf, Snow, and Skate athletes in the world and developing specialist equipment to capture images that had never been seen before created a demand for his work Internationally.
Developing and building his own water proof camera and flash housings along with technical developments at the time from Canon cameras in terms of flash hi-speed-sync work and remote firing led to a world first with his in water flash action photos shot in darkness.
After 13 years as NZ’s only full time Surf photographer, Cory now also doubles with the role as editor of New Zealand Surfing Magazine. Managing a team of contributing photographers from around the world, these photographers all look to Cory for advice and technical know-how to develop their own imagery. Having being exclusively Canon since his professional career began back with a Canon F1n and FD lenses the technological advancements over the years have gone hand in hand with capturing great imagery, following is a slice of Cory’s range of work.

Cory on location on the East Cape of New Zealand


8 responses

  1. Dan C

    I love your work. I am interested in purchasing a large print of one of your wave or surf photos. Can you let me know if you sell your work? Thanks in advance for your time.

    April 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

  2. Pingback: Shot of the Week : New Zealand Surfing Magazine

  3. paul

    Cosa… Smurf here bro. U guys for real!!! Ur new shoot on the big waves is simply world class! Lets not forget the world class MAD MEN that have lifted the bar on the big wave seen in NZ. Professional and crisp bro. World class.. chur chur

    June 12, 2011 at 6:48 am

  4. Toni

    Kia Ora Cory,

    just wondering about the possibility of purchasing from you one of the awesome shots you took on the East Cape. It features in the May/Jun 11 Issue 139 of the New Zealand Surfing Magazine. If you could give me an email that would be great. Thank you

    October 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  5. Daize and aamion Goodwin

    We are desperately tring to find Cory Scott. Please have him contact us ASAP!!
    Thanks 🙂

    December 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    • Mark 64

      I trust you found Cory in good health?

      June 6, 2012 at 6:50 am

  6. Mark 64

    Cory it was an absolute privilege to meet you last night at the Gisborne photog club. Reflecting on the meeting it came to me.. (Samuel L Jackson quoted the Bible in Pulp Fiction more poetically than any preacher and I take my liberty from him). Mark 6:4 But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kindred, and in his own house. You have rubbed shoulders with kelly Slater but aside from well-connected Mariannne no one there had even heard of you.. that is crazy. If I were a surfer I would probably say, “Go big young man..” you should be a household name here. Sad to say but being the best is not about being the best but how many people drop your name. Anyway now that I have met you expect in future your name to get dropped with a resounding “clunk” (like a Mamiya RZ67 mirror flipping up) no “clang.”
    PS I have subscribed 🙂

    February 17, 2012 at 3:21 am

  7. Mark 64

    Hearing the news of Allan Byrne’s death in Bali brought me back here in acknowledgment. He was a Gisborne boy. My dad taught him in the 5th form at GBHS and I remember him for 2 things.. the long blonde hair and he was cool. RIP Allan. Looking forward to seeing some of your famous photos appearing soon Cory. Only recently Maz’s dad and I were discussing the shots you did of Maz and Kelly Slater at night.. now that would be a starting point. 🙂 Hope you are well.

    August 9, 2013 at 9:58 am

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