Back in early June, I took a last minute trip to Auckland, New Zealand. Part vacation, part smoking hot deal. Can you believe Air New Zealand was running a 48 hour sale from Los Angeles LAX to Auckland for only $400 round trip? I couldn’t believe it either. So, I quickly put up a post on FB/twitter to see if anyone wanted to take advantage. Lucky for me, Jerri Ann and Anthony were down for this crazy idea! As soon as there was interest, we started chatting and it became real. They were willing to take their engagement pictures in Auckland, thinking they could also make it a pre-wedding honeymoon. So, two hours before the sale ended, we purchased flights and started researching locations. I couldn’t believe that I was going to New Zealand!
You have to understand one thing about this situation. In 7th grade, I had a geography teacher named Mr. Coates (I think) who talked about NZ and Australia during class. I remember him talking about how the weather in NZ is nearly perfect year round and just so gorgeous. From that class in 7th grade, I decided to one day go to NZ and see for myself. Well, 15 years later, I get to. However, since it was a last minute trip (3 week heads up), I could only stay for 2.5 days. Yes, less than 100 hours. But, it was worth it.
Meet Jerri Ann and Anthony. Their wedding isn’t until August, but I think they would’ve eloped in New Zealand on top of Lion Rock if they could have. They’re adventurous people who love nature, love each other, and love randomly breaking out in song together in the car. So, our engagement shoot turned into a 1.5 day shoot and exploratory musical adventure. We started off at Brick Bay Winery, where we found vineyards, cheese, and sheep. Then, the next day, we headed to the top of Mt. Eden (a dormant volcano) and took some incredible photos with downtown Auckland as the backdrop. That afternoon, we headed 45 minutes west to the Waitakere Ranges and Piha beach, home to Lion Rock. It’s incredible to me to start in downtown, drive 35 minutes, be inside the mountains of northern New Zealand, and then drive 10 more minutes to get to the beach. It takes me 45 minutes to drive from downtown Dallas to the suburbs of Plano. All highway.
Lastly, you’ll find a few images from the actual “vacation.” We had the pleasure of having Kim Le and 1 of her couples join us in New Zealand as well. We had a great time exploring the city together and just running around taking pictures. You’ll see a few of the non-engagement photos near the end, including a really strange GOLDEN ice cream bar, freshly caught fish and chips (OMG YUM), and a group photo in front of the Waitakere Ranges. (and you’ll see why I try to stay behind the lens, not in front of it :p) Enjoy!
P.S. It should go without saying that I love traveling and would go back to New Zealand ANY day for ANY reason! Plus, I still want to visit Hobbiton!