Photographed by Zahn


New Zealand’s experience of the pandemic has been, for want of a better word, choppy. We have had months on end without a single case in the country, and we have had several months-along lockdowns. Operating as as wedding photographer during this time has been, well, choppy.

In spite of endless wedding date changes and cancellations and the frustration associated with that, there have also been some great times too. Many weddings DID proceed, and others proceeded in unique ways. Elopements, micro-weddings, and 2-3 part weddings become commonplace. In a way, the pandemic has been good for the wedding industry. It’s turned tradition on its head. It’s thinned the field of bad actors. It’s shown us all what’s possible when you are forced to decide what is important to you.

This engagement shoot was during one of the partial lockdowns. The couple were from the USA and were in New Zealand working in the Auckland hospital. They took an afternoon off and met me at the ferry terminal to travel to Waiheke Island, a popular vineyard-centric island 45 minutes from Auckland.

The exact location is at the far end of the island, and it was the first time I had been there. It was a real photographer’s playground, with 360 degree views, trees, rocks, and rolling hills. Of course, we timed the shoot for the hour before sunset.

Some shoots just work so well. Things go your way, the couple are natural with one another, the weather cooperates, and the light plays ball. This was one of those shoots. This particular image has been given several accolades, but there are so many more from this shoot that are just as epic.

This was taken near the end of the shoot right as the sun was going down. It’s a good example of how it takes much more than one strong element to make a strong image. This image has the trinity of moment, light and composition.
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“”Arun, lets have you head up on to that rock! That’s perfect! Lauren, make your way up to meet him! Perfect you guys!””
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Rule of ThirdsLower ThirdsWideNatural Frames

The silhouette is a go-to composition for me because it’s so visually strong, but also easy to find. All you need is a place for the couple to stand where it is very bright behind them, and other foreground elements that are recognisable as an outline.


Single Point Focused on the Groom Manual Focus
Light & Weather

Back litRim LightNatural LightSunsetSilhouette

Equipment & EXIF

1/4,000 f/1.4 ISO 80 WB Auto


Nikon D850


Sigma 24mm 1.4 Art


This image was edited with

own custom preset

Challenges & Solutions


Hill New Zealand

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand

Final tips & Advice

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Photographer Auckland Nikon D850 Sigma 50mm 1.4 ART
Kia ora. Zahn from New Zealand here. I’m a craft beer geek, pitmaster, punmaster and wedding photographer.
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Non est ad astra mollis e terris via. There is no easy path to the stars.

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