Meet ’the Hobbit guy’
There is only one official Hobbiton photographer in the world, and that title belongs to Shaun Jeffers, who moved to New Zealand from Liverpool, England, three years ago.
Jeffers, 26, admits he has been ‘‘obsessed’’ with The Lord of the Rings from a young age.
His love of Peter Jackson’s movies inspired him to study film production at university, but he soon realised he was more interested in still photography.
So he worked as an event and PR photographer in Liverpool before deciding to come to New Zealand to experience the famous Middle-earth scenery.
Before he left, he emailed Hobbiton, and arranged to go there one morning at sunrise to take some photographs.
They liked his pictures so much that they’ve been using them ever since, in brochures, on their website, and on social media.
Jeffers, who is based in Auckland, now heads to Hobbiton every six weeks, capturing the village from every angle – through different seasons and events.
‘‘Every time I go there it’s totally different,’’ Jeffers says.
‘‘Because I’ve shot it so many times, everyone always says to me, ‘do you not get bored of it?’ I can’t say I ever do.’’
As well as Hobbiton, Jeffers works with other tourism operators around the country, such as Te Puia in Rotorua, and Discover Waitomo.
One of his favourite places to shoot was the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, which involved submerging himself and his tripod in cold water for up to eight hours a day.
‘‘It’s surreal going down there, chest-deep in water, freezing cold. Then your eyes adjust and you can see them [the glowworms].
‘‘It’s like, wow, this is unbelievable.’’
Jeffers has a following of more than 66,000 fans on Instagram, where his Middleearth posts have landed him the nickname ‘‘the Hobbit guy’’.
‘‘I love going to work everyday,’’ he says.
‘‘Long before I was a photographer, I really wanted to go and see New Zealand. ‘‘It’s sort of come full circle.’’ To view more of Shaun’s photos visit shaunjeffersphotography.com.
A professional photographer with a passion for The Lord of the Rings.