About Dawn Thomson Photography

"I have always sought beauty in the ordinary and noticed the poetic details of life.  I love the moment when someone lets their guard down, when we truly connect with another.  I am compelled to put people amongst New Zealand’s wild landscapes and document the result.  When a wedding or elopement is set amongst such natural beauty you unlock the full range of raw emotions.  I am inspired by love stories that throw convention to the wind and focus on what really matters. Photography to me is a visual poetry that tells a story in all it’s realness and beauty but with a touch of magic."

Behind The Brand

How would you describe your photography style?

My style is an extension of how I see and experience the world. I am a hopeless romantic. I admire the female form, I’m drawn to individualism, flair and the unconventional and I’m also a total dreamer. So my photography style tends to be a blend of editorial, romantic, dreamy, elegant, feminine and a little unexpected.


What is it that makes an image magical?

I can ‘feel’ these magical moments when they are happening and they literally take my breath away. It’s the play of light in an unexpected way; it’s those beautiful off-guard moments when you catch a glimpse of a person’s true self, and when a couple connects in their own secret love language.


What advice would you give to the camera-shy couple?

I find that when my couples understand that their photography session will not be an experience that requires them to pose awkwardly, but to be themselves, this eases their nerves. The first part of any photoshoot is always a little awkward (and that’s normal) and then we find our groove.

It helps to explore an area, move around a little for distraction and before you know it, you are caught up in your surrounds and with each other and your photographer fades into the background. Most photographers will guide you into good light and offer suggestions on how to move about in an area. Don’t worry about the photographer as we are there observing and capturing the magic. My couples and especially my grooms feedback that it was not as awkward as they thought it would be, and they actually had a great time and loved the natural and intimate moments we were able to capture.

One last piece of advice is to seek a photographer that suits the style of your day and your personalities. We are by your side all day and very up close and personal. Your overall experience will be so much better if you feel at ease with your photographer.


Do you travel interstate or internationally?

I’m based in the mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand and most of my work is local. I also travel to the North Island of New Zealand as well as Australia and further afield – I love to travel to interesting faraway places.


As an estimate, how long does your editing process take?

Editing is an extension of the vision for my imagery. It’s a process that can’t be rushed and is unique to each wedding, landscape, mood and light.  During my busy months in the New Zealand Summer and Autumn I deliver a full gallery of images in approximately 8 weeks and this will be shorter in winter and spring. I also like to deliver a handful of images within the first week of a session so my couples can share a few images with family and friends and be reassured that their day was captured beautifully.


Describe a magical moment from a wedding you’ve photographed…

Standing on top of a snow-capped mountain in New Zealand in late summer with the sun low in the sky casting golden shimmering light across the mountain.  My couple hand in hand…just the two of them sharing their promises of love to each other and tears rolling down their cheeks. They giggle and cry and sniff and laugh and cuddle and kiss. There’s so much raw and true emotion, and at that moment I don’t believe anything or anyone else existed in their world. That to me is pure magic.

Editor’s Notes

Why we love it…

We love how Dawn juxtaposes the quiet moments intimately shared against nature’s vast and dramatic landscapes. There’s a wildness to her work, a poetry that’s beautifully raw yet enchanting at the same time.


For the couple…

For the nature-lovers, the unapologetic romantics, the adventure seekers who crave something more than the mundane.


Styling tips…

Consider a gown of weightless silk or featherlight tulle, one that will dance in the wind behind you and reflect the wildly romantic experience of shooting outdoors with Dawn.