Auckland photographer travels NZ getting tourists to dress as Gandalf

A budding Auckland photographer spent six months travelling around New Zealand asking strangers to dress up as Gandalf.

A budding Auckland photographer spent six months travelling around New Zealand asking strangers to dress up as Gandalf.
 
Akhil Suhas carried a Gandalf costume with him during his 3000-kilometre journey. Once he set up his camera at a picturesque spot he would ask a fellow tourist to pose in the outfit.
 
"The key thing is not to drop in and say: 'hey, do you want to dress-up as Gandalf'. You've got to slowly get into a conversation," he said when we asked if he got a few funny looks.
 
"New Zealand is the home of Middle Earth so who doesn't want to dress up as Gandalf?"
 
Mr Suhas figured that if Lord of the Rings could boost New Zealand's tourism industry and Peter Jackson's film career, it could also work for him.
 
"When you have so many ... people visiting New Zealand you see the same landscapes [in photos] so I thought having Gandalf in the pictures would be something unique," the 21-year-old told Newshub.
 
His mission to get his photos to stand out in a sea of more than seven million #newzealand pics on Instagram seems to have worked.
 
#gandalftheguide has caught the eye of thousands and has featured on news sites including BuzzFeed, The Guardian and Mashable.
 
In his online photo series Gandalf visits Lake Marian at Milford Sound, Whitianga, Redwood Forest in Rotorua and the mud pools at Rotorua.
 
Mr Suhas recently finished a Bachelor of Commerce but also plans to pursue his passion for photography.
 
 

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