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Picture Perfect

Jordan Perry is a Gisborne Tairāwhiti-based freelance photographer and videographer. He’s also a big Suzuki fan, relying on a series of SUVs to take him into the back of beyond.

Growing up making short films with his mates and taking photos on digital cameras fuelled a love of the visual arts for Jordan – a love that only grew after seeing the now famous landscapes portrayed in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. After working for US/NZ-based content company Royster Productions for a couple of years and gaining valuable experience, he decided to transition back into freelance work and chase his dreams.

This move ignited a desire to make the shift a long-term career, with the ability to be his own boss and build his own brand offering an attractive measure of freedom. Every landscape photographer needs a sturdy, steady means of transportation to provide that freedom, and for Jordan that means Suzuki.

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He started with an SX4 as his first car, and held onto that for 4-5 years before transitioning to a ‘92 Vitara. After that, he owned a Jimny briefly before passing it on to a family friend. He’s now back in the market for a replacement vehicle, and he has no plans to move away from Suzuki.

“I’m really trying to find another Vitara, like the one I had before the Jimny,” Jordan says. “An older model. It performed really well off-road. I could take it into the middle of nowhere, and didn’t really have to worry about damaging it as much. The Jimny was a bit more expensive, so that made me a little more nervous when driving it through deep rivers, or into other rough places where it could get damaged.”

While he spends most of his time working in and around Gisborne Tairāwhiti, a love of mountains and waterfalls often takes him farther afield. Jordan’s favourite area of New Zealand to shoot is the Central Plateau and surrounding areas, completing shoots on the Tongariro Crossing and Mt. Ruapehu, as well as places such as Taupō. One of his favourite shots is one of Dawson Falls, at the base of Mt. Taranaki.

“That waterfall picture I took was on a week-long trip that was a loop of the North Island. From Gisborne, we drove down to Wellington, then up the west coast to New Plymouth, on to Hamilton, and then back across to Gisborne. A big journey for the 1992 Vitara.”

For Jordan, it’s a combination of character and capability that makes Suzuki so unique. “I’m a really big fan of their styling. I like a smaller kind of car or SUV over the bigger four-wheel drives. There’s just something about them that’s very cool. And also, you can get them into a lot of places that you can’t bigger trucks. I took my Vitara on a lot of off-road adventures where I was thinking, ‘Man, if I had a bigger truck, I might not have gotten through here.’ They can just sort of hop through or over obstacles because they’re so light.”

_MG_452676.JPGOf the three Suzuki models he has owned, only one received a nickname: Suzie. Time and again, Jordan returns to Suzie the Vitara with an almost wistful tone, talking up its off-road capabilities and reliability when out in the wop wops. “I did a 4-wheel-drive track in the Waioeka Gorge, which was really quite rough. We had no other car with us, which made it a bit sketchier. Just a drive in and out, but there were quite a few river crossings, and quite a few areas where I was a touch nervous, but the Vitara pulled through brilliantly.”

Check out Jordan’s work, travels, and hopefully another Suzuki on his Instagram.