Phil plays paparazzi for a day
It's not often photographer Phil Brazier gets to "pap" celebrities on Masterton streets, so he relished the opportunity to take photos of Peter Jackson and his famous guests on Sunday.
When he saw Jackson in the street Phil thought it would be cool to get a photo but he wasn't aware that one of the woman with him Kate Winslet. When he got back to his computer he figured out who Jackson's mystery guests were, recalling that Winslet starred in Jackson's Heavenly Creatures years ago.
After a little research online Phil realised that the man in the shots was the Titanic star's new husband Ned Rocknroll, the nephew of Virgin billionaire Richard Branson.
Phil is a Masterton photographer specialising in weddings and events.
Realising his scoop he contacted the Dominion Post and the following morning the photo led the front page. Since then the phone has been running hot for additional photos, Phil says.
The paparazzi photo opportunity presented itself when Phil was sitting in Iberia restaurant on Queen St having a coffee around 11.30am and saw Peter Jackson walk past a couple of times. Just as Phil was leaving, the bare- footed director came into the new restaurant and sat down.
"I thought, 'wow that's Peter Jackson. You don't normally see him in Masterton. I should go get my camera and get a photo of him'," he says.
Phil went home, picked up his long lens and took a vantage point across the road at Strada. He managed to get a few shots of Mr Jackson drinking coffee with Ned Rocknroll before his two female guests arrived.
"I don't think anyone realised who he was having coffee with," he says.
When Kate Winslet and Peter Jackson's daughter arrived they all left and Phil was able to shoot a few frames of the group heading to their car just down the road next to the Countdown car park.
Phil says it was exciting to be able to snap the celebrities, who are not often seen on Masterton's streets.
Iberia co-owner Wayne Dellabarca says they were chuffed to see that Peter Jackson and his friends are out and about in Masterton and that they chose their establishment for a drink. Mr Dellabarca says they treat all customers just the same and they are glad they have the space available for some privacy. A few patrons did take the opportunity to get a photo with Mr Jackson while he was seated.