Holly Neill

Animal & Wildlife | Last Updated: April 3, 2023

Kia ora! I’m Holly, a wildlife photographer living in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

I’m motivated to photograph our wildlife to raise their profile and educate others on how amazing they are and why we must protect them. Plus, they’re all ridiculously cute which makes them loads of fun to photograph.

The gear I use:

  • Fujifilm X-T3
  • Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8
  • Fujinon Teleconverter XF2X TC WR
  • Fujinon XF 35mm f/2
  • Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4
  • Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8

(More Fuji lenses here)

My go-to set up for wildlife is the X-T3 paired with the 50-140mm f/2.8. With the cropped sensor of the X-T3, gives me a focal length range of 76-213mm.

This combo works well for me as many of the birds I photograph are in the bush and are friendly, so the low aperture means I’m able to handle the darkness of the forest floor quite well.

When I’m in more open areas, I add the 2X teleconverter to give me that extra reach (152-426mm).

Some people are surprised I don’t use a monster telephoto lens, and sometimes so am I! My current set up is working for me though, so I’m rolling with it.

I’m often asked what my favourite New Zealand bird species is, and that is such a hard question! So many to choose from. A couple that are amongst my faves are the toutouwai (North Island robin), and the ngirungiru (South Island tomtit).

Protecting our indigenous birds is deeply important to me. They’re a key element of Aotearoa New Zealand’s identity, and on a smaller scale, my own.

There are conservative estimates that around 25 million native birds are killed every year due to introduced predators, which is just outrageous.

If I can help inspire some people to protect our birds and get involved with conservation through backyard predator control, or even just learning the Māori names of some our birds, then I consider that a win. 


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  1. Ria Roberts on September 17, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Nice work Holly!

  2. Holly Neill on September 13, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for featuring me! :)

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