I met Natalia, Jason and Little Sofia on the Umhlanga beach. They told me they hadn’t had a family photo shoot for a very long time and they needed new pictures to put up on the wall at home. All our correspondence had been on the telephone leading up to the photo shoot, I could here that Natalia had a foreign accent but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it so I had no idea what nationality to expect. As it turns out Natalia hails from Russia and she is married to Jason who is South African. Little Sofia is too adorable for words, she had just lost one of her milk teeth and another one was loose.
It was wonderful spending a bit of time with this close family!
Liezl is a school teacher and Justyn is a plumber, personally I can’t really think of two more honest salt-of-the-earth professions. They have a beautiful young daughter together and the time finally came for them to get married. Liezl booked me a long time ago, and I had been looking forward to their wedding since. I met up with Justyn at his parents home where he got ready, on my way out the electric gate closed on my car which resulted in it being at the panel beaters at the moment. Liezl got ready at the Assagay Hotel where her and her bridesmaids rescued a kitten. It was a morning wedding with a lunch time reception, and we finished off the day with some extra creative photos just down the road at Summerveld.
It was a wonderful day full of laughs and a few scottish traditions including a bagpipe player and kilts. Thanks so much for having me along on your big day Justyn and Liezl. Congratulations!
Kevin and Jeanine are a wonderful couple who came down to Umhlanga on holiday, and decided it was time to do an engagement shoot. They are pregnant with twins whose names are going to be Riley and Jessie. I spent a wonderful hour or two on the windy Umhlanga beach with them at high tide, where they laughed a lot smiled a lot, and generally had a great time. It was overcast too which is perfect for portraits. It was easy getting great photographs these two (four).
Thanks so much Kevin and Jeanine for picking me to document this special time in your lives, I wish you guys all the best for the future!
I didn’t get a chance to meet Jacques and Sally before their big day and we hadn’t chatted much over email either, so I had no idea what to expect. I was feeling a little bit apprehensive while I was on my way there, but when I arrived and saw Sally’s bright purple hair I just knew it was going to be a good day for photos. Jacques explained to me that they were actually already married, and that this is more of just a celebration with their close friends and family. So that’s the reason why they did a lot of things differently, to start with they didn’t mind seeing each other while they were getting ready, there was no-one officiating the ceremony so it ended up being just them exchanging rings and sealing it with a kiss, and then later there was no throwing of the bouquet and garter or first dance. They also opted for a bonfire on the beach instead of dancing. It was just a chilled day of laughter and togetherness.
As I’m typing this I just remembered that Jacques also mentioned they were in the process of packing up and moving overseas, so my best wishes and thanks so much Jacques and Sally for having me document your wedding celebration!
I’ve been looking forward to getting this engagement shoot edited for Jacqui and Jason, we actually did it quite a while ago but my editing queue has been really backed up since the busy December season. This is a two part shoot, the first was a natural and fun daytime shoot up at Midmar Dam in Howick. Weirdly this is the second engagement shoot in a row where a couple have brought a bicycle as a prop. I’d been wanting to do a fashion inspired James Bond style shoot in an underground car park for a while, so when Jacqui told me they were keen I went location scouting and made some phone calls. For the first time in years I took my studio lighting out on location and actually used it for the purpose that I bought it for, it was liberating and daunting at the same time because I don’t usually work with so many flash lights. I believe the results were worth the effort!
Jacqui & Jason are both veterinarians. Jacqui told me she grew up on a farm which is one of the reasons why she wanted a photo on a field of cows, and it’s pure coincidence that when I drove past the cows I thought the same thing. The wedding is going to be at Calderwood Hall in May which I’m really looking forward to. Thanks so much Jacqui and Jason for being so cool to work with!
Nonhlanhla & Sphe’s wedding was my last of 2014, and it was definitely one of the most festive. African weddings tend to be wonderfully laced with spontaneous dancing, singing, smiles and laughter. Nonhlanhla decided to follow tradition by getting ready at her family home in Pietermaritzburg, followed by the ceremony at St. Vincent’s Parish and reception at Ascott Inn. Despite a little bit of rain during the photo shoot, it all went brilliantly.
It was nice working with them again, they did an engagement shoot with me too which you can see here. I thought it was going to be tricky because of the height difference, Sphe is very tall while Nonhlanhla is very short, but it was absolutely fine. We had good fun taking photos and I did the same thing that I always do, try my best to capture their personalities and natural interaction with eachother in between the more structured shots. Congratulations guys, thanks for choosing me to shoot your big day!
Kyle and Lauren are a fun down-to-earth couple who had a stunning wedding at Chantecler Hotel in Bothas Hill. I’ve shot there many times over the years, and I decided it was time to ditch my flash for the ceremony even though it’s one of the darkest chapels around. I’m glad I did, the ceremony pics look far more honest and a lot closer to how it actually looked. It was also great to shoot so close to home for a change, it was about five minutes drive and I was already walking through my door.
There was a bit of a threat of rain during the morning, then it cleared, then it came down again during the creative shoot, then it seriously came down during the reception. Lauren and Kyle didn’t let that bother them though, they loved their wedding from beginning to end. Lauren had wanted to wear ballet shoes at her wedding since she started dreaming of her big day, I love it when couples do things that are a bit different or unique. Thanks for having me document your big day guys, congratulations!
I loved shooting Damian & Elaine’s wedding, they were an absolute pleasure from beginning to end. They even arranged to get ready at two separate friends houses in Hillcrest because they knew that I live in the area and they didn’t want me having to drive down to Durban for Damian’s preparation then back up the hill to Hillcrest for Elaine’s, that was really thoughtful. It also makes such a difference when couple’s really want the best wedding photos, which means they’re prepared to do whatever it takes. At one stage during the creative photo shoot I was lying on my stomach in a wet field while Damian & Elaine danced in front of me in the pouring rain but with the biggest smiles and having the most fun of their lives. It’s couples like this that keep me shooting weddings.
The décor was stunning, the Collisheen food was delicious as always and DJ Vivian Westergreen made sure the dance floor rocked all night. Congratulations Damian & Elaine, thanks for choosing me to capture your big day. I wish you all the best for your new life in the UK!
This has got to be a contender for the biggest wedding of 2014. Muhammad & Rumaisa celebrated their union with 1500 guests at the Durban Exhibition Centre, which I’m guessing is one of the only venues big enough to house a celebration of this magnitude. I was told by one of the guests that there are definately certain neighbourhoods in Durban and Pietermaritzburg that were empty. The décor, lighting, tables, flowers, sound and staging were all top class, it was an event one won’t easily forget.
My work started the night before at Rumaisa’s pre-wedding function which was held at the popular NMJ Hall in Durban, then we did the creative shoot on the Umhlanga beach the following week. I’ve put it all together in one long blog post, so grab a cup of coffee and sit back because it’s a big one. In March I’m going to be shooting Muhammad’s sister Faaria’s wedding too which I’m looking forward to. Thanks so much Muhammad & Rumaisa for choosing me to shoot your big day, hope you like the pics!
Those of you who follow my blog will recognise the Stoyanov family from a previous shoot I did for them on the beach, and you will also recognise André and Brigitte from their wedding and engagement shoot which I did last year. Finn is Nick and Zana’s baby, Nick was André’s best man and his mom Joan is Finn’s doting gran. It’s absolutely wonderful to be referred to family members and friends to do various types of photo shoots, it felt like I was meeting up with old friends when I arrived at the Stoyanov’s beach house.
It was an honour to witness and be part of the dedication of a young soul, after the service I set up some lighting and we took some family photos. Thank you Joan, Nick and Zana for having me document an important occasion such as this!