Little Madison and her adoring parents have some fun in Balito, Durban.  I did this shoot quite some time back and this blog post has been sitting in my 'Drafts' box.  Not sure why - but it's about time I share them I'd say.

She is SUCH a character and made the best facial expressions and sounds! Kim was bothered that Madison wasn't at her 'best'. I can't imagine what that must look like cos I thought she was fricken awesome!!!!
 
 
For final year school girls, the Matric Dance (Senior Prom)  is undoubtably THE highlight of the year.  

I have known Lara since she was about 11 years old.  My sister and I got her involved in synchronized swimming and coached her on and off for about 5 years.  She was - and is - the funniest little character ever.  Except now she's not so little!  She's gettin' all grown up - and absolutely gorgeous!!

I took a bit of time before Lara headed off to her dance to get some portraits. This girl really knows how to work it.  

I attended the same High School as Lara and had my Matric Dance 9 years ago. For fun, I've added a photo of me and my 'then-and-now' boyfriend .  We  clearly DIDN''T know how to work it. :)
This is my boyfriend and I about 9 years ago at MY Matric Dance.  His brother David joined in on the excitement and decided to wear a suit too - just like his brother and biggest idol.
 
 
I must admit - pregnancy shoots make me nervous.   So much of what I create comes from 'feeling'.   When he catches her eye and they start to giggle or when a mother looks at her baby with love and warmth.  Pregnant women seldom feel their best toward the end of their term.  How do I pose a woman who feels like a tank? 

Danielle and I had a bit of time to chat before Mark arrived from work.  She told me that she very nearly didn't make it and had to 'team talk' herself off the couch.  I'd say 50% of maternity shoots that I book will postpone for another day or even flat-out cancel. Well done Danielle for soldiering through.  

Danielle and Mark were extremely comfortable in front of the camera -making any anxiety I had disappear, and I really really like the shots that we got.

I'm leaning towards the B&W more on this shoot.  Anyone with me on this?

TIP: For posing on a shoot like this, try not to think about the presence of the photographer...enjoy the moment that you are having with each other and if that means moving position slightly away from the photographers suggestion to get comfortable - do it.. 
 
 
I've know Camish for years - we went to same High School, so I was naturally thrilled to hear of her engagement.

Congratulations to the two of you and wishing you luck as you plan your very exciting and unique wedding.

View Camish and Justin's motion picture by Charity Sarah.
 
 
The Cokaynes are regular clients.  Gaelyn (my sister) adores her family and takes any opportunity she can to document their lives together.

I'm a bit bored of photographing them all in a tight squeeze, smiling at me through the camera - so decided to do something more active.  I had seen this rock pool in Salt Rock some time ago and was waiting for the right opportunity to use it. 

The idea was to just photograph them doing what they do. What any family would - play, chat, enjoy each others company. 

We woke up at 4am, got there at 5am and started shooting immediately. YAWN!! Chris and Zoe are NOT morning people and both struggled to keep their eyes open. Until they leaped into the water! It was wonderful, it was warm, there were fish swimming around our toes. I got a little creeped out when I stood on something slimy so spent the next 10 minutes treading water, trying to keep my camera dry - those years as a synchronized swimmer paying off!

The early morning was so worth it and I'm pleased that they have a different kind of family portrait to add to the Cokayne wall.

Thanks for brekkie guys.
Xx

View The Cokayne Sunrise Motion picture by Charity Sarah.
Nothing like a little tap dance at 6am to get you energized for the day! Thanks Charity for taking 
this shot of my sis and I.
Thanks again Charity.  I don't have many photos of my family AND I, so I'll treasure this one.
 
 
Michelle and Ben are the sweetest couple.  He's from the States, she's from SA and they met on a Christian dating website.   I'll save their story for when I blog their wedding photos.  

For now though....enjoy the sweetness that took place at Ushaka Beach on the Moyo pier.  It took us a while to arrange a day to shoot as Durban has seen a lot of rain recently...but when we got it, it was beautiful!!

High -: seeing dolphins from the pier, Low - getting stung by a blue bottle. :(
 
 
Last weekend I had a great shoot, with a family who were down from the UK for a wedding.  They were such a lovely family to work with, and little Shauny and I were best mates by the time our hour was up and the memory card full!


My foot is sandy, and I don't think I like it!!!







Another reason why the shoot was 
such a success - I had an ASSISTANT!!!  
This shoot was the first time I had a 
second pair of hands to hold things, 
play peek-a-boo with teddy bears 
and make conversation with family 
members not being photographed!  

THANK YOU DEVIN.
 
 
What a BLAST! 

For this shoot, I decided to hire my dream equipment...Nikon D700 and the Nikon 35mm 1.4 lens. Testing it out allowed me to see if this was really what I wanted to blow my savings on.  Decision - YES!! This shoot has further encouraged me to save and keep fighting for that camera. I will make it happen! Who needs food and toilet paper, right? :)

I taught Millie synchronized swimming for a while and always knew that her and her vivacious little sister would be good subjects to photograph.  We finally found a gap in their busy schedules and I squeezed an afternoon shoot into it.  Because we were under time constraints, we decided to do the shoot at their home, and man am I glad.  It allowed us to go crazy with outfits and props, and the light that filtered through the big windows through out the house was every photographers dream.

Both girls were a little shy at first and wouldn't allow the other or their Mom to watch, but they soon loosened up and Libby turned out to be an amazing assistant to Millie. I said to Libby, "When Millie's a famous super model you can travel around the world with her assisting on shoots."  Absolutely horrified, she put her hands on her hips and with a frown responded, "But I'M gonna be the famous one!"  The photos below certainly show a little super model in the making.

Caroline was great as well - although she wouldn't allow me to photograph her, she fed me wine: "To allow the creativity to flooowwwww!"
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Libby, ready to help her big sis at any moment...
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Great Idea to spin the umbrella - but I forgot to warn Libby of the dangers....
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While Millie was having her turn, Libby was told to wait inside - she made sure not to miss out on ANY of the action!!
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