Shalwyn is a beautiful wedding venue! And it was perfect for the very pretty wedding of Kate to Mark.  From Kate’s lacey dress to the pink flowers and little sweetie table…it was all kinds of pretty.

Kate and Mark, thank you for the opportunity to photograph your wedding.  I really hope to see more of you guys.  Come back when you’ve made cute ‘lil babies…ya hear me?? 

 
 
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!!!!
 
 
COLD and WET and MUDDY. Not the kind of weather any bride hopes for on her wedding date.  But Justine took this in her high-heeled stride and was not going to allow anything dampen her day.

Justine and Gareth got married at Straven Court – one of the best venues that I have had the opportunity to photograph at this year. It really is stunning – even in the rain.

When the party started – it started! It was obvious that this couple has a great group of friends and family. Charity and I left around 11pm and things were still going strong.

Justine and Gareth, I was sad to have your album in my hands for only a few minutes before passing it on. But I hope that it brings you a life-time of joy as you reflect back on that magical day.

Xx

 
 
When Robyn and Anthony first contacted me, they were having their wedding on a Saturday in Durban.  A few months before the wedding, they had to change their date and location to a Friday in JHB. When Robyn emailed to tell me the change in plan, I could sense that she was a little stressed that I wouldn't accommodate her and the change.  But flying from Durban-JHB first thing in the morning with all the business men and their briefcases, holding my camera bag and light stands.  Who would say no to that?? Micaela and I felt like Top class traveling photographers.  Just as well I had the excitement of the flight to get my adrenaline going - it was an early start, a late night and I had shot a wedding the day before!!

Robs and Ant are really such lovely people and were such fun to be around.  Robyn's Dad had the 'coolest' moves I've seen and had the whole room cheering and clapping along  as he boogied with his baby girl.

Thanks for the opportunity of a lovely adventure for Micaela and I.  I wish you two all the best for the future.

Xx
This veil has been passed through the family for 100 years. Isn't that just incredible??
I have never seen  a mover like Robyn's Dad.  So impressive!
 
 
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.
 
 
Picture
Claudio has his commercial pilots license, and Michelle's Dad is in aviation too - so it seemed fitting to have their engagement shoot with airplanes.  Having flown down from Joburg, this lovely couple were up for anything, so enthusiastic and a real dream to work with.

The owner of these two planes gave me a bit of background into the history of the aircraft:  After the Cold War, there were heaps of Soviet aircraft lying around the US - literally just lying around.  Somebody took these planes, refurbished them and found willing buyers all over the world.  

Aren't they just precious?? 
(The planes.... AND the couple...)

See you in June for the Big Day. 


Xx

 
 
“Aaahhh, I’m so excited. I’ve never won anything before!! ” 

This was the response I got from Tamara when she won my '500th fan' prize of a free photo shoot.  The reaction was enough to get me keen to photograph this girl.  Then she told me that their wedding at The Windmills had rained out resulting in a cancelled creative shoot and no wedding photos of them together. Any bride whose gone through this deserves a second chance at wedding pics.   As we started planning our shoot through an email conversation, I learnt more about Tamara and her husband Derek and what marriage has been for them so far – and my heart pours out to them.

Three months after their wedding (Which was in December 2011), the couple got into a very bad car accident.  They thought that their worst problem was a written off car.  A month of two later Derek saw an optometrist for head-aches and blurry vision and suddenly he was on the operating table having a cyst removed from his brain.  The first op was unsuccessful and during the second, Derek’s heart stopped for a while.  They were able to save him though and remove the cyst, however an hour after the surgery he suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed down the left side of his body.  He was now forced to learn to walk again, hold things, lift things. Derek was adamant that through all this, he was going to loose his wife too but Tamara was going nowhere!

3 years on and the couple are living on a quaint dairy farm in Nottingham Road.  Derek is up early tending to the cows and farm, but exhausted by 7pm and unable to maintain his energy.  Tamara teaches in Howick and comes home after quite the commute to an exhausted husband. BUT, she tells me, “We are a lot closer and value each other far more than we did, but our life style has changed! Derek's short-term memory is very weak and he is constantly tired! He often can't remember what he did in the morning or the day before!

Although we have had a tough first year of marriage and nearly lost each other, we are more in love with each other now than we have been in the 7 years we have known each other! “

Now isn’t that a story of courage, commitment and love?  Normally when I hear things like this I just want to cry – but Tamara and Derek are so strong and so matter-of-fact about what their life is and what needs to be done.  It is really inspiring.

 
 
Lolly and Dave planned their wedding from the UK, so the first I heard of them was though Lolly’s Mom, who started her email to me with the following:

“Lolly plans to wear a reproduction 1930’s “silver-screen” satin dress with butterfly twin trains combined with a huge 1930’s arum lily shower bouquet exactly the same as her Granny’s.”

Well…that got my attention!

Lolly and Dave opted for an informal lunchtime wedding at Coco De Mer Hotel in Balito, with the focus of their day being family and friends.  A good portion of time was allowed for mingling and lunch.  There was laughter, chatter, a few shooters and eventually a dip in the hotel pool by a handful of guests.

IT – WAS – BOILING!

Thank goodness for the wine fridge.  I thought it would be unprofessional if I cooled off in there, but after seeing the change in the guests after leaving the fridge – I thought it would improve my ability to photograph well if I was in a better (less-dead) condition.

Toward late afternoon, Lolly and Dave said farewell to their guests (who I suspect remained in the pool with a few bottle of tequila) and headed out with Charity and myself to the beach.  

Lolly and Dave, your wedding was beautiful – I hope that the photos contain the love and happiness that the day expressed.

 
 
Michelle and Ben’s story shows how love has no borders.

Benjamin from South-east Missouri in the United States met Michelle from Durban, South Africa over a Christian dating website called ‘Christian Café’.  They started emailing, then sending texts and eventually Ben asked Michelle on a date.  Very reasonably and before getting too excited, Michelle replied saying ‘Yes, but how??’  

Just like that, Ben booked a flight to SA and spent a 2 week holiday with Michelle and her family.  Between then and now the couple have gone through 36 flights, 11 airports, 3 bus rides. Lots of cities, lots of packing and unpacking, lots of hellos and goodbyes, lots of time, lots of money and lots of tears.

In Michelle’s beautiful speech, she made mention of the lyrics that Ben recited to her from a Relient K song called “I’m taking you with me”…

"And so I'm trying to hold it all together and make it through the day
When I'm just dyin' to drop it all and take your hand
So we can run away from all the miles and the hours
That seem to endlessly devour the time that I could be with you
If home is where the heart is, Then my home is where you are
It's getting oh so hard to spend these days Without my heart."

I hadn’t know Michelle and Ben before their wedding at Kearsney Manor, but after listening to each of their very heartfelt speeches (and feeling a little teary eyed) I can see how deeply these two believe in the love and connection that they share and how devoted they are to the God that brought them together. 

Kearsney Manor is a really charming venue for a wedding.  It's situated on an original sugar estate near Stanger and was home to Sir Leige Hulett in the 1800's. This magnificent old colonial estate is recognised as a Heritage Site and after housing the Hulett family, became the original Kearsney College School grounds.  It's quite fascinating walking the corridors and imagining it as a boring school.  The photos on display make it easier to imagine it and shows the boys sleeping out on the balcony to escape the humid Durban summer.
Back to the couple though...

I wish for the two of you a long and exciting life – and no more frightening interrogations at US customs!!!

Xx

As the ceremony was coming to an end, I was reminded of the fast approaching storm by long and very grumpy sounding rumbles.  In a space of about 10minutes, we snapped some out-door shots and then rushed for cover before the the rain came bucketing down.  
 
 
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..