I very seldom pull out my flash at a wedding.  I'm glad I did at last night's Netherwood wedding with Marilize and Nico.
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.


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.

I wasn’t told much about this shoot at Rockwood Forest Lodge, except that Willem Oets had arranged two models, and had space for one more photographer.  I had seen Willem's work before and I knew that he  with the female figure, light and nature so I didn’t really need a lot of persuasion. 

As we turned off the freeway it was evident that we had just missed a MASSIVE hailstorm.  I thought it was snow lying on the side of the road!  The mist rolling across the field was just breath taking – and so the photo taking began.

Because of the hailstorm, we were out of electricity which added to the excitement of the whole weekend.  Candles and red wine kept our spirits up.

There was no plan for the weekend.  We just photographed – how, when and where we wanted to.  What a joy, to not be working ‘for’ something.  There was no album to make, no client to please, no brief and no deadline.  At times I directed the girls but sometimes said nothing and let them express themselves. They were great.

I can’t show all of the photos here as some are inappropriate for the Internet.  But maybe I’ll do an exhibition one day?  If my nerves can take it!

Thanks Willem for the opportunity.  You are such a cool guy and really spoilt us. 

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!!!


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.. 
I slapped a pretty quote onto an out-of-focus photo at a wedding - and VOILA! We have a desktop picture.

Made me think... maybe you CAN make something good out of a mistake.

If you're like me and tend to outgrow your desktop photo after a few days, you should check out The desinglovefest Blog. It is an AMAZING blog and constantly supplying new and creative desktops for download!! 
Rachel and Kyle's wedding at Nkhutu Gardens was an incredibly warm and heart felt event.  Through out the day I got to witness what a strong and supporting family both kyle and Rachel come from.

Their service was done by Kyle’s 92 year old Grandpa.  He delivered such a powerful sermon and stood strong  for the full hour long service.  The music that Rachel walked down the aisle to was played by an orchestra made up of relatives.  The speaches told a lot about who each of them are as individuals and said a lot about the care their families have for them - I'm sure that this will flow through to their married life.

Rachel and Kyle...welcome to the start of the rest of your lives!