Anniversary photos | Avashnee + Jayan

I get to photograph quite a few weddings, and have to pinch myself at times, wondering how many of them will actually stand the test of time. Being a bit traditional and still placing plenty of value on marriage and family, I was elated to hear that Avashnee and Jayan wanted to have anniversary photos done of their 10th year as a married couple.

I was invited to capture the renewal of vows for Mandie + Erik at Nambithi Hills private game lodge last year. I wrote then about what an honour I felt it was to share such an occasion and being able to eternalise it with some anniversary photos. For the same reason I was just as stoked to do the anniversary photos for Avashnee and Jayan.

The session was supposed to happen on the Saturday of the weekend in question, but the weather was atrocious. We moved it over to the Sunday morning. Apart from a little chill in the air, we were greeted with a splendid morning at The Gorge Private Game Lodge and Spa. The views and backdrops from this venue over Oribi Gorge is just phenomenal, and certainly lends itself to some great photos.

Avashnee and Jayan is clearly just as in love, if not more so, now as they no doubt were when they got married. I just love spending time in the presence of such occasions. In many ways it is even more satisfying than the joy and bliss of a wedding day, because you know this is a more weathered, moulded by life type of love. It really renews my faith in the institution of marriage. Enjoy the photos.

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Selborne Golf Estate Wedding | Jeannie + Hein

Wedding or no wedding, this was one heck of a party. Being good friends with the bride and groom goes a long way to making the wedding photography for an event like this much easier, but does not take the stress out of it. Shootings weddings is and always will be a massive challenge for any wedding photographer.

Selborne Golf Estate is truly a fantastic venue to get married at, and my first and hopefully not last wedding there was special. The grounds (of which Hein is the keeper by the way) is stunning, and there are several little forest trails to venture onto where some great images can be captured. With the beach a hop skip and a jump away, we didn’t waste any time to take full advantage of the opportunity. Come to think of it, it was a thrilling mix of golf estate, beach, railway and trains that made capturing these images so much fun.

Jeanni and Hein…it was great. A true ‘boere troue’ in every sense of the word. Thanks for not only allowing me to capture your special day, but for being such good friends. The girls are constantly asking when we are seeing each other again. Soon I hope.

Venue + catering | Selborne Park Golf Estate Clubhouse, Pennington, www.selborneparkgolfestate.com, 0871350559.

Hair | Sandy + Rikkie, Hairguru, Scottburgh, [email protected], 0399761121.

Make-up | Alison, Salon Alison Umdoni Retirement Village, Pennington, 0829208627.

Dress | Charmaine, Alberton, Johannesburg, 0828176175.

Flowers | Jacolette Crous, Beach house decor, Pennington, 0836321114.

Decor | Jeanni & Hein Labuschagne.

Beach Family Photos | The Barbours

Having been on the South Coast for almost two years now, it has been tough to find a balance between work and my passion for photography. When Lauren contacted me and said the Barbours were up for another round of family photos, I jumped all over the opportunity. It was going to be beach family photos after all…this time with their latest addition to the family, Juniper, tagging along.

It was once again such a joy to spend some time with them, and to be able to watch the family grow, and document it in pictures is such a privilege. They ditched the Superhero attire this time ’round, but little Phoenix was as busy as a bee, running and laughing like he owned the beach. I had so much fun capturing this, that I had to pinch myself at times to remember there were three other, and one tiny little girl, that also had to be shot.

I loved the the time we could spend with them, from the beach visits to do the family photos, to the great meals and conversations around the dinner table. I can’t wait to see them once more and do it all over again. Beach family photos with the Barbours…time well spent.

 

Family photos | Drakensberg

I love the Drakensberg, and was stoked when Tarryn contacted me to do their family photos in the beautiful central Drakensberg. We met them at the Champagne Sports resort and made our way to the one of my all time favourite spots.

The Dragon Peaks camping ground nestled at the bottom of Champagne valley lends itself to stunning locations to get some great family photos. Even with it being quite dry, the little river with its indigenous forest on the banks delivered once again.

The Hoare family are such naturals, and it made the shoot go extra smooth. It is awesome to photograph people who are so comfortable in their skins and clearly care for each other a great deal. Little Emelie was so tired at the end of the session, but brave to the end.

Lake Eland Quattro Classic | Mountain biking

Having a great love for mountain biking and riding a lot myself, it was an absolute treat to be able to do the photography for this year’s annual Lake Eland Quattro Classic at Lake Eland Game reserve in Oribi Gorge. I have to add that this is one of my favourite tracks to ride on, with most of the 40km and 25km course being well maintained single track. To add to the treat, you are sure to spot plenty of game, ranging from Giraffe to Eland on your ride.

I did the course the day before to familiarise myself with the best spots to get the best images.  It was hot. The day of the race was even warmer, with temperatures reaching 42 degrees in the gorge. Looking back at it, I am not sure how I made it through the day to get all the photography done without dehydrating at some point. How the cyclists made it around the course in the time they did is quite astonishing, and says a lot about the fitness levels of some of the athletes that took part in the race.

I think next year I’ll race again instead of doing the photography. It is just too good a race to miss. Enjoy the photos.

Wedding bliss under African skies – Mandie + Erik

Being a bit traditional when it comes to marriage, I was stoked to photograph Mandie and Erik’s renewal of their wedding vows. They couldn’t have picked a better venue either. Nambiti Hills Private Game lodge in the Nambithi Conservancy is just a magical place for these special occasions.

It was just so heartening to see two people are still very much in love fifteen years after their wedding day, and their children being there to witness their affirmation of exactly that which cannot be shaken. It must mean the world to a child to know that their parents’ love for each other is unshakable. There is just so much riding on the wedding vows that were made fifteen years ago, and to witness that the foundation laid down then is still as strong as then makes you wonder if the foundations of Earth isn’t laid on love.

Mother Africa certainly played her part in the occasion by supplying magnificent backdrops of amazing colour contrasts. Dark grey thunder cells and soft, golden grassland with a touch of summer green splashed in here and there. The age-old beauty of the land reminded me how simple life really is, and how important it is that we treasure the relationships and experiences we share with those we love. It is hard to think of a better location to celebrate the celebration of love other than the mother continent.

Venue, food and decor: Nambiti Hills, [email protected], (+27) 36 940 0085

South Coast Wedding – Sam + Allan

My first wedding since we’ve relocated to the South Coast. I can’t believe it has been almost a year since touching down in this part of the world. It has been one heck of a year, and when the opportunity to do my first South Coast wedding decided to make itself available, I was all over it like a rash.

Sam we know because she spends a lot of time with our youngest. Allan I have never met before the wedding day, but as soon as I met him knew exactly why Sam is getting married to the bloke.

Palm Manor is where it all went down, and with its white-washed walls, palm trees and view over the Indian Ocean I had to pinch myself to not be fooled that I am not at an exotic location on some distant shore. To top it all off were some great views over Port Shepstone Golf Course and the Umzimkulu River.

Sam and Allan timed the service to perfection, and with the family photos and other formalities done, old Spike was hitting all sorts of angles and delivering some dreamy, thick light. We zipped all over, starting at the golf course (and getting chased away), on the beach, under the bridge, and at the old train yard.

For two people that claim to be camera shy, Sam and Allan produced some great shots. Being in love the way they are did help, and canoodling in front of the camera had to be easier.

South Coast weddings…I reckon I can get used to this…

Music: Henk & Felicity Swart, [email protected], +27 82 443 7207/+27 82 854 4915.

Venue, Decor & Catering: Palm Manor, www.palmmanor.co.za, [email protected], +27 74 158 3645/ +27 39 695 0344.

Groom & groomsmen: His Place Men’s Boutique, www.hisplace.co.za, [email protected], 039 6821986. Shops in Port Shepstone, South Coast Mall, Shelly Centre and Kokstad.

Dress: BDM Bridal Boutique, 11 Marine Drive, Margate, 0718972576. 

Family photography with a bunch of Superheroes

I remember the family photography session I did with Ron and Lauren when she was pregnant with Phoenix. Lauren really came to the party on that one…brought a whole collection of props and ideas. We made our way to the botanical gardens of Pietermaritzburg, and had a quality time.

A little over a year later, the Barbours again invited me into their lives to celebrate the little man’s first birthday. I spent some time with the extended family, and then had the opportunity to spend quality time with Mum, Dad and Phoenix…the little family of Superheroes. It was a gem of a day.

Phoenix Barbour is now an entire two years old. Two years. My word. Since then their little family has grown into a not so little family with the arrival of Juniper. I was bummed not being able to do another maternity shoot with them due to being abroad. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to shoot the bigger Barbour clan again…

This post goes out to you, the Barbours. God’s people. Salt of the earth.

 

Nambiti Hills wedding – Yolandi + Stephan

When you go to a wedding, get there and get treated like guests it is difficult to get in the car and leave not feeling like you are two friends better off. If I can shoot a wedding like this every day, I would probably be the happiest wedding photographer in the world…hands down.

Yolandi and Stephan could not have picked a more romantic setting to tie the knot. Nambiti Hills offer all the romance needed, and getting pampered in absolute luxury in the days leading up to the wedding day must be an experience to treasure for a lifetime. Judging by the relationship Yolandi and Victoria (the wedding co-ordinator) formed in a short time, the services at Nambiti Hills must be something you’ll write home about.

All the guests were treated to a stunning game drive after the wedding ceremony, and while braving the chilly breeze we got some delightful shots with the fading light of the setting sun over the Natal bush veld. Yolandi was so brave, getting in and out of her warm fleecy top to help me get the images they’ll look at in twenty years to remember the freezing cold breeze and their magical day.

When our time with them came to an end, we left with some warm, warm memories though. This is one wedding I know I will treasure the memories of.

Venue, food and decor: Nambiti Hills, [email protected], (+27) 36 940 0085

Durban + South Coast wedding Photographer | Woz’Bona Photography

Photography have always been a passion of mine, and I have toyed with the idea of becoming a wedding photographer for some time, but mostly dabbling in travel photography. Come 2010, a return to South Africa, and thoughts and schemes started to take shape.

My first commission as a wedding photographer came with the wedding of Nathan + Christy at a delightful venue on a farm just outside Pietermaritzburg. This man is savvy on how to make the wedding day as special as possible for his girl. The venue was an absolute winter fairytale, with all the rustic, earthy colours under the trees.

Needless to say, I had to get the business up and running after that, and it was some time before I managed to land my second job as a wedding photographer. Shooting a wedding in the Drakensberg is truly any wedding photographer’s dream, I reckon, and after this one I managed to get quite few other jobs in the area (Paula + Donovan, Thea + Wayne and Rachel + Wendy), making full use of the opportunities to shoot some fabulous landscapes complemented by wonderful people.

I also captured weddings in and around the town of Ladysmith where we were based for just over a year. There are some splendid venues in and around this little, sleepy town, and I had opportunities to shoot at Naunton’s, Platrand Lodge and Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge (Yolandi + Stephan). On the odd occasion, there were some family shoots thrown in the mix, and it was a pleasant break from the more formal setting that is weddings.

After deciding to go back into teaching full-time, we now find ourselves on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast, hence the title of this post: Durban + South Coast Wedding Photographer. After a hectic six months settling in as a HOD at Creston College, I thought the time right to announce myself as another addition to the Durban + South Coast Wedding Photographer market. I’m not expecting to take the market by storm, and I am positive there are many fine photographers around the Durban + South Coast area. If you are in need of a decent wedding photographer at a good price, or want a fun family shoot done anywhere on the South Coast or Durban, get in touch. I will be glad to help.