Archive for 'Engagements'
The brief for this engagement shoot was Fun, Horses, Splashes of Colour and of course the gorgeous couple Sonja and Bart. Now the only difficult part was going to be where do you find stables and horses dead in the center of Pretoria without having to travel into the countryside? Sonja being ever so resourceful I can only imagine googled horses riding and came up with the answer. I must admit that they make a stunning couple and were so easy to photograph. So with horses, and props that Sonja sourced from overseas ( she is a International Air Hostess ) I had a total blast, even though we photographed mid morning in harsh sunlight I am pleased as punch how these turned out.
Above: This was a fluke shot, I spotted the horses laughing, well it certainly looked like that to me from my angle, and then Sonja burst out laughing as well.
Above: One of my absolute favourites from the session.
Above: Love the composition and pose. You just got to admit that they do make a good looking couple.
Above: This image needs no explanation.
Above: A totally whacky shot, just to throw in a bit of”Whackiness” to the mix.
Above: This took a lot of effort and quite a few attempts, Bart you are a legend.” I’ll stand on my head if you say yes”. Takes on a whole new meaning.
Above: These series of images are to be used for the table numbers at their wedding reception. Such a cool idea.
Above: Another of my favourites, love the bright vivid colours.
The White Picket Fence.
There is something about the 40′s era that fascinates me and kind of compliments my shooting style. So when the opportunity arose to photograph Avalon and Judri I thought to myself that they would pull it off perfectly. I had no idea just how they would rock the shoot and immerse themselves totally into their roles. There is a saying that location is everything and this is so true when it comes to planning your shoot. The brief would have to include a country feel, steam train, some 40′s architecture and a white picket fence would be a bonus to add to that nostalgic charm so reminiscent of a bygone era.
Next I needed a storyline. How often do we have an idea yet sometimes find that their is something lacking in the images whether it be emotion, choice of location that does not suit the theme or just something inexplicable that you cannot put your finger to it. I must admit that I did not have a storyline in mind,Nada,absolutely zero. Driving to Cullinan with my son accompanying me who was going to be wing man and filming man I started running the storyline past him,asking him to feel free to add anything. No feedback was forthcoming which I took to be affirmation that the storyline would work.
Brief synopsis: girl arrives from the big city by train back to her hometown which she left years ago to find work as a result of the depression. At the railway station she is met by her old school sweetheart who is about to be shipped out for active duty, they spend the day together, a classic portrait is taken of the couple in front of her parents home with white picket fence. As the day progresses they discover that their feelings for each other are stronger than ever,and as all love stories go he proposes, she accepts and they live happily afterwards. This is the beauty of creating your own story lines you can create your own ending.
The shoot took place at Cullinan which coincided with a steam train courtesy of Friends of the Rail who had an outing planned for that day. The only challenge being that the train would be departing at 15h15 and we started shooting the train sequence at 14h30 in full harsh sunlight. Sometimes we have to grab opportunities as they arise. The railway station was swarming with people which made shooting a little challenging but with some tight cropping I was able to crop in camera. For those of you are wondering, 90% of the images for the White Picket Fence entry were shot on a 70-200 f2.8 and D3, reflector and some fill in flash was used for some of the images.
Once the train had departed the station we then photographed inside the station diner which had some terrific pockets of natural light. Positioning Avalon and Jodri at one of the tables I got them to interact,but something was missing! Then it dawned on me there has to be a Milkshake and it has to be strawberry flavour to share. I asked the waitress to show me here milkshake glasses and they had the genuine milkshake glass with tapered bottom. Two straws completed the picture, now the couple had an excuse to get up close and intimate. Just loved how it was all coming together. Before I knew it ,it was 18h00, the light had faded, we managed to capture some stunning images and I was extremely happy how the day turned out. This blog post is rather large and there are some behind the scenes as well as a bonus feature with some clips of the shoot courtesy of Warwick, who by the way was he first time filming. Many thanks. A huge shout also goes to Cherise who assisted on the day, thank you very much.
To Avalon and Jodri if Hollywood is ever in the need for some 40′s actors and stars they need look no further you folks were absolutely incredible. Thank you.
To view the making of “The White Picket Fence” click on the image above. This will direct you to Vimeo
It has always been one my bucket list of things to do to shoot at the Kalahari Oasis so when the opportunity arose to photograph Kathy and Rein I was really happy. After scouting out locations where we might possibly make use of on he wedding day we made our way to the Oasis via a slight detour which cut about 15 minutes off our traveling time. I always find that when photographing an e-session or a lifestyle shoot it helps if I have an idea or storyline to go with the images. The setting reminded me very much of an old western scene with the added bonus of some rustic pieces of metal that once were very much state of the art cars. We had the entire place to ourselves and I could not believe my luck. Rein and Cathy quickly got changed and as the little thought processes we still going rough my mind regarding the story that I was going to tell I heard the ominous sound of gears gnashing in the distance and then two game vehicles promptly arrived with a wedding party to squiz out the scene like tourists all over the place what now? I thought to myself. I had two choices either wait it out which by that time I would have lost the majority of my light or present myself a little challenge which was beginning to formulate. The challenge to myself was to visualize the scene, set up Rein and Kathy and then crop in camera whether it was landscape or portrait and eliminating all the people that were scurrying around.
After explaining to Kathy and Rein the story line which at this stage was getting a bit lost in translation and the fairly large bridal party between us all I must at this stage commend the two of them. These two weren’t phased at all. I was shooting pretty quickly at this stage attempting to tell as many visual stories as possible before we would start to loose light. So what was the storyline?
I have always been fascinated with western movies and typically the opening scene would either be a lone cowboy on his horse or a cowboy resting in front of the salon or sheriffs office with his feet up and cowboy hat over his eyes sleeping. So this was my opening shot and I would take it from there. As there were no horses I needed to give Kathy and excuse to come into town, out of the corner of my eye I spotted this bicycle which had seen better days but the wheels still turned,so the next image we see Kathy coming into town pushing her bicycle, the cowboy wakes up, spots this beautiful girl and as all love stories go we fast forward they strike up a conversation and fall in love all in a matter of 30 minutes.
To make the images fit in with the story line and a more dated time period I toned he images in post production to embrace the theme. I have also included a behind the scenes section ( images courtesy of Gaylen ) and commentary to show the before and after.
Eventually the light had faded and we headed off back to the house,where some cold beers and an amazing whole leg of lamb potjie was waiting. Sitting around the campfire, with the night calls of various animals which I could not identify, a full moon rising and some great company it does not get much better than this.
Many thanks to Rein and Kathy’s parents for their warm hospitality, great company and feeding us some awesome meals we will treasure these memories for a very long time. To Kathy and Rein thank you for being just you, you both are such a fun couple and truly meant for each other.
Gaylen and Mario
BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE
Above: We are most certainly not alone on this shoot.
Above: A before and after, I had spotted these cactus plants and in order to avoid the crowd that were milling about I used the cactus to frame Rein and Kathy.
Above: One of my favorites captured on the day. The crowds had left by now.
Above: Using this old tree stump to fame the couple.
Above: I just loved this old windmill in the background, I asked Rein and Kathy to lean slightly towards me to correct the perspective as I was shooting from a low camera angle up towards them.
What an awesome gift to give someone, when Tersia contacted Gaylen asking about giving her brother an engagement shoot as an gift for their engagement I was excited.Both AW and Fiona are very keen horse riders and stable their horses on a small holding just off the Krugersdorp highway. So what better way to incorporate their passion with their shoot. Firstly it was a very relaxed and laid back session which included bunches of carrots and a few bags of apples for the horses:)
We were blessed with some incredible late afternoon light, co-operative horses and a really cool couple. Now horses are huge,and just this fact alone makes me incredibly wary of these animals. I need not have feared they had everything under control and to top it all I learn’t the difference between a show jumping horse and a race horse.
I then discovered that not only are Fiona and AW keen horse riders but they both dance competitively and are in fact actual dance partners. There is nothing more incredible than watching a couple dance in tune with each other, and it was at this point that I suggested that we arrange for another shoot to include their other passion”Dancing”, so for those following my blog you are in for a treat.
AW and Fiona many thanks for an informative engagement shoot and Congratulations on your recent engagement.
The benefits of having an engagement shoot with your photographer are numerous. First and foremost one of the obvious reasons would be getting to know each other and also to get a sense of the way in which your photographer will work on your wedding day. From a photographers viewpoint it will give him an idea if any direction would be needed, how comfortable you are in front of the camera, your personalities and what to look out for to get the best and most flattering angles for you both.
These images created for you as a couple can be used as save the date cards, how about an engagement album where your guests can write their well wishes and congratulations which makes a fantastic keepsake or you might wish to have a canvas printed for your guests to sign which can later be hung in your new home. Another great idea is to use these images as a slideshow which could be shown during your reception set to music it has the ability to create impact and just adds that Wow Factor! Whatever the reason these images will surely find a place in your new life together.
How will you be using these images? This all depends for what purpose you intend using these images for. If they are to be used as Save the Date cards then six months before the wedding is ideal. If your intention is to use the images for a guest book to sign then I would recommend at least three to four weeks before the wedding. Obviously the earlier the better as the album would still need to be printed.
The personality of the couple will have an influence on what direction or theme you intend to follow, which has an influence on the outfits you and they suggest. Once you have determined what the couple are comfortable with and what there interests are it’s much easier to suggest clothing that will enhance your engagement shoot. For example a couple who booked me to photograph their wedding were off to New Zealand after the wedding. Here was a starting point, so we incorporated travel, planes and a love story into the shoot. To create we then planned what they would wear, pilots outfit for him and 50‘s style outfit for the bride. The theme of this stylized shoot was incorporated into the design of their wedding guest book, with all the images being toned and this was carried on throughout the entire design.
Some couples prefer a more relaxed approach and would opt for jeans and a smart top, while others would want something more chic and glamorous preferring to dress up. It is important to note that for the images to work clothing that is suggested must fit in with the couples personality.
You have heard the saying “ Location is everything” and this could not be truer when it comes to deciding a location for your engagement shoot.? The location should complement and embrace the theme. For example photographing a couple who have opted to go for a more vintage look and feel a high tech surrounding would not be appropriate. Given that most of my engagement shoots are one on a Sunday, I tend to opt for late afternoons as the mornings is a time to relax in bed. Generally mid afternoons are great starting points and as long as there is light one can create magic.
This was one hectically sizzle of an engagement shoot. Grammatically I don’t think the sentence makes any sense, but cutting to the chase Jaco and Tanita were just so easy to photograph. I previously did a mini shoot with them with the idea of using those images for their guestbook, I then had another idea and asked them if they would be willing to let me photograph them again but this time with a different theme in mind. Something a bit more glam, chic and ultra hot! All it took was a bit of time, bird seed, newspaper and a couple who were game for anything. Many thanks to you two for being such willing models. I even managed to design a preliminary Guestbook layout which is at the bottom of this entry.
Can’t wait to photograph their wedding in 10 days time.
A Prelim Album Design for their Guest Book
I am always looking for something New, edgy and fun to shoot. So when Rethano and Victor approached me to shoot some pics for their Save the Date cards this is what we produced. The Big question would be ” Do they Like Popcorn?”. I found this bucket sitting on our kitchen fridge just looking to be used. This was the ideal prop, now this is a huge bucket and could very easily keep a family munching away while sitting in the movies. The theme was a bit of vintage, loads of popcorn and even more fun. Enjoy!
Shooting creatively it always helps if you have an idea, sometimes it just happens as you go along, the one idea flows after the other. I just love it when that happens. It just so happened that when I stumbled upon this awesome location and started photographing Nicol and Charmaine, I had to give the characters roles. Well Nicol reminded me of a court reporter while Charmaine had to play the role of the stenographer. The storyline: Reporter meets girl, they get to know each other, fall in love and so the story ends. Cheesy perhaps, but the bottom line is I had fun and was totally in my own world. Anyway enjoy how the story unfolds, perhaps there might even be a sequel, you never know.
When I grabbed this shot, the very first frame I instantly fell in love with it. This was not planned at all. It then dawned on me that this was almost a
copy of the famous image that was captured by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken in Paris. Fluke? Luck? I reckon it just happened.
Wow! What can I say. Rialet and Gys were such a relaxed couple to photograph. Rialet has the most gorgeous eyes and I was mesmerized from the first image. Apparently they both claimed to be camera shy, boy was I in for a surprise, you folks were absolutely magic to work with. These two were totally at ease and most definitely in love and it shows. Many thanks for trusting me to capture some special memories, can’t wait for the wedding day. Enjoy the Sneak peek.
These eyes are gorgeous. Love this picture.
“ Wings is a Classic love story set in the 40’s. Their brief one day encounter leads to them parting ways when John has to fly his last mission. The opening scene is set in the town square where Nicolette is waiting for John. They spend the day together visiting all the sights that the village has to offer. Finally as the sun sets, John proposes to the love of his life and promises to return.”
Well what happens next? Planning and executing the script for Wings was loads of fun. Nicolette and I have been friends for a few years and when her and John popped in to ask me if I would be willing to photograph their engagement shoot. Well we then decided to add a theme to the concept and came up with this. Now as we had a few more scenes and locations in mind we were limited by time, this is not necessarily a bad thing as we could now make use of our other locations for the follow up.
John seriously looked the part. He even had authentic war time goggles that came from the States in the original box, real fighter dog tag and pilots cap. Really cool. Nicolette looked absolutely stunning, and with her dark hair and smokey eyes she looked like she had just stepped out of the 40’s. It most certainly helped that we had a story line to the shoot, as both John and Nicolette acted out their roles with alarming authenticity. I even started believing the two of them. Many thanks for an awesome shoot.
Do You Remember Your First Date?
Getting into some serious role playing involves memories. Which brings me to this weekends shoot with Lynette and Carl. Playing the part to make it authentic and realistic involves some dressing up, a vivid imagination and a really cool couple. Shooting a vintage stylized shoot involves a bit more than just dressing up for the part, with modern cars whizzing all around and new buildings everywhere, never mind signs you have to carefully frame the shot to omit the tell tale signs of the 20 century. So the first thing we did was getting rid of Carl’s watch which would have been a dead give away and we were ready to roll. All I had to do was shoot, ever constantly aware of what was in the viewfinder to keep it realistic.
Lynette and Carl were just perfect for the part. To make it even more authentic we did a bit of memory lane regression Do you remember your first kiss? The butterflies in your stomach? The first time you held hands ( I sure do, that is my Really first Serious Kiss at some house party it was like Wow! I was in standard six, the music was blaring, we found a secluded corner and then it just happened. I was in heaven. We somehow got separated for what must have been 15 minutes during the party and the next thing I saw her kissing another guy. Was I devastated? You bet I was, but the thing is I will never forget that first kiss).
Lynette and Carl were like screen legends. First there were some shy giggles and nervous laughter but they soon got into the swing of things and we had an awesome time. We started off at some random porch, with the girl waiting for her date, just like in the movies, then an intoduction, followed by a picnic and a walk on the tracks. I just love how the story unfolds. Enjoy!
Found the perfect porch for the meeting.
Holding hands, It’s bound to happen. Yip a quick peck.
These cupcakes were fantastic, trust me.
Above: Just love this sequence.
Above: One of my favourites from the day.
This past Saturday was slightly different from previous Saturdays. I still had to pack my camera gear, check and double check, but this time I was off to photograph the Engagement Ceremony of Melanie and Pascal at Le Chatelat a Botique Guest House situated in Sandhurst.
Bishop Ioannis who is currently the Bishop of Mozambique travelled back to South Africa to conduct the ceremony. The ceremony was followed by a breakfast for close friends and family and there was much laughter, hugging and a few tears of happiness. Melanie your speech to both your parents was amazing and emotional. Some real happy moments. Pascal seemed pretty relaxed until it came time to do his speech , but he pulled it off with much aplomb. You folks were fantastic throughout the entire shoot and I really had a blast. So much for saying that you guys aren’t models, you folks Rocked. Here are a few teasers from the day,
Funky, Edgy and Totally Rad is the best way to describe this couple. Beulah & Dirk met while on holidaying in Tofu in Mozambique. It was love at first sight, and during their stay they were inseparable. Talk about a whirlwind romance, they totally define it. Dirk is a medical doctor while Beulah is a lawyer talk about opposite spectrums. Yet! they just match perfectly. I met up with them briefly to do a fun pre shoot which gave me a feel how they would interact with the camera and also to give them the opportunity of getting to know me as I will be photographing their wedding in November. To both of you many thanks and can’t wait for the Big Day.
Stylish, Confident and good looking and incredibly easy to photograph sums Dennis and Lara’s engagement shoot.