Website makeover

You can now view my galleries in a much friendlier, easy on the eye kind of way. I've recently given my website a bit of a facelift and tweaked it so my work can be viewed in a beautifully laid out gallery with a clickthrough slide option so you waste no time in seeing what the album is all about and getting a feel for the shoot.

Feel free to browse around the albums and leave any comments / thoughts and suggestions.

I'm excited to add some new albums too by next week - so look out for those :) 

It's baby time!

Here's something you probably don't know about me: I love those sticks that you wee on and the colour starts to develop. Even more exciting is the pregnancy one,  5 months ago - the little stick confirmed something big happening in my tummy.

I’m over half way pregnant (It’s going so quickly) I’m past all the initial queasiness and trying decide if I’m starving or stuffed. It’s the glorious second trimester, where I feel pregnant but aren’t quite moving at sloth pace and feeling all whaley yet.

Even second time round, it’s still the most incredible miracle and I’m in total awe and super grateful that we get to experience this.

My mind is filled with to lists, my Pinterest boards filled with nursery ideas and crafts, and my heart full with love and gratitude. Even though I’ll be shooting less over the last few months and first few months of the new babas life, I’ll still be enjoying some project, personal ventures and pushing my creative comfort zones. I'm excited for a new season of promise and possibility!

Life of a working mom

I'm often asked how I navigate life as a mom while working as a photographer. Like all things, some days are hard and others easy. It takes a hang of a lot more planning and coordinating to do what I love with a child in the house. Mentally switching between these two roles I find particularly hard as well as being present while multi tasking. But I'd never change a thing: I love my flexibility to spend time with my giggling, gorgeous and funny little girl and equally love the opportunity to grow my business, stretch my creativity and learn.

What that looked today was.... building lego towers on the carpet, getting yoghurt kisses and chasing her around the coffee table minutes before straightening up and putting my fancy pumps  on for a pre-shoot meeting.

Some days its orderly and goes according to plan, most days, I work when the house has gone quiet and in-between other daily tasks. But I'm lucky enough to be able to take the opportunity to shelve less important things for a cuddle and some imagination games. I count this a real blessing!

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Beachfront Restaurant Launch

Rudi and Maritza opened up Ritsi's Bistro (also housing Boga Paddleboards) on the bustling Main Road, in Melbos on the weekend.  It boasts an incredible location right opposite the beach, relaxed atmosphere, super tasty food and stock their very own Chilli product range (Ritz's chill). They've thought of everything; you can rent gear to go SUPPING (stand up paddling)

What struck me is the ease with which this husband and wife team ran their restaurant: It seemed to come naturally as they casually chatted to friends, family and intrigued new customers, welcoming them in all while working closely together with their staff.

Rudy and Ritsi bistro opening
Rudy and Ritsi bistro opening

I asked Maritza some questions about her journey and experience of taking a bold step to face the challenges of making her dream a reality....

What sparked the dream of starting a place of your own? I CANT THINK OF ANYTHING SPECIFIC BUT ITS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE SINCE I CAN REMEMBER, I LOVED WATCHING MY MOM COOK AND BAKE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. ITS SOMETHING THAT HAS ALWAYES INTERESTED ME.

How does it feel to have a door with your name on it?  SURREAL, NOT SURE IF IT WILL EVER REALLY SINK IN. ALL I KNOW THIS IS A MASSIVE RESPONSIBILITY

What was the last thing you did at the Bistro before the doors opened? RUDI AND I SAT OUTSIDE THE SHOP RELAXING WITH A BOTTLE OF CRAFT BEER..

What gave you the courage to do it? WELL, MY HUSBAND AND MY FAITH IN JESUS KNOWING THEY BOTH BACK ME NO MATTER WHAT.

What surprised you the most? THAT I CAN ACTUALLY DO IT, AND THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE MORE IN ME THAN I DO IN MYSELF SOMETIMES

Did you design the menu and how did you go about it? YEAH, I LOVE YUMMY HOMEMADE SAUCY FOODS. IM NOT THE KIND THE KIND OF PERSON THAT MAKES THESE SMALL PETITE MEALS THAT YOU FIND IN 5 STAR RESTAURANTS. IM A WESKUS MEISIE.

Has it sunk in that you are now officially a restaurant owner? NO NOT REALLY

How do you get it right to be so awesome, and set out to do something seemingly impossible? I ONLY HAVE ONE ANSWER. MY KING JESUS. HE HAS GIVEN ME A DREAM AND A VISION FOR MY LIFE AND I TRY LIVE BY IT. NOT ALWAYS COMFORTABLE AND EASY BUT IVE NEVER BEEN A TYPE OF PERSON TO BE A STEREO TYPE.

Any unexpected curveballs on first day your where open? YES, THE ELECTRICTY DECIDED TO DIE ON US ON THE OPEING DAY, AND THE VERY NEXT DAY I HAS SOMEONE QUIT TOO

Do you have a remedy for sore feet from long hours of standing? WALK ON THE BEACH AND LET THE SAND MASSAGE MY FEET

You seamlessly gel with your staff, was it an easy process? I FOUND IT EASIER THAN I EXPECTED. SOMETHING I LEARNT ABOUT MYSELF WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD BE EASY BUT I LIKE THEM AND WE GOT ALONG FROM THE GET GO.

Next stop...Holland!

One of my favorite parts about an overseas trip is the anticipation, and crossing days off my calender.  I’m counting down the days until I hop on a plane to The Netherlands! Over the last few weeks I’ve been scribbling down lists and lists, and more list, buying mini toiletry everything, thinking of every detail and anything I would possibly need. When it comes to travelling, I turn planning into a bit of a sport. I don’t like being unprepared, can you tell? After spotting one of my favourite Dutch spoils at Woolworths: Stroopwaffels, (they are sickly sweet but just the right amount of crunch to gooeyness.) I decided it was time for getting in the dutch spirit and gobbled up two of these.

I can’t wait to be surrounded by bustling bicycles ringing their bells, and cute little flower markets around the squished narrow houses!

Take a break!

 

I had just sat down to a half written sentence at my computer once again after taking a delivery,

now with a Creative Live online course open - listening with one ear while I upload and tweak my

latest shoot for my blog. I'm thinking of the dessert that needs to be prepped for tonights

guests, I take the gap to make a shopping list while the internet is buffering. My note pad is

scribbled with reminders, one of them more important than the rest: to make a birthday call to a

family friend {there seem to be as many birthdays in June/July as in December, which is a LOT!}.

Meantime my precious little one is distraught at the door because she wants to show me her

latest scribbles. As I sit down to focus again, some admin pops into my email that needs

immediate attention, I've also just remembered some details I need to research for the weekends

shoot plus a photo link that I want to share on my Facebook page.

It in the moment I realised I'm trying to cram so much efficiency into every second with little success. When things died down and I got a chance to tie up some loose ends - I opted for a BREAK instead, grabbed my super snuggly soft blanket, my iPad, a cup of tea. I sat flicking through non work related pinterest boards , and felt free to think and do whatever I felt like, enjoying a demandless 25 minutes.

I'm sure you can relate, I'm sure you too fell like you are juggling a minefield, with important tasks and moments - I encourage you to TAKE A BREAK once in a while when it's all too overwhelming. I felt like a new person, revived and ready, and guess what my to do list didn't explode, fall apart or scream at me, I'm sure yours will behave too. I'm consciously going to do this regularly. Try it next time you feel in over your head :)

Learning new things

I once used to think that when I'm done with school and varsity, I'm done learning. I was so wrong! I've since realized that the quicker I embrace an attitude of learning, the more I'll appreciate, have to offer, and be empowered. That's exactly what I've been up to lately: Learning! On a 6 week Wedding Photography boot camp with Jasmin Star throughCreative Live.

Her boldness to be transparent and open about how exactly she captures the brilliant images she does, has left me not only inspired and empowered to be the best photographer I can be, but also to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly of everything that goes with it.

I've loved this really practical and detailed course, and the lengths they go to not display not only the successes but also the inevitable mistakes and failures, so that others can learn and succeed, is incredibly humbling! I look forward to showing you the growth I've experienced both in myself and my business.

Mom and Dad's couple shoot

My mom and dad recently celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary - thats right a quarter of a century, wow! They hold a very special place in my heart and have continuously invested a ton of love into each other and into their family. On one of my visits to their home in Ireland, I got to take some lovely pictures of them together in the countryside - I think a follow up shoot is definitely due, when I visit them again later this year!

This shoot was particularly special to me as we grew up with them taking loads of pictures of us, and it was from them that I learned to love photography and appreciate capturing moments. To be behind the lens to capture the emotions between them that I had experienced at home, was such an honour!

Getting to know me

I’M SO GLAD YOU POPPED BY TO VISIT, KEEP READING TO FIND OUT WHAT MAKES ME….WELL, ME!

I love the smell of: coffee (but don’t actually drink it), the air just before it starts to rain, sunscreen in summer, cinnamon buns (it tastes even better if you smell each bite), lavender wafting through my house in spring, Christmas (the tree, the candles, the food), thatch roofs (they remind me of a holiday spot we to went to, growing up)

I love the soundof: kiddies giggling, thunderstorms (they make me want to snuggle), popcorn popping, my husbands car pulling up the driveway, the intro music to movies, nature’s noises when I’m out of the city, my daughter sleeping deeply, waves rhythmically washing up on the beach, the timer when I'm waiting for baked goodies to come out the oven.

YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T KNOW: 

When I was young we had bunnies, that had lots of baby bunnies - one of my favorite childhood memories.

I never used to eat coriander, basil or rocket, I now load my plate with them.

I cry easily when I see something beautiful or heartbreaking (yes even movies, especially movies).

I absolutely hate to lose things, it freaks me out.

I’m a sucker for anything that comes in a kit or prepackaged, I can’t resist.

I like to be organised and make lots of lists, and try to remember not take myself too seriously. 

I'd swop slippers for high heels any day.

I get so distracted watching people reunite at the arrival hall in the airport, its beautiful how they drop their bags and for a few seconds aren't aware who is around them.

The way geckos move make me squirm.

I absolutely love doing anything creative, it fuels me. I’ll often make cards, presents or draw scribbles and turn them into people or things.

After eating low carb, I have a bunch of go-to recipes (after trying many), which has turned into a little side project www.bantinghub.co.za

 I love finding out about different pieces of jewellery people wear or where it came from, theres almost always a cool story attached or a reason why its special.

I’ve learned:

To love, love and love some more (from Mom). Live life to the full and be positive (from Dad). To dream big and take risks (from my hubby) To be silly, and pause for a minute to see the wonder in everything (from my little girl). It's possible to still sing in unthinkable circumstances (from my cleaning lady). Theres constantly something to learn from and change (frommymistakes). Everyone has a story worth telling, theres ALWAYS something beautiful to capture. A different angle changes everything. Not to be intimidated by others success but rather to be inspired. To take my camera everywhere I go. (fromphotography)

I love how everyone and everything in your life helps shape us and we get to choose what to do with it. Choose to love fiercely, kiss passionately, forgive quickly, do stuff you love, give a lot of hugs and smiles.

Thanks for spending some time with me, have beautiful day!

These gorgeous photos where taken by Grace Hutton at Craft in Stellenbosch. She is a brilliant photographer and such a sweet person, I love how she completely captured the essence of who I am in these pics - It's a hang of a lot easier being behind the lens than in front of it, but an exercise I think I'll try regularly + it's fun!

 

Autumn is here!

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year! I'm in awe of the trees when their leaves turn into beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. There is the right amount of warmth in the day while the sky is still clear and blue. It's just a happy season with a pleasant mix of the best of summer and the best of winter all in one.

I especially love watching leaves drift off the branches as the trees start to shed them, it's very therapeutic. It's really some of the best nature has to offer, and thats why I decide to capture some of the incredible colours.

It's Easter time!

I'm not entirely sure how the bunnies, hens and eggs tie into celebrating easter. I do absolutely love the excuse to make easter themed pretty things though!

I got creative and thanks to Pinterest, learned how to naturally dye chicken eggs with things like, red onion, beetroot and turmeric. I'd always wanted to make them when I was a kiddie, but South Africa never used to stock white chicken eggs. I put them with some other pastel coloured goodies and had fun shooting a little something in the spirit of Easter.

I really love celebrations filled with joy, yummy food and beautiful things. But most of all I love taking time out to value what is precious to me, keeps me alive and free. Have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating and thinking of the One who is love.

{ I LOVE these gorgeous free watercolour downloads available from Just the Bees knees }

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HAVE A HAPPY EASTER!

Flapjack food styling shoot

I've been wanting to try out some food photography for a now while and these chocolate chip and blueberry flapjacks I made for valentines day, were perfect for a mini food shoot!

I quickly realised that the glossy, delicious images that make you want to eat the page, are harder to create than I thought. My usual photography tricks don't work the same on food, so I was looking for new angles, filling the background differently and getting in really close. Determined to resemble something from a magazine, I tackled these flapjacks with a purpose and a mission - and loved the results!

I'll have to have to stock up my collection of pretty things though and start whipping up some beautiful looking food. Definitely a great creative challenge that I'll be doing again, it was so much fun!

Gorgeous new albums

These albums are absolutely beautiful, high quality, and durable.  The paper feels luxurious and is coated with a matt UV, protecting it from spills, marks, and stains. The pages are sturdy and the colour is gentle, yet sharp.  Every album is safely packed in a black box, beautifully wrapped up in my brand new fancy packaging, topped off with a nice fat bow - my favorite part!

Today I'm excited to be launching a new Acrylic cover option that has just been added to my range. It's amazing, I love it! Looks like glass and makes the colours really pop.

I use some of the best suppliers, so whether you choose this slick acrylic cover option, the gorgeous leather or printed cover, it's sure to be beautiful and delight you each time you snuggle up on the couch and page through it.

With my 7th year wedding anniversary not too far away, I actually think I'll put together the photos from my own wedding into stunning album like this. Yes eeek my wedding was 7 years ago! It's about time hey!

If you also have some precious memories tucked away in a cupboard somewhere - put them in a pretty, luxury album for you to relive your special moments over and over. Pop me a mail and lets get creating!

Launching my new packaging!

I’m so excited and proud to reveal my brand new packaging for 2015! As a creative, I was in my element scouring Pinterest for ideas, conceptualising my ideal packaging, incorporating my colours, creating something beautiful, funky and lovely!

Pouring lots of love and thought into the design, it feels like a part of me is in this packaging. I hand stitched and made the little USB bag (proud sewing moment!). It represents me, my style and my message to my clients. Something personal and gorgeous.

It looks all cosy and special and thats exactly how I wanted my clients to feel when they received it. Just like receiving a package from a fancy store, where even the wrapping makes you feel pampered. These can be your precious moments and memories all wrapped up in an exciting little package.

I can’t wait to cover more shoots in some lovely gold and teal!

Playing with baby lion cubs

It's been my dream to play with little baby lion cubs ever since I can remember. On a weekend getaway to Botlierskop private game reserve 2 years ago, this dream came true, quite unexpectedly!

I could hardly contain myself when we were informed about the 6 week old baby lion cubs that we could not only see, but play with!! I barely slept that night, and held back my excitement incase they weren't really as accessible as the ranger had made out.

They absolutely were! Oh my gosh! I'm bubbling over with excitement all over again, just reliving the experience and looking through my photos.

They play like kitties, and we had to keep reminding ourselves how bizarre it is and that these are wild and one day would be fierce and big. They feel coarse, like sheep skin paint rollers, and had very sharp teeth, gnawing on absolutely everything. They looked so teddy bear like, fumbling around with paws that seem three sizes too big. Wow, wow, wow, an experience of a lifetime, one that I'll never ever forget and feel so incredibly fortunate to have had. What magnificent animals!

I had also just got my Nikon D800 camera and 24-70 lens, this was my first time trying it out. Double whammy excitement!

Photographing the green Irish countryside

My mom who lives in Ireland for most of the year, has flown down for a much anticipated visit. Our time together is always the best, and It reminds me of a visit I did to her homeland a bit ago. While spending some time there, I did a mini shoot of the countryside and of my parents in it.

It was a specifically special shoot, as I had never officially photographed them before. They are also the ones who cultivated my love for photography and developed my skills to capture moments while we were growing up.

If you have never visited Ireland, the countryside is covered with rolling green hills, narrow roads, and many castle ruins. It's one of my dreams to go back soon to capture a glamorous wedding. Here are a few pics from the shoot.

A Tea Garden for the day

 

View the post by Lovilee

I felt quite nostalgic this weekend, staying at a gorgeous boutique B&B called Fairview, located in the Garden Route. Throughout my childhood, my parents often brought us here to visit our good family friends that run this authentic homestead.

With it's high ceilings, genuine wooden floors, quirky and vintage details - it is rich with history and full of culture. A tranquil and refreshing setting.

We were lucky enough to be there when Papa Benks, as we affectionately call him, opened up his magnificent garden to the public. People streamed in all day to appreciate his many hours of hard work and delight in all that the garden had to offer. Which included cakes and treats made by Nelleke Elston, from Of the earth catering. She is a very good friend of mine and incredibly talented chef.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather or greater turn out. All in all, it was a major success!

Rainbow Photo Art

This was by far one of my favorite projects. With some wire, sunlight liquid, a tripod and a bit of patience, you can create these psychedelic  images that look like rainbows on steroids. It took a bit of tweaking, but I eventually got the hang of it. The colours are just insane! You can do it too. Just bend a piece of wire into a loop, dip into some water mixed with sunlight liquid, move it in some light until you see the rainbows form. Swirl a toothpick through the soap to create new patterns. Happy "painting"!

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Monochromatic vineyard

I've been wanting to play around with black and white for a while. A pipeline project, is to shoot in black & white the whole day. I find shadows and light can become become so striking in monocrome, and convey a certain amount of moodiness / emotion that colour dosn't. I resisted the urge to leave the greens and yellows like I normally do with vineyard shots, and turned them into hard and sharp black and whites, this was the result :)