Sometimes my heart overflows with all the things I feel and then my emotions get flooded and my words get all mixed up. Like when I think about adoption, or my dear friends Celeste and Markus, or seeing a child coming home, or seeing God’s interest in his people or when a beautiful story unfolds (and I get to photograph it).
My job has MANY amazing perks, but driving to this shoot made me realise again how much I love it to document and how special it is to witness these profound moments in people’s lives. Then I look at the images and many times they only show small gestures, but it represents so much more. Like this story. Markus and Celeste made a decision to be parents and it is changing the life of this beautiful boy, now called their son, forever. :) I could see how the process was shaping and forming them individually and as a couple – up to a point where they now are family.
This is one beautiful story of people searching God’s face, living His love and imparting hope to those seeing their family’s story being written.
This was the morning it all came together. Levi came home…
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Ek het vir Ria gevra of ek hulle storie van haar Facebook Page mag copy. :) Hier is dit:
“My ouers het laas jaar Aug by ons gekuier vir my verjaarsdag. My hart was baie seer in daai tyd omdat ons al so lank gesukkel het om swanger te raak. Maar my moedertjie, het gedurende díe kuier ‘n paarkeer vir my gesê dat sy seker is ons sal die maand swanger wees, want die Here het ‘n belofte vir haar gemaak. Ek het later vir haar gevra om dit liewer nie weer vir my te sê nie, want enige iemand wat daardeur is sal ook weet dat mens in elkgeval elke maand vas glo dat dit díe maand verseker gaan gebeur en die teleurstelling is net te groot en te seer as dit dan nie is nie. En dit was toe ook nie.
Maar dit was toe wel begin November. Ons het in trane al die familie laat weet en meeste het saam met ons gehuil oor die goeie nuus, insluitend natuurlik my ma. Aan die einde van ons gesprek vra my ma toe wanneer baba se due date is. 17 Julie, sê ek vir haar en daar begin sy weer huil. 16 en 17 Julie 2014 het die Here my ma wakker gemaak om vir ons te bid. Sy het altwee aande die skriffie gekry in 1 Sameul 1 waar Hanna voor die Here huil vir ‘n kind en Eli haar kry: “Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.””
1 Samuel 1:17
Ons dien ‘n God wat ons harte intiem ken en in detail met ons werk. God is goed en Sy goedheid ken geen einde nie!”
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I’ve been wanting to photograph a dancer for a while now and when the media team for the Awaken Woman’s Conference contacted me for a shoot I got very excited:
– I personally go to the Awaken Conference every year and every year I walk away blessed, challenged and changed. I’n excited about what God has in store for this year. The theme is Freedom.
– I got to photograph this excellent dancer, Cara Engels.
– I got to meet the amazing woman whom I was shooting as well as get to know the media team better.
– Working with the media team was an eye opener. They were so organised and professional in the way that they planned the shoot.
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When i was studying, I loved shooting film. The anticipation and being part of the development process was magical. I would spend HOURS on end in the darkroom. Sometimes even days. On average, it took me 3.5hours until I was happy with a single print. It was so rewarding that it was worth every hour and every cent. I’ve been missing shooting film so a while ago I asked Henk Venter if I could borrow one of his old film cameras. (If you are in the Stellenbosch area and wanting to do a short coarse in photography, he is the one to talk to!) I ended up choosing an old school K1000 Pentax with a 50mm f2 lens: manual exposure, manual focus…and since it’s little battery was dead, i had to guess the exposure for the first halve of the film –> talk about shooting excitement.
Here are some of the photos. It feels like “first fruits”, like there is still many to come. Thank you Jesus for giving me this photography talent. I love using it!
PS: My favourite shot for this film is getting it’s own post soooon…
400 iso slide film, C41 processed. ENJOY!
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Ideas have a very exciting special addition —-> wedding ideas !
(Of Trou Idees vir die wat saam met my Afrikaans is.)
I love taking photo’s…but seeing it as a print in someones’ home or in a magazine…that is amazing! Thank you to my very talented brides for putting together these weddings.
To buy the special edition Wedding Ideas directly from Ideas, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 021 408 1291.
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Magriet is a dr at a local hospital in the premature ward and asked if i would be interested in taking some images for them. I did not have to think twice -I LOVE documenting! I wish I could go in every day for a month or two to see these specific little babies grow and develop . It truly was an eye opener to see with what love and dedication these doctors and mothers help these tiny humans to grow gram for gram.
One of the methods they use to help these babies grow, “kangaroo care”: This is soooooo interesting – read more about it HERE. Some of these mothers has to stay with their babies in hospital for months, so they can grow up to 1.8kg, when they are finally big enough to go home. They are truly little fighters and this experience makes me want to see/experience / document more. And them of coarse share what i’ve seen. (:
Thanks to Magriet for getting written permission from all the parents of these babies to photograph them.
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Today i cannot help but smile.
Last night myself and my housemates went to the Artscape theatre. What a great privilege to live with 2 friends that challenge and teach you, while having fun in the most beautiful house and surroundings? Dankie Mia en Ili!!!
This morning i woke up and already had messages from people that i love.
I started the day, spending time with God and playing piano – and Chessy the farm cat that adopted us as her friend, came and sat beside me on the piano bench.
2 squirrels came closer to listen and later on sat in the tree closest to our “piano-window.”
(I am not a master on the piano at all and can pretty much just play one song which is Ameli’s theme song. –>Mail me if you want the sheet-music!)
When i stepped into the office, Taryn, (who helps me sooo much with editing and so much more) filled my part of the table with colourful balloons.
Later on this afternoon friends are coming over for “koek and rooikoeldrank” and this weekend the celebrations continue.
Im excited for the years to come. Im excited to see what God has in store and the adventures I will have with Him.
And as my brother Tjaart says, only a quarter of my live has passed. (:
The best is yet to come.
3o phone snap pics for my holiday:
Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay zellie big smile yay !!! Dankie Here vir die talent wat uit U hand kom.
Every year Junebug has this international competition called Best of the Best where they pick 50 images that they feel is the top 50 wedding images for the year. I’m so proud of SA and it’s photographers. Both Jean-Piere Uys and Welovepictures had an image in the top 50 and Lauren Kriedeman that also received an Honorable Mention.
This image of mine made the Honorable mention under Bride and Groom Portraits:
Thank you Chris and Mila for your beautiful wedding!
Before I could write this post, i had to chew a bit on what happened. Thanks for your patience Maria! (: Here goes…
Maria is my “Afrikaans-German” friend. She grew up in Germany and studied in Stellenbosch, where she learned to speak Afrikaans fluently. Currently she is living in Hamburg, but came to SA for vacation. I’ve done a shoot with Maria back in 2009 (see it HERE) and we decided to do a follow-up. I never knew she can grow to become even more beautiful!!!!
The shoot started off with a hair and makeup session. (Thank you Madeleen for doing SUCH AN AWESOME job with the makeup and Julien for her beautiful curls!) The lighting was so beautiful on the day that i started shooting in Welgevonden Estate Stellenbosch, since it was on our way to the spot i chose for the shoot. Sometimes a shoot just works and this was one of those. Maria was being a star and the light and location were all working together. I still showed Maria a few of the images because I was so excited about them. Her little face beamed even more.
As I was driving out of the Welgevonden gates, I saw even more prettiness. Soft light and purple flowers in an open field. Living in SA, I scanned the area and only saw 2 guards on the opposite side of the road. We continued with the shoot. After a few minutes of forgetting about everything that was going on around us, Maria looked up and warned me that there was someone coming up behind me. When i looked around the man was about 5m from me. The next minute (or rather millisecond) he pulled out a knife and ran towards me, demanding my camera. In the process of trying to move away and getting the camera off my neck, i fell over backwards and then (rather desperately) handed him what he asked for: Canon 5D MkIII with the Canon 50mm f1.2. I so badly want to ask for the memory-card of the shoot, but I just knew discussing this matter was not an option with this wild-eyed man. He demanded my Shootsac with my other lenses, memory-cards and car keys, but before I handed it over, Maria started screaming- like only a woman can. I joined the choir. At this stage the man became distracted and i tried to kick him…where no man wants to be kicked. I still don’t know if i succeeded – the adrenaline was pumping so much – but he left. Not really running. Just jogging. Past the 2 onlooking guards of a new residential development. We then saw that a second man was also hanging around, leaving the same time as Wild-Eye-Man.
We were rattled, shocked and VERY angry about losing the images – but safe and unharmed. After a yelling session directed towards the guards, a drive to the inside of the Welgevonden-gates, a thank-you-prayer and a teary call to my mother we decided to continue the shoot. I still had my backup camera and other lenses and Maria was showing her awesome and brave character. We were drying a few tears while shooting, but we decided it’s like horse riding – if you fall off, you get right back on.
Our church family was AMAZING. So many people, as well as the leaders supported us by praying for us and making sure we really were ok. Maria and I ask each other every so often how we are doing, how God is dealing with the fear in our lives etc etc. It’s great to have people like that in your life.
Maria, thank you for being my friend.
We prayed for at least 10 photos. God is faithful:
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Monday morning was my “Saturday.” I took time off and went to Kamersvol Geskenke with 2 friends and loved every moment of it! People are so creative! I loved seeing old friends exhibiting like Annehette from Patatie, Justin Southey, Charlotte from Krummels Kuns Koekies, Okasie, Leipzig, the ladies of “The Pretty Blog” and Vanessa with her “Out of the ordinary frames“!
I also bought a few new things for my room and love it so much, i just HAD to share them.
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Dewet and the rest of the Mandelbrot team is working hard on a new and very exciting TV show, all about weddings, called Bruilof
A couple of days ago, they did filmed an interview with me and we took some “behind the scene” photos.
C0ngratualtions Dewet and the rest of the team!!!!
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When i think of Bulembu and my 2 day experience there, i kind of have to take a deep breath and make a conscience decision on where I am allowing my thoughts to go, because otherwises it’s like most woman’s handbags… (:
After shooting my last wedding for this season, i traveled to Swaziland. This was a first and such a huge privilege. I’ve read up on Bulembu a bit beforehand, but didn’t really know what to expect. I slept over in Nelspruit and from there its about 90 minutes drive to get to the Swazi border, that opens at 8am. (Imagine mountains and more mountains.) There i was greeted by Nerine and Bianca with THE biggest smiles. I “know” Nerine since we’ve attended the same Shofar Church in Stellenbosch, before she started working at Bulembu.
Our 2 days were jam packed with places to shoot e.g. businesses, a hospital, schools etc. All of them designed so that this project, with 300 orphans in it’s care, can (or will later be) self sustainable. What struck me most was how these people that work at Bulembu, so selflessly give their lives to build up these children. I’ve been there only 2 days, but yet i came back changed. I think differently about all my many privileges, how i was raised, what i can be thankful for and the difference I can make in others lives.
Ive asked Bianca to tell as more about this town Bulembu, that was a ghost town as some stage… I am still stunned by this project/vision:
In 2001, the mining company that had built and operated Bulembu for more than 60 years, closed its doors and walked away. With no jobs the town was soon abandoned, even as Swaziland continues to be ravaged by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the resulting orphan crisis.
Today, Bulembu has a clear vision to become a vibrant, self-sustaining community. This vision for sustainability includes fostering the development of a new generation of emerging leaders through orphan care, education, health services and commerce.
Central to the Bulembu vision is providing total care for some of Swaziland’s 120,000 orphaned and vulnerable children. The Bulembu Child Care Programme is not focused on emergency response or simply providing basics needs, but rather the Bulembu Child Care Programme is working to raise a generation of leaders, providing the children in the programme with the love and resources they need to thrive. In this way Bulembu is working to equip young people who will make a positive contribution to society, and emerge as leaders in their homes, their community and their nation.
The Bulembu Child Care Programme is currently providing over 300 children with total care. One of the biggest ongoing challenges for the programme is transitioning a child from a life of destitute and neglect to a life of hope and care. For well over a year, the Bulembu Welcome Centre has been operating as place of transition for children entering the programme. Most of the children who come to Bulembu are unable to distinguish between colours and shapes and are often unable to write their names, even though they have been attending school. Many things which we take for granted are novelties for these children including flushing a toilet, sleeping on a bed and using something as simple as a knife and fork. The Welcome Centre has proved to be an essential component in our programme, successfully helping children make this transition.
Over the last year, Bulembu has designed an extensive training programme for our care givers or “aunties”. The aunties currently working in the programme have taken this training and have been equipped and educated in best practices of care-giving. Investing in these women has meant that their lives have also been transformed as they find employment and are empowered and encouraged in their work.
A number of enterprises have been launched which will not only contribute financially in the future to the Bulembu vision, but will provide fundamental services to the community, specifically in the area of food security. Current Bulembu Enterprises: Bulembu Bakery, Bulembu Carpentry, Bulembu Dairy, Bulembu Honey, Bulembu Country Lodge, Bulembu Mills, Bulembu Timber, Bulembu Water, Bulembu Store and Bulembu Transport.
Come and experience our unique town and witness transformation in action. Whether by visiting, partnering with us in spreading Bulembu’s vision, sponsoring a child or even working for us, you will not leave Bulembu untouched, but rather changed forever.
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What a sweet day! I could not stop looking at these cakes. I photographed them from all angles and just loved the detail on them.
In between, i could not stop laughing at Maggi! She has susch a good sense of humour, its just awesome spending time with her. She did not close an eye the night before, since she had to make these beautiful cakes while she still had other orders to deliver. Well done Maggi! And thanks so much i could do the shoot, i loooooved every minute of it.
For Edible Art Cakes’ Facebook Page, click HERE
For the website, click HERE
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I am suuuuuper excited, got my new camera yesterday from Orms North!!!!! (Thanks Fritz!)
With all the editing that im still finishing off, i haven’t had a chance to shoot with it, but i will definitely make good use of it during my yearly holiday coming up!
I also upgraded to Adobe Lightroom 4..
Recently i’ve had a few photographer friends asking about my exquipment, so here goes:
Canon 1D mk4
Canon 5D mk 2, now replaced by the Canon 5D mk3
1. 24-70 f2.8
2. 70-200 f2.8
3. 50mm f1.2
4. 100mm f2.8
5. 17 – 40 f4
1x 430 EX
I cannot believe how these two have grown! They are both sweethearts, with very different personalities. You should get to know them a bit better as you go through the images. But first a walk through memory lane to see how beautifully they have grown!!!
The twins got a rainy day for their 2nd bithday, but they had so much fun and I got the awesome chance to just document their evening.
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it was just soooo beautiful outside tonight. All these images were taken from our doorstep in Stellenbosch:
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I came across these image again today. I looked at it and couldn’t believe I chose to blog it in black and white! I remem
ber clearly how the black and white images “spoke” more to me in that time, also the reason why i blogged them in that way. (View the previous post HERE.) Now, a few months later, i want to blog them again, but this time in colour…
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