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We sat in our billion star (takeaway) restaurant and I asked my mom, ‘what would we do if we were fearless?’ There are SO many backstories to this question, but more about this at a later stage!

In short, we decided to follow through with this question and do what we dreamed about that night. The clever people say (in a very rough Lizelle-translation) that when an idea is born, you move it from the “idea part” of the brain to another, and many times that is where is gets squashed after a few seconds, by logical thinking. Or fear.

Today is the turn in seasons- shortest day, longest night. Today is also a memorable day in the Lizelle-world. Six years ago, my dad passed away. One year ago I photographed one of my best friend’s surprise engagement in California. And today, my mom and I embark on a 7 week Faith Trip, the one we dreamed about that night. We actually don’t know much about this trip ourselves, except that it will be mostly in the Karoo area. We are hoping to find work as we go, make connections, photograph the people and their stories. Many times while planning this, fear wanted to overrule our dream. But what we do know, is that we are looking at our Father for learning, seeing, sharing and experiencing. His vision, his provision, His love and His plans.

This is our Go-Grow-Give-Get trip.

 

You can follow me on Instagram for updates:

lizelle.lotter.photography + lizellelotter

Soms, omdat jy vir jouself werk, gebruik jy die voordele en spring jy en jou ma 15h op ‘n Maandag in jou kar om foto’s by ‘n dam, na aan jou hart te gaan neem. Ek loer al letterlik van 1997 vir dié dam en sy takkies wat soos Niena se hare uit Fiela se Kind staan. Toe ek hoor die groot waters kom, besluit ek vandag is die dag wat daar foto’s geneem word.

Dankie Here vir ons drinkwater wat op pad is!

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November 16th, 2016 | couples,Personal,Shoots,Travel | Subcribe to RSS

November 16th, 2016 | couples,Engagement,Shoots,Travel | Subcribe to RSS

Sometimes getting up at 3.30am is totally o.k. :)

gjgrandc-lizellelotter-1

 

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August 28th, 2016 | Other,Personal,Shoots,Travel | Subcribe to RSS

I had a free afternoon, before my week’s work starts here in Uganda. (More about this on a later stage.) I went to a local church in the morning – I always love feeling at home so far from home with other people who loves Jesus!

Then, for an adventure packed afternoon, I did a bike tour through Kampala. Have a look!

kampalaUganda-lizellelotter-1

 

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June 15th, 2016 | Shoots,Travel,Weddings | Subcribe to RSS

What a privilege to photograph these 2! Beautiful people. Breathtaking landscapes. Twinkling eyes.

But, this wedding has a little extra story to it…. As Johan said in his speech on the wedding day: “Esté had her photographer before her groom.” Have a look at her first 2 emails to me:

2010: Epos van Esté na ek foto’s geneem het van Johannes en Carmin in New Castle:

Hi Lizelle,
Ek beplan om oor 5 jaar te trou in die Drakensberge. Intussen moet ek eers oor my siening kom dat die lewe te kort is om nog te deel. Ek joke net! Seriously, beplan om eeeeendag te trou en sal graag wil hê jy moet my kiekies neem. Ek laat weet net soadat wanneer ek jou oor 5 jaar bespreek, jy my sal onthou.
Blessings, Esté

2015:

Dagsê Lizelle. Ek herrinner jou graag, sommer baie graag, aan ‘n e-pos wat ek 5 jaar terug vir jou gestuur het. Ek vertrou dit gaan sommer baie goed met jou?

Ek is verskriklik opgewonde om te sê ek het toe my suinige siening heeltemal verander! Ek het die afgelope naweek verloof geraak aan ‘n rockstar-nerd, yster van ‘n man met ‘n hart van goud! Ons hoop om in 2016 die knoop deur te trek.  Ek het nog nie ‘n venue nie, ek het eers gaan kyk na jou beskikbaarheid maar ek sien daar is hoop vir my!
Ek hoor bitter graag van jou!
Vreeslike verliefde groete,
Esté
And of coarse I was super excited to be able to travel to Clarens to photograph this wedding I’ve been “promised” 5 years ago. It was nothing short of magical. (Here are a few personal images from this trip) From Esté making triple sure we have enough to eat at our garden cottage, to the amazing bridal party and guests that made both Theresa and I(who was my right hand and traveling friend on the trip) feel like part of the family, to family members who agreed to drive us up mountains for the bride&groom shoot.

So baie dankie Esté en Johan. Mag die mooi van jul dag en omgewing net ‘n weerspieëling van julle huwelik wees! Dit was so lekker en ekstra spesiaal om in ‘n stukkie van julle storie te kon deel.

Baie-baie liefde, Lizelle xxx

PS: As julle ooit vows renew – kan ek ASB julle weer afneem!? :)

 

EsteJohanTroue-lizellelotter-1

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April 26th, 2016 | Other,Personal,Shoots,Travel | Subcribe to RSS

The last 3-4 weeks was the busiest time of my year. Editing, blogging, planning, traveling for work, shooting. As I was editing today, I felt a little bit nostalgic. I’m not sure where it came from, but something in the air reminded me of being a little kid on our Overberg farm. My life consisted out of my family, the animals and finding something creative to do. I felt like running to my mom for a hug and playing outside with Zobo our family dog: big and furry with a gentle heart – a cross between a St Bernard and a Collie.

Scrolling through my images on my phone, I was reminded of SO much beauty I experienced the last few weeks. They are not only phone images, but reminders of why I love what I do and that I see mostly with my heart. And that we live in an amazingly beautiful country. :) My heart overflows.

“He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.”

Verse 7  from the song, All things bright and beautiful.

3 weekends ago: Clarens

Theresa (my assistant) and I flew to Johannesburg, rented a car and drove to Clarens in the Freestate:

travels2016-lizellelotter-1

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NY

Last year, while in the USA, I had the privilege of visiting NY for a few days. Since it’s impossible to do everything, I asked for some “to do” advice on Facebook and a few mutual friends reminded me that Jean-Pierre moved to NY. In the end a get together worked out and we went to B&H, ate amazing bagels, got to walk and explore the streets of NY and of course…took a few images! Jean-Pierre has an aMaZing eye for detail, light and composition and even though he was the model it was so much fun to see “through his eyes” and mix that with the way I see. With no flash or tripod, we got very creative in our way of handling slow shutters etc. (:

Thank you Jean-Pierre for showing me around and for always keeping SA’s name high! You truly are one of the best en hoef verseker nie vir enige van die NY fotograwe terug te staan nie!

 

 

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December 31st, 2014 | Other,Personal,Shoots,Travel | Subcribe to RSS

WARNING 1: You will probably want to go to The Old School House (Calitzdorp) after seeing this post…

WARNING 2: The image quality is not great. These are all iPhone “mik-en-druk” images I took for personal use only.

Enjoy and PLEASE let me know if you ever visit this magical place! I would love to hear about your experience. xxx

 

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Daar is ‘n sagte plekkie in my hart, waar die Karoo nes geskrop het…

 

 

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While shooting the Kolkol Mountain Lodge cabins, my assistant and I were privileged enough to stay over for a night in one of the cabins. I’m not even sure where to start! The hospitality, the wood cabins, the stars at night, the wood fired hot tubs or just being in nature? What an experience! All I have to say…book well in advance if you are planning on going. (But I’m very confident that it will be worth your while!)

“All things unique begin with a “gutsy” idea. Sometimes these ideas come to light while sitting around a fire, enjoying a few beers and having a laugh with good friends. Who would have thought that walking through a pine tree plantation would inspire me to build my own log cabins, from felling the trees to building an actual lodge. This was my “Gutsy” idea.” -Rudi

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Sudan, 2009

November 2nd, 2012 | Shoots,Travel,Weddings | Subcribe to RSS

When Emilly (Emily Elizabeth photography) and David (Thetwopointeight cinematographer) contacted me to shoot their wedding in Denver Colorado, I didn’t want to get too excited, until I knew the trip was definitely going to happen. But…i did start dreaming of traveling again, meeting new people and what a bonus if it was to Denver, since I have so many dear friends living there!

This dream came true!!! Thank-you-thank-you-thank-you-thank-you David and Emily! I thoroughly enjoyed shooting your wedding and seeing places I never would if it wasn’t for you.) Thank you also for trusting me with the photo’s and “letting me do my thing”, even though you have all the knowledge yourself. You made me feel so comfortable right from the start.

It was great getting to know the 2 of you, as well as your awesome families and friends.

And…thank you for being willing to do the mini session again the next day. (View shoot HERE)

ENJOY!!!!

 

 

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September 9th, 2012 | Shoots,Travel,Weddings | Subcribe to RSS

I loooooooove destination weddings! (So be warned, there are lots of photos!)

Noah and Michaela (Micky) had me excited ever since the first email I received from them. They told me about the Namibian farm wedding (where Micky grew up) and that they would get married under a huge tree…in the middle of “nowhere.” Sounded like my kind of wedding! They forgot to tell me about Micky’s yellow flowers, her blood-red lips, her pink nails and grass green shoes…and the fact that Maré and myself would have breakfast on the stoep with a beautiful view and all kinds of cheeses, cold meats and creamed honey (like only the Namibia people can!)…that we could watch the porcupines feed…that we would be treated like friends…that they love Jesus so much that they are thining…that the evening of their wedding it’s going to be “supermoon“…that the couple is crazy in love…and crazy…that they treasure their friends and family in a special way…that they laugh from their tummies…that they have endless energy and ideas…that some of Noah’s USA friends came all the way to Namibia for just the weekend to share in the special day…

I was so glad that Maré, a friend and photographer could go with me. She helped me soooo much! Our time after the ceremony was a bit on the tight side, so she photographed the bridal party while I was shooting Micky and Noah’s couple photos. Maré also took a lot of the decor shots, while I was shooting the service and got some killer images on the dance floor later the evening. So…this wedding really is a combined effort between myself and the super talented Maré Rootman. Thanks Rei!

 

And then thank you thank you thank you Micky and Noah… It’s only with fond memories I think of your wedding. ENJOY your images!!!!

 

 

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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.

For more india generic cialis details, go to www.bulembu.org

 

 

 

 

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November 28th, 2011 | couples,Other,Shoots,Travel | Subcribe to RSS

The previous time I saw Matthew and Suraya was when they came so SA for their honeymoon in April 2010. They live in London, very close to the well known Paddington Station. Suraya is originally from Singapore. For their honeymoon shoot, we drove around in Cape Town, photographing them at different landmarks like the Bo-Kaap, Blouberg and Simonstown. (View the shoot HERE.) This time around, it was in London…with a little baby on it’s way! I stayed with Matthew and Suraya for  2 days and I don’t think anyone has every spoiled me as much. When i arrived, Suraya cooked us a traditional English meal with roast, Yorkshire-pudding and all! They also made me a hamper with snacks like Butterscotch sweets, tea from Harrods and Shortbread cookies. We went to the famous Portobello Market, Windsor, Harrods, Tower bridge and much more. We planned one “official” shoot in the most beautiful old market, Leadenhall Market. This space has been used in movie scenes and i can just see why. The rest of the time we just had fun and photographed wherever we went.

Matthew and Suraya, what a privilege to photograph you in London. Thank you so much for spoiling me, taking me to all these places that i’ve only seen on postcards and just being awesome to be around! And Suraya, as you said, hopefully we get to see each other again…when you are having a holiday in SA! I hope you enjoy these images as much as i enjoyed taking them. Lots and lots of blessings for you as a (soon to be) family.

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So…as i said in one of my previous blog-posts, I’m flying it the UK for the first time tomorrow! (Also the reason why my blogging was a tad slow the last week or so!)

I will be gone for 2 weeks, but will keep blogging and will occasionally answer my emails…when my feet are sore from all the exploring!

I am really looking forward seeing places I’ve only seen on postcard, exploring little alleys, taking photos, spending time with my school-friends, Kira and Emma, and doing some winter shopping. Oh and of course meeting some UK photographers!

I’m currently selecting images from this wedding i did in Lydenburg and i could not help to notice that this little boys face looks like what I’m feeling in my heart! How adorable is he?

 PS: Happy 40th my Moni-friend!!!!

This weekend was one of those where you know something happened in your heart, even though you do not have words for all the feelings.

When my dad committed suicide, it was not easy to see “that God makes everything work together for my good, because I love Him.” But I have to and want to trust Him. He has always proofed himself trustworthy. So this weekend, i went to the Shofar Conference. God was so present. Someone who was at the conference, came to me. She told me that she forgave her dad for something he did 13 years ago, after she read the blog post on my dad. I could not stop crying. Something great came from my dad’s death!

This morning i got a mail from another girl: “I just want to share this with you… My dad phoned me this morning. For no reason, just to hear how I am doing…” She barely had contact with her dad and then she started taking a very bold step – contacting him first. And then she received his phone call this morning. (Zelli: happy face!!!)

None of this is because I had anything to do with it. It’s God at work. He is encouraging me and showing me that He is still in control and still trust worth. Suddenly I saw, once again, how He can take one horrible situation and let good things come from it. It feels like He build a foundation for me (with all my imperfections and my brokenness) again this weekend, just from being in His presence. Awesome!!!

Something els. I was very disappointed about the fact that I couldn’t finish my holiday in south east Asia in June/July. I was looking forward to 6 weeks of traveling and spending time with friends, but I had to came back after 10 days. Well….

Clients of mine just confirmed a pregnancy shoot … in LONDON!!!! (I’ve never been there before.) …and one of my closest friends, Kira, is joining me! (Zelli: happy face again!) I am so excited and grateful. Im learning:

“to trust You.
Just to know,
You got everything under control.”
-Trust by Kristene Meuller

 

And as they say, a post is not a post without a few pictures. Here are some of my favorites from the Shofar Conference this weekend:

 

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Hello everyone! It’s been a while, but I’m back after my travels and rest time, ready and excited for an awesome new season ahead! Just a few word from my traveling:

What a privilege to travel. I always feel a sense of freedom. A freedom to learn from others…and to learn about myself. I get challenged by the different ways of doing/thinking, cultures and scenery. What challenge me the most? What do i do automatically  because of where i grew up/my family/my culture and my ways of thinking?


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