Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wedding: A&D, Solms-Delta

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It’s a real big kick for me if I get to shoot one of my commercial clients’ weddings, every time such an opportunity comes up. It has happened a number of times now, which I’m grateful for. Not only does it allow you into a very special and personal part of a client’s life, but also allows you to reward their loyalty and trust in you.
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In this case, the client and I have been doing work together for 8 years, shooting PR and ad campaigns, and having a good relationship always. However, as much as I need to impress him, it is of no use if his bride-to-be does not approve. I’m very grateful that she did, and what an easy subject she turned out to be to boot!
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Horses make up a big part of her life, so it was decided that she would enter the ceremony on a horse, so prior to the ceremony starting, I had a short while to familiarise myself with equestrian photography! As it was not her own horse either, she just needed a couple of minutes to whisper to it or whatever it is that horse-people do. At this point in time it is maybe necessary to point out that I’ve had a rather “grounded” relationship with horses (ok, 1 horse). I remember being dragged through grass and also not being able to sit on a wooden chair for a couple of days after the ride.
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Horses are decidedly beautiful creatures, and this one is no exception, and allowed me a couple of touching moments. Literally, it allowed me to touch it. I also took some nice pics of it and the bride.
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Different photographers might point at different situations or conditions or even people to be a wedding photographers biggest enemy, including bad light, overbearing family members, over-zealous point-and-shoot-guest-photographers, difficult customers or such things. I have to put up there the problem of heat.

The gorgeous Solms-Delta Estate in Franschhoek decidedly was the recipient of a sun-flare that day. Why is this a problem? Try holding a 40 deg C camera body to your face, keep your eyes sweat-free, your hands dry, your face dry, your spectacles dry and your smile steady, while the noon-day (yup, noon wedding) sun batters you. The heat eventually made for a great picnic reception next to a river, as most (male) guests stripped down to board shorts and spent the afternoon bathing in the cool mountain stream.
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Meet Spence, the best…man? Anyways, Spence has been on the staff roll of companies where his boss worked, even with profile and pic on the company website, so the lad was chosen to be the ring bearer. Awesome dog.20111119_0164
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Something deserves to be said about these two pictures. The only way I could cool dow….. get this shot, was wading into the pond to hip height. Whether the the image merits such effort, I leave up to the observer, but it certainly was worth it in sun-stroke prevention. Also it made me look really and utterly committed to my art to those observing. And a rather unpleasant experience of putting my boots back on.20111119_0456

The wedding happened at a great leisurely pace, befitting a summer picnic, and so were the sessions I had with the couple. They would wine, dine and socialise a bit, before embarking on a foray into the forest for some photos, then frolicking about in the river, then some more pics and so the afternoon passed. Hence, what might seem to the average event organiser, a rather strange chronological arrangement to the images.
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A hit on the day was a photo booth to one side of the reception, where guests could entertain themselves with silly costumes and photos. This was not managed by myself, but is a great idea for weddings in this setting. Naturally I could not let the two of them go without getting them in their own booth.
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After much dancing, and especially some ethnic moves from the groom on Johnny Clegg’s “Impi”, the dusk started falling and it was time for the couple to disappear into the future.
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