2018. What a year! You know how you just coast along for a few years and nothing really major happens in your life – and then you have a year. I hadn’t had a year since 2012. And then outta nowhere – sickness, sadness, soul searching. At some point, someone said to me, ‘How can you be shooting weddings with everything that is going on?’
The thing is…the weddings saved me. Ok, that prob sounds a bit dramatic but they did inspire to chug on when I wanted to stay in bed eating an economy box of Fruit Loops. When you have to photograph a wedding, you have to invest every atom of your being. You have to be laser-focused on the emotion, the light, the time. You have to do whatever you can to ensure your couple has one of the greatest days of their lives. As a photographer, the day is not about you. It’s about serving your couple with creativity, kindness and respect.
But without even knowing it, my couples and their families served me. They gave me hope. They taught me stuff. Deep stuff, guys. Weddings are wonderfully intense! I always worry that I’ll sound trite saying this but…well, it’s gift to be immersed in love every weekend. Yes, the hours are long and the work is pressurising but I get to bare witness to these intimate, sacred, life-changing moments. And in the week, I’m just looking at love all day on my screen while I edit!
My business will turn three in March and I feel like in three short years, I’ve received an education in love and life. Documenting the lives of others has deeply enriched my own. When I began, I had no idea that this would be such a healing experience for me. It’s also made me fall even more in love with South Africa. Yes, we’re a problematic country but heck, the people – our people – are amazing. I’m so grateful to every soul who blessed me with the opportunity to photograph them last year. A ‘thank you’ feels completely inadequate. You inspired me, uplifted me and carried me without knowing.
Your stories. Thank you for sharing them with me. I wish I could send them to Hollywood. I’ve said it before but your stories are better than any rom-com I’ve ever watched. Some of you overcame impossible obstacles during the journey that led you to love. Love in the form of marriage, of partnership, of children, of family. You reminded me that life is precious and short and full of possibility. And your dancefloors – well, they reminded me that we should always have as much fun as we can along the way!
I do shoot a lot and if I’ve photographed your wedding, please don’t ever think I’ve forgotten your day by the time I shoot the next one. Every single experience is imprinted on my heart. I remember your moms and the meals and the weather – oh, the weather! I remember how you offered me juice and a seat and a chance to catch my breath. I remember your friends and your pets and your smiles. Time gets away from me and I don’t always get the chance to share every experience online but I’m grateful for each and every one.
I wish I could explain just how much this work means to me. All I can say is, ‘my cup runneth over.’
Now – here are a few of my favourite moments from the year that was. If you spot yourself below, I hope you’re transported back to that moment in time. Enjoy!