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Stilbaai Beach Wedding

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Stilbaai Beach Wedding

– A Sandy Chapter

I concluded my 2017 wedding season with a highlight trip to Jongensfontein.  A small beach town a few kilometers from Stilbaai.  Like most destination weddings, I arrived the day before and met all the close friends and family as we sat around a big camp fire eating barbecued ribs and chatting about the next day’s celebrations.
I think by now most people know that one of my favourite parts about being a wedding photographer is becoming friends with so many wonderful people.  The journey leading up to these celebrations is one filled with excitement and hope and I truly feel blessed to walk this journey with so many new friends.
Here follows the unity of Chris-marie & Steyn Wessels:


Growing up as friends

We’ve known each other for most of our lives. We both grew up with our families camping in Jongensfontein over holidays.  This is how we met. We only really got to know each other at the end of 2012. First it started as friends and quickly escalated to something more. It was his blue eyes that drew me to him!


A Christmas Present:

On Christmas day 2016 we celebrated our 4th year anniversary. We spent the day with his family, but when we got back to Jongensfontein, we went for a walk on the very same beach we got married on.  He dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him!

A Rustic Beach wedding

We decided on a rustic theme and got most of our inspiration from social media, pinterest, friends and family.
We wanted both a beach and a farm wedding. So we decided to get married on the beach where we got engaged and to have our reception on a horse farm, Jongensdal, just outside Jongensfontein.  This venue fitted our ideas perfectly.

A dress tailored to her liking

I bought my dress on Gumtree! I took it to the very talented Esna Saayman from Riversdale, who changed the dress to my liking. I wanted an open back and a lot of lace. She made sure that the dress became a dream wedding dress to me. The veil was bought at Bride & Co and was a 5 meter long ivory veil with lace outlines.

Rings plain and simple

We both like a plain setting and that’s how we decided on our rings. My ring was made at Viljoens juweliers in Worcester and Steyn’s wedding ring was made by House of Kallie with a wood inlay. The wood inlay is something he really wanted. My wedding band is a Swarovski rosegold ring.

Sister Love

Stephanie Kamfer from “The Beauty Spot” and Natasha Henning, a cousin of the bride, did a great job with the make-up of the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride.
Mariaan Odendaal, the sister of the bride, and Verna-Marie Beukes, a close friend, are both employees of Scar Hair in Cape Town and took care of Chris-marie’s perfect hair.
Martelize Wessels created the wreaths for the bridesmaids’ hair with greens, folded flowers and roses.

Riversdale NG Church

Ds. Deon Beyers from NG Church Riversdale West officiated our wedding. This is the Chrurch I grew up in. He was very well prepared and gave a wonderful message at the ceremony. He also prepared us for the ceremony during a practise session on the beach the day before.

A Photographer with Experience

Landi from Organictales Photography was very professional and we could see that this was definitely not her first time taking wedding photos. She went the extra mile and tried to capture every moment of our special day. She made us feel at ease and was not just a photographer, but also became a friend. Pictures are all you have left after your wedding day and we wanted to make sure we had the best photographer capturing our special moments.

Videographer in motion

Henlu & Karin Cronje from “Cronje Productions” did an excellent job at recording our special day on camera. They literally think about every little detail. I would definitely recommend them to anyone that is getting married.

Memories with Friends and Family

For both of us the most memorable moment of the day was when we walked in at the reception and everyone waited for us with sparkles and something to drink.  We could see everyone was having a good time which definitely set the mood for the evening.

A Cash Bar with Cocktails

Hansie Saayman Bar services made gin cocktails, cosmopolitans and had lots of ciders when the guests arrived at the reception. Red wine, white wine and grape juice were from Calitzdorp Wine Cellar and Champagne from KWV. Hansie and his team were very organized and had more than enough available for everyone.

Friends and Food!

Now this is a surprise to everyone… We didn’t have a caterer.
 Breads and spreads were made by the bride, the mothers, and grandmothers of the bride and groom.
A close friend of ours did a Lamb Spit for the main. Our farm neighbours organized the kitchen, made the roasted veggies, potatoes and pumpkin fritters. My two aunts made the salad and tropical fruit sticks!
 Everyone was so helpful and this was much so cheaper than caterers.
Snacks and a variety of breads and spreads
Sheep spit
Sheep spit rolls with mozzarella and bacon inside.
Roasted Veggies
Crispy Potatoes
Pumpkin Fritters
Salad Sticks
Tropical fruit sticks
Wedding cake – Carrot cake
Ferrero Roche Tower
Doughnut wall
Take-away/eat-in portion deserts: Chocolate mouse, peppermint crisp tart, cheese cake and strawberry tart.

Music and the Ocean

 Charles Du Preez from “Just For You” made sure everything went according to plan with music and sound at the ceremony as well as the reception.  He did an exquisite job. One of my bridesmaids, Irma Du Toit, sang a beautiful song at the ceremony called “Far away” written by David Edwards.  Jeandre Schultz from the band ‘Slow Jack”  in Cape Town, played the guitar while Irma sang while we signed the register. This was a very special moment with the ocean waving in the background and all our friends and family witnessing our union.

Chris-marie & Steyn’s Advice to other couples:

Planning a wedding is a very big step. Be organized and double check everything. Get a good photographer and videographer, because this is all you have left at the end to keep as memories. It is important to have a DJ that knows what they’re doing. Sound and music can make or break a wedding. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Make use of your loved ones, friends and family for advice and planning. Our friends and family were very helpful and without them, our wedding would not have been the same.

Multiple Destination Honeymoon!

We had such a lovely Honeymoon driving from Stillbay to Mosselbay and spending the night at Nyaru Game Lodge. From there we went to PE and then to East London. We had a lovely time at Coffee bay next and had the privilege to see Hole in the wall. We were traveling along the coast till Durban where we got onto the MSC Sinfonia for a 3 night trip to the Portuguese Island.

Wessels Wedding in ONE sentence: 

The best party we ever had!



List of Service Providers:

Caterers: Friends and Family
DJ: Just For You
Bar:  Hansie Saayman Bar Services
Dress alterations: Esna Saayman
MAU: Stephanie Kamfer & Natasha Henning
Hair: Mariaan Odendaal & Verna-Marie Beukes
Videography: Henlu Cronje





Watch Chris-Marie & Steyn’s wedding trailer here.  Filmed and compiled by Henlu Cronje Productions


110 Best Wedding Photography of 2017

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110 Best Wedding Photography 2017

– A reminiscent chapter

2017 has been nothing short of one of my favourite, yet challenging life journeys yet.  It definitely was not easy.  After relocating to South Africa and setting up camp in Cape Town, it has been a non stop adventure.

I can proudly say that my first year back in South Africa, has been a big success.  It was my most testing year of life to date with record amounts of challenges both personally and in business. Hours upon hours of hard work, late nights and early mornings.  But the sweetest of all was hands down the fact that I got to meet so many beautiful, inspiring and interesting individuals – both as clients and as fellow industry trend setters.

It is the biggest honour when someone entrusts you with one of the most important tasks at their wedding.  Documenting a love story so true and deep it sometimes leaves me heavily affected and love sick.  After all, this is about love in it’s entirety.  And as cliche as it sounds – what is more beautiful in this world than love?

After documenting the last love story for 2017 recently, I thought it a good time to look back at all my favourite wedding photography of the year.  I compiled them all together here as my favourite 110 photographs in no particular order.  Some of them are favourites purely because of the moment and story behind the story and other are favourites because of photographic appeal.

I hope you enjoy and if you do – please comment with which one is your favourite!




























































































































Robertson Wedding Photographer
























Cape Town Forest Maternity Photography

Cape Town Forest Maternity

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Cape Town Forest Maternity

The miracle of life will always strike wonder in the hearts of those who have been waiting, praying and hoping for it.  The glow of this miracle is reflecting from deep within this beautiful mother – waiting on both her children to come in to this world and be welcomed.

A forest with all it’s natural beauty and wonder seemed like the most perfect and calm setting for this maternity photo session –  and how how peaceful it was!  With only the song of birds and the sound from a flowing river to give music to those who listen, we wondered the forest with all its magnificence.  Stopping often to capture its art in our photo creations.

I cannot even begin to explain how much I enjoyed this session and the different aspect it put to my usual work.  I truly think I should start doing some more of these maternity sessions in the forest! So much love all around!


Book your session by clicking here

Landi Groenewald Photography

Organictales – Where it began.

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“There are a thousand ways
to kneel and kiss the ground;
there are a thousand ways
to go home again.”
~ Rumi

I remember like it was yesterday.  Waking up before dawn; the farm, nestled in a valley still asleep.  I would sneak out with a slice of bread and a bridle to fetch my pony, Ginger.
In the cold morning air we would be off on a brisk trot down the valley and finally up the hill where the sun was waving its good morning rays to the waking farm.

I grew up a creative. A love for visual beauty and harmonious sounds always filled my world with joy.  When I wasn’t out exploring the farm or adventuring with my farmer of a father, I would draw my adventures and compose songs thereof while my mind never took a rest from creating images of beauty in my mind.
My mother, a teacher of life, strongly encouraged my artistic nature.  Patiently enduring false violin strokes and monotonous piano scales.  She taught me to appreciate and love Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart.  She always made sure the art cupboard was fully stocked with different paints, pencils and art supplies, for this child of her who had no end when it came to the creative world.

My love for my ponies and my love for drawing finally intertwined and I spent hours upon  hours creating pencil sketches of magnificent equine creatures featured in magazines.  But, as a headstrong individual I soon grew tired of drawing other people’s photographs of other people’s horses. I wanted to create original sketches of ordinary ponies never before featured in glossy magazines. I wanted my own pony to be my muse.
I excitedly took the family point-an-shoot film camera and started snapping away at my ponies;  Convinced that I was creating the same magnificent work that I’ve seen in the magazines.  I remember my mom being upset when she discovered I snapped up an entire roll of film and when it came time to develop it, she made me pay for every single photo that was part of my “art.”  School fees, some would say.  Can you imagine how utterly disappointed I was when I saw my “art”?  I couldn’t draw from those photographs!!  So I took up another roll of film and so it continued in to the digital era.
I soon discovered that I haven’t drawn a single sketch in months, but instead I was determined and excited about creating art with a lens instead – my love for photography was born and blossoming quickly.
As life had it,  one of my arab mares were up for sale and with the money I bought my first entry level professional DSLR camera and enrolled in a photography course.  My world exploded as I started to learn more and more about this fantastic new way of creating art.  I learned to grab a moment of life and forever keep it perfectly unique as it was at that moment.  I started looking at the world in different angles, noticing shadows and light and colours.

My world transformed from an adventurous farm girl with a love for drawing and riding ponies, in to a creative adventurer who now sees life as a place with endless possibilities.

Below are some of my first DSLR images from when my love for photography was still young and fresh.  These images have never been published and this will be the first time that many of them are made public.


A few months back, a friend of mine traveled up to the Free State with me where my old pony, Ginger is living out his last days in peace and harmony.  A good old 24 years of age, he is being kept company by the very last foal born on the farm, Farah Anisa, a 7 year old Arab with a heart of gold and affection.  I will forever be grateful for these images I have with my two equine companions. The bond I share with them cannot truly be captured in images alone, but here is a mere glimpse thereof:



To get in touch, click here.

Wedding Photography Price Cape Town

Pricing for Photographers

By Photography6 Comments


So let’s talk about it. That big elephant in the room that makes people so uncomfortable they would rather just watch the weather channel  on repeat instead.
(Pictures added to provide stimulation for artists who hate numbers)


Truth is – life really is all about the money. Sad to admit, but without a steady inflow in the bank people struggle to keep their spirits up.  Money issues are one of the main causes of depression and divorce in today’s society and with the rising inflation and influx of expenses, it is hard to keep head above water.  When you are self-employed and lack basic understanding of business and self-discipline, these stresses become even more intense.

What Do You Need To Survive??

So let’s look at today’s basic living costs per month in Cape Town in order to live fairly responsibly:



Budget Living Average Living
Rent (1 – 2 bedroom) R5000 R10 000
Utilities R300 R600
Internet R500 R500
Car Finance R3000 R4000
Petrol R1000 R2000
Medical Aid: R1500 (hospital plan) R3000 (Comprehensive)
Camera Insurance R1500 R2000
Car Insurance R400 R700
Life & Disability R300 R500
Living Costs:
Food (3 meals a day) R1500 R2000
Household products R300 R500
Retirement Planning R500 R1500
Total Costs: R15 800 R27 300


Sure, these amounts are variables and some are not applicable to everyone.  Perhaps your car is already paid off. Or you inherited a house and don’t need to pay rent.  Or you don’t plan to ever retire and want to work until the very last day you take your last breath at age 92 (good grief).

So what does this have to do with Photography?
I mean, Photography is Art.
It is a gift of Beauty.
It pays in “Exposure” and “Likes” on social media, right???



People in the Workplace vs. “Artists”.

Now let’s compare with people with “real” jobs (Since Photography is “art” and not a “job”).
People with real jobs work from Monday to Friday from 9:00 – 17:00 (160 hours a month) and get paid a fixed monthly salary plus a few benefits like pension and UIF and sick leave and weekends!
Every month on the same day a fixed salary gets deposited in to their accounts. Nice, isn’t it?

Now here you are.  Artist. Photographer. Storyteller.  You get paid per assignment.  Some months mean glory to all as it rains with weddings and other bookings. Other months it’s like crickets and you try to see how many cups of tea you can drag out of the last tea bag.

Does it really need to be like this?
No. Not if you price yourself correct and according to your worth and time.



How Many Hours Do You REALLY Work?

How much work really goes in to one wedding?  Some of these things are generally not considered as “work” by clients.  At least, not until their employers ask similar tasks of them in their off time.  So Let’s see:

Initial Marketing 1 hour
Responding to client inquiries and questions 1 hour
In person consultation 1 hour
Charging camera gear and preparing cards 1 hour
Driving to Engagement session 1 hour
Engagement session 1 hour
Driving home from Engagement Session 1 hour
Downloading cards & importing into software 1 hour
Culling of images 1 hour
Editing images 3 hours
Delivery of images 1 hour
Pre Wedding Venue Visit 1 hour (optional but recommended)
Timeline coordination for Wedding Day 1 hour
Charging camera gear and preparing cards 1 hour
Driving to Wedding Venue 1 hour (minimum – usually more)
Pre Wedding Prep and location check 1 hour
Wedding Day Photography 12 hours
Post Wedding Prep and camera breakdown 1 hour
Drive home in the dark with tired eyes 1 hour
Downloading card and Importing into Software 1 hour
Culling of extra images 2 hours
Editing Images 10 hours
Blog Post Image Selection, Writing and Blogging 1 hour
Album Design 2 hours
Drive to Printers to deliver Design 1 hour
Responding to constant inquiries from brides wanting to know when images are done 1 hour
Drive to printers to pick up album 1 hour
Drive to client to deliver album and images 1 hour
Total amount of work you’ve done 52 hours

52 hours = That is 7 hours a week more than the average “normal” person who works an 8:00 – 17:00 workday.

Great.  So now we’ve established that you don’t “only” work when you are holding a camera. Those hours add up quickly, don’t they?  But now, let’s look at some more numbers (I know, we are artist, numbers break our heads and they are not fun to look at or think of, but really if you want to do this as a business you need to continue paying attention)



Your Direct Expenses Per Wedding

Travel Costs:
Your car has a running cost and maintenance cost.  Tires need to be replaced, oil needs to be filled up, car needs to be serviced.  Visit the AA website to calculate your car’s running cost

100km = R350 / R500

Camera Insurance Per Wedding:
Divide your annual insurance premium by your annual number of weddings.
(R2000 x 12 ÷24)


Assistant (not to be confused with a second photographer) R1000
Album Printing Costs. 
This will vary on the amount of pages and quality of printers you use and get as expensive as R6000+ for a decent 20 spread leather cover album.
Packaging Material R300
Branded USB R200
Courier costs R200
Total Expenses per Wedding R5 200

So that is the direct expenses per wedding, but what are the costs to run  your business and market yourself successfully in the Wedding Industry – set up at Wedding Expos, advertise on Wedding Blogs and Directories and have a strong Online Persona?

Running Costs Of Your Business Per Annum:

Online Marketing:
(Roughly R500 per month minimum)
Print Based Marketing (Magazines/Pamphlets)
(Roughly R1000 – R2000 per add)
R20 000
Wedding Expos
(Roughly R10 000 per expo)
R20 000
Website Initial build (once off) R13 000
Website Domain R 2 500
Website Hosting R2 400
Software Subscriptions
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom R 1 650
Blogstomping Software R   700
Album Design Software R   700
Cellphone contract R6000
Total Annual Business Expenses R72 950


If you dIvide that annual business expense in to monthly payments, it costs you about R6080 per month.
That essentially brings your monthly requirement as an individual and a business to:
R15800 (basic living expense) + R6080 (monthly business costs)  = R21880 (total monthly expense)


How Many Weddings Should You Do?

Alright, so now we have established how many hours you work and how much those hours cost you, so how many weddings do you need to do per year to support a basic, responsible lifestyle and a basic overhead business expenses?

We do it like this:
Yearly cost of basic living and business:  R21880 x 12 = R262560
R262560 ÷ (profit per wedding) = Weddings Required to run your business and support yourself

R8000 Wedding:

How much you charge R8 000
Your Expenses for the wedding -R 5 200
Profit  R 2 800
Weddings needed to support yourself 94 per annum
Weddings per month 8 per month (is this even possible?)


R10 000 Wedding

How much you charge R10 000
Your Expenses for the wedding -R 5 200


Profit  R 4 800


Weddings needed to support yourself 54 per annum
Weddings per month 4.5 per month


R15 000 Wedding

How much you charge R15 000
Your Expenses for the wedding -R 5 200
Profit  R 9 800
Weddings needed to support yourself 26 per annum
Weddings per month 2 per month


R20 000 Wedding

How much you charge R20 000
Your Expenses for the wedding -R 5 200
Profit  R 14 800
Weddings needed to support yourself 18 per annum
Weddings per month 1.5 per month


Looking more realistic when you work it out like that, right? And to think that I didn’t even calculate TAX in yet.  That decreases your actual income even further.



So now  you have to ask yourself the question – how many hours are you prepared to work in a year and what level of income do you need to support yourself?  As the saying goes:

Work Smarter, not Harder.


Free State, cheetah photographer, photography, wildlife, ballerina, ballet, outdoor ballet, wild cats, bloemfontein, cape town, wedding, photographer, photography, wedding photography, weltevreden game lodge

Fly South.

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I will always Fly South.

As someone who lived abroad for 5 years, I always held on to the words “Fly South”.  South is where my roots grow deep.  South is home.  South is where my feet stay grounded to the earth like a Black Rhino’s heart.
I have so much love for this continent.  The continent of stories.  Africa.  The place where wild animals roam the streets in the imaginations of foreigners.  Growing up at the southern tip of Africa, I had quite a fortunate childhood.  My deep love for animals was the original drive that pushed me in to photography.  But not wildlife photography though.  As a farmgirl on a cattle ranch my deep bond with critters started at an early age raising any and all orphaned baby animal.
As part of a personal project I wanted to photograph people with animals, so I was delighted when Tanya Myers, a talented ballerina told me that she and her husband own big cats!  Could anything be more perfect?
So even though this is part of a personal project, these photos are sentimental to Tanya as well since her love for dancing and her love for nature and her animals are showcased together.

Tanya, you are so talented and it is always a blessing to meet someone who shares my love for animals.

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Is it real?


A lot of people asked if these were composites and if the cheetahs and giraffes were added in Photoshop.  I guess in South Africa many of us are fortunate enough  to encounter these amazing animals so we don’t even think about why people would think these photos are not real.

So here are a few behind the scenes photos that Tanya’s husband took with a cellphone:


img_20160717_3-1 img_20160807_7 img_20160807_4 img_20160807_10


And of course there had to be a funny of me trying and failing to guide a real ballerina in to poses…. you can just see her in the background laughing at my Dance Attempt.  Of course I blame my pants for the lack of flexibility. Haha




And one that was a test shot from my camera to check the light.


south africa pet photographer

Shadow Pup – Portrait Session

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“That’s the lesson of the dogs, that it’s important to both live in the moment and then go on to the next wonderful thing.”
-W.Bruce Cameron, The  Dogs of Christmas.

I had such a lovely time visiting Roxy Hutton of CityGirl Searching down in the small town of Buan.  Roxy is a fellow South African Creative who also resides in South Korea with her husband Dale Hutton and their adorably cute rescue pup, Shadow.
Roxy and I connected via social media and started collaborating on creative ideas and concepts, exchanging tips and tricks  We eventually decided to meet up for a shoot and afterwards we sat down over lots of cups of tea, while playing around in our editing software, sharing knowledge and insight and more cups of tea.

It’s always such a wonderful thing when creatives get together and decide to share their knowledge.  It is so refreshing and inspiring.

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south africa fine art photographer


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This was one of the most daring shoots I’ve done so far. Very different from my usual style and genre, but it turned out to be so much fun and such a great learning phase.
My model, Aletta was such a trooper and without her this shoot would never have materialized.  We met a day before the shoot in a Starbucks cafe to throw some ideas around.

And lucky that we did it on this day since the snow came really early this year when it was still relatively hot and it all melted within a day. Originally we had all sort of ideas but we lacked the time to plan it all.  Now we are waiting for the next snowfall to have those ideas come to life.

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Portrait Photography Bloemfontein

Seoul Searching – Hanbok Styled Shoot

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As winter started drawing to a close, I met up with this refreshingly, inspiring lady.  It was one of the first warmer days in Seoul, South Korea after a long and freezing winter.  Winnie (pictured above) just arrived in Seoul a couple of days ago from Singapore.  Originally from Malaysia, she lives and works in Singapore and decided to take a trip to South Korea.  So even though I was delighted with the first relatively warmer day, she still thought it was freezing cold!  It guaranteed many giggles and laughs every time I handed her my coat in between shots.

First on our list was a dress up studio.  We didn’t spend too much time there before we headed out to Euljiro 4(sa)-ga station to rent a Hanbok from OneDayHanbok.  The store can be found inside of the station near Exit 7.
After she found a Hanbok she liked, we flagged down a cab to take us to Gyeongbokgung palace.

At Gyeongbokgung we learned that if you are dressed in a Hanbok, entry to the palace is free.  For all other regular customers it is a mere W3000 ($3).

The palace was not as busy as usual and we managed to find some spots with no other people, so we were really lucky.  There is something magical behind wearing traditional clothes in such a historical area.

Winnie was such a trooper trough out the shoot and her fun and spirited personality made her such a great subject in front of my lens.

I am so grateful for every session I get to do because I get to meet so many wonderful people from all across the globe who in turn show me a small part of their world and teach me so much about themselves and also myself and my skills as a photographer.  Every session is a learning curve and that is what I cherish.

Safe travels, Winnie!  May your next journey be even more magical than your trip to South Korea!IMG_8118IMG_8058IMG_0362

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