This shoot happened on THAT Saturday, the one about two weekends ago when I think every wedding photographer in Gauteng woke up to a mild heart attack because it was raining and raining and raining and it was fairly clear that this was going to be one of those week long rain showers that refuses to clear up until every bridge in Pretoria and Alexandra has been washed away. I nonchalantly phoned up Catherine, fully expecting her to say, “hell no, shoot will be postponed thank you very much“, and that would have suited me perfectly well. I was very ready to spend the day in bed with my wife, a movie and lots of pizza. Not to be, and soon we found ourselves on Malibongwe drive heading for the bridge stretching over Harties. I ended up with some of my favourite images to date though, so very well worth the wet and cold, and I was glad Catherine was as determined as she was to get the shoot done.
Catherine and Francois will be tying the knot on this very same farm where we created their engagement photos, which is also their family farm where she grew up. Nice people that they are, we were also invited to join them and Catherine’s family for supper after the session. Imagine a farm style meal with a stuffed chicken that’s twice the size of the biggest one you will find anywhere in America, roasted lamb, fought over fried potato wedges, and sweet potato! (I cannot recall the last time I had that, and man am I missing out. I LOVE sweet potato). This was a real treat for us, something that we do not experience much at all in our little two person family here in Jozie.
Getting back to the rain, we arrived, and the rain subsided for basically the entire shoot. Heck we even had a splash of sunshine for 5 minutes just before sunset. Couple of hours later and me completely soaked and muddy from practically rolling around in the grass, we called it a day with a well deserved cup of coffee and dry clothes (hooray for spare wedding attire in the car).
So why the dark images? Well, for one, Catherine and Francois struck me as a little dark themselves. I just cannot picture them with pink balloons in front of a yellow 1978 VW mini-van, or Francois on a baby blue bicycle, sipping drinks at a lemonade stand, kissing and laughing and swinging each other around on the lawn, I just cannot. Which leads me to the second point. We don’t actually shoot that many engagement sessions, so before the fact I browsed around some wedding blogs to get an idea of what’s happening in the world of engagement photography, and it was a bit sad to see that apparently every engagement shoot that is featured around the world at this very moment is the yellow/brown vintage Thing- with-a-Theme, and I kind of vowed that I will not be repeating the retro vintage look on this shoot, and so this is my attempt at breaking the mold a bit.
I edited a couple of these last night and I’m actually very keen on the look. Anyway, these are more for my own personal enjoyment, and I will probably hand over something slightly more “conventional” in processing style, unless Francois and Catherine indicate that they love this look as much as I do.