Finding the right wedding photographers for you.

It can be quite tricky finding the right photographers for your big day, as art is so subjective and of course, there are a lot of cheesy-camera-clicking-clowns out there who would superimpose you into a fantasy scene while nuzzling each other erotically, if they were given license to snap. It’s all about browsing through photographers in the area you’re looking at getting married in, and if their style suites your taste, then they’re the ones for you. Don’t hate all their photos, hire them and then just hope they don’t make you pose like fairytale numpties…you’ve got to be confident they can deliver the look you’re after.

Phonix capture caught my eye straight away with their beautiful use of light and their clean crisp style, I also loved the fact that they were a married couple duo. I’m lucky enough to have a brother who’s a professional photographer. Even though he specialises in nature photography (Zane Wild Photo), my husband looks sufficiently like an ape that Zane’s advice and expertise would be relevant. I decided, and brother concurred, that Phonix capture were the ones to go for. Though, I’m sure he was swayed by the fact that they’d shot some of his favourite South African rugby players’ weddings.

You may be wondering why we’d pay someone to photograph our wedding when my brother would be able to do just that. It’s simply because we wanted him to relax and enjoy the day. A hard thing to do when you’re constantly looking through a lens with the added pressure of delivering precious wedding shots, that must last a lifetime.

We couldn’t be happier for having chosen Phonix capture, they were amazing from start to finish. They kept in touch with us during the run up to the wedding, which we were extremely grateful for. After all, once you’ve paid the deposit, what’s stopping them from doing a runner? We were on the other side of the world, after all. On the day, they turned up 2 hours before the ceremony, to meet us, put us at ease and to capture us getting ready.

They also took the time to shoot those all important details the bride spends hours finding post wedding, like the ring-bearing boxes and the wedding party gifts, as well as the details of the reception room.

There are so many benefits to having a married couple shoot your wedding. Not only do they know how it feels to be you, but it’s fantastic because they can be in two places at once, a hard feat for one bloke on his own trying to wade through the confusion of aunts and in-laws. And when the time comes for you to walk down the aisle, you have a photographer shooting you walking down the aisle while the other shoots your partners reaction. No details go amiss - you’ll have images coming out of your ears by the end of it.

Once at the altar, the duo are able to split up and capture both your reactions, as well as those around you. Special images to have in your wedding album, and much nicer than the set up “Say cheese” photographs. The kiss is another capture you do not want missed. And these two caught ours perfectly. We ended up having two ‘kiss the bride' moments, as my grandad (who married us) felt the first was not heartfelt enough. I think he was right because the second kiss, almost floored me (and flashed his bald patch to the wedding party).

Once the ceremony and family photos are out of the way, it’s time for the bride and groom’s photoshoot. If you're a Pinterest addict like I was before the wedding, then you'll find yourself pinning all sorts of gorgeous images - hoping to replicate them and look like the hot models in the photos. But when it actually comes down to it, you realise that time on Pinterest is time wasted. Yes, have ideas in mind and show them to your photographers of choice, but remember every situation is unique, and the last thing you'll be thinking about on the day are those Pinterest images. You'll just go with the flow, and the results you get will be unique to you and your partner.

 

We were both dreading this moment to a degree, perhaps because we have jobs where our role is always behind the camera - Spence being a Producer and me being a TV and Film makeup artist. But I have to give it to Sven and Karen, because they really put us at ease. For some reason we gelled with them; they felt like old mates from the get-go. They drove us out of the venue to find the perfect spots in the African bush to have our shoot, and the results were beautiful.

You do however, need a few of those set up “say cheese” moments, unfortunately! Not only to please the grandparents, but so that you have images to look back on, to see all the lovely faces of the friends and relatives that could attend your special day. We’re not keen on the set up pictures, they can be so cheesey, but you’ve got to have some at least. I just love this fun one they got of the whole party. They really were brilliant at getting the crowd going.

The great thing about getting married around nature is that you just never know what’s going to happen. Nature is so unpredictable, and you may just get blessed with an experience like we did. We had the most incredible encounter with a herd of kudu - it looked like something out of Disney’s Snow White, without the snow. We were merrily driving along when we spotted the herd, and although the animals of Marloth are used to being fed, the Kudu are the most timid of the antelopes. Strange, seeing as they’re one of the largest…I guess the bigger you are, the harder you fall. Often, even if you have food to offer them, they run a mile. We got so lucky, as a beautiful female approached with a male following closely behind. She got so close, she could lick my palm (foodless palm), it was fantastic!

The magic didn’t stop there. Being a sunset addict, I had planned the timings of our whole day on the hope that we would catch the sun setting during our shoot. Thankfully, it worked out. It wasn’t the most vibrant sunset I’ve ever seen in Africa, but it made for the most beautiful soft pastel images. And it was magical to be there, under the massive African sky, watching the sun go down as the birds belted out their last cacophony of tweets before settling to roost for the night.

When our short modelling moment was over, we headed back to La Kruger to join the guests, sipping wine and nibbling at nibbles, before cutting the cake, which we screwed up immensely cutting in a diagonal rather than straight down. Oh well, it still tasted delicious.

Last but not least, Sven and Karen stayed to shoot the all important speeches, which left us in stitches, or was that just the bubbly?

Now that we’ve recommended Phonix capture, I suppose I’d better get around to the grubby detail of money. Blurgh, how grotesque. Actually, due to the exchange rate, their services were really affordable for us. We paid a total of R13,240, which is around £773 (or around $946). This included their travel, 7 hours of their time on the day, 2 high-res disks, one low-res disk, and up to 400 images (bear in mind, these were the 2015 rates! - contact them for the latest quote).

- 3 steps to clearer skin & getting fit.
- Dressing the bride & bridal party on a budget.
- Surviving the Registry Office.
- Flights and car hire.
- Where to stay and what to do.
- The venue, catering & music.
- The cake, flowers & decor.

- Wedding hair & beauty horror stories.

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