Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moroccan Lifestyle

Moroccan Tussles

My aunt has a new business venture, importing and selling Moroccan articles. She asked me to photograph her merchandise for advertising purposes. Her goods are absolutely beautiful! If you need some inspiration for interior decorating, please visit her website, Moroccan Lifestyle - you won't be disappointed!

Moroccan ceramics

Orange flower with bee

While I was photographing a Moroccan fountain in the garden, I came across this beautiful flower (I am not the plant expert and won't display my ignorance by trying to name any flowers, but feel free to educate me!). And low and behold there was a bee sitting on said flower! Very happy to have had the opportunity (at last).

Orange flower with mate

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A rose called by any other name...

Rose 1

Rose 2

Was given these beautiful roses for my birthday and couldn't resist photographing one. I love the specks of yellow on the red!

Beads in the window

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stealing the moment

Cactus 1

Had a visit from my brother-in-law's wife and her cute daughter, Leigh today. Emma and Leigh are more or less the same age and enjoy each other's company in a somewhat complicated way. The sad thing is that while they were visiting us, their home in Centurion was being ransacked and cleaned out. Fortunately, by the time they got home, the burglars have already left. I feel very sorry for them - what a mess to have to sort out!

Cactus 2

Tried my hand at some macro photography today and feel happy with the end result for the very first time. Will have to look around for more compelling subjects as have none in my garden.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Technical glitches

Horsing around

Okay, so here's the thing. My camera's battery wasn't charged. But I did pack my charger. But we did not have electricity at the log cabin where we spent the weekend. In my defense - I did not know that I would not be able to charge my battery. The sad truth is that I missed out on a vast amount of unforgettable photo opportunities. This is a taste of what I was able to do with the little time I had. Nevertheless, I had an absolutely fantastic weekend and birthday!

Windy music

Windy water

Not going to the Argus!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday feeling like Friday

Unwilling subject

We are leaving for Clarens tomorrow morning and I can't wait! It's my birthday on Sunday and my wonderful husband (I know it sounds like a cliche, but he really is wonderful) who understands how I hate being in Joburg organised a weekend away together with his sister, her husband and kids. The best gift right there, no need to gift wrap anything!

Was a little short on inspiration today so tried a few things with Joubert in particular, but as you can see from above expression, cooperation was in short supply! Still love that face though...

Hole in the table

We are currently using our outdoor table as a barrier to keep Nelson from getting onto the patio and destroying the furniture. There is a hole in the middle of the table for an umbrella and I photographed Joubert through this hole. Not entirely happy with the end result, will have to try again.

Joubert's window art

Bought Joubert a glass deco kit yesterday and this was the end result of his first project. Not bad for a four-year old!

Hole in the table 2

Okay, another try, but still not right. Have to try without flash, was obviously not paying attention.

What now?

Emma playing in the sand pit, also very irritated by her mother and her ever-present camera.

Will hopefully have plenty of photo opportunities during the weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Exhibit 1

I've decided to help Nelson, the Golden Retriever in his quest to ruin his reputation and have photographed images in support of evidence that I am collecting against him. Nelson, you're days are numbered! Exhibit 1 shows how Nelson is treating his blanket with disrespect.

Exhibit 2

Evidence that Nelson decapitated Emma's doll.

Exhibit 3

Evidence of the holes Nelson is digging in the garden. This one is an attempt to uproot the palm tree.

Exhibit 4

Evidence of how Nelson is chewing on Joubert's expensive shoe.

Exhibit 5

And finally, proof of what Nelson is doing to the tricycle wheels.


Joubert with magician's hat, originally uploaded by karinstruwig.
Joubert with magician's hat

After yesterday's vortex of dread and feeling of self-loathing very happy with self about formatting of this image. All is thus not lost.
Love this pic of Joubert, such an accurate portrayal of his sense of fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Keeping up with the Jones'

Am really frustrated with inability to properly format blog. Have no clue how to upload pictures with frames, captions, watermarks etc and am annoyed to such an extent that I feel like giving up.
Had a little run-in with assistant at lab where I have my images printed as a result of photo's once again not being printed to my specifications. Got everything sorted in the end, but still feel let down somehow. Pictures taken today depicts certain aspects of the day: staring at empty planters, framing black & white photographs of the kids, reading a novel, trying to attract birds with crumbs, watching as toys migrate from toy baskets to every conceivable open space and talking to my very exhausted and exhausting four-year old about things that are very hard to learn. Will try and conquer the -what turns out to be- very complicated world of blogging tomorrow.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Baby T

Finally. Some of the newborn pics from 10 days ago. For some reason I ran into several brick walls when trying to upload photos from this shoot and had all but given up. Adding to this was the fact that the client did not order any pics and I was beginning to worry that she didn't like them! Just as I was consulting the career books on possible future sources of income, I received an e mail today with a substantial order for which I am eternally grateful. My name as photographer is still standing (even if it is on a very doubtful foundation) and I had a very good day. Practically ran to the printers to get the images printed and can't wait to collect tomorrow.
About the shoot: not what I would have hoped for. Just my luck to have a three week old baby come over on the coldest day of the year. I had two heaters running at full power for half a day, but to no avail. Once the poor baby was undressed all hell broke loose and she screamed for all she was worth, completely unnerving both her parents to the extent where they were much less interested in the shoot than she (the infant) was. Tried a few quick naked shots, but soon realised that it was not to be, so got baby dressed and bundled in a blanket after which things went slightly better - but only slightly. Even my son came out of hiding to see what we were up to with the poor screaming child. Traumatised parents finally left with wailing baby and absolutely no expectations from the shoot. Fortunately were able to salvage something and they were pleasantly surprised with the end-result.
So tonight, I feel happy and content.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It's been a busy couple of days. The kids have really taken their toll on me and I feel drained and exhausted. I sometimes find it very difficult to focus on more than one thing at the same time; my children and my photography in this case. I did the new born shoot on Saturday - more on this later - I'm still waiting for the lady to order her pics. Got another booking for a children's party in August which is very good! I've also been asked to help a colleague of mu husband's with her wedding album - she wants it digitally printed and this is something I really enjoy. So, some things at least are happening.
In light of these few developments I have also decided to run an experimental promotion - will have to see how it turns out. Spent most of yesterday designing leaflets for said promotion which was quite fun.

Well, I saw the moon staring at me at about 16h30 this afternoon and decided to use it as my subject of the day. The sky did not appear quite as blue as I would have liked, but a few adjustments on Lightroom and it looks much better.

Feeling slightly depressed. It's my sister's birthday today and I miss her a lot. She lives in Zurich with her boyfriend and its hard to be so far away. I'd live to go visit her, but wonder if I'll ever be able to raise the funds? Who knew life would be so hard?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


This is my poor Star Jasmine, hanging on for dear life despite all it has to endure (kids and dog as previously mentioned). I find it fascinating the way it twines around itself and whatever is available to keep on growing upwards and onwards.

The good news is that I have a shoot on Saturday! I did a maternity shoot for this lady about six weeks ago. Her baby is now 3 weeks old and ready for her first contact with studio lights. I am very excited, newborns are such a great subject and I am honoured to have the opportunity.

I also finalised and printed the pics from Sunday's bulldog shoot and am very happy with the end result, as is my aunt. All in all a very good experience and one I wouldn't mind repeating.

I finished reading Sushi for Beginners - found it very good light entertainment and extremely funny at times. Have now started I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb, a read highly recommended by my sister. A very big read (about 900 pages) so should keep me busy for a while!

Then, watched the movie August Rush on Sunday and enjoyed it immensely! A wonderful feel-good movie, with very good acting, especially from young actor Freddie Highmore. I know it has been described by some as having a schmaltzy plot, but who cares? I don't believe in being too cynical when it comes to movies, it is there to be enjoyed and is supposed to form part of your fantasy life! I loved the music and the atmosphere - I felt like I was drifting in the movie along with the characters, really very nice. Heartwarming is the word. And Freddie really is ingenious - he has great facial expressions, I could watch him all day! I suppose this could be expected from one who photographs children for a living.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Lady in the making? I think not.

My daughter Emma has this very annoying routine. Apart from all the other havoc she creates, sometime after having lunch, she casually saunters onto the patio and checks out the scenery. She then coyly watches me over her shoulder to make sure that I don't suspect anything, and then makes her way to the only remaining pot plant on the patio (Nelson already ate the rest). This particular pot plant is my pride and joy - a star jasmine that I've had since 2002 and the longest surviving plant species in our married history. Needless to say I am kind of attached. Emma is also attached, but more to the soil as opposed to the Jasmine. Every day she trails her hand lightly over the soil while humming absent-mindedly to herself. If she is not attacked by raving pit-bulls or evil witches (she pays absolutely no attention to my ranting and raving) she proceeds to through dirt all over the place and rubs it onto her face. The dirt then usually ends up in the house. A trail all along the corridor leading either onto her bedroom carpet and into her bed, or onto my bedroom carpet, into my bed and eventually ends up in die bath. Lovely. No amount of pleading, shouting or death threats can persuade her to stop this pointless exercise. When she really gets into it, she sometimes dons a hat, like in the picture. As you can see from the expression on her face, this whole daily event gives her great pleasure. I wish I could say the same.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Otto and Ellie

Meet Otto and Ellie, my aunt's before-mentioned beloved bulldogs. On Sunday I had the privilege of taking their portraits. Not the same as photographing children! In fact, I quite enjoyed it. They tend to be just as uncooperative as kids, but at least they don't scream and shout or sit sulking in the corner. And even if they do sulk, they are not able to hide away behind arms or hair as children do. Otto is a very relaxed kind of guy. He will cooperate willingly as long as he is not expected to do anything too active and you have a few snacks at hand to keep him motivated. He became somewhat upset when I moved too close with the camera - something about the clicking and light flashing in his face did not sit well with his idea of a relaxed afternoon and I was reprimanded with a quick bark. Ellie on the other hand was so impressed with having the opportunity to play model for the afternoon that she could not contain her excitement! Mind you, she also found it hard to distinguish between photographing and being photographed. Her greatest desire was to get onto my lap and into my face in an attempt ( I think) to also look through the viewfinder. After much slobbering, heavy breathing and running around - from both parties - I was finally able to capture a series of interesting images and Ellie finally gave up, crawled under her pink blanket and passed out. Life is hard.

Friday, July 4, 2008


This is our dog, Nelson. My aunt asked me to photograph her two beloved bulldogs on Sunday, so I figured I'd better practice. Nelson was supposed to be the perfect addition to complete our family. Do any research on Golden Retrievers and you will soon be overcome with a desperate need to have one. Lovers of the breed are lavish in their praise - loving, loyal, intelligent, beautiful, etc. No mention at all of the hell one has to go through to get them to the stage where you can actually appreciate these characteristics. Nelson might be intelligent and beautiful, but I am too busy running around like a lunatic, trying to calm myself in the wake of the destruction that he causes. Our once promising garden is now nothing but a distant memory. Lovely little palms lay strewn all over the lawn, once blooming flower beds are littered with leftovers of soft toys, even lawns have intermittent huge holes where I frequently stumble, swearing and waving my arms. Nelson's biggest ambition is to reduce all our furniture to fire wood and turn our Persian rug into a flee infested, hairy dog's bed. Ugh! Two kids are enough to test any mother's patience, but this dog is definitely the straw that will break the camel's back! The only reason that Nelson is still with us - as opposed to back with the breeder or six feet under - is that beautiful face. And the fact that my son loves him. And he is very good with the kids. And he cost a BAG full of money. And hopefully, one day, I will also sing his praise and convince some poor sod of the good qualities of the wonderful Golden Retriever.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I spent most of the day on the net - playing around with my new blog, checking out other people's blogs etc. I also had a very nice bath with my little girl. Did you ever tell yourself to concentrate on a moment to make sure that you remember it forever? I have had so many such moments with my children - precious times that I knew would pass and that I wanted to imprint on my mind forever - smells, tastes, emotions. But alas, now that I think back, the specifics have already faded. Anyway, today's bath was such a moment. Emma is so cute and that tiny little body is simply good enough to eat. I love having a little girl and sharing all the things with her that are important to a woman - like smelling shampoo and soap in the bath!
Anyway. I have never taken a self-portrait before. There was a time when my husband and I frequently took pictures of the two of us together by holding the camera at arms length, snapping away and hoping for the best! I love those pictures. But now we tend to only photograph the children. So I decided to take a pic of myself, but did not want to use the tripod and timer, so walked around the house, trying to find a suitable reflection. Took a few snaps, but kind of like this one - shot outside a window with a mirror down the corridor to create a double reflection of myself.
I also spent some time on the patio, reading Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes. I find her books very funny and enjoy having a chuckle by myself. Our house is cold during the winter, but the patio is wonderfully warm and sunny in the afternoons. The kids like to play there and I usually have a few minutes of peace. I took a picture of the view from the patio. We live in a new complex - half the houses are not yet finished and the view therefor is not very nice. Not to mention the constant noise and dust! I've gotten so used to it by now however, that I think I would feel uneasy in a quiet neighbourhood.
Have to watch some TV now for mindless entertainment.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New beginnigs

Today is the first day of my new blog. My husband have been telling me about blogs and people he know who have blogs and the idea of having my own have slowly grown on me, so here we are.
I am a mother of two young children, a 5-year old boy and a 21-month old girl. After several false starts, strange turns and dead ends, I recently decided to start a photography business from home. Originally, I was desperate to do something that would not take me away from my children, but have since discovered - to my own and everyone who knows me surprise - that I have a very lively interest in photography. I especially enjoy photographing children and this is also what I am focusing my business on.
Starting a business is a huge learning curve and I find it exceptionally difficult. I have confidence in my photographing skills, but serious doubts in my marketing skills, something that I also hate. This blog is my way of forcing myself to keep my focus and also a way of practising and displaying my photography. At this stage I am still self-taught - kids and studies don't go well together - and I need to find feedback for my work.
But mostly running a business solo can be very lonely and this is my way of making conversation.