Eric + Sara

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There really isn’t anything more romantic than eloping. My best friend did it in Thailand (despite my not-so-subtle suggestions that she and her husband-to-be allow me to make a “surprise” appearance. Note: I didn’t) and my childhood girlfriend is going to do it in India (to which I might make a “surprise” appearance. Nat, consider yourself warned). Just the two – bride and groom – uniting, celebrating their love and commitment to one another while enjoying a beautiful destination. Amazing.

This was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph a genuine elopement. Eric and Sara came all the way from Atlanta, USA, to the Masai Mara – a place in a country they had never been to – to tie the knot. And they came just the two of them. No best friend, no parent, not even a witness to sign the marriage document, tagging along. And considering that the wedding was a limited party of two, it still managed to contain a LOT. A lot of beauty. A lot of fun. A lot of laughter. A lot of joy. A lot of silliness. A lot of alcohol (which might explain the four aforementioned things ;). A lot of tears and a lot of love. And I mean A LOT.

Every couple that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph loves differently. These two showed their love in the most perfect. beautiful, unabashed, outward way. Tears flowed as Sara walked down the ‘aisle,’ sobbing ensued during the reading of their vows and the two were genuinely so in love and so excited that they had their ‘kiss-the-bride” moment before they even remembered to exchange rings (and then countless more moments after they did).

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Sara, alone in her beautiful tent at Kichwa Tembo, gets herself ready while Eric, in another tent, dresses. He hasn’t seen her blush pink dress and has no idea what she’s going to look like (beautiful. Obvs). Can I mentioned here that this bride told me that I was going to have to heavily edit her (clearly fictional) ‘moustache, droopy eyelids, bad skin, bug bites’ and a multitude of other things and that I’ve done absolutely none of those things? And she’s still stunning?

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I meet Eric at the lodge bar so I can photograph him before he leaves for the wedding venue. He’s meant to leave thirty minutes before Sara but his car isn’t ready. So: drinks. Drinks make sense.

Eric produces a TV show that airs in the US called Archer. Despite having never seen it, it took me all of thirty seconds of time alone with Eric to know that his show couldn’t be anything but a comedy as I was crying tears of laughter the whole time.

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When I returned back to Sara’s tent after Eric left I found her sitting quietly alone on the bed, texting love notes to her groom-to-be. Cuuuuuuuuute.

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Eric’s first look at Sara as she comes down the aisle. Tears.

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Vows. More tears. Some light sobbing. A whole bunch of adorableness.

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There is a lot I could say about this cake. The two things I want to say most are 1: I’m glad they (the hotel) removed the candles they had originally stuck in it (…) and 2: The names are spelled properly. That is all.

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More wonderful examples of Eric’s posing creativity (genius). I still cannot look at these without laughing. Literally. Eric really wanted to ‘hatch from her dress, like an egg.’ How could I NOT think that was the best idea ever?! (Clearly it was).

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Whisky, wine, champagne, love, coffee. Perfect.

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Foxy + Bondy

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Pretty, pretty, oh-so-pretty. How could it be anything BUT absolutely gorgeous when absolutely every detail was carefully considered? Liza and Mark (aka Foxy and Bondy) flew with friends and family from all corners of the world (L.A., London, Sydney and the list goes on) to get married at the unbelievably beautiful teeny tiny chapel at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki.

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Liza and Mark brought these tiny flower vases and ribbon from overseas. See what I mean? DETAILS. This cotton embroidered ‘Here Comes the Bride’ sign? It’s vintage. So perfect.

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Liza – fabulous and fashionable – wore a headpiece that was fondly nicknamed “the rooster.” The white rose bouquet had feathers to match.

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Just as the couple was meant to make their way from their cottage to the chapel, led by a singing choir, the skies opened up and poured down blessings (and kept pouring them down!) An umbrella delivery kept things moving along and the couple danced their way to the church through the rain and to see them sharing an umbrella, smiling, laughing… tears. I cry too much at weddings. It’s a good thing I always have a camera smooshed to my face – it effectively hides the waterworks (though my beloved camera is quite often damp as a result).

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Pablo led the procession carrying Liza’s absolutely gorgeous vintage fabric

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The chapel was tiny and the couple, their thirty guests, the priest as well as fourteen choir members cozied up as the wedding – a traditional Catholic ceremony including prayers and communion – began. As a once-upon-a-time Catholic, I loved the ritual and ceremony of the hour.

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The priest sermonized about wifely submissiveness and culpability, which got more than a few giggles (from the couple included).

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Outside, the clouds parted and blue sky peeked through to welcome Mark and Liza as newlyweds.

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And to cap off a beautiful day, the couple danced to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics, which may or may not have made me a little bit teary-eyed again. I’ll never tell.

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Ghoncheh + Jason

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Since I seem to begin every post proclaiming how much I love things, it is with great pleasure that I begin this new post declaring my eternal and undying love for this wedding. I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Ghoncheh and Jason at the end of June at the Maji Boutique Hotel in Diani Beach (can I get enough of Diani? NO. I SIMPLY CANNOT). The beautiful, clear blue sky that matches so perfectly with the beautiful, clear blue sea; the white sand, the gentle breeze… *sigh* Before even arriving in Diani, I was beyond excited to be part of this wedding because of the amazing mix of cultural elements that the couple planned to include in their day. Ghoncheh is persian and Jason is Korean but both are Americans living and working in Kenya. Can you get any more perfectly eclectic? (The answer, I discovered, is no).Continue Reading

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Elmenteita + Sunwords

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I love to travel. I love seeing new things. I’ve been quite fortunate in that I’ve had many opportunities in my 31 years to visit new countries and experience new cultures. As is usually the case, I’ve seen more of those other countries and experienced more of those other cultures than I have of my home countries – both Canada and Kenya. I went to Niagara Falls for the first time only four years ago, despite having grown up not 500kms from it. I’d never seen a lake in Kenya until late last year. Sad but true.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again – I consider myself quite privileged to be the one chosen to photograph the Sunwords FFWD classes in action in various venues across this beautiful country. It is because of Sunwords that I have now been to Lake Elmenteita twice. The lovely Mr. Sunny Bindra kept repeating, ‘LOOK AT THE LAKE!’ at every available opportunity the first time was there (those words are permanently drilled into my brain now, whenever in close proximity to this lake. I think by now my compulsive lake-looking is a conditioned response) and it was amazing to see it in a different season, looking like a completely different lake than it did the first time around.Continue Reading

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Cece + Stephan in June

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If I were to use one word to sum up Cece + Stephan’s beautiful wedding at Windsor Golf and Country Club in Nairobi that word would be: DANCING. Also: FUNKY (with a side of funky dancing – see below!). This couple – who came all the way from Australia to get married in Cece’s home country amongst friends and family from all over the world – brought. the. party. And did so with a kind of casual but elegant vintage flair that is very rare to come by.Continue Reading

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Snug Home

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I’m sure it comes as a surprise to no one that I have a slight – very slight – cape obsession. Hand loomed lightweight irish tweed in gorgeous colours, lovingly made into wearable capes? More please. I already own two and I want more…MORE. MORE CAPES. MORE. To be honest, capes never even crossed my mind until I met Snug Home owner, Tessa, and she showed me her creations. I fell in love (as I often do) and took one home and wore the hell out of it (which truly proves my cape love because it is HOT in Kenya and these capes are wool). I got compliments whenever I wore it because not only do you rarely see a young, excessively attractive (*ahem*) woman rocking a cape, but truly these capes are just so damn gorgeous people can’t help but notice. They are. More proof:Continue Reading

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Tinkered By

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I absolutely love Tinkered By.

Not just because they bring wine along for their models and photographers on photoshoots (be still, my heart). Not just because those aforementioned photoshoots are often done in kickass locations in beautiful light, with the hood of a red Prado serving as our perfect table, shelf, makeup vanity and jewellery display. Not just because their products are made from recycled and repurposed materials and handcrafted by – and in support of – artisans all over Kenya. I love them because of all those things.Continue Reading

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Sit still? No thanks, mum

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We needed passport pictures taken for O. And instead of hauling our lazy buns all the way to Narok to have them taken at Mara Photo, which has literally the WORST front desk woman in existence EVER, we decided to take them at home and send them for printing in Nairobi. You would think because I am a photographer and I have studio lights and my gorgeous progeny is so generally well behaved that this would be a straight-forward task. NO. I can’t say it enough: NO. No no no no no. To get this three-year-old to sit still with his head straight and his arms down and no goofy face was a herculean task that took two days and lots of chocolate popsicle negotiations.Continue Reading

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Lake Elmenteita

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I am incredibly lucky. Not only do I get to do what I love for a living (while still having enough time to be a very fit and very present wife and mother), I get to do it in places and with people that not only pay me but INSPIRE me. Now, I’m a little offbeat in a lot of ways (okay, in every way), which you would think would make corporate photography not my thing but the truth is some of my favourite jobs that I do every year are for Sunwords, working for the wonderful Sunny Bindra, photographing some of Africa’s top business leaders taking part in his Fast Forward program. Week-long, full-day in-conference-room seminars be damned! With Sunwords, not only do I get to travel to gorgeous places likeMount Kenya and Lake Elmenteita, and take pictures of the aforementioned leaders doing fun, interesting (and sometimes goofy) things, I’m encouraged to do my own thing photographically outside, in nature. To be as creative as I like.Continue Reading

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Mombasa + Styled Shoot

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This is Serena Beach Hotel and Spa in Mombasa. Do you want to get married here? Of course you do. It’s spectacular. In fact, I got married here myself, eight short years ago. Is this my wedding, you ask? I wish! While my wedding was absolutely wonderful, it came to pass long before wedding designer and stylist Catalina Bloch created this bunch of gorgeousness. Catalina was invited by Serena Beach to create a signature wedding that combined beachiness with Swahili style with elegance with glamour and came all the way from Canada to do it. Mission accomplished? Pretty sure that earns a solid yes. I was the lucky chosen photographer that got to photograph all this beauty. I even got a taste of styling myself when I got to help Catalina assemble the bridal bouquet. (Let it be known that tightly closed flowers can be opened if you have the lung power and stamina).Continue Reading

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