I never imagined how difficult this shoot would be to plan & execute. When Carmen from Two Cherries Events said she wanted to plan a snow shoot in Matroosberg Private Reserve, I was in without hesitation but this dreamy romantic idea of a snow shoot was far from the reality.
The first challenge was in the actual planning, unlike Europe that gets consistent snowfall over a period of a few days or weeks, South Africa's snowfall is sporadic and short lived. So in fact we planned and postponed this shoot on more than one occasion. We were having to make a call 24 - 48 hrs before which left little time for the logistics of ordering, hiring, collecting of items and this is particularly hard for vendors like florists that need to order a few days in advance. I think Michelle from New Vintage Events felt the most frustration and understandably so but we were at the mercy of the weather Gods.
Thanks to Dave, a.k.a Weatherman Dave we finally made the call and the snowfall was perfect. Driving through the mountains and seeing the peaks blanketed in snow was just amazing. I have lived in Europe so the sight was not unfamiliar but seeing it in Cape Town was just surreal.
At 1250m above sea level and experiencing adverse weather conditions meant that communication with the venue was non existent 4 days prior to the shoot so whilst they knew of our intention we hadn't actually confirmed with them that we had pulled the trigger for that specific date. So on the day we were met with some confusion resulting in us only gaining access to the venue much later. This team of creatives just took it all in their stride. Tatiana the hair & make-up artist literally worked out the back of the car while standing in the falling snow and still managed to produce a kick ass look with a smile on her face.
My love/hate relationship with this shoot is as a result of what I had imagined we would achieve and what we actually achieved. Working in snow is not easy and I don't think any of us anticipated that. While we all donned gumboots and beanies it still did not prepare us for the difficulties of working in those conditions. Snow while beautiful, white and crisp at first fall, that lifespan is short lived and you left with watery, brown sludge. Biggest lesson learnt, do a trash the dress session. Our limitations in movement due to not wanting to ruin the dresses meant I sacrificed those perfect, dreamy shots I had dreamed of, for making the most of what was in front of me. And whilst I do love some of the images I feel this shoot had the potential to be so much more.
This shoot was made possible by a dream team of vendors, not many would have coped in those conditions or faced those challenges with a smile and a laugh. You have to remember it was freezing cold, we were shivering in our warmest woolies while Zhanique, our model was bare shouldered wrapped in a blanket between shots. Not once did she complain or moan, even her lovely family were at hand to provide support in moving her from one location to another (not an easy task) and being my lighting assistant when needed. This was truly a team effort and I'm so grateful to have worked with such a talented and committed team. Brides you can rest assure that any one of these vendors can handle any situation that may arise at your wedding as they just tackled one of the toughest shoots I have worked on to date.
Conceptualisation & Coordinating: Two Cherries Events
Photographer: Lily & Wild Wedding Photography
Venue: Matroosberg Reserve
Décor Concept & Flowers: New Vintage Events
Silver Cutlery: My Vintage Tea Table
Décor & Chairs: Functions & Events
Candles: Candles 4U
Dresses & Faux Fur Wrap: Ilse Roux Bridal
Shoes and Earrings: OPARI
Hair and Makeup: Tatiana Herbst
Nails: AFX Nails
Model: Zhanique Viljoen
Stationery: Oh Yay
Cake: Shake 'n Bake
Toffee Apples: Christabel Garisch
Rock Candy Sticks: The Sugar Crystal Company