Couple Shoots by Jacki Bruniquel – From Durban to Botswana and beyond

I love photographing people and telling stories with my camera! This is why I so enjoy engagement shoots and couple shoots, although you would never say so judging by the fact that I haven’t blogged any of these for so long! I decided it high time to change this today and so I gathered up some of my favourite pics from couple sessions that I have done in Durban, Botswana, Joburg and Madikwe Game Reserve and am presenting them to you here at long last!

Whenever I do a shoot like this, my first step is to ask my clients who they are, what they do together, where they live, what makes them tick and what makes them excited. Armed with this information we decide upon a theme, location and dress code and we go out and have some fun together. The result is that each shoot is specific to each couple rather than me just sausage factory churning them out. A few of these shoots are engagement shoots for couples who’s wedding I went on to photograph. Engagement shoots are such a great way to get to know your photographer and it makes having your picture taken on the wedding day way less intimidating. They are great for us photographers as they give us the opportunity to learn how you roll, what makes you laugh and what your best angles are . A few of the shoots shown here are of couples who have been married for some time. One couple were celebrating a 10th year anniversary and her husband bought his wife the shoot as a gift and another couple never had a big wedding with a photographer so these pics were a celebration of their union and their life together now.

Red Ivory Hartebeesport Dam Wedding – Kea + Themba

Kea and Themba’s wedding is the last wedding of 2016 to hit my blog and by no means the least!

When Kea first enquired about having me shoot her wedding I sent her a response telling her that I wasn’t free that weekend, but that didn’t stop Kea. No, this lady is a determined one! She called me shortly after I had sent said email and won me over with her charm and delightful personality and I realized that she was the type of client that I love working with. Between the two of us we were able to shift a few dates and their wedding date was booked in. Then the unthinkable happened, I fell off my bike, broke my collarbone and knocked myself unconscious a few weeks before their big day. I had to call Kea and tell her what had happened knowing full well that if I didn’t shoot her wedding she would be very sad. The great thing about having clients who I really enjoy is that I was able to put my own injury aside and tap in to their energy. And there was a lot of energy at this wedding!

Kea and Themba got married at The Red Ivory in Hartebeespoort Dam on an incredibly hot December day. The things I will remember the most about their wedding are how incredibly proud Kea’s Mom looked as she walked her down the aisle, I will remember Themba’s vows, the impromptu dancing around the reflection pool during the reception, the beautiful views from this magnificent venue and Kea’s warm hug when she first greeted me!

Durban Hindu Wedding – Sunira + Avi

Sunira is one heck of a catch. Not only is she gorgeous to look at, she is also a medical doctor who is currently studying her MBA! Avinesh her new husband is also blessed with good dollop of good looking and a mighty fine brain. Brains and beauty are fine attributes but its peoples hearts that I am most interested in and these two have alot of heart! They are a couple who aren’t afraid to grab life by the horns and these are my best kind of people.

I was so looking forward to shooting their wedding after our first proper meeting, and then a few weeks before the big day I broke my collar bone and bashed my head after falling off my bike. Sunira took it all in her stride, and her calm and gentle attitude and confidence in my ability was all the inspiration I needed to get through the day. I have always loved shooting Hindu weddings and it was so easy to be engrossed in the moment with all the colour, ritual and love that was part and parcel of their wedding that I soon forgot about my injury.

Hartford House Documentary Wedding – Alice + Seamus

I have always loved the quote by Annie Liebovitz “The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.” I have always got totally lost in the moment when looking through a lens and this focus is what got me through Alice and Seamus’s wedding.

You see two and a half weeks before their big day I I fell off my bicycle and broke my collar bone and concussed myself something silly. Apparently one of the first things I said to the doctor when I was totally out of it and in the hospital was “I don’t care what you do, I have to shoot a wedding in a fortnight – fix me!” And so the doc operated and put a pin and a few screws into the bone to speed up the healing process. One cannot call in sick if you are a wedding photographer and I knew it would be incredibly difficult to find a replacement as they got married on a very popular date of the year.

Alice gave me very strict instructions that she didn’t want loads of posed photos – she wanted me to capture moments, emotion and atmosphere, and this is what allowed me to forget about my physicality and be transported by this focus that comes with looking through the lens.

Best Wedding Pics of 2016

2016 sure has thrown some challenges at me but there have also been some wonderful moments and blessings to celebrate!

First off is that I have had a couple of very big affirmations from the international wedding photography community. This year I was placed on the Fearless Photographers top 100 photographers of all time. The calibre of photographers on this list is astounding so this really was an incredible piece of news. Next up was being placed on the SLR top 150 international wedding photographers of 2016 and lastly but certainly not least was winning the Admired in Africa top wedding photographer of 2016! The prize with this feather in my cap was a camera I have been lusting for! I won a Fuji XT2 mirrorless which I am absolutely delighted with. Golly I feel very lucky and this certainly makes all the hard work and long hours worth it.