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Aug 29

ROCK THE FROCK…..Safari Style > Liezl & Matt > Part I…….with a few donkeys & an elephant!

By julietlemon August 29 2013 - 08.52 AM

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Yes!!!  Another installment from Liezl & Matt’s wedding celebrations.  It is time to treat you all to the first part of their absolutely brilliant “Rock the Frock” photo shoot over in Botswana, Africa.  The 10 days prior to this were a wonderful whirlwind of commotion and excitement: a super fun pre-wedding adventure into the wilderness of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans (and a video clip to go with it!!!), which was then followed by their incredible safari inspired wedding in Maun.

Two days after their wedding, the newly weds joined me and my cameras on a little safari trip.  We loaded up the car with their wedding outfits in vintage suitcases (which of course we used in the shoot!), filled up the tank at Riley’s Garage, grabbed a bag of Biltong each for the journey and off we set.  Our destination was the beautiful, tented safari camp, Sango, in the Moremi Game Reserve, which was a 3 hour drive from Maun.

We decided to have a bit of a story line to the “Rock the Frock” photo shoot:  “The Newly Wed’s Getaway” (which it kinda was!).  They’d grabbed their vintage suitcases, waved goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Maun town and were heading into the wilderness together with a photographer – yours truly in tow!

The deserted tarred road was lined with dust, bare trees and a few shacks, which of course were a must to get into the pics, so we stopped off near a colourful one… yes, it was naturally orange!  Of course that had nothing to do with orange being my favourite colour, but because it provided a strong, contrasting colour in the pictures against the blue sky…….honest!  We did swing by the Barber’s shack for Matt to get a shave, but it was closed so the rough and rugged look it was!

As we neared the Moremi Game Reserve, where the tarred road turned into a sandy one, we passed a donkey cart (donkeys are abundant in Maun, so much so their football team is called the Maun Donkeys!) and that was another must to get into the photos.  So we stopped to see if they’d let us take a few pics with the cart.  It only turned out that the newly weds knew the folks in the donkey cart!  In over a 2 hour drive from Maun this donkey cart was the second vehicle we had passed in all that time and was just heading back to town from being at their cattle post.  The other vehicle belonged to the barman from their wedding… seriously, it is a small world!

They kindly let us take over their donkeys and cart and it was a real giggle.  Keeping in mind the photos I had taken just two days prior at their wedding with the happy couple and the stunning old school Peugeot as their chariot, I recreated some of those pictures but of course this time with the donkeys and their cart!

We continued the drive towards the Moremi Game Reserve and made our way onto the banks of the Khwai River, where we stayed at Sango Safari Camp (who are also on Twitter so give them a follow :).  It was such a treat to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the stunning camp and it was a haven, where we could catch our breath after the whirlwind of wedding action, on which we had been focusing for the past few days.  However, we didn’t have too long to rest because in that part of the world, the sun sets not long after 6pm, so we had only an hour or so of daylight left so we needed to get cracking with the shoot.

The couple got back in their wedding attire and we drove off into the bush, where we located a few brilliant spots for the pictures.  One of them was by a watering hole, where a few antelope and a lone bull elephant were milling around. The animals kept their distance from us, confused or amused by our photo shoot antics, I’m not sure which…  That was until I was taking some shillouette shots of the couple against the low, african sun, when the elephant decided to come a tad closer and walked right behind the couple……photo bomb safari style!!!  It certainly isn’t every day that you get to say to a wedding couple, “There is an elephant behind you!”

All being rather experienced safari goers (Matt, safari guide extraordinaire), we  remained calm and the massive animal gracefully passed us, not seeming particularly fussed with us being there.  Having started my photography career in Africa with its wildlife as my subjects, and then to be looking through my camera’s view finder and seeing a wedding couple and an elephant in the same shot was really something rather incredible! A moment like this just takes your breath away!  The elephant strolled past and on into the bush and we just we carried on with the shoot…

From the watering hole we drove a little closer to the airstrip, where the bush was less dense and the terrain much more sandy and dusty.  Sunsets in Africa seldom disappoint and that evening the sinking sun cast long, dark shadows and the rays were hitting the dust creating an incredible rich, warm, orange glow.  Of course I insisted the couple add a little more to the effect and got them to run round in circles kicking up more dust, which worked an absolute treat for the photos. Needless to say that Liezl’s wedding dress was absolutely filthy by this stage and had been truly “Rocked”!!!

In true safari style, we ended our photo shoot gathered around the bonnet of the vehicle enjoying a chilled bottle of champagne, which was a lovely gift from the Sango staff, giggling about the events over the past few days whilst marvelling at the sights and sounds of the wilderness around us.  In the low light of dusk we watched a breeding herd of elephants emerge from the dense thicket of the bush and walk across the sandy floodplain. Africa at its most magical!!!

Hope you like the pics and Part II to follow soon! x

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A big HELLO and thanks for having a peek at the blog! So a little bit about me.........well I absolutely love the wonderful world of photography. I'm lucky enough to work with great people and at each shoot make sure that we have fun whilst getting great photos. I'm based in the UK where I photograph a lot of weddings and lifestyle shoots but also get to travel to far flung destination for a spot of travel, wildlife and car photography. I'm a Licentiate of the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers as well as a Licentiate of International Nature & Wildlife Photographers and have won awards for my photography. My work has been published in national newspapers, wedding magazines, travel guide books, blogs and wildlife publications. My favourite colour is orange!
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