I've been a dedicated freelance photographer since 2005.
I lost my mom when I was 30.
That doesn't make me special but it did change my life.
Not a 10th of October passes without me remembering my mother's final words to me.
"Life is very short. Look at me I am 62. About to die. You are not the corporate type. Follow your creative passion. Do something with your life before it's over!"
At the time I was working in the corporate jungle of Johannesburg. I was incredibly sad for a number years afterwards. Eight years later my father died. He died on my mom's birthday. His children were at his side watching him take his final breathe. I will never forget that privileged moment with all its sadness and the strength I drew from it.
Yes life if short.
My first portrait study. My dad. He died 11 months later. Having captured him means the world to me.
I don't have one of my mom.
The loss of my parents shaped my outlook and will continue to inspire the life I have chosen to live.
I left the corporate world, got divorced, was blessed with a beautiful son, picked up my camera and went to work. I soon learnt that no one owes you anything. More importantly I learnt that "nothing teaches nothing".
I get it now. Putting oneself out there is risky. The world is a very unkind place. When I've considered removing my story from my site I'm told by another how moved they were by it. So it is still up.
Since my career began in 2005 I've witnessed and captured both happiness and sadness, however, the lens works both ways.
Maya Angelou said it so beautifully. "I've learnt that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel!"
I caught this moment in KZN at the start of very early morning shoot. I see it as the ups and downs that take us forward in life.
Enjoy some of my favourite, personal photos below. Many are just them are just happy, crappy iPhone snaps.
When I captured this photo of my son in 2003,I was more than hooked. I knew that I could make a career out of capturing similar fleeting, fragile moments for others, which I've been doing since 2005 with my family clients.
Me and Sebastian in 2009
Getting a photo of us together means asking the strangest people - the last one was taken by a 10 year old daughter of a client. I'm so grateful for each one!!
A recent photo of my boy. He's a keeper!
I grew up with British bulldogs. As it turned out, Blossom was born about the time Sebastian was conceived. I love this photo of their first meeting in 2002.
I stole this one of Blossom weeks before she died in my arms following a driveway highjacking. I believe the trauma was too much for her. Both experiences live in my bones to this day.
Don't be fooled by those looks. She really has a heart of gold and is eternally loyal. Almost 8, she spends most of her days sleeping at my feet. I will be forced to let her go on a day. She suffers from severe thoracolumbar spurring - essentially her spine is solidifying - as will eventually be unable to walk.
This last one of Venus was captured by Sebastian trying to keep the Johannesburg heatwave of 2016 off her skin with his old beach towel from when he was 3.
Princess Leia crept into our lives seamlessly after Blossom died. She is the clown of the pack and has since ascended to top dog status. She flaunts both roles with no invitation.
I love the whole thing about my boy in the following two photos, taken three years apart. Both fleeting moments. The framed image of him was taken in 2006. He never gives me enough time so I too live with some crappy, grainy family snaps. I often love them more, just because I have them.
I'm blessed to live in a country of such diversity. Privileged that the Big 5 are about 300km from me. Sadly I'm not big at capturing wildlife. One's lens is either too long or short. By the time you work that all out the moment is gone. I do like these though, if only for their sense of humour.
And yes, that ellie's butt .........
and these hippos remind me of my hounds.
Sebastian and I have clean palates that simply love home-cooked food. Nothing wrong with a blob of cream in the tomato soup with our ever present clown waiting.
Strawberries with "blue" fillet - a birthday treat!
I love Madiba's shoes with their twinkly highlights agains my boy's bear, bony feet. Many people have asked me over the years whether the photos of Nelson Mandela on my site were captured by me? Yes. Every single one besides the ones of me and him. It was an honour to be commissioned by Graca Machel to capture her family in 2008. Six-year old Sebastian and I spent over 4 hours in their home. I don't feel I can add anything more to what others have said. They are incredible people. As Sebastian gets older the significance of this moment will dawn on him in all its fullness.
This moment of Graca Machel with Sebastian encompasses everything about Graca - a woman full of life that exudes love.
My moment with Madiba.I was clearly giving photographic instruction mid-stream. Typical photographer.
A stolen aerial shot of Sebastian and me taken with my drone.
This is my simple but privileged life that I don't take for granted.