I always picture my own wedding at a camping site. No muss, no fuss, just the people who love us most. That and some good bonfires, alcoholic beverages and hopefully one of my friends playing guitar. Disclaimer: I am NOT that cool that I have friends who play the guitar. Instead I’m hoping some of them learn to play before my wedding. Thanks friends. Keeping this in mind, you can imagine my pure and utter joy when fellow photog Hanke Arkenbout and I went to Campingsite De Lievelinge for a…FESTIVAL CAMPING WEDDING! Uh yes, this is my dream and yes I may have freaked out about every single thing happening that day because everything was so amaze and I just wanted to die.

See, this was no ordinary festival camping wedding. No, this was a surprise wedding. But instead the bride and groom had no idea that they were getting married! They thought they were going to have a relaxing weekend with friends. Lol, friends were like “computer says no”. Read the less horrible explanation HERE.

Anyways, as the day progressed, I starting understanding why this couple got such a stunning wedding from their friends. They are super gorgeous, attentive, loving and humble and all I wanted to do was hug them. I’m not a hugger. Above all, they kept asking me if I was ok and if I needed anything. I’ve known them for all of 2 seconds, yet I still think “naw” when I look at these photos.

This was no doubt one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had and I feel so lucky to have been part of it! Fuck yeah.

Location: Kampeerterrein De Lievelinge | Photography: Hanke Arkenbout Photography + Snap Me Pretty Photography | Videography: Narratief | Bridal Garments: Unielle Couture | Styling and concept: Avenue Lifestyle | Grooms Garments: Style Kitchen | Floral Stylist: Gift by Nature | Flowers: Bloemenbureau (Flower Council) Holland | Bridal Cake: Jans Delft | Ice-cream cart: Van der Poel IJsmakers | Tableware: Traveling Tableware | Spit Roast: Spit en Pan | Meat: Keurslager Jaap Landman | Salads: HAKA | Wine: Wijnhuis Kastelein | Champagne + glasses: Stadscafé De Waag | DJ: Hero de Janeiro | Wedding Car: Heritage Cars | Pancake Truck: Bram’s pannenkoeken | Coffee Truck: Vilter Coffee | Coffee: White Label Coffee | Piaggio: Promo Piaggio

Camping de Lievelinge | Camping festival wedding | Alternative wedding | Amsterdam photographer  | De Lievelinge wedding

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I don’t meet a lot of Nadines., but when I do, we become best friends and talk about how cool Nadines are.

When I was in South Africa (more specifically Cape Town), I met another talented photographer also called Nadine. Before this, I really hated meeting new people. The awkward inquisition, the moment you realize you have nothing in common, and that gut-wrenching time when you have to say goodbye. Thanks to my limited social skills, it always goes like something like: “Let’s do this again! I had such a great time!” to which I reply “Thank you, you too!”.I’m horrible at casual conversation, especially talking about the weather. It’s fucking hot, raining or cloudy. What else is there to say? Let’s talk about the meaning of life, food and cats or how hard adulthood is, and I will like you forever.

The latter is exactly what happened when I met Nadine! Not only do we have shit tons in common, we also share the same twisted sense of humor, hate being adults and love cats. Nadine is such a free and fun spirit and every time I see her I immediately feel my own mood turning into a unicorn rainbow. Glitter shoots out windows and a punk-rock band starts playing songs of my youth, it’s amazing. Needless to say we made a photo date and screeched around the streets of Stellenbosch in Nadine’s magical rustbucket, in search of that gorgeous African light.

We found it…and it was bonkers.

Stellenbosch photographer | Amsterdam photographer | Portrait shoot | Portrait photoshoot

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This is straight from my May newsletter…but I got so many hilarious reactions, I thought I’d post it here as well. 

A few days ago, Stefan and I went to the McDonalds. While we were enjoying our dinner of sugar, fat and carbs, I spotted a young couple sitting a few tables away. How did I know they have only recently started dating? In the 10 minutes it took us to gulp down our food, theirs remained untouched.

That got me thinking about the differences between us (a couple who have been together for 9 years), and those who have just started dating.

 


 

EATING

JUST STARTED DATING: Hugging, kissing, cuddling while the food remains a sidenote of their epic love story

TOGETHER FOR 9 YEARS: I’m eating. Touch me and I will cut you.

 


 

TOO MUCH INFORMATION

JUST STARTED DATING: I have to go tinkle (but as a woman, newly in love, I don’t piss and I definitely DON’T fart. Ever.)

TOGETHER FOR 9 YEARS: Lover, I had the best poop today. Let me describe it to you in detail.

 


 

GOING OUT

JUST STARTED DATING: Woo! night out! We must declare our love to the world and party all night with our fantastic friends.

TOGETHER FOR 9 YEARS: Ugh, why do we have friends? I just want to watch Netflix and eat pizza with you in bed.

 


 

GROTESQUERIES

JUST STARTED DATING: It took me about an hour to perfectly cover up this zit and make it look like a beauty spot.

TOGETHER FOR 9 YEARS: I have a juicy zit on my back. Please do me the honour of popping it

 


 

PERSONAL HYGIENE

JUST STARTED DATING: Date night! I showered, shaved both legs (all the way up), washed my hair, doused myself in perfume and even double-brushed my teeth with some breath mints for later.

TOGETHER FOR 9 YEARS: Please smell the armpit section of my shirt, and let me know if I can wear it for the 3rd consecutive day. Also, I’m not planning on showering today or tomorrow.

 


 

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Amsterdam photographer | Amsterdam photoshoot | Couples in Amsterdam | Netherlands photographer

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I had so many creative adventures in South Africa. And I suppose if one is to have many creative adventures, South Africa would be a good place to have them. When I was there, I kind of became obsessed with doing an African shoot. I already had a gorgeous traditional bride in front of my lens. But what about just toning it down a bit for a shoot? Enter Beverly. Old school-friend and model extraordinaire!

I asked her to dress in her most colourful African clothes and holy shit did she deliver! This shoot basically had everything I ever dreamed of having: lot’s of color, sunshine and a subject who was literally willing to risk her life for a good photo (by lying in the middle of the road… thanks Bev!).
I think it’s important to do more shoots celebrating different kinds of culture. I really want to push myself to make images of normal people being extra-ordinary. In my opinion, that’s the extreme power we hold as photographers.

Portrait photographer African Amsterdam PretoriaPortrait photographer African Amsterdam PretoriaPortrait photographer African Amsterdam PretoriaPortrait photographer African Amsterdam PretoriaPortrait photographer African Amsterdam Pretoria

Portrait photographer Amsterdam | Pretoria | Portrait photoshoot

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Looking back these photos I cant help but miss everything about South Africa. After growing up there and subsequently exploring every inch of it, I can still be dumbstruck by its beauty. These photos were taken in the Ceder Mountains on South Africa’s West Coast. My parents and I were driving down to Cape Town and after exploring the desert landscape of the Northern Cape, we decided to stop over in the mountains (which included an outside bath and a “holy shit is this real life?” view).

I can’t really tell you much else about these photos, except that I was hoping for a spectacular sunrise that morning, and instead got a magical cloud formation that looks like a strawberry milkshake. I couldn’t ask for more.

Travel South Africa photographer photographyTravel South Africa photographer photography CitrusdalTravel South Africa photographer photographyTravel South Africa photographer photographyTravel South Africa photographer photography

Travel South Africa photographer photographyTravel South Africa photographer photographyTravel South Africa photographer photography

travel South Africa | South Africa | Travel photography | Tulbagh | Citrusdal | Western Cape

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Hayley and Kimberley’s Amsterdam photo shoot started out cold and snowy, but that didn’t stop them from kicking it in the ass.

Hayley is British and Kimberly is American. They got married last year in Banff, Canada in the most epic elopement ever conceived by womankind. But the funny thing is, they’re still separated by the Atlantic ocean! That doesn’t stop them from being a married couple…and definitely not from celebrating their anniversary in freaking Amsterdam!

Their shoot was preceded with a lot of “I’m so awkward my smile looks like a scowl” talk. But as always, that was exactly the opposite of what happened. They were totally not awkward. In fact, they were so un-awkward and did everything in the most perfect way possible, I basically wanted to smush myself between them just to balance the coolness. You know, with my own special brand of social awkwardness.

I absolutely loved working with them and can’t imagine how they’ve been living apart for so long. I also think they’re the most hilarious people ever, and would consider becoming their groupie and just follow them around all the time. Like a creepy stalker-fan. That’s not weird.

PS: This shoot was also featured on A Bicylce built for two! Yeehaw!

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Amsterdam photoshoot | LGBT photoshoot | Amsterdam photographer | double exposure | wall art

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Think about your wedding dress. What does it look like?

 I can make a safe bet that it’s not orange, green, blue red and a shitload of yellow. If it is, I love you and you must contact me immediately.

So guys, I know this is Western Europe. And I know we have our own set of archaic traditions, which if not followed, will bring the swift wrath of family and the wedding industry down on us like unexpected pigeon poop. I know, I know. But I get the feeling we’re sometimes so caught up with our own way of doing things, that we forget there’s a whole world of cultures and traditions out there. Which are just as valid as out own!

For example: Phillipine, the gorgeous lady in these photos, is wearing a traditional Zulu wedding dress. It’s exactly how she wore it when she married her husband in 2016! Yes, they still do traditional weddings in South Africa, and yes, they are awesome. And really, doesn’t she look like a freaking goddess in this? I can’t get over all the color and meticulous beadwork that went into making it. But also, just the way Phillipine carries herself in the dress. And that’s what makes it even more spectacular.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying that we all should start wearing beaded dresses and marry into African tribes. Like any creative, I just want to open my mind (hopefully the wedding industry’s as well) to our varied modern society. I want to show that diversity is beautiful. That we can appreciate beauty in its many different forms, even if it doesn’t fit our own specific western mold.

Know someone who has a traditional dress like this one and would be interested in doing a photoshoot? Please hook us up like right this second.

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Traditional Zulu wedding dress | Johannesburg photographer | Amsterdam photographer | Traditional wedding | Traditional African bride

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