sshh… my silent launch

New website launch!It’s the first day of Spring in the South and I am reminded of the book Chocolat, where she gets restless every time the North wind blows, bringing with it new seasons. Our North winds are blowing pollen all over my garden and my nose looks like a clown’s. But that’s not the point. My North winds are bringing change, and new life and in my restlessness I decided to take a leap of faith and just launch my new site. It’s not 100% ready yet, but I’m scared that if I wait for that perfection I’ll never get there! So I sent home the trumpeters and cheerleaders and decided to do a silent launch. No balloons, no loud speakers – I am rebelling against every article I’ve read about how to do a successful launch and I’m just silently appearing.
So please have a look, let me know what you think and hang in there! Look passed the little glitches that I will eventually fix. Good things are about to happen there! I can feel it in my bones. Just as certain as Spring is here.

simply pause will pause, for now. I need to have all my eggs in one basket to keep focussed for now. The new site promises lots of new images, behind the scenes news and some creative inspiration too. There’s a styled stock photography shop and a link to my portfolio for custom photography.

I am very excited! Have a look.

Happy Spring Day, wherever you might be!


Big News!

New online photo store

I know, I know… I have been so quiet that you wondered whether my PAUSE had turned into a jolting STOP. Or maybe I’d been eaten by a lion. OR maybe I had turned into a big yellow school bus!

Wait a minute. Big – almost, yes. Wearing yellow – yes. Eternally travelling to school and back – Yes! The similarities are quite scary. But no, I have not turned into a school bus just yet.

I have not been pausing nearly enough either. It feels as if I have been going around in loops in my head, but there has been progress, I am almost there and you’re the first ones to hear about it. The big news is that studio louvain, my photo-studio, will soon be opening a real online shop at creative market! This means that creative entrepreneurs, designers and bloggers will be able to buy photos like the ones that have appeared in this blog, quickly and simply from me, online.

At the same time, I will still be creating exclusive photos of specific products or concepts via my portfolio website.

This all means – new website, new branding, tons of new photos and at some stage even a new and better blog, with regular interesting bits of inspiration, behind the scenes explanations and more. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook… There is still a lot of work to be done, but as a friend of mine keeps reminding me: baby steps! (with little pauses inbetween. 😉 )

So if you’d like to be kept in the loop, keep following me. There are bigger, better things waiting just around the corner.

In the meantime, I was quite excited to receive a reminder to Pause from the little bit whacky, but quite inspiring Marie Forleo. (Have a look at her take on downtime.)  Looks like the world might slowly cotton on to the idea that taking a break, creates better work and better people in the long run. Don’t you think so?

Coffee Break

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Last week I had the opportunity of photographing my favourite addiction at Oakes Brewhouse – a local coffee roastery.

It’s a lovely little place with a slightly unpolished, comfortable, retro feel. The staff are friendly and relaxed, even when they’re overflowing with business. They have this easy-going confidence and it’s amazing how that attitude can filter through to make everyone feel at home.

I chatted to the one waiter as he was roasting the coffee about how many kilogrammes they roast per week and they sell it all? Of course! On weekends they’re bustling with mountain bike riders and once a month they host the local farmers market, which seems to be doing really well. During the week, people pop in to buy freshly roasted beans, I’ve seen friends meeting and chatting for hours, or businessmen sitting and working on their laptops.

It looks like they have a wonderful recipe for success and now they have a range of good images to use for their marketing too.

I firmly believe that good quality images can make a huge difference to a marketing campaign, no matter how small. When the photos in an advertisement are good quality, the readers just automatically assume that the product is of good quality too – and then? Isn’t it weird? Beautiful pictures? – this one must be better – now we’ll pay more for the product too!

Ok, be honest now – How often have you found yourself doing that?

Here are a couple of the pics

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Happy Monday!

Happy Monday

I know, it isn’t Monday yet, it’s only Friday and now I’m messing up your week-end by reminding you there’s a Monday coming… Would I be that mean? Never! (Such meanness is reserved for siblings only.)

I’ve been frustrated with my inability to get things done. I’m busy! I really am! And I am working, but in the little time I have available, I’m touching on so many things and just not moving forward.

Now my sister’s sent me a post with a list of things to do before you go to bed to make your mornings work better. And I’ve also read about these Absolutely Must Do’s that you should have on your daily list (alongside the hundreds of other things you’d love to get to in an ideal world). The idea is to making sure that the MUST-DO’s are priorities that actually happen. good idea. And I’ve been making lists and still not getting anywhere. Monday looms as another frustrating day!

SO! I was pausing and fiddling with my pretties, when I think I may have stumbled onto something. I’ve made a pretty weekly planner. PRETTY – so that I don’t ignore it and actually want to look at it regularly. WEEKLY – so that I can see my WHOLE week in advance. Then I should actually SEE my progress. Right? Let’s hope so.

I’m sharing it with you today. Then you can plan the week with me and sit back and relax over the weekend, knowing that it’ll all happen next week. And when Monday comes, I can enthusiastically jump out of bed – ok, that won’t actually happen, not before coffee – admire my pretty list and be ready to take on the world, on my most productive week ever.

This is what it looks like and if you click on it you should be diverted to Dropbox, where you can download it and print it for free. For a limited time only! (where it says: “New to Dropbox”, just close the window. No need to sign up to download)

Then you too can have a Happy Monday.

FREE: Weekly Planner: To do List



Should we be using Photo-Trends?

Photo trends

Ok tell me. Are we still wearing bubble skirts with leg warmers and jackets with giant shoulder pads? Or Bellbottom pants? No? Why not?

Fashion trends change all the time and so do photography trends. So should we be following these trends at all? Surely we should be on a rigorous search for our own timeless style! Ignoring all trends and pursuing whatever’s deep inside us?

For a long time I thought I needed to do just that – ignore all other photography and practically reinvent it for myself. I put on blinkers and ended up on quite an isolated journey. And you know what? I got nowhere! I was sitting in a vacuum. It was only once I realised that I had to try out what other photographers were doing – try it on, see what fits and trash what I absolutely hate – only then I could grow and develop my own style. I think we need to allow ourselves to be influenced by everything we see, pick out what works for us and leave behind what doesn’t. Everyone picks different combinations and that creates a variety of eclectic styles in the end.

Trends can widen our perspective if we do not turn them into hard and fast rules. They have their place and can help to give a current feel to a small body of work. Think of the yellowy tones in the 70’s photos. It’s a wonderful and important to be part of a specific era. But it’s important to choose carefully when to use the current trends and not to lose your core style. If I want to make a grapefruit look juicy, I’m not going to use the current soft-grey nostalgic look, but capturing the atmosphere of drinking coffee around a camp fire would be a total different story.

So my vote is YES!! Have fun! Play! But don’t get stuck there and use it wisely!

What’s your vote?

Leave me a comment at the bottom of the post.

5 Decades of PHOTO-TRENDS

Here are some of the processing trends that I’ve picked up over the last 5 decades, with short explanations below:

5 decades of photo trends

  • 60’s : Beautiful black and white images processed in such a way that the darks are deep inky blacks with crisp white highlights. Factual, with strong compositions.
  • 70’s : The Kodak yellowy hue. Soft images, with low contrast. Quite dreamy and idealistic.
  • 80’s : Film with much brighter colours and a variety of speeds, become freely available. Agfa’s deep dark greens become popular. Everything is sharp and crisp and bright. Perfection is what counts.
  • 90’s : Many photographers play with cross-processing, using slide film as normal film. This brightens colours, creates a film grain and a cyan (turquoisy) colour cast. Digital becomes more freely available and there’s the debate whether to change over or not.
  • 2000’s : Back to more natural colour, but lots of digital enhancing and retouching. Purposeful blurring of the background.
  • 2010’s: With the increased use of cellphone photography, there is a tendency to be more honest and show reality as it is. There is a call for an “authentic image” – often made to look as if it was just taken by chance. The “matt-effect” is used to soften this reality. It harks back to the style of the 70’s, but greyer rather than yellowy. Seems to be a reaction against the style of the perfect product.

using photo trends(pin me if you like this post)

A small wedding

I don’t normally specialise in wedding photography, but this year I have already been asked to photograph two weddings, for two very special people. For one of them I am being flown out to Germany for the event – very exciting! The other was my sister’s wedding last month.

After collecting information and pictures on the ideal wedding for years, my sister and her fiance decided to ditch perfection and JUST DO IT! With a non-existent budget they decided to simply get married and then celebrate with a simple lunch – a braai – with a couple of friends who could make it at extremely short notice.

With just 17 people attending, our mom did the beautiful flowers and catering. A family friend offered her lovely garden to celebrate in. My sister assembled a disney princess dress that she looked gorgeous in, just a week beforehand, while working on her doctorate at the same time.

And do you know what? It was simple. It was special. They were incredibly happy and this bubbled over to make it a joyful, pressure-free day. In fact, it was just PERFECT!

small wedding

Yellow Kitchen

It’s such a happy colour isn’t it? Yellow was where I actually started this entire blog, but that’s not where I’m heading today.

Last year I was commissioned to create a series of images, as fine art prints for a kitchen. Very interesting! My brief was wonderfully vague : 5-6 images that would bring the accent colour yellow into a kitchen, using kitchen appropriate subjects. I decided to go for a slightly vintage feel, but it was important to keep the yellow vivid. There was lots of experimenting and faffing. The custard I had was much too pale, so I had to add in yellow food colouring, but that in turn affected the consistency. The egg white had to be very stiff, to maintain the shape, so I added some icing sugar. It took me much longer than I thought, working well into the night, until I had the images that I had envisioned. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. It was a wonderful challenge.

I wasn’t able to post the images then, because they were meant to be a surprise Christmas gift. But since they were received very well, and are hopefully brightening up the new kitchen, I now can. Here they are:

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