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. ūüėČ )

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?

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)

Seeing things anew

Milk jugIt has almost been three months without an internet connection. That’s why you have not heard from me. Tons of frustration. Wow. But now I am back. With lots to say, but one thing at a time.

After 2 years in Europe I went from moody November darkness to … well, as we drove out of the airport parking all I could think of was how bright everything was. See I knew I’d miss the sun while in Europe – everyone warns you of that. But it’s not just those piercing hot rays – it’s the actual light.

It took time for my eyes to adjust and every morning I’d wake up and to my surprise the brightness was still there. Outside Table Mountain would loom over me, seeming so much nearer than it actually was. An artist friend had mentioned this when I moved to Germany, but I had not fully understood. See in Northern Europe the light is softer. The shadows have fuzzy edges that melt into the lighter areas. In South Africa the edge between light and dark shadow is so sharp and intensely contrasting that everything looks hyper-real. Like somebody has drawn crisp outlines. It’s like going from wishy washy watercolour to hard edged graphics, with an incredible 3-d effect. I felt like somebody had finally cleaned the hazy window I had been looking through all this time.


I realise now that I have experienced this before, but at the time I didn’t quite comprehend it. My husband and I had been travelling in Malaysia. Although it was hot and sunny, the humidity and haze must’ve softened the light. We climbed Mount Kinabalu and as we reached a certain height above the cloud cover, I felt as if the plants and shrubs were surreally 3-dimensional. I snapped away at the plant life around me, finding it all really beautiful. I was not hallucinating. What must’ve created this effect was the sudden clarity of light at the higher altitudes.

I recently came across an interview with a German photographer moving to South Africa in the 1950’s (my memory! I think it was Schadeberg). He explained that his biggest photographic challenge was coming to terms with the intense contrast¬† between bright light and dark shadows and instead of trying to “fix” this problem, he chose to embrace it and make use of it in his photographs.

We are often encouraged to take photos in flattering light of shady areas, early morning or late evening, when there is less contrast and the colour isn’t bleached out by the harsh sunlight. But maybe now & then we should remember to break those rules and just embrace the brightness. Now there’s a challenge.

Butterfly bush

All wrapped up

… and ready to go!

I am busy getting ready to move. It’s very exciting! After almost 2 years of living in Germany, we’re packing up and returning home to South Africa. I’ve packed away my photography lights and am dealing with tons of admin, while trying to savour some final German flavours. This means I may be a little quiet over the next 2 months or so, while we’re floating between homes without my beloved Mac. But I do hope to squeeze in a post or two before the Mac is packed and I should be back on line by the end of January or sometime in February.
Some of you will recognise these pics from last year’s post, but for others it’s all new. I wrapped them for you! They’re my favourite German Christmas Treats, that only arrive on the shop shelves, round about the same time that tinsel appears on the South African shelves. I find it fascinating how these goodies only get baked around Christmas time, so that their flavour has become synonymous with Christmas.
“Stollen” is the big loaf. There are various types : Butter Stollen, Marzipan Stollen, all covered with icing powder and filled with raisins and citrus peel. Then there’s my current favourite – “Zimtsterne” or Cinnamon Stars. A very nutty cinnamon dough, which remains chewy, topped with crisp white icing. These do tend to evaporate no matter what jar or tin you store them in. Oh, I haven’t mentioned Lebkuchen, which is a little bit like a ginger bread dipped in dark chocolate or spekulatius… or…
You can see – I’m taking this last minute savouring quite seriously, as I wrap up our lives. ūüôā
I hope you indulge a bit too and enjoy this wonderful time of year.

vanilla milk

Vanilla milk - Photo by Karene'

It’s getting darker and the light is getting softer as the leaves start to turn. Autumn is beckoning. Gone are the fun temptations of ice-cream and milkshakes. My girls snuggle up on the couch with the yapper and ask for an old favourite that my mom used to make me. It probably started off as treat made up of whatever ingredients were readily available in our empty pantry. Now my big girl would choose it over hot chocolate any day.

couch potatoes

I’ve been lazy (and practical I guess) and have been making our vanilla milk in the microwave. But this time I decided to warm the milk on the stove and what a difference! I never realised it! The microwave might create heat, but it doesn’t turn the milk into that luxurious, creamy and slightly frothy consistancy. I had forgotten. The smell of warm milk heating in a pot, steam rising, the gentle rhythm of the wooden spoon hitting the side of the pot, slowly stirring back and forth, so that it doesn’t burn – the patient action as soothing as the milk itself.

warm milk|photo by Karene' |

We’ve always used vanilla essence for our vanilla milk, with a spoonful of sugar for each cup. I guess the right way of making it would be to soak real vanilla pods in the milk? Here in Germany you get sachets of vanilla sugar (essence and pods are less common) and they work perfectly for vanilla milk – one sachet per cup.

cinnamon&vanilla milk|photo by Karene'|

I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top this time and every warm sip brought back mixtures of memories. Memories of my mom stirring melkkos in the kitchen – a special milky cinnamon treat. Of being woken on icy winter mornings with a warm drink to entice us to crawl out of bed. And that wonderful feeling of luxury – weekends in bed with a good book and warm cup of vanilla milk.


Ta-Da!!!  Welcome to simply pause Рmy fresh, new blog site!

I decided that pause needed a little bit of an upgrade, call it a facelift or a breath of fresh air.The posts will be similar to what I posted in pause, but I hope that you will find this site easier to get around and prettier too!

I have quietly been working on this in the background, for a while now and wanted it perfect before I showed you, but I just couldn’t keep it quiet any longer! I just had to share it. What do you think – Wait! Don’t answer yet! Have a look around first.

You can start things off by signing up in the bar to the right, under FOLLOW SIMPLY PAUSE to have new posts emailed to you!!! When you do, all new posts will automatically be sent to you as I press the publish button. AND you always have the option to Unsubscribe, automatically at any time. Magic!

The big P takes you to my Pinterest page and see РI got the Pin-it button to work too! Give it a try!

Under RECENT POSTS you will find the same posts that I posted on pause. It’s a nice short-cut to get to where you want to be quickly, if you want to catch up on recent activity.

My Photos is a beautiful big gallery for people to get an overview – purely of the images I’ve taken.

Photo Stuff¬†has the posts that relate more to Photography, while¬†Food is where you’ll find recipes and food talk (I know you’re not stupid, I just thought I should spell it out¬†it anyway). I’ve used the photos from the posts as links to take you where you want to be quickly and easily. Have a look! Do they work? I’ve just transferred a couple of old posts from pause to start off with, but if there are any specific ones you’d like to see here, let me know.

This time I’ve really kept¬†things simple to start off with, but I hope this site is going to grow substantially in time and that you’ll really enjoy what I come up with as we go along.

So now, WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have you signed up? Please somebody sign up! Wanna try my Comments Section below?