Beauty and the Beach

As a writer, not even I could have imagined the day’s events – It all started with a table that we couldn’t get wet and a rain cloud that insisted on spitting.

As I was talking down a passive aggressive pensioner, complementing her on her beautiful home, so that she wouldn’t grab the nearest stick to hand and chase us off the site in her fluffy slippers, it dawned on me how completely surreal this was.

I’d never been to a photo shoot before and I hadn’t imagined it would be quite so chaotic.


My beautiful florist friend Zuza and I had packed an exquisite bouquet into the car that morning along with an equally amazing table display and a bundle of extra flowers and floristry tapes, wires, scissors and other magic. I was her apprentice for the day and I was super excited. Any excuse for a road trip!

The plan had been to shoot some photos on the beach, but the weather, and a hesitant prop supplier who didn’t want to get anything wet, least of all her prized antique table, had changed all that.

We met the supplier at the beach where it had already begun to rain, the props were all on lockdown in the back of a van and short of having a tantrum, they were not going to be released anytime soon. A quick phone call later and we were forced to try plan B  –  move to a quiet garden terrace outside the apartment building of our amazing photographer Nataly, under the shelter of some trees.

Sorted right?

Maybe not.

With the bride and groom ready, and the props and bouquets being moved to a beaut shaded corner we were almost ready. What we didn’t realise was that we had unintentionally ruffled the curtains of about a dozen residents of the apartment block who were angrily calling the site manager because there were strangers in the garden.

After consulting the Chairman of the housing block, being called after from a residents balcony told off by a pensioner and negotiating with a security guard we were given 10 minutes to take whatever photos we could, pack up our things and leave.

We would, no doubt, be the main topic of conversation at many a  dinner table that evening.

Flowers flew, macrame was snapped, the bride and groom hurridly took their positions as the friendly, yet stressed chairman and a security guard looked on. With one eye on their watches and the other on the windows of the residents pressed up against the glass behind us they called time after the minutes had passed and asked us to leave.

We’d driven nearly three hours to be there and it seemed everything would be over in 10 minutes?! As the props and precious table drove away it seemed, all was finished.

It wasn’t.

Months of preparation had gone into this shoot and at the last minute, everything seemed to be falling apart.

Ever had a situation like that? Ever had exactly in your mind how you wanted something to happen, planned everything to the finite detail to have it all crumble around you like a bad screenplay?

We all have photoshoot days. Where we know what we’re trying to do, we can see a beautiful collaboration of creativity coming together to form something spectacular – and it’s misunderstood by the world around, blocked at every turn by those who can’t see beyond the possessions they have or the power they have to say no.

My darlings, sometimes you have to fight for your ten minutes and while they might not be your complete vision, you may just learn something.

Those rushed ten minutes where few beautiful shots were taken were just a minute reflection of the beauty that was to come. We were not done yet.

Even though it was still raining we headed back to the beach, trusting that something beautiful was about to happen, rain or shine. With dark clouds above us, we pushed aside the disappointment of those who wouldn’t fully get behind the dream. Fine, no table and no garden, but we had a creator and creation at our feet and God was about to do something incredible.

As we reached the beach, the rain stopped, the sky cleared and the shoot began.

It looked nothing like what had been imagined – it was infinitely better.

So when the storm clouds roll in and the rain hits, when the world misunderstands the dream and passion God puts on your heart, when the plans change. Don’t give up. The original plans were never ours in the first place, they were always His.

Sometimes fighting for your ten minutes makes you appreciate the end result even more. Getting to the point where you can’t control anything makes you understand the blessing of God having everything in his hands.

Love you beauts!

Oh and .. check this out:





Stunning Photographs: @NatalyJphotography

Sensational Flowers: @bloomantic_ 

Superb Macrame: @juniperweaves