I’m Ruan, a South African Wedding Photographer living in our little paradise on the Garden Route coastline, South Africa.
Like most, my career started by chance, now almost 11 years later I get the opportunity to experience some heart stopping moments and share incredible locations with my clients.
A background in Graphic Design has been a big influence on my compositions and helps in creating a look and feel that matches each moment. It’s crazy that I can call this my full-time career and experience all this on an almost weekly basis.
My workhorse cameras are two Canon 5D Mark III’s. I’ve been fully submerged in the ocean and stood in pouring rain while these two work horses just kept shooting. As a professional this is probably the most important factor for me: gear that delivers irrespective of the situation.
I mostly shoot a prime lens combination of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, Canon 135mm f/2 and then a Canon 16-35 f/2.8 II for the evening and certain portrait locations during the day.
Most of my images are created with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, the focal length works so well for the storytelling images throughout the day and I love the sharpness in the images from the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.
Portrait images are varied between the Canon 135mm f/2 and the Canon 50mm f/1.2. The Canon 135mm f/2 is my go-to lens for portraits. The buttery soft bokeh and minimal distortion are perfect to create an intimate wedding look.
Almost all backlit images and those where I need a more creative look with lens flare are shot with the Canon 50mm f/1.2. This lens handles light very well and creates a specific creative and romantic look that no other lens can re-create.
When the party starts the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 II becomes the main lens, especially when you get in close to the action, shooting as close as possible to include as much info as I can in the frame.
I combine that with the high-speed sync and zoom ability of the Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights and use the Phottix Saldo 200 Compact light stands to get the height required for the sweaty dancefloor images.
In between I make use of the Rotolight Neo both as light source during wedding receptions and as creative light during detail and portrait images.
I constantly experiment with different light modifiers and use the basic glass prism, old mobile phone and a bunch of colour gels to change, diffract and reflect light into the image, to either add or subtract elements from the frame.
Both cameras are kept together with a Blackrapid RS-DR1 Double harness and I carry my gear in a Lowepro Flipside 500 AWII, the most reliable camera backpack by far.