Over the years I have found that with 80% of my family shoots the clients love the scenic background that the amazing Western Cape Provides. With that in mind I think it is important that you decide what you like and what you want in your photos.
I have a database with about 10 “public locations scattered throughout Cape Town.
I always ask my clients:
1. Where are they staying/based?
2. How flexible are they to travel?
3. How full are their schedule?
4. Do they have a specific “look” in mind? (Beach, Forrest, Vineyards, Gueshouse etc)
Once I have this info I can make suggestions based on that that will work best for their situation.
Clients may have their own locations that they want to shoot at and that is 100% fine with me.
If they have no idea and would suggest that they choose one of these 3 options:
Eden Forrest (Stellenbosch)
It has stunning mountains, vineyard and a forrest all in one location.
This location can work from 11am – 19:00 as the forrest allows soft light even in mid-day.
Probably the most versatile location (no beach)
We meet in the parking lot in front of the entrance of the Eden forrest.
Glen Forrest, Bakoven Beach (Camps Bay)
These 2 locations can be covered in one session. If we move quickly we can even detour to a spot that show Table Mountain up close.
The Twelve Apostles Mountain range looks amazing late afternoon from Bakoven Beach.
We meet at “The Round House”
It is a restaurant in Camps bay. 200m past(below) the restaurant is a parking area.
BLouberg , 3de Steen
If you want Table Mountain in the background + a beach shoot with big open sand I would suggest this.
We start at “On the Rocks”. Amazing views of Table Mountain with lost of rocks waterpools and Pebbles.
We meet at “On the Rocks”
It is a restaurant in Blouberg. 200m before the restaurant is a parking area on the left.
There are many other locations that can also work but these three provide the biggest variety in a 2 hour shoot.
They work with kids and older people. They are all “public”.
Most frequent questions and answers
The short answer: Highly unlikely
The long answer: 10 years ago it was very easy. We could go to a wine farm, start taking photos, wave to the staff and get great images.
Unfortunately the Western Cape is now a hub for films, Advertisements and commercial shoots. This meant that MOST of the wine farms now are very strict and not allowing shoots on their premises without a commercial permit. These permits are very difficult to obtain and normally very expensive.
Advice: If you are staying or eating a lunch or dinner at wine farm, tell them you are here on holiday and ask if we can shoot on their premises. The odds of them agreeing to you are 10 times higher than them agreeing to me (a professional photographer)
We have the exact same issue with the National public parks. They won’t allow Shoots with permits (which are Extremely expensive and difficult to get)
So far we have not ever been chased away from any beaches Although I believe
Logistical nightmare to get permits and costly.
In the past we have taken photos there (off the record, very fast and discreet)
In my 15 years of being a professional photographer I have never had any safety issues.
That being said, we travel as “light” as possible and don’t leave stuff in our cars in the open. We also try to avoid dangerous areas.