For my new guest series – which focuses on wedding industry professionals and service providers – I chatted to talented, Cape Town-based wedding photographer, Coba Sophia Uys of Coba Photography.
Coba Sophia Uys is the hugely talented, Cape Town-based wedding photographer behind Coba Photography. She hails from Lambert’s Bay, West Coast and is the youngest of four sisters.
Professionalism, talent and business acumen certainly run in her family. Coba’s parents own the award-winning, beautiful wedding venue, Bosduifklip Restaurant… It is here that she learnt all about working with clients. As well as how to serve them with, as she so poignantly puts it, “great love and care”.
At first, photography was not something Coba really thought about pursuing as a career. But she says that God clearly had other plans…
When she was just 19, she was handed a camera towards the end of 2008 and to get the hang of it, she decided to attend some photography classes. From there, Coba found herself thrown into the deep end, as she started her business from the bottom up.
Her turning point came when a friend told her that if she doesn’t get up and make things happen for herself, no one else will do it (for her). It was then that she decided, “Let’s do this!”… The rest, as they say, is history.
It is now been 11 years since she photographed her very first wedding. And for Coba, it has all truly been such a testimony of what God has done.
Outside of her stunning photography business, Coba is happily married to Ruan, who she describes as her “sweet (and very handsome) husband”. They have been married since 2012 and of him, Coba lovingly says, “He is the cream to my cappuccino; ice to my ice cream – and just everything God knew my heart needed.” With their adorable dachshund, Lennie, they choose to live out their purpose together.
Guest Interview with Coba Sophia Uys of Coba Photography
Editor’s Note: I have been following Coba’s incredible wedding photography for some time now.
And I can honestly say that she has the most beautiful way of not only showcasing her photography online (both on her website and social media feeds) – but of also teaching, encouraging and uplifting others through her work.
If you are looking for an experienced, wonderful wedding photographer to work with, I can definitely recommend her. Aside from her wedding photography, Coba also offers Love in Motion highlight films and Love Story Photography Workshops.
It is such a privilege for me to feature such a warm, professional and passionate wedding photographer on my blog. 🙂
1) Who or what inspired you to go into wedding photography and/or film?
I started taking photos in high school just for fun, but after school, I had no clear plan.
I tried modelling for a year but it wasn’t for me. Then I was gifted a camera and it all started there.
My father was also a wedding photographer and videographer when he was young and he always made an effort to take photos and videos of my sisters and me when we were younger. I’d say he definitely inspired me – without me even realising it.
2) Which is your favourite wedding venue to shoot/film at in the Western Cape – or South Africa – and why?
It is hard to just choose one venue but, without being biased, it has to be my parents’ (or should I say, family’s) wedding venue in Lambert’s Bay: Bosduifklip Restaurant.
This is the place where I grew up and my heart is there. I will always feel at home; there is no other venue like it… Have a look and you will see why. 🙂
3) Do you have any handy tips for couples planning a shoot? Is there anything that they can do to help prepare in advance or on the day?
– Don’t stress about it! If you trust the professional photographer you have booked, you should be excited. 🙂 (Although feeling nervous is completely normal.)
– Make an effort with your outfits. Go onto Pinterest and see what works best. See what colours suit your skin tone the best. Bring two outfits (one casual, one more classy) – but make sure that you feel beautiful and comfortable in what you are wearing.
– Do your hair and makeup (or have it done professionally). Nothing makes a girl feel more confident in front of the camera than when she knows she looks good.
– Be careful not to get sunburnt before your shoot.
– Make sure to arrive a bit earlier, so that you and the photographer can chat a bit.
– And lastly, enjoy every moment!
4) Have you ever shot a so-called ‘destination wedding‘. If so, where was it?
Yes, I have. If destination means anywhere else but in the Western Cape? 🙂
One wedding that stands out is one in Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal. The couple got married on the bride’s parents farm… It was amazing!
5) If you could shoot a wedding anywhere in the world (either because you would love to travel there or visit a particular venue), where would it be and why?)
I have a slight obsession with snow… maybe because I have never been in the snow… but I would love to photograph a wedding in Iceland.
But, on the flipside, I would also love to photograph a wedding in the Maldives or somewhere similar. 🙂
6) Your top three wedding destinations (either to visit as a photographer/guest or to tie the knot at) in SA or abroad are?
1) Cape Town is No. 1, of course!
2) I have never been to Italy, but from what I have seen, it must be amazing to photograph a wedding there.
3) And then lastly, Mauritius.
7) Aside from your own work: Are there any useful wedding blogs, industry personnel/suppliers (either locally or internationally) that you enjoy following/working with especially – or that can recommend for inspiration, tips or planning advice?
Pinteret is for sure inspiration heaven.
8) What is the most challenging aspect of shooting a proposal or wedding? (For example, weather conditions, shy clients, unforeseen circumstances, long hours on your feet etc.)
For a proposal, the most ‘nerve-racking’ part is when the guy goes down on one knee… Sometimes, they forget about which way to face (which is normal in the moment). But it is also the most exciting moment – because I am the first person to know they are engaged!
For a wedding: For me, I approach each wedding as if it is my first and only wedding. I make sure I am 100% present for my couples.
Of course, unforeseen weather conditions can make it challenging but that is all part of the day.
I can work with any type of couple, even if they are shy; I like to capture that as well.
One thing that can contribute to a wedding day feeling rushed is when everything is not happening at one location or even at locations that are far apart.
For instance, if the bride and groom are getting ready at two different locations that are 20 minutes apart – and another 20 minutes from the ceremony location. And, on top of that, the reception venue is 30 minutes away from there…
If your venue does not have a bridal suite or even a ceremony location – try and get ready as close as possible to the ceremony location. And have both the bride and groom get ready at the same guesthouse. This allows for optimal time to use for taking photos without driving around.
9) What is your favourite part about shooting weddings and/or proposals?
Seeing and capturing all the love and joy!
I love the ‘walking down the aisle’ moments and seeing the groom cry. I love listening to the speeches at the reception.
For proposals, I love being the first one to share in their joy of being engaged.
10) What is the most unique or fun place where you have shot a surprise proposal (or elopement)?
For a proposal, it has to be at The Rock in Fresnaye. It has the most incredible view over Camps Bay.
11) (Bonus question) Do you have any personal tips for aspiring wedding photographers – or even photographers in general?
(Taken from a recent interview I did for the Fujifilm website. Source: Fujifilm South Africa, Interview: Cobia Sophia Uys)
Photography-wise: Never stop practicing.
Business-wise: Never stop learning. You will never reach a point where ‘you have arrived’; it is all just a continuous journey of growth. And most important: Always work from a place of loving and serving your clients.
Be clear on why you want to be a wedding photographer. It is not just about taking photos but understanding that it is a business. This means you need to learn both photography and business skills.
Although there are a lot of free resources online, you will have to invest financially to gain more knowledge and guidance from experts – much like you would invest in buy(ing) expensive camera equipment.
Finally, one of the most important steps to take is to not compare yourself to others. For some the path takes 10 years, for others, three.
Be focused on your journey since you have a unique calling to share with the world.
Please can you share more about your Love in Motion films and Love Story photography workshops with us?
I’ve always wanted to film my shoots/weddings. I would be taking photos of a couple walking into the sunset and I always used to say ,”I wish I could film this for you right now!” So I thought, why not?
I am now offering highlight films with all my couple/engagement sessions. It can also be added to any wedding package.
I take photos and do the filming of the videos as well. Let’s just say, I probably look like a ninja most of the time, ha, ha!
I love seeing the photos come to life with my Love in Motion films.
Three years ago, I also started hosting workshops for other photographers. Just because I know how difficult it is when you are starting out: you have no idea where to look or who to listen to.
I have a group on Facebook that is open for any photographer to join (although we are mostly female). I go live on there every 2-3 weeks and anyone is welcome to ask any questions.
Link to Love Story Workshops Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/lovestoryworkshops
I am planning to host more workshops in the future – and I am busy working on something very exciting that will be launched within the next two months! 😉
Thank you very much, Coba, for appearing in this guest interview series for wedding industry professionals and service providers.
It has been such a privilege to chat to you – and an honour to share your amazing work with my readers and followers!
To see and learn more about Coba’s incredible wedding photography, you can visit her amazing site. Or follow her on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.
Disclaimer: The lead image belongs to Liandri Lensley Photo and Film, as supplied by Coba.
All other photos are the property of Coba Photography and have been used in this interview with the express permission of Coba Sophia Uys, owner of Coba Photography.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.