Bawi & Ste’s Umabo

For those that have never been to an Umabo, it is important to note that they are very different from traditional European ceremonies as far as photography is concerned. Very little, if any, of the day is able to be controlled by the photographer. There certainly isn’t a “creative” shoot and one really has to keep on one’s toes as things can suddenly happen quite quickly. The style of photography for these events can be best described as photojournalistic and it is all very unscripted. All this adds up to what would send some photographers into a sort of nervous terror but it is exactly the style of photography that I love.

I had the pleasure of photographing Bawi and Ste’s Umabo recently, something which I had looked forward to for some time. I had a feeling that it was going to be a great day resulting in some amazing photos of the event – I was right!

There is something about traditional ceremonies that I have always enjoyed. Since I can remember I have been an avid traveller and suspect that it has something to do with exploring new places, trying new food, learning about a new culture, and most of all meeting new people. I guess an Umabo such as this is all of these things distilled into one action-packed day. There was a great ‘buzz’ to the day. People all around seemed in such good spirits which isn’t always the case at weddings. For an event that really should be a celebration, you will be surprised how many people just seem a bit exhausted, but this one definitely didn’t disappoint! The laughing, singing, and banter all contributed to making the time seemingly fly by. It also helped relieve the stress that I was feeling early in the morning as I drove through the rain to get to the groom’s house. The weather was supposedly going to make a right mess of the day, but somehow, as if by divine intervention, it kept away.

Here are some of the images from the day. As mentioned, I had a great deal of fun capturing these photos for Bawi and Ste and look forward to my next Umabo or Umembeso. Hopefully it is soon. And, if I’m lucky, it will be as enjoyable as this one!


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