Parenting Corner: Words of Love

Gautam & Chandni Family Portraits by Vania | Written by Maya

Ied. The most anticipated long holiday in the country. Also known as the holiday filled with the most worry. Why? Because nannies and domestic assistants will go back to their hometowns and leave us for at least ten days to celebrate this most anticipated long holiday. And when the holiday is over, we are left to wonder if they will ever come back and if we could go back to life as we know it as planned.  

Call me super spoiled, because yes, that I am. But like all brave moms out there, I looked forward to this holiday with great enthusiasm. (At least, I tried to.) I submitted my work early, cleared off my schedule a few days before our nanny and domestic assistant left us, and had my mind set on being my own version of a super mom for at least a week. 

I thought to myself, “This isn’t the first for me.” And I was sure I could do it. 

17 Jul 2016

Recipe for a happy family

The Sandjajas Family Portrait by Ave

First off, the key ingredients: hearts over flowing with love, lots of understanding and trust, endless open communication and listening, kisses and hugs, strong shoulders, a generous portion of laughter, jokes and kidding around, courage (it's not for the faint of heart)

Mix together with a variety of colorful characters.

Stir in honesty and manners, kindness, caring, compassion and tenderness.

05 Jun 2016

A Mother’s Reflection

Deviana & Nathan by Herna | Written by Maya

I believe that our three children (as are every child in the world) were born loved. The love we have for our children naturally kicked in the moment we learned of their existence and their arrival were events of highest anticipation wrapped in overwhelming love. I had hoped, quite possibly in some kind of fairy tale dream world, that with this love, managing the ins and outs of the day does not get the best of my husband and I, and that our everyday will not drive us crazy. However, in this reality, we are challenged everyday by tantrums, curiousity and growth. 

We wake up (on most mornings) to a thousand cuddles (and on other mornings, to spin kicks and punches to the face). We dance to the upbeat (or hectic) rhythm of the morning routines and give ourselves an imaginary pat on the back if we leave the house on time (because, of course, who has time for a real one?). We think we have everything all figured out only to discover that our children have outdone us yet again. They challenge our creativities and knowledge with their questions (that gets weirder every time), they test our patience and self-control, and they surprise us with experiences wrapped in an erratic mixture of immense joy and complete frustrations all rolled into one.

But… isn’t it amazing how these small creatures can bring out the worst in us, have us wrapped around their fingers, leave us emotionally and physically drained and yet our love for them only grows bigger as the tensions roll by and surprises keep coming in?

07 May 2016

A Strong Family

Krisna & Maya Septha Family Portraits by Vania, Written by Maya Septha

I come from a complicated and dysfunctional family. I’m not proud of it. And I don’t really want to go in detail about it, because frankly speaking, I really wouldn’t know where to start. 

If you happen to think that I lead a perfect life, you’re sadly mistaken. I’m not a perfect person. Nobody is. And I don’t have a perfect marriage. In fact, I don’t think that anyone does. 

I believe that there are no perfect marriage, but there can be a happy one. And I believe that there are no perfect families, but there can be a happy one, and that begins with two people who continues to learn and adjust and improve for the sake of their happiness together. 

19 Mar 2016

You are my sunshine

Jun & Pax Family Portraits by Ave

Summer… I always feel like the joys are stretched longer to the length of the days in summertime. The cool breeze brings a whiff of the sweet smell of fresh cut grass and the butterflies are roaming free. I love summer. Especially in Australia, a country I call my second home. 

On one particular summer day, in Sydney, I was standing in the middle of Centennial Park, waiting to shoot the family portraits session with a huge smile plastered across my face. It was a perfect day with the most beautiful weather. It wasn’t scorching hot; strangely, it felt rather chilly as the wind blew across the shade of the trees where I stood. I hadn’t met the family I was going to shoot in person. I’ve only known Jun and Pax by name, as David had just documented their private anniversary celebration a few weeks earlier. I heard that they were humble and easygoing people who are fun to be around. When I finally met them, I found out that everything I had heard was true and more. It made me feel honored just to be there, with them and their family, to shoot their family portraits. Pax had told me, via email, that she had wanted to do take a moment out of their family holiday to take some pictures and preferred if they could have some fun while doing it. 

That’s how I came to Centennial Park that day. It was a park with large trees and a good shade with a pretty little bridge. It was the perfect place for a family photo shoot. 

12 Mar 2016

Love of Family

Ruben Onsu Family Portraits by Herna

The life of a celebrity - you’d think it’d be filled with glamour and glitz and totally more awesome than any of us could even dream of, right? I thought so too. Until I met Ruben and Wenda who showed me that they go through life just like anyone of us. They have dreams and they work hard to achieve it. They feel joy and sadness and love, just like we do.
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to welcome them into our studio for a family portraits sessions. Ruben and Wenda, along with their beautiful daughter Alia. Before she arrived, Ruben and Wenda only thought about themselves. They never considered anyone else. If there were a job offer, they’d take it, as long as they’re able to fulfil it. They very rarely turned anything down. But as soon as Alia arrived, their whole world changed. Life as they knew it, was no longer. And they had to include her in every decision they made. Ruben still goes out to work and accept jobs when he can, but Wenda has held back more as she put their daughter at the top of her list of priorities.
I thought that celebrities go through life a little different than we do. However, this family showed me that they experience life just like the other people next door - they work, they enjoy, and they put love for their family above all else.
It was an honor to have the Onsu family in my studio and to be there as they made their memories as a family of three.


29 Feb 2016

Always Mother, Forever Friend

The Xu Women Portraits by Fen

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” - Washington Irving


I love the bond that the girls in the Xu family have. Not only are the daughters, Cecil and Isable, the best of friends, their mother is also a part of that friendship. The bond between this mother and her two daughters and sweet and pure, and I simply couldn’t stop from capturing the moments they share. Their relationship is so inspiring, it makes us question the popular belief that mothers and daughters will never see eye-to-eye. I’m sure that while at some point in time they might have experienced conflict, it’s how they resolve it that makes all the difference. Today, the Xu Girls hang out together, go for a weekend getaway together, take trips around the world together… they do most everything together. Now isn’t that a beautiful thing to witness? I most certainly think so. 

19 Feb 2016

Wonderful in Winter

Theo Portraits by Aveline

It was freezing that day of our scheduled photo session in Melbourne. The sky was grey and the wind seemed like it was on full power. For a moment, I hesitated to go on with the shoot because I was afraid that Theo wouldn’t have a very good time. However, after much consideration and discussion with his parents, we decided to go along with the plan. 

It took much less thoughts for Theo to be excited though, because upon seeing the park, he ran excitedly towards it. He picked up sticks and rolled on the grass without a care in the world. When his parents joined him, it was picture perfect and I had a wonderful time with this wonderful little family. 

Yes, Melbourne’s weather can be unpredictable, but I guess that when we trust our gut feeling and bring a happy heart, things can almost predictably turn out great. 

14 Feb 2016

The Gift of Family

Jose & Hanna Carol’s Family Portraits by Ivan | Written by Hanna

“We can't choose the family into which we are born. We can't choose our fathers, our mothers or our siblings. But when we want to start our own family, we’ll have the chance to choose with whom we want to start the family with. We can only choose our spouses, but we can’t choose who our descendants will be.

There are people whom God has entrusted in our lives, for us to have and to hold; the people who are closest to us, whether we chose them or not, these are the people whom God has entrusted to us to honor and to love.

Family is God's gift that I value the most. My husband and children are the people who accept and love me as I am.

23 Jan 2016

Love of Family

Helena’s Family Portraits by Vania

Just a few weeks before celebrating her seventeen birthday, Helena and her family had their family portraits taken in Bali and I had the chance to do that for them. Although I was slightly nervous at first, because it was the first session I had without any babies or toddlers, I felt much, much better after meeting the family. Everyone in Helena’s family were so friendly and kind that every jittery feeling I had instantly disappeared and I was left with a deep sense of calm and confidence. 

The few hours I spent with this wonderful family went by too quickly. Nevertheless, it was enough for me to get an impression that they are the perfect example of “the fruit never falls too far away from the tree.” I believe that every family has their own stories. During the short time I spent with them, in between their stories, I learned that the love of parents are their children’s greatest strength and unshakeable source of confidence. 

Helena’s friendly dad, who, by the way, is a natural in front of the camera, and her warm-hearted mother love Helena and her brother, John, so deeply. Their love for their children is bigger than their four hearts combined. Her father told me that while his daughter wanted a humble celebration for her seventeenth birthday, he insisted that she’ll only be turning seventeen once in her life and that it is as much a celebration for him and his wife as it is for her. No amount of money he has can ever be bigger than the love he has for his only daughter. Helena’s a very lucky girl, I thought. 

17 Jan 2016
All the way to the bottom already?
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