#AXIOO15: What AXIOO Means To Andreas Hartanto

Andy & Maggie by Aha

I picked up a wedding magazine for the first time in high school. There was an article about David Soong in it, with a picture of him laying on the side of the Darling Harbour in Sydney. In it, he talked about changing mindsets and bringing about newness to the world of wedding photography. As I read through it, a dream starting to grow inside my heart. I knew right then, that I would want to work with him at AXIOO. 

At that time, the company revolved around David Soong and Ivan Mario. I followed their stories closely. I caught up with updates and I admired their work. Even when I was in college studying design, their work continued to be my inspiration and my desire to work with them never gotten smaller. I kept that dream alive. Until one day, towards the end of my last semester at college, as if by fate, I met Paulus Hyu. AXIOO had gotten bigger and had more photographers on their team, while I had just opened up a humble food stall near the AXIOO office. I met David in person for the very first time at that stall. He came in with some of the AXIOO guys to eat and he always sparked up conversations that led to stimulating and inspiring discussions. My admiration for him and his company grew. And I had begun to pick up my camera after that. 

A few months later, Paulus asked me if I was still interested to help out at AXIOO. That question came into my life like a lightning bolt. OMG! That was like a dream come true. I managed to stay cool, though, and I asked him, “What can I do to help?” 

09 Feb 2017

True love is the reward

Michael & Febrina by Paulus


“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. But overcome evil with good. This is the true love”

I really like these words, a words pronounced by priest during one of the many weddings I got to witness. These words still ring true until today. 

27 Jan 2017

The Waiting Period

Niko & Febby by Dre | Written by Maya
We’re nearing the end of the first month this year, but I hope it isn’t too late to say wish you a Happy New Year. Hope your year is going swell! So, I’m here filling in for Dre as he’s still enjoying the start of the year (thanks for sharing your space with me, Dre!) and I thought of sharing with you a little musing about “The Waiting Period”. If you think about it, we’re always waiting for something, aren’t we? We stand at the traffic light waiting for the light to turn green. We stand at public toilets waiting for our turn to you know… do our business. We sit at restaurants waiting for our food to arrive. When we think about it, we actually spend a good portion of our lives waiting for something. Those are the small, ordinary things that we’re so used to waiting for, we don’t even mind waiting anymore. But what about the big things? The big promotion? The big breakthrough? And my all time favorite, the long wait for that one special person to come into your life and sweep you off your feet.  Romance is quite possibly the one thing we really mind waiting for. Especially when we’ve waited not for mere minutes or hours, but for days, maybe months, even years for that one special person to come along. We’ve waited so long we’ve almost given up hope and we begin to prepare our hearts for disappointments. “Those fairytale happy-endings were never for me, anyway!” we’d tell ourselves. We’d begin to lament our sad, sad fate and on bad days, we’d even curse it. We try to convince ourselves that we’re wasting our time and try to move on, but find that the dream of finding “the one” keep on resurfacing and it brings us back to what seems like a never-ending waiting period.  Waiting is always hard. Especially when it’s long. It can get tiring and boring and it can bring you down pretty fast. But let me ask you something: what do you do when you’re waiting in the traffic or in the toilet or at the restaurant? You’d probably chat with whoever you’re with or maybe check out your phone (although I sincerely hope that you aren’t doing this when you’re driving!). You’ll connect with whoever you’re with or if you’re alone, you’ll scroll through your social media feed or maybe chat with someone on an app, or maybe you’ll watch your surrounding. You find something to do and you certainly don’t start feeling sorry for yourself just because you have to wait. What you do in the waiting period matters. Your attitude towards your waiting period matters. You aren’t waiting for just anyone; you are waiting for the one! As you wait for that one special person to come into your life, move your focus from being a sad person in waiting into being someone awesome who is absolutely worth waiting for. Meet new people, make new friends, create healthy relationships. Enhance yourself. Discover new things and work on your personal growth. Don’t waste the time you have on meaningless things. Instead, use it wisely, as the chance to get to love yourself and to know exactly what you’re looking for. You know what they say, true love will always find a way. And that one special person will make his way to you when you’re ready and when God says “it’s time”. In the meantime, find things to make your waiting period memorable. And we’ll be praying that this year will be your best year yet. 
 Love, Maya

25 Jan 2017

A Lasting Relationship

Jodie & Gladys by David

There are two parts of a wedding that I truly love. The first one is the vow. The second is the gratitude speech from the bride and groom to their parents. I am always touched by the exchange of words in between these two segments of a wedding and I constantly feel like I get emotionally carried away. Especially during the part where the bride and groom ask for blessings from their parents. Man oh man, I just can’t keep it together sometimes. 

We’re in a time where everyone is fighting for their independence. Individual achievements is highly acknowledged and personal strengths are commended. We often forget that we are of a collective culture that values extended families. You know, the more the merrier. And we believe that the blessing of parents and family is important and could just be the recipe to a long lasting relationship.

Some tend to forget that when they marry, they are not only marrying one person, but they are marrying the whole family too. Marriage is the coming together of two families. When you marry, you must love not only your spouse, but their parents who birthed, raised, nurtured, even struggled for them. You must give your heart to them and their siblings, their parents, their grandparents - and basically everyone who have contributed into their lives. You aren’t just marrying one lovely person - you are marrying the whole clan.

20 Jan 2017

It starts with you

Dhani & Florence by Ivan

“I don’t like his attitude. Why does he always come home late? Doesn’t he care about me or his family?” / “She is annoying. Every time we fight, she always yells in my ear. It makes me sick. She’s Ms. Right who always has to be the winner of every argument. It’s so tiring!”

How many times you found yourself complaining about your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband? How much energy have you wasted by trying to change them? Do you benefit from complaining or saying all those negative words? No? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Complaining will get us nowhere! Ad you might be forgetting the fact that none of us are perfect. Not your partner. Not your husband. Not your wife. Or even anyone else. We can’t change anyone but ourselves. And every change should start with us. Not only is it impossible to change anyone else, it isn’t healthy either, even if you think that those changes will be the best thing that would have ever happen to them. 

Love is giving, right? So give a positive atmosphere to your relationship. Change your mindset, change your heart, change yourself. 

16 Jan 2017

Better Than Love At First Sight

Leon & Jess by Aha

I love to travel. But at the same time, I understand the importance of having a home base where I can feel completely at easy and comfortable enough to be free and rest. A home is a place to hide, recover, and to escape from the outside world. And I really found that home in Bali, the place where I live now. It’s a place where I’m able to balance a crowded mind with a quiet atmosphere. However, everything is about to change… for I have moved out from Paradise Island to the Indonesian version of the city that never sleeps, Jakarta. Although this past week have been rather difficult for me, I know that life begins at the end of my comfort zone, and I am actually really excited about starting a new adventure in the city. Life is a progress and we all need to move forward, one step at a time. So, bring it on 2017!

Now let’s talk about Leon and Jess. Actually, the bride was no stranger to me. I knew her from our days working together in AXIOO. There is something special about this girl. You can’t meet her and not love her. She is as beautiful as she is kind and humble. She definitely has a cheerful heart that can fill the room with positive vibes. Every time I met her, she always smiling and that’s enough for me to know know that Jesslyn is a really nice person. Her husband, Leon, is just as nice. He told me a lot about their love stories - how she made him fall in love and how they let it bloom so nicely and beautifully through time. Their story was an inspiring one… and that is why I was so honored when they chose me to shoot their prewedding portraits.

The story between Leon and Jess didn’t started with a love from the first sight at junior high school, but when best friend’s feeling become a lovers. Leon has always been in love with Jess. And he make sure that whenever Jesslyn need something, he will be there for her, even still when they were still “just friends”. He stayed close and never gave up. After about nine years of being “just friends” they finally realized that no matter where they’ve been and who they’ve met, they always came back to each other. See? Love always finds their way if you never stop believing. 

10 Jan 2017

See A Little Different

Alfian & Maya by Dre

One of my favorite things to do, every time the year is coming to a close, is to get on the train of thoughts to the things I’ve done. I usually take out albums stored in old hard disks, to see the work that I have done, the places that I have visited, and all the moments I had the privilege to enjoy. That train of thought took me to the pre-wedding album of Alfian and Maya that was taken a while back in Melbourne. 

Truth be told, the art capital of Australia, never made it to my list of favorite cities in the world. Although I loved it’s distinct vibes that is always welcoming and the warmth that embraces everyone who visits, I didn’t find much to explore. Quite honestly, I don’t usually jump around in excitement at the thought of shooting in Melbourne. I have a list already made at the back of my mind of all the iconic locations I will be shooting at - the Brighton beach huts, the grafitti wall, the state library, just to name a few - and I know that I can take pictures on auto-pilot, with my eyes closed, just like *that*. Just like many other photographers before me. Just like what I have done before. 

Can you imagine how boring that would be? Not only would I be bored during the entire trip, I knew I’d be delivering mediocre work just because of it. Luckily, I woke up to this realization quickly. This was not me. And I wouldn’t let boredom cramp my style! So, I got back to work. Before we left for Melbourne, I had already researched the places and I tried to acquaint myself with the locations. I tried to imagine being there to see if I could actually “see” the places from different angles. And when I was actually in the city, I managed to take these pictures of Alfian and Maya that not only made me happy, but hopefully didn’t make this loving couple regret choosing me to capture their story in the city that is so special to them. 

09 Dec 2016

Matawai Amahu Padda Ndjara Hamu

Kenneth & Caroline by Adi

Sumba, 2016. We were several islands closer to the sun’s nest, and life here is getting closer to surreal. This is an island where Sandalwood ponies roam through hills and graze under dwarf Sandalwood trees. Wooden houses are built without any sort of adhering tools, and school children picnic in the middle of interstates.

I still wonder, though, why would they take a nap, play guitar, and enjoy lunch in the middle of the road? Any logical answer is irrelevant because they would also ride those wild ponies, without saddles, and toddlers would also enjoy miles of afternoon walk in bare feet, alone. I was so worried about the toddler but locals said that it’s simply their way of enjoying life.   

08 Dec 2016


Benz & Janet by Jan

Can you mention what’s on your gratitude list? A good career, good health, a new car, the birth of a new baby? But, what about your marriage? Are you really thankful for your spouse? For some, the reply will come with a quick nod of affirmation, but for others, the answer is become more difficult. Really difficult. As marriages move past the honeymoon stage, couples go from appreciating and loving every little detail about each other to taking each other for granted. The truth is every good stuff always there, but sometimes all you see are the problems. The blur of marriage life and all of its responsibilities can often make it difficult for you to see the good in your spouse. 

When things getting harder, when the situation seems complicated, when life gets busy, when everything’s changing, no matter what is going on in your marriage life, do not forget to take a step back from it all and reflect on the things that really matter. Take a breath and choose to focus on the goodness of your spouse. Start to write a gratitude list about your spouse. Stop spending your time focusing on their weaknesses, bad habits, mistakes, or flaws and start being grateful. Because there is always, always, always something to be grateful. 

Be grateful if your spouse chooses to trust you in spite of all your faults. Be grateful how they support you to reach your goals, how they’re always there for you, how they still show their kindness even if when you are cranky and annoying. Be grateful they still forgive you all over again. Be grateful when they ask you where you’re going because they care. What a blessing it is to know there's someone who is concerned about your safety. See? When you start being grateful, everything looks easier, right? Stop focusing on the negative.

06 Dec 2016

The Color Of My Love

Daniel & Careen by David

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart knowing that we'll never part.

I'll draw the years all passing by, so much to learn, so much to try.


03 Dec 2016
All the way to the bottom already?
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