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. 

I heard a lot about having consistence and persistence in loving someone, but I’ve never seen it with my own eyes - that is, until I met Leon and Jess. Nine years of friendship only to realize that nothing is better than falling in love with your best friend. That’s better than love at first sight. What could be a more inspiring story than that?

 

Big love for you guys, 

Aha


avatar
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. 

A different angle, that’s all we need. To fight boredom, to get out of a rut, to solve problems, to make breakthroughs, to gain a little perspective… sometimes - maybe, most of the time - all we need is to move a little farther or dig a little deeper or climb a little higher just so we can see the situation we are in from a different angle. The view will be different and most likely be more rewarding. 

My train of thoughts took me to that one particular lesson in life this week. Where has yours taken you?


Love,

Dre

avatar
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.   


Nothing makes sense here because it’s been unexplored by the Ministry of Tourism, or in the other words, capitalism.  I went to this turquoise beach where fluffy white sand resembling baby powder stretches as far as eyes can see. Its coastline is adorned with ornate seashells and school of fish that are cheerfully jumping against the gentle waves. Yet no commercial entity of any sort was in sight. Sweet dreams are made of this beach. Urban legend has it that Nicholas Saputra once jogged fully naked along this beach. 


This kind of place, is where you want to travel to if you want to learn how beauty doesn’t always have to make sense. 


I understand that I would never be the first in this company to go anywhere for a photo shoot, including to Sumba. But I believe I’m the first to get addicted to Sumba and have been constantly alluring pre-wedding clients to go there. I gave a big hug to Kenneth and Caroline for buying me my first plane ticket to Sumba several months ago, and from now on, please expect more albums taken in this photogenic island. 


Cheers, 

Adi

avatar
08 Dec 2016

Grateful

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.

Being grateful changes everything. Words are powerful tools. They can create, or they can destroy. They can build up, or they can tear down. If you start speaking well of your spouse, you start believing what you say. Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial, into acceptance, chaos into order and confusion into clarity. It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. Being thankful changes your attitude and your heart to see every condition, to have a right response and to have a better day. 


Love,

Jan

avatar
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.

 

I'll paint my mood in a shadow blue, paint my soul to be with you.

I'll sketch your lips in shaded tones, draw your mouth to my own.

 

I'll trace a hand to wipe your tears and trace a look to calm your fears.

A silhouette of dark and light to hold each other oh so tight.

 

I'll paint the stars in the evening sky, draw the light into your eyes,

A touch of love, a touch of grace, to softly fall on your moonlit face.

 

And with this ring our lives will start, let nothing keep our love apart.

 I'll take your hand to hold in mine, and be together through all time.

avatar
03 Dec 2016

When you are ready

Suhandy & Ervine by David

Before you walk down the aisle, be sure you are ready for marriage will bring and to spend the rest of your life with this person. Marriage is a big commitment and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to embark on this incredible journey without first making sure they are mature enough to handle it. Maturity will play a big role in the way individuals respond to trials, tribulations and the successes that life throws at your relationship. Most people too hastily end their single life and get married without realizing that marriage life is hard work. It takes two people who are really ready, confident, have a strong commitment and can love unconditionally through every moment and situation.

I’ve got to be completely honest with you. Sometimes it really saddens me to know that some people just want to get married simply to have a wedding. They get married because they can’t wait to walk down the aisle and into the spotlight for a whole day. They don’t realize that marriage is a one way ticket with no way out. Then, at the earliest signs of hardship or worse, boredom, they end it. They quit. They got out. Simply because “it’s too hard”. I don’t want to be a downer here, but people… marriage is serious stuff. Don’t get married just because you’re getting older or because you’re fed up of being single. Don’t get married because your big extended family keeps on asking you when you’re going to settle down. Instead, get married because you know that you’re ready for what marriage will bring you. 

To be married should be a decision made by two mature people who love and respect each other, who understand the purpose of your marriage. Marriage is not a game, if you lose you can’t try to play again. It's once in a lifetime.

Marriage is a gift you give to your spouse. It’s a gift that says, “I have fully enjoyed our past together, I fully enjoy our present together, and now I want to devote the rest of my future to helping you achieve your goals, to being with you, to you being with me, and to taking care of you, when we are old and sick, as we will almost assuredly will be.” When you start seeing marriage as a gift, you’ll surely give your best, to improve yourself and to get yourself for marriage, even when you’re still single. You won’t give up. You won’t be stuck in the past. You won’t even dream of getting out. You won’t even think of divorce. And you’ll do all that simply because you’re ready.


Love,

 

David

avatar
10 Nov 2016

The Journey of A Thousand Miles

An & Rath by Will

3 days of photo shooting. Another 3 days of pre-wedding video shooting (with Jimmy Indra). And 3 different cities. Altogether, we travelled more than 1000 KM on the road and spent ten days with this lovely Cambodian couple who flew miles and miles away from their hometown to capture their love story against the breathtaking views of Europe in the background.

We started our journey in Venice, Italy, then explored the beautiful (less discovered and quieter) Burano Island before heading to the top of Europe, the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, and we ended the ten-day trip in Paris, the city of love. 

As you can probably imagine, it was a pretty tiring trip. But honestly though, I don’t think that it could have been anymore perfect. Since we spend a lot of time together, there was a lot of potential for us to get to know them, thus making it easier for us to capture their love story. The best part of the trip was in the conversations we shared with them, in between the laughters as they taught me some Cambodian words, and in the memories that we now have of the times we spend together. I sincerely hope that it was as memorable for them as it was for me. 

An and Rath will be tying the knot this weekend in Cambodia and I have been invited to document their big day. I cannot wait to be there and to see them again real soon. 


Cheers,

 

Will

avatar
02 Nov 2016

Couple Personalities

Wiryawan & Regina by Paulus

So you think you know what kind of person you are. You’re funny. Or sarcastic. Or dramatic.  You are who you say you are. And that never bothered you one bit. But do you know what kind of person you are when you’re with your boyfriend or your husband? And why does it bother you when people say something about your couple personality? 

Sure, everyone wants to be the fairytale couple, the ones who meet in their dreams and have everything all figured out together. Or the comedy couple who share love in between the laughter. But what if you’re not either one of those?  What if you’re the kind of couple who find each other’s presence annoying and you still can’t keep away from each other because you’ll miss each other too much? What if you’re the kind of couple who likes to keep to themselves, just chillaxing over coffee, a good book or maybe a good movie? What if you’re the kind of couple people think are weird? 

Think about it. People’s opinion on your couple personality shouldn’t affect you. It shouldn’t bother you at all, because really, who cares what they think? What matters is that you enjoy each other’s company, you know how to deal with each other’s differences, to minimize conflicts and to overcome them, you know with all your heart that you are each other’s safe place and that you can’t stand to be apart from each other. That’s all that matters. If you know who you are and who you are together, everyone else’s opinions are just noise. The only opinion that matters is your own. 

The first time I saw Wiryawan and Regina, I didn’t peg them for the people that would end up together. And at times, even they admit that they drive each other nuts. He annoys her and she annoys him, but set them apart for a while and they’ll definitely go crazy for missing each other too much. It might be weird to everyone who’s watching, but to them it’s naturally. And that, to me, is the sweetest thing to witness. I love this couple. They’ve got a certain dynamics to them that made me laugh so hard just by watching them. And I had so much fun shooting for their prewedding. 


Thanks you guys! Stay sweet! 


Cheers,

Paulus

avatar
01 Nov 2016

Love, City Life.

Edward & Levina by Donny

I love taking pictures of couples in love with a nice Bali atmosphere in the background. The island is full of great photo-op places and beautiful little corners. I don’t think that I’ll ever tire of it (or at least, I hope I never do.) However, I do love the chance to experience taking pictures with different backgrounds too. And so, I almost screamed in excitement when I learned that I’ll be doing the prewedding session of Edward and Levina in Singapore. 

This country has left a big impression on me. Not only do they offer world-class tourist attractions that will keep anyone who visits it busy during their stay, it is also a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities that bond by an obsession of food - from street hawker to Michelin-star restaurant. In other words, you will never leave this city hungry. This vibrant little red dot in Asia bowls everyone over, me especially, by their amazing hospitality, their cleanliness and orderliness. From the cozy, laid back vibes of Bali to the vibrant and dynamic city life in Singapore, I found the change much refreshing. 

I went with Edward and Levina to the iconic Gardens by the Bay. Actually, according to the schedule, we were supposed to be taking pictures there at 7pm. But on the way there, we saw just how beautiful the view was overlooking the Marina Bay Sands, we just had to stop and take some pictures there. Then we rushed to the Gardens, hoping that they weren’t closed yet. We got there at about 20.55 and an Uncle there told us that a light show was about to start. I call that a brush of pure luck because how else could we end up with such beautiful shots with the dancing lights in the background?

This is the second time I met Edward and Levina. I first met them when they got me as their Sweet Escape photographer in my favorite place in the world, Bali. Then I met them again in Singapore. Soon I will be meeting them again on their wedding day. I’m so grateful that we get to have this kind of “practice run” before the actual wedding day. So, thank you, Edward and Levina. Thank you for choosing me and for trusting in my work. See you on your big day! 

 

Cheers,

 

Donny

avatar
26 Oct 2016

Why I Love You

Steven & Eliza by Jan

You give to me hope and help me to cope

When life pulls me down, you bring me around

You teach me to care and help me to share

You make me honest with kindness the best

From you I learned love with grace from above

It's for you I live and I want to give

You are the reason that fills each season

When I hear love I think of you, you are my world and best friend too

I love you because you are so kind, thoughtful and caring

I love you because you are so pleasant, lovely and sharing

You made me the man I am. 

avatar
19 Oct 2016
All the way to the bottom already?