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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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19 Oct 2016

Beautiful Maluku

Charlos & Nana by Dre

There are places that overwhelm me with amazement for God’s work and make me feel small in light of His creation - those are places that brings me closer to nature. Then there are places that make me beam with pride and fill me with gratitude - and those are places that bring me closer to the natural landscapes of my country, Indonesia. 

One of those places is the Maluku islands - the original spice islands, a hidden, almost undiscovered gem, with dreamy beaches, spectacular reefs against a backdrop of lush mountains. Where below there water’s surface lies a world so mesmerizing, decorated with world-class coral gardens and the regular - yet rare to the rest of the world - sightings of resident marine species, including the largest fish on earth known as the whale shark. Yes - the underwater world surrounding the Maluku island is breathtakingly beautiful, but I know that (through my photographer eyes), the white sandy beaches have truly captured my heart. 

Charlos is from Maluku. And so, when he suggested that he and Nana head back to his hometown for their pre-wedding session, I supported them without any hesitation. Because more than knowing that it is a beautiful place, I also know that it is a beautiful place that is somewhat undiscovered and that there is a huge chance that we will be able to shoot series of pictures without the crowds in the background. 

I loved being in Maluku. I loved being on the island. I loved feeling overwhelmed by God’s goodness and pride for my country the whole time I was there. And I truly loved how these pictures turned out. The breathtaking natural beauty makes for a beautiful backdrop to this love story. Don’t you think so?

 

Cheers,

 

Dre

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18 Oct 2016

Love Language

Chaintana & Jamekani by Aha

There are many ways to see whether people are in love with each other. Some will gush about how special the object of his affection is; some will talk about how their lives have changed after meeting this special someone; while others don’t need to say anything or do anything, but simply need to just “be” and people can see the undeniable love they have for each other. 

Chaintana and Jamekani are one of those couples. 

Tana is an ex-boyband member who have left the stage to build his own business. Jame is runner-up of Miss Grand Thailand 2013 with unmatched beauty and a great sense of humor. They are the picture perfect couple. But underneath that beautiful exteriors lie beautiful souls with a great personality to match. Having met this Thai couple in Barcelona for the pre-wedding session was an experience I will never forget, although at first (and I’m going to be really honest here) it was a bit challenging since we didn’t speak a common language and it was hard to communicate with each other. 

In between Tana, Jame and I, we have so many opportunities to misunderstand each other. We don’t speak the same language and we don’t really understand each other’s cultural background or how we get on with our everyday. But it didn’t take much for me to see just what good people they are and how in love they were with each other. They didn’t have to lay it out for me in words. They simply needed to show me. I’d look at the way Tana looks at Jame and I know that he’s got it bad for her. It’s as if he’s telling her how much he loves her through his eyes. And to know that they’re good people? I only needed to see just how appreciative they were of my time and my work, how much care they showed me during the two-day photo session and how unbelievably modest they are. Through the weather or any unexpected situations during our session, not once did I hear them complain. Not even when they were tired and I was tired and it took me ages to set up my camera. They didn’t complain. Instead, I remember Tana coming up to me and as he struggled to find the words, complimented me on my work. He said, “Aha, I am tired. But I won’t forget this moment, because this will be the story I can tell my children someday and I want this to be the sweetest story of all.” I am grateful to have met clients who were this appreciative of my efforts and they have encouraged me to give my 1000% best! 

Although at the beginning of the journey, we didn’t quite hit it off because the language barrier was to wide, at the end of it, we were almost like family. It’s clear to see that language can’t get in the way of love that stems from the heart, for love is indeed the universal language. 

Thank you, Tana and Jame. Thank you for trusting me with your pre-wedding portraits and for giving me a sweet memory in Barcelona that I will never forget. The beautiful sunsets and the great food we had there and of course, our friendship, would definitely stay with me for a long time.

 

Khaphunkap!

 

Aha

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14 Oct 2016
All the way to the bottom already?