Two Doves

Nico & Anita by Adi

Two doves meeting in the sky,
Two loves hand in hand eye to eye,
Two parts of a loving whole,
Two hearts and a single soul.

Two stars shining big and bright,
Two fires bringing warmth and light,
Two songs played in perfect tune,
Two flowers growing into bloom.

Two Doves gliding in the air,
Two loves free without a care,
Two parts of a loving whole,
Two hearts and a single soul.

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06 Oct 2016

Follow Your Heart

Chris & Gabriella by Will

“True love stands the test of time, distance, and absence, making it grow stronger. Difficult times only mean that love’s roots will grow deeper!” 

I don’t believe in love that hasn’t been tested. How can you trust love that hasn’t weathered through anything but the good? How would you know that it will last? How would you know if it’s even love at all and not a mere attraction or blind infatuation? Committing to love that hasn’t been tested yet is like baking a cake with a recipe that hasn’t been tried out yet. You’ll have no idea how it will turn out. 

I am in a long distance relationship. I have been for a few years now. I moved into the city a few years ago to pursue my studies then a career in photography, while my girlfriend stayed in our hometown. Although I’m relieved that we’ll finally end our long distance relationship journey when we marry, I’m glad that we actually did it, because I think loving from a distance is the perfect way to test trust between two persons and the relationship itself. I believe that when love has survived the distance, the absence, the time difference, and other forms of exams, then love is true. 

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04 Oct 2016

Spot the dolphin!

Matthew & Olivia by Will

Have you ever seen a dolphin? If you have, you probably know what joyful and intelligent creatures they are. Even in captivity, they are endearing creatures that can bring our hearts closer to them just by watching them play. However, to see them, coincidentally, in the sea… now, that’s a special experience.  Sailors have long believed that dolphins sighting brings them good luck. These marine mammals are believed to be spiritual messengers from the sea. Well, call it a myth because it probably is, but after spotting a dolphin on the Amalfi Coast, I am slowly becoming a believer.  It was unintentional. We didn’t set off wanting to see dolphins. (That’s the reason why I don’t have any pictures of the dolphins. In case you want to scroll down this page, hoping to spot the dolphins, sorry to disappoint.) We were just on a yacht, getting ready to start our shoot, when we saw them. It was a rare moment. Even the captain said so.  We started the photo session with a lot of blunders. Starting with Matthew missing his flight from London to our car getting hit in Positano, just as we were leaving the hotel. Thank God, it wasn’t a serious accident and no one was hurt. However, it was definitely a downer. But seeing those dolphins, just dancing with playfulness and joy, even for a brief moment, I could feel the energy shift. Those few seconds made this trip really memorable.  Please browse through this pre-wedding album of Matthew and Olivia, taken in Paris and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I hope you enjoy the pictures, even though there aren’t any dolphins in them.  Love,  Will

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22 Sep 2016

God’s hands

Albert & Vienna by Donny

I believe that all photo sessions need one thing in order to be successful: God’s hands.
I can already hear you snickering as you read this. I believe that you can plan all you want and the result can go completely the other way because you won’t have control over everything. However, when you surrender everything in God’s hands and let God take control, you will have peace over whatever result you receive at the end of the day.
I first met Albert and Vienna when Albert was about to propose to Vienna. They hired Sweet Escape to capture their moment and I was the photographer. Since we’ve met before (and I can only assume that they liked their pictures), they arranged for a pre-wedding photo session with a few months later. We had planned for a casual shoot with the best of Bali in the background. We had also hoped for cloudless and sunny sky. However, God obviously had other plans, because it rained hard that day and I was forced to rearrange our planning a couple of times to accommodate the weather. I almost felt slightly discouraged because we didn’t get to have that famous Bali shining rays in any of the pictures, but at the end of the day, I heard an exhale of relief escaping from Vienna. As she caught my eye and said, “Thank God it wasn’t so hot today. I can’t really handle the heat.”
Everything happens for a reason, my friends. And God knows the best. Even in the smallest little details, I believe that it happens within God’s plans for us. The entire shoot that day was a success because God’s hands was in it. I truly believe that.

Love,
Donny

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20 Sep 2016

Love Journey

Peter & Stefanie by Paulus

Every couple has their own unique story to tell. You do too, don’t you?

You can imagine how the story began. From the very first time you met your other half, finding common interests, the time when the sparks and butterfly started to tickle your stomach,the time when you introduce your other half to your parents and they welcome your other half happily, becoming a couple, accepting and respecting differences between you and your partner, perhaps even the taste of long distance relationship and then it comes, your wedding day.

That’s a journey. After all, every couple's journey is unique. The truth is not everybody will understand your journey and they don’t have to because the only thing that matters is you and your soulmate. 

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16 Sep 2016

A Sip of Brunello di Montalcino

Keith & Lily by Adi

A Tuscan leafy village was the path we walked on this time. You can imagine what kind of scenery would be like in a village such as this. Wavy hills. Patchwork vineyards. 400-year-old cypress trees. Protective walls. Bucolic open spaces with Fiat 500 scampering around, driven by old men in flat caps. Stores selling lovingly created Da-Vinci-inspired wines. And many, many, cheese enthusiasts come here to chew on coagulated sheep milk, to remember how nutrition used to be like in the olden days. 

 

Keith and Lily, both are the epitome of elegance and good taste. They engaged really easily with this comforting landscape. That’s when I knew it would be perfect if I could take my film camera out, and shoot in analog for the rest of the session. They said, “so be it," so that was how I rolled. This pre-wedding shoot was not about rushing-5-dresses-a-day at tourist hotspots. It was rather all about sunrise, sunset, and impulsive decisions. A gorgeously immersive experience. The memories linger.

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14 Sep 2016

Best Laid Plans

Boywin & Novita by Aha

Plans don’t always work out the way we want it. I hate that. But there’s always some interesting thing to learn from or a story to take home at the end of it… and I love that! 

The pre-wedding session of Boywin and Novita was filled with great plans. We talked about everything from the get-go up to the tiniest little details. We were going to go to Japan and take some great shots in Tokyo and Kyoto. We listed down the places we wanted to go to and as we talked, I could already see the slideshow of great images playing in my head. I was excited and I couldn’t wait to see all our plans unfold. I got a handsome groom with a great smile, a beautiful bride-to-be, and Japan… nothing could go wrong, right?

Wrong. Unfortunately, on the day of the shoot, Mother Nature decided to turn her back against us. It rained heavily all day long. And as if that wasn’t enough to bring us down, we were stuck with a careless cab driver who couldn’t seem to understand a word we were saying, got us lost, and almost left us in the middle of God-knows-where! I’m not going to lie to you… I almost lost it right then. Especially when he was ushering us out of the car to take pictures in the heavy rain! I mean, drizzle I can do (I think I made some of my money shots with light rain!), but heavy rain? That couldn’t be good for any of us! We were far behind schedule as it was and I felt like I haven’t achieved anything. I was frustrated.

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07 Sep 2016

Choose to Love

Stevanus & Ivana by Jan

The start of any relationship, engagement, or marriage must be a bed of roses. However as time flies, you will see that the roses have thorns after all. A lot of couples end their relationships in messy break-ups even divorces, resulting in heart breaks and emotional loss. Anything, and I mean anything, can happen in a relationship. Yet it's never a question of quitting when the storm comes, but compromising and finding a solution. If you're sure that he or she is the one from God for you, you won't easily give up when faced with turmoils. So what does it take for a relationship to last? A long lasting relationship requires effort and the key to make it work, is unconditional love.

Unconditional love is more than just a temporary feeling, but an action and commitment. Unconditional love is more complicated than simply loving your partner “no matter what.” Unconditional love requires stepping back and seeing the bigger picture of your partnership and how to maintain the health of the relationship so that love can continue to thrive and grow. The first step toward loving your partner unconditionally is learning to love yourself unconditionally. It requires understanding and communicating your own boundaries and limits, yet being flexible enough to adapt and compromise when possible. 

Recognize that love is a choice and decide to act in love no matter what your current feelings or circumstances. Always fight negativity with kindness. Avoid the dangerous habits of criticizing and condemning your spouse. Don't fight with your spouse just to prove that you're right. Realize that it's not worth it to win an argument just for the sake of winning, because by doing so you lose out on your relationship. Strive to look at a problem or conflict from your spouse's perspective. Change yourself, not your spouse. Realize that you can only take responsibility for your own attitudes and actions. Stop wasting time and energy trying to change your spouse, and focus on yourself instead. Know that by changing yourself, you'll change the dynamic of your relationship.

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31 Aug 2016

Love on the London Bridge

Rivano & Cicilia by Ivan

Every visit to London comes with a new-found love for the lively city. A walk along London’s Portobello Market to find cast-away treasures or rusty gems in antique shops can arouse the spirit of a vintage lover, and the vivid combination of colors can captivate even the least of all art enthusiasts. Or so I’ve heard. Until I visited this city myself and discovered that, yes, London is enough to satisfy the most curious creative hearts. 

I’m glad that Rivano and Cicilia chose the city so colorfully decorated by flea markets and the latest fashion as the backdrop of their pre-wedding portraits. I have never been in the city before and thus I had to make the extra effort to find out about the all great places to take pictures at. I was so excited to discover all the great things London had to offer us. We made sure that we got to visit most of the city’s famous landmarks and some pretty spots in between. During this visit, I have discovered that London does indeed relight fires and boost the energy of everyone in it. The vibrant vibes that comes out through every corner of the city is enough to awaken passion inside every heart, and I left only to find the a part of me will always stay gazing at the Big Ben and the London Bridge. 


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26 Aug 2016

Conversations in Bromo

Freeman & Shelly by Aha

There are two things I particularly love about the pre-wedding session of Freeman and Shelly. First of all, Freeman and Shelly are from Malaysia and they chose Bromo, an active volcano and a mastiff with beautiful scenery in East Java. I’m most glad about the fact that Indonesia’s beauty is already spread wide and heard of not only here, but also in neighboring countries! Although I’ve never visited the place myself, I have heard about this gem and it never fails to make me feel proud of our nation. So, when I knew that I had finally gotten the chance to visit it, I was beyond excited. And when I saw Bromo with my own two eyes, I grew increasingly proud of our beautiful Indonesia. It was truly breathtakingly beautiful. 

Another thing that I love from this session are the conversations we shared during the two days. At first, the schedule didn’t seem like it allowed for a lot of time to talk, however, in between the rain and the long trip we had to make to the locations that we wanted gave us some time to connect. It was pretty exhausting actually. Like when we wanted to go to the Pasir Berbisik (“whispering sand” - isn’t that beautiful?), unfortunately, for some reason or another, we couldn’t go on the jeep and had to take a horse instead. Going horseback riding wasn’t as nice and relaxing as we thought. Although the pace was slow and we got to talk a little, our backs were aching! Fortunately, though, that didn’t stop Freeman and Shelly from having a positive attitude for their shoot. We also had a chance to talk when we were stuck in the pouring rain and we ran for cover under the big tree in the middle of the forest. I remember a question that I asked Freeman, “What do you usually do when Shelly need you?” and his humble response, “Always be there, my friend.” If I forget everything we have talked about, I want to remember the simplicity of this answer he gave me. 

Two things made this a memorable trip for me. However, the best part of the trip was really the chance to meet Freeman and Shelly. Being with them for two days can grow my faith in love and relationships that last. Thank you for taking me to Bromo, Freeman and Shelly, but most of all, thank you for sharing your lives with me. You are truly inspiring. 

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25 Aug 2016
All the way to the bottom already?