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.

 

Cheers, 

 

Adi

avatar
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.

I remember struggling - inhaling and exhaling - just to keep it all together. Then I glanced at Boywin. He kept calm and called it a day. He suggested we end the shoot in Tokyo and just head for Kyoto on the bullet train. We rushed to the station, lugging all our luggages, and we barely made it in time for the Shinkansen to Kyoto. Just a minute late and we would have missed the train entirely. Imagine just what a day that would have been then. 

It was close to midnight when we arrived in Kyoto. I couldn’t wait to get in bed and forget about the day. But, of course, we just had to get lost there too! We knew the address but somehow, we couldn’t find the hotel. Fortunately, after only a short while of wandering around, we finally got into our warm beds. 

That day took such a toll on us that we didn’t have very much expectations the next day. We got up really early - despite being tired - to get to the Arashiyama Bamboo forest. Then, we just strolled around the city and shot wherever we liked. We found a spot with a big Sakura tree and shot there. We found a puppy and got her into the frame too. But in the midst of those shoots, things started to grow comfortable. We began to forget everything we experienced the day before and slowly, we began to really enjoy the photo session. We rushed back to Tokyo on the train that afternoon. I guess you could say that we want to make up for the time we lost the day before. 

As you can probably guess, our plans didn’t quite unfold the way we had hoped. The schedule was tight, the travel time between Tokyo and Kyoto and back again was pretty crazy, and that driver… I’m sure we never planned on him. However, in everything we have been through together during those two days, never once did I hear Boywin or Novita complain about the shoot. Not even when they were exhausted or upset. Instead, by the end of the session, Novita said, “These pictures will last forever and I’m glad that there’s a great story to be told behind all of it.” 

I’ve got to admit that I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I heard her say that. I’m glad that even through everything unfavorable, there’s something to be grateful for. Thank you, Boywin and Novita, for teaching me that even the best laid-out plans might not work out sometimes, but it’s still okay if we don’t let it bring us down. Thank you for trusting me to your photographer and for your friendship. I will never forget our story from Tokyo to Kyoto and back again. 

 

Keep in touch, 

 

Aha

avatar
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.

Don't compare your relationship to that of someone else. Understand that God has made you and spouse unique individuals, and that He has unique purposes for your marriage. Make a regular habit of counting your blessings and thanking God for what you do have so you can break free of envy. Seek to serve instead of being served. Rather than asking, "What can my spouse do for me?" ask, "What can I do for my spouse?" Don't keep score. Avoid keeping a record of wrongs to use against your spouse. Instead, be willing to forgive your spouse every time he or she does or says something hurtful. And most of all, it requires a daily mutual commitment to maintaining the health of the relationship and nurturing the bonds of love that brought you together in the first place.

No matter what happens, choose to love.

 

 

Jan

avatar
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. 


xoxo,

 

Ivan

avatar
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. 

 

Woof ya,

 

Aha

avatar
25 Aug 2016

Another Side of Paris

Harsono & Vinna by Dre

In the summer, I took my whole family on a road trip across Europe. Five of us in one car for miles and miles. Sure, there were moments I wished I had my earplugs on because three children in a confined space for a long duration of time can be quite noisy, nevertheless, those moments were never enough to steal the joy I felt throughout the entire trip. We came home with hearts full, dreaming of the next time we can be on the road again. One of the most memorable cities we visited during the trip was Paris. Even though I have been there a couple of times before, this city seem to exude a different kind of feel that time around. It felt warmer and friendlier. As I explored the city and saw it through the eyes of my children, I had found a new side to the most romantic city of the world. Paris really did have lots of secrets just waiting to be discovered. 

A few weeks later, I came back to Paris again. This time, I came alone on a work assignment. There I met Harsono and Vinna, the sweet and easy going couple from Batam island. They loved the romantic feel of Paris and chose the city as the backdrop to their pre-wedding portraits. Great choice, I must say. However, during that trip, as a continuation to the experience I had before it, I felt like I had to discover what else Paris had in store for us. I wanted to explore and capture Paris from a different angle. Lucky for me, Harsono and Vinna agreed with me. 

At the end of that trip, I found that Paris is truly magnificent from every angle. There’s always beauty waiting to be discovered in that romantic city. Just when you think you’ve seen everything to see in Paris, you’ll find something new. Every street corner, every brick wall, every bridge… there’s beauty to be found if you look for it. I always find myself being pleasantly surprised by this city. And I’ll be back again… no doubt about it!


Cheers,

 

Dre

avatar
20 Aug 2016

Silver Lining

Ronald & Enda by William

Hello everyone. I want to share with you today the first album out of my #SummerInItaly series. 

The best memories of a pre-wedding session are never really about the pictures, but how those pictures were made. For me, personally, the best memories are always about the experiences I share with the clients, especially when we start the trip in a professional setting but become good friends by the end of it. 

The two-days session I had with Ronald and Enda were nothing short of memorable. Although almost all the planning were made before they even arrived in Italy, we had to make extreme adjustments to it due to the weather. A thunderstorm in the middle of summer? Mother Nature really wasn’t on our side that day because she basically left us 10 minutes on the castle on the hill at Lake Como before the dark clouds came above us! However, like they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. That day, when the rain suddenly fell upon us, we ran for cover towards the car but we never made it. We stopped in a cafe instead. We were stuck in there for a while because of the thunderstorm, so we made the most out of it. We traded stories over coffee and had a lots of laugh. There were 4 of us, including Ely the make-up artist, in the cafe that afternoon. Ely and Enda hit it off right away. They came from the same region and spoke the same dialect which the rest of us didn’t understand, so you can imagine how many inside jokes they shared there. 

That afternoon really set the mood for the entire photo session. Somehow, we bonded during the thunderstorm and hit it off. We enjoyed the rest of our time together, had a blast during the drive from cities to cities and on the ferry ride across Lake Como, and ate lots of good food. 

Everything does happen for a reason, and because of that thunderstorm, although we started off as clients and professional, when the trip ended, we were basically friends. 

These pictures I took of Ronald and Enda are beautiful, but more than that, I think the experience I had with them was even more memorable. Thank you for trusting me to capture your pre-wedding moments… But most of all, thank you for the friendship. 

 

Love,

Will

avatar
18 Aug 2016

So Good Together

Stephen & Riri by Jan

Let’s take a vote. Which one is the most important to have in a pre-wedding photo session? 

a. beautiful wardrobe

b. flawless make-up

c, breathtaking location

d. all of the above

How many here said “d. all of the above”? Is it safe to say, everyone?

But guess what? The most important one is actually not on the list because more important than all of the above is actually personality and chemistry. 

You can look gorgeous with beautiful wardrobe and flawless make-up at a breathtaking location but if your personality cannot come out or you don’t share any chemistry with your partner, I can tell you right now that your pictures might not be as beautiful. 

On flip side, if you’ve got nothing else but a radiant personality and you share chemistry with each other, your pictures can be perfect! And, as a bonus to the photographer, you’ll make it so much more fun because capturing a strong personality and intimacy of a relationship is simply addictive. 

In my honest opinion, Stephen and Riri had all the necessary components to make the perfect pre-wedding portraits, although admittedly, it placed a lot of pressure on me to bring on my A-game to the shoot because since they’ve got it all, I felt like it was up to me to make it all work. Lucky for me, their bubbly personalities stopped me from becoming a complete nervous wreck. They were so honest, so real, so transparent towards each other, and so fun to be around that they made the entire shoot such an unforgettable experience for me. Their confidence shone through in every shot I took and they were so natural as if they were having so much fun with each other that they didn’t notice I was there. They looked so good together. 

I truly enjoyed making their portraits, but more that that, I enjoyed spending time with them more. Thank you, Stephen and Riri, for the memorable experience. 


Cheers,

Jan

avatar
12 Aug 2016

The Beauty of Sumba

Hutomo & Stephanie by Ivan

A few months ago, a picture can on my facebook feed. To this day, I can still remember it clearly. It was a picture of the sun setting against the calm shores of a pristine beach. The orange hues were so captivating that I just stopped to stare at it for a while. The picture was posted by a friend of mine with the caption “Sunset in Sumba”. 

Sumba. Hmm. I clicked on her album to see a series of beautiful pictures that she took on the island. From pristine beaches, to low savannahs, to hilltop villages, every picture seemed to have drawn my attention and left me in awe of it’s beauty. And it wasn’t because of the quality of the picture too, as my friend herself have openly confessed that the pictures didn’t do justice to the beauty of the island. That made me even more curious. 

Sure, I’ve heard of Sumba, a place in my country more popularly known for horse-breeding, but clearly, I knew nothing of it. I became curious of it. I began to actively search for more information about it. Then, I couldn’t wait to visit it. 

I’m glad that, after a long wait, I had the chance and the perfect reason to visit this island. Although the first meeting with Hutomo and Stephanie started off like any other meeting, without the slightest mention of Sumba, the island kept coming up during the conversation… and just like the waves on the clear blue seas, the ideas came rolling in. Before long, we had settled our minds on capturing the story of Hutomo and Stephanie on the beaches of Sumba. 

The island stopped being a mystery and became a dream that I would never want to wake up from. It is breathtakingly beautiful and no pictures could ever do its beauty justice indeed. However, please allow me to show you a glimpse of the island. It does make a gorgeous backdrop for this love story though, doesn’t it?


Cheers,

 

Ivan

avatar
06 Aug 2016

Touched by Love

Calvin & Patricia by Dre

I knew that I had been touched by love the first time I saw you, and I felt your warmth, and I heard your laughter.
I knew that I had been touched by love when I was hurting from something that happened, and you came along and made the hurt go away.
I knew that I had been touched by love when I quit making plans with my friends, and started dreaming dreams with you.
I knew that I had been touched by love
when suddenly I stopped thinking in terms of “me,” and started thinking in terms of “we”.
I knew that I had been touched by love when suddenly I couldn't make any decisions by myself anymore, and I had the strong desire to share everything with you.
I knew that I had been touched by love the first time we spent alone together, and I knew I wanted to stay with you forever
because I had never felt this touched by love.


Praying that you will always know that you've been touched by love for the rest of your days. Congratulations in advance for your upcoming nuptials!

 

 

Cheers,
Dre

avatar
03 Aug 2016
All the way to the bottom already?