Breathtaking

Ricky & Helena by Donny

I’ve always been an admirer of mountains. The view of the mountains never fails to take my breath away. Every visit to the mountain always seems to encourage my creativity as I gain new perspectives and new confidence just by standing on the greatness of the mountain. And that’s probably why, I love recommending going to the mountains for pre-wedding sessions. Aside from having a view that is naturally gorgeous, I think that love just looks much over there. 

Not many want to go though. Most prefer the beach views, since they’re already on the island. But those who wants to go the extra miles will find that there is more to Bali than its pristine shores. 

I felt really lucky when I suggested shooting at Mount Batur to Ricky and Helena and they agreed. The roads leading to the gorgeous spots were not easy. There was a long traffic (due to Balinese religious ceremonies) and road blocks (on the foot of the mountain, due to repairs). I guess we could have just turned back and decide to go to the lakes or the beach, but we didn’t. After asking around for alternative roads, we made it to the mountain. And every challenges we faced were redeemed by the breathtaking view that it offered. 

We stayed on the mountains for a while, until a few hours after lunch, then we headed down towards the lake, then to the beach, then to the clubs before finally wrapping the shoot at about 9 at night. It was a long, long, long day. But when I went to bed that night, I didn’t think about how tired I was because all I could remember was that gorgeous view of the mountains and how it took my breath away. 

To Ricky and Helena, thank you for coming with me on this trip. I hope it was as memorable for you as it was for me. Sending you all the best wishes for a smooth walk up to the altar. 

 

Cheers,

 

Donny

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02 Aug 2016

#111LoveStory

Kalvin & Olivia by Aha

“We met at a restaurant in Jakarta through one of our mutual friend who introduced us over dinner. My first impression was that he seemed like a nice guy. But there was one thing that bothered me throughout the dinner, his 70’s disco wide jeans. It hurts my eyes and I still vividly remember that jeans. His fashion sense was close to non-existent. One thing for sure though, physical appearance should not be the top priority. (Because I know I would be able to do a total makeover. Challenge accepted!)

I can’t really remember much about that day (apart from that pants), but we ended up swapping contacts anyway. Maybe it was because I was bored and single-ready-to-mingle (as they would say).

Not to my surprise, I woke up the next morning with a message from him. The first thought that came into my mind was ‘What another lame and desperate guy that I have gotten myself into. Dear me!’ 

And to my disbelief, this was his first pick up line. He said, “Good Morning. I have a diarrhea from the food we ate last night.” and I was like WOW. This guy is something else. Come to think of it, I was so flabbergasted with the topic that I ended up replying to his messages. I quickly learned later on that this is called the ‘shock & awe’ technique of pick line. Be warned ladies!

We talked a lot about unimportant things, just as you would when you first met a guy. Eventually, he asked me out for a date. But to be completely honest, I do not have the slightest interest with this man.” 

Well, we know that that story doesn’t end there. In fact, that was just the beginning. Kalvin ended up impressing Olivia enough to make her say “Yes!” to spending forever with him. He popped the question in the most romantic manner possible too - in the middle of Digital Fashion Week in Singapore! Love a good love story like I do? Do yourself a favor and read the rest of Kalvin and Olivia’s love story, which Olivia told in such a sweet way on her blog www.olivialazuardy.com. Then enjoy their pre-wedding album which I made for them in Japan. 

To Kalvin and Olivia, congratulations on your engagement! I wish you a smooth walk all the way to the altar until you’re finally joined as one forever. Stay in love! 

 

Cheers,

 

Aha

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28 Jul 2016

He’s Not Perfect

Suminto & Jessyln by Jan

You’re getting married! I can imagine how excited you must be as your big day draws near. I also can imagine the amount of fights that you’ll be having as a result to the impending deadlines and the anxiety. You could both be nervous wrecks and agreeing with each other seems impossible. You wish to change him, to force him to agree with you, but to no avail. Because marriage shouldn’t be about changing each other; it’s about accepting each other truly and whole-heartedly. By now, I imagine, you and your husband to be have been together long enough to know that you are not perfect. But let me tell you something - that doesn’t mean that you cannot have a truly perfect marriage! He’s not perfect, but you aren’t either. And while the two of you will never be perfect, you can be perfect for each other. 

So, as your big day draws near, remember to chillax - together or alone - because maybe all you need is some time away from the stresses of wedding planning, to realize that you are marrying each other simply because at one point in time (probably before any of this began), you knew that you are perfect for each other. 

To close, let me share with you some words of wisdom from the great Bob Marley: “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, cause you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him. Don’t change him. And don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had, because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”


Love,

 

Jan

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26 Jul 2016

Moments

Jaya & Catherine by Dre

Hi everybody! I am writing you from the air, where we have just wrapped up our family road trip. We drove over 2000 KM across Europe for countless hours! Admittedly, it was tiring, but it is surely something I cannot wait to do again. What I love most about family road trip is that it puts us together in a confined space for hours. And this brings with it many opportunities for us to talk and bond (and fight!) It was a great experience and while our bodies may be tired, I know for sure that our hearts are full. 

I don’t need to be in Europe to realize just what a lucky man I am. I know I am blessed whenever I see my wife and my three children. But there was one time, during this trip, on a bridge in Annecy, as I gazed at my wife, my heart swelled up as it dawned on me what a lucky, lucky man I really and truly am. We’ve been through so many things, she and I. We’ve had our share of really great moments and some not so great moments too. Every moments we share is what makes us who we are today. 

People have told me that our marriage and our family are “goals!” and we are flattered. While I am grateful for the compliment, I wish that I can encourage them to write their own stories; to make their own relationship goals. 

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Some pieces are colorful and some are dull, but all these millions of tiny moments create your very own love story.” I truly believe that. Live every moment - savor it, treasure it, cherish it - because those are the things that makes your relationship goals! 


Cheers,

Dre

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15 Jul 2016

The Good Mood

Abidin & Herna by Aha

Contrary to what many may think, photography is a people business. It isn’t merely about making art or capturing good pictures, it’s actually about the people. It’s about making sure that the people whose portraits we’re making can look back on the pictures with fond memories. 

Also contrary to what many may think, great engagement portraits don’t just naturally happen. A lot of times, we actually need to make it happen. And a lot of times, the photographer have an integral part to play in that effort. Although a good mood and a nice atmosphere will work wonders, a photographer must always strive to be the subject’s best friend, because their comfort is of utmost importance. 

I know that I am not the best photographers out there. I still have tons to catch up on. However, what I do know from experience is that in most awkward situations, a cup of coffee or a table filled with good food work wonders. When I feel like the couple is nervous or uncomfortable, if time permits, I like to invite them for lunch or a nice cup of coffee. Any tension is most likely to dissolve at the table and there’s a big chance that we’ll have a good time at the session after that. Chemistry isn’t just important to have between the couples, but also between the couples and the photographer. After all, photography is more than just a series of beautiful pictures - it is actually about the people in it. 


Cheers,

 

Aha 

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13 Jul 2016

My True Love

Davin & Fiona by Aha

I have a feeling that I can comprehend

In my deepest thoughts, you are more than just a friend.

I wouldn't want to rush us now, as love we explore

But there's a growing love inside that we just can't ignore.

I love the times we spend together. We are comfortable and free. 

I think of you when we are alone. I think of you and me.

We have shared secrets to uncover. There's more to life then we will both discover. I love you always.

I'll love you when you're dumb, I'll love you when you're smart,

I'll love you anyway, you are right from the start.

I'll love you if you're tall, I’ll love you if you're short,

I'll love you if you're pretty, or just an ugly dork.

I'll love you if you're toothless, I'll love you if you're blind,

Anything that's wrong with you, to me you'll be just fine.

My heart is opening up now, unlike it used to do,

I see the pain that's in your heart and sometimes I feel it too.

I'll love you tomorrow, I'll love you today,

 

I'll love you forever, and forever always. (Poem by Hailey Sturgill)

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13 Jul 2016

An Analogy on Rings by Dito & Neny

Dito & Neny by Adi

Let me start off my story with my personal analogy on wedding rings. As more young couples are on the verge of getting married, this particular accessory is very important. Not because of what it symbolizes, a never-ending circle of love and commitment; but more on is it ‘big’ enough, is it ‘sparkly’ enough and whether it represents who you are as a person. They don’t see the cuts and scratches, as it’s usually hidden underneath the finger.

For me, this represents what a relationship is. Not mine exclusively, but everyone’s. Relationships sometimes look easy when the couple are always laughing, hugging, kissing and doing everything together. This is the ‘sparkle’ from their display of affection that is seen by their surroundings. However, what they don’t see are the fights, the bad times, and the difficulty of a holding on to a long-lasting commitment.

Going into our story, we’ve definitely had great times through the 6 years together, but there were also times in our relationship where I wanted to give up and throw the ‘rings’ that we’ve created and molded through the years, down the drain. Some were due to hormonal reasons – yes I admit to being very unstable and hormonal most of the times, but there were one or two that really shook us up and made me rethink of our future together.

To end my analogy, I'll show you what Dito has to say (about me) and explain why ‘rings’ with old scratches and cuts are always worth fighting for when they might mean nothing in hard times.

“ Our relationship is more than just mere dates, holding hands, or kissing. It’s about accepting each other’s weirdness and flaws. I don’t need someone who sees the good in me. I need someone who sees the bad and still wants me. I don’t know a perfect woman, but I know a flawed girl who is still worth loving.

The love that I know after being with you for 6 years doesn't sit there like a stone. It has to be made, and be rejuvenated all the time. It isn't easy and it must be fought for. That’s why I promise I’ll help you up when life gets you down and don't forget to smile and never frown. For you have walk into my life and you have made me see why.

“I do not love you because you are beautiful, but you are beautiful because I love you.”

 

With love,

 

Dito & Neny

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12 Jul 2016

Oh, Love!

Andree & Elsa by Donny

 

“Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good. Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God. Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.” (Thomas a Kempis) 

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01 Jul 2016

Jan & Della

The Prewedding & Wedding by Ivan

If there’s one thing that Jan and Della love more than they love each other, it’s Totoro. And if there’s one thing I remember from their pre-wedding portraits session in Japan, it’s Totoro. Yes, this couple love the character so much they had to incorporate that into their pre-wedding shoot. In order to have Totoro in the shoot and to make the scene feel like a page out of a comic book, we had to move things around, think about the concept most suitable, arrange the for the actual balloon to be present which involves carrying the ballon (which was quite heavy and not light at all) across the parks, coordinate the outfits so that it won’t look out of place, and subsequently, the rest of the scenes needed to be arrange accordingly as well. You could say that it was quite a bit of work, but was it all worth it? Yes, it was definitely worth it. All the work paid off once I saw the happy look on both their faces. It was a memory that was worth preserving; it’s great for them to remember that at this particular season of their lives, Totoro was a huge part of it, and that’s the kind of things they would want to remember. 

I had to give my hats off to Jan, because as a wedding photographer, he really knew what he wanted and what he needed to bring into the shoot. I guess that is one of the perks of having a wedding photographer as a client. Aside from really loving the fact that he knew what he wanted, I really loved that he didn’t mind the hard work of making it happen. 

As a pre-wedding and wedding photographer, I am used to seeing people make the extra effort for their big day. They voluntarily go the extra mile and call it “sacrifice”. Yes - sacrifice can mean anything. From giving up the things that they like, to working harder than they thought, to investing their time… all in the name of love and making their wedding day the most memorable day of their lives. That is sacrifice. I love seeing that because it really tells me that they really know what they need to put in to make the relationship work, and more importantly, to make their partners happy. Sacrifice to prioritize each other. I just hope that they continue to do so, even after they have kicked off their dancing shoes and hung their wedding dresses at the back of the closet. 

Jan and Della, to be with you through the process of your wedding planning and to witness you on the day you were joined as one, I can see just how much sacrifice you have made to make each other happy. You and I know that all those hard work we did in Japan - all the loads we had to lug around, all the costumes we had to change into - everything was worth it, because those are the memories that would last forever. As you enter a new season of life, I just want to remind to continue to sacrifice whatever you need to make each other happy. Because, and here is the truth, there is nothing that will make you happier than seeing the happiness of the one you love most. 

Congratulations again on your marriage, my friends. Enjoy the journey! 


Cheers,

 

Ivan 

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24 Jun 2016

Hello again!

Safety & Febe by Jan

Hi everyone! It’s good to be back on the blog. Since I last posted anything on this space, I’ve gotten married! My wife and I are currently in Paris, honeymooning (okay well, with a little bit of work on the side.) Sometimes I still can’t wrap my mind around this new fact. It’s crazy yet amazing at the same time. It’s crazy amazing! I’ve seen people get married, I watched them as they entered their new lives, I’ve shared their emotions… However, I realized that I never really understood the weight of this sanctimonious event and how a bride and groom feels until I experienced it myself. Even today, I still find myself at loss for words to say just how grateful I am to finally tie myself to the one person I love most; my better half, my best friend, my wife. 

I feel like marriage has opened a new eyes for me. I seem to have gained a new perspective when it comes to photographing couples. You could say that marriage has somewhat influenced my work. And in a good way, because I seem to have a new understanding towards chemistry and romantic interaction. You’d think that marriage will take a while to settle in, right? Yeah, I thought so too… But truth be told, it was as if, within that day, something inside of me was unlocked and I gained an insight I had never seen or experienced before. 

Although there are still a few kinks that my wife and I have to work on regarding to settling into our new lives, we’re very much looking forward to what lies ahead of us. And although I may not clearly have a perfect understanding on marriage (just like everyone else in this world), I can finally see what my married wedding photographer friends actually see. And I am looking forward to see what other influence this new journey will bring to my work. 

In the mean time, I would like to share with you my last work before I got married - the prewedding album of Safety and Febe, made in my favorite city, Melbourne Australia. 

 

Cheers,

 

Jan

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23 Jun 2016
All the way to the bottom already?