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The Secret to Beautiful Maternity Photos


Every pregnancy is a journey of self-discovery for the mother. No matter how many times you have gone through it, the experience is never the same. Recording every single milestone of this beautiful journey can be an exciting project, which you can share with your children in time to come.

There are mothers who are a little shy and insecure about looking frumpy in their maternity photos, but fear not! Here are some tips for you to achieve more beautiful pregnancy images. Of course, if you can hire a professional photographer to shoot your maternity pictures, that would be ideal!

1. Timing
If you’d like to keep a record of your baby bump growing, try to take the same shot with the same angle every month so that you can compare the size as your belly grows. Alternatively, if you are hiring a photographer for your maternity photos, the best timing to shoot would be around the 7th month as you are still energetic after your 2nd trimester. You can still choose to wait a little longer if you want to photograph a larger belly, but don’t leave it till the last minute!

2. Outfits
Choose outfits that accentuate the shape of your belly, or even expose it. You can opt to wear a short tube top paired with a skirt, a body fitting dress, or a sexy shirt, unbuttoned at the bottom. Sexy lingerie does the trick too. Don’t hide your protruding belly… it is what makes pregnant women so beautiful!


3. Good lighting
Keep it natural. Take photos next to windows or in areas that has lots of natural light. Avoid taking photos in fluorescent or down lights, as they create an unflattering, yellow-coloured cast on your belly. If there isn’t much natural light in your home, your house porch will do the trick!

For an outdoor shoot in the park, try not to head out when it’s too hot. The best timing would be in the morning before 9am or late evening after 5pm.

4. Props
Perhaps you might want to incorporate some props into your photo shoot, like letters that spell your baby’s name or cute little shoes. It’s a great way of personalising your photos.

5. Pamper yourself
Lastly, you should believe that you’re beautiful even when you’re pregnant, despite the swollen legs and probable weight gain. Before your photo shoot, treat yourself to a nice bubble bath and get a makeup artist to give you a makeover. If you feel beautiful, you’ll exude confidence through your images!

Maternity photos can be a special way to help you cherish the moments as it unfolds!

If you are interested in doing a maternity shoot, now is the perfect timing as we have a maternity & baby combo offer till the 11th of August. Read here to find out more.

Comma Pre-Marital Series 02: Five Love Languages

When I was younger and more naive, my perception of love was just this romantic feeling that you get… you know, butterflies in your tummy, your heart beating so hard you think you might collapse… My view of what love is deepened  after I read this book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. It has changed my view of love and how people communicate the idea of love. Watch this video to find out what I mean…

If you are interested to receive our notes, get the link to the Five Love Languages profile test, receive our Bookmarks newsletter, or would just like to be updated the next time a new video is released, please fill up this form below. And since my love language is “Word of Affirmation”, please do leave a word of encouragement below so we can continue doing videos like these. Thank you for the love! Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well.

Credits:

Script & Content Development by Grace
Filmed & Edited by Chi Yin
Music by John Dip Silas

Comma, Pre-Marital Series 01: Expectations Before Marriage


We’re so pleased to announce the launch of Comma! This video series has been on my mind since last year (as you can read from this post), so launching it has given me a sense of achievement. The purpose of these videos would be to create meaningful content that would help people in their marriage and family relationships.

Our first series focuses on Pre-Marital content… for example, expectations of your spouse before you get married, communication and handling conflict skills, our 5 love languages, finance, intimacy and more. We’ll be releasing these videos on our YouTube Channel, so please subscribe to that channel to follow our work.

Please watch our very first video on Expectations before marriage and share with us your thoughts. We would love from you!

Credits:

Script & Content Development: Grace
Filmed & Edited by: Chi Yin
Cover Photo: Jamie

Fugee School Documentary Videos

At the end of 2016, 4 of us from the Stories team made a special visit to Fugee School, an education hub for refugee kids in Kuala Lumpur. It was a time of getting away from our usual work to do other socially responsible photography and video related projects. In a way, it was something similar to what we did in Kelantan some years back with the flood victims. I met with Deborah Henry, co-founder of the school, to run through some ideas on what we could do for Fugee School, and we narrowed down our focus to a documentary style approach that would give some insight into these families and their life here in Malaysia.

We were blessed to have met two students, Yusra and Hafsa. Listen to their heartwarming stories in the video below, and support amazing organizations like Fugee School who work to make a difference to these children.

Credits:

Yusra’s Story
Photographed & filmed by Jamie & Chi Yin
Edited by Chi Yin
Creative direction by Grace

Hafsa & Hasan’s Story
Photographed & filmed by Grace & Jennifer
Edited by Chi Yin
Creative direction by Grace

8 Questions to ask your wedding photographer before hiring them

Choosing a wedding photographer may be one of the most important decisions you make before your big day. You can even say it comes a close second to choosing the right groom! Soon after the wedding, people will forget what your dress looked like, or how the cake tasted and or how good (or bad) the food and wine was, or even what was said during the speeches. But if you could capture those details in a photograph – the emotions on the people’s faces, the laughter, the tears – you could be transported back to that special day and relive it all over again.

That is why hiring the right photographer is so important! Every wedding photographer is different in their own unique style of work, so it’s a good idea to find out what makes them tick. Here’s what you should ask when you set an appointment to meet with your potential wedding photographer.

  1. Why do you love photographing weddings?

Most photographers are emotional beings who will gladly share their life story with you. Find out what gets your photographer excited, and look out for the gleam in their eyes when they tell their story. All the better if you feel an instant connection with them! As for me, I love photographing weddings because I get to be part of a momentous, historical moment in someone’s life. It’s about helping couples remember the happiness they felt on their wedding day, especially after the cake has been eaten and the decorations have been taken down. I consider it a privileged to be part of creating someone’s visual family heirloom.

  1. How do you ensure excellence is top priority?

Photographers provide a service, not just a product, and the amount of monetary investment should reflect excellence. Does the photographer appear detailed in communicating with you? Is he/she efficient in replying emails or has the courtesy to return your call when it is missed? Does your photographer ask you details about you as a couple or even your family? Showing our clients that we care is a big part of what we do. We even care about such details like whether your parents are divorced, because it helps us know how to be sensitive when taking family portraits during a wedding. A good photographer would know how to ask you these details either through a questionnaire or an arranged meet up prior to the wedding day.

  1. Do you have a contract?

Always hire a professional photographer who has a written contract, informing you of his/her promises to you and also listing the deliverables that you are receiving as a result of hiring them. It is important for your peace of mind and it protects both parties if there are any disputes along the way.

  1. Do you photograph back-to-back weddings?

Some photographers accept full day wedding shoots on Saturday and Sunday, which goes without saying, is really tiring! There are incidences where photographers drive 2-4 hours after a full day’s wedding shoot to another location, just to start again in another 2 hours! Usually, it might not affect the first couple as much, but sometimes, the photographer could be so physically tired the next day, that performance is affected. Naturally, some photographers are built with more stamina than others, and this scenario doesn’t affect them. It’s good to find out because physical exhaustion leads to mistakes and carelessness, which could end up with sub-standard photos for you.

  1. What are your backup processes?

For the non-initiated, this could be a hard one. Still, it is important you ask some of these questions. Does the photographer carry extra camera gear to your wedding? Are they using cameras with dual memory card slots so that back ups are done in camera? What about situations when your photographer falls sick and cannot shoot the wedding? If your photographer is part of a team, finding a back up photographer might be easier. How about what happens after the wedding is photographed, are there also other back ups on multiple hard drives? How long do they keep your wedding photos backed up for? We have had incidences of couples coming back to us 5 years after their wedding because they lost their wedding photos, asking if we still had copies of their photos! So it does happen.

  1. Do you edit your photos?

This is a really important question as some photographers deliver images as they are shot while some only edit a small selection and deliver the rest to you unedited. Or some would edit the entire set of images so that it looks consistent with the images on their website. It is time consuming but reflects on the photographer’s pride In their work. Knowing this will help you manage your expectations and avoid disappointment when the photos are delivered.

  1. How do you make life easier for overseas clients?

Does your photographer have the ability to accept credit card payments without any extra surcharge? Doing international bank transfers can sometimes be costly due to foreign exchange charges. Are there online galleries or album proofing softwares that enable you to view the images before it is delivered to you physically?

  1. What is your standard delivery time frame?

In today’s social media savvy generation, images need to be shared instantly. So if your wedding photos take 4-6 months to be ready, the excitement to share these photos would die quite undeniably. Acceptable delivery time frames would be 1-3 months after the wedding is photographed as most photographers usually have an editing backlog. Naturally, if your photographer is able to deliver the photos much faster, imagine your excitement at getting your photos within 2 weeks of your wedding date!

So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer, do take all these into consideration. If you find one that ticks all your requirements, you’ll know that you are in good hands. Then, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the journey to saying “I do”.

Contact us to find out more about our wedding photography or videography packages.