For Photographers Archives - Page 3 of 16 - Wedding, portrait photography & cinematic films: Stories.my

Two Middle-Eastern Weddings

Posted by | For Photographers, International, Life, Musings, Wedding Films & Videos, Wedding Slideshows, Weddings

libyan-wedding01Traditional Libyan wedding outfit

A few months ago, I was approached to photograph two very interesting weddings. Both were Middle Eastern weddings and required an all-female photography and videography team here in Kuala Lumpur. Since I love a challenge (despite not speaking Arabic) and have always been fascinated with Middle Eastern culture (I’ve read lots of biographies especially of women living in this region), I decided it would be wonderful if I could photograph these weddings! Somehow, I gained favour in the eyes of the couples, and my team was engaged to cover their events.

The first couple was from Yemen. They were originally meant to be wed in their home country, but because of the civil war that is still ongoing, they had to move their wedding to Malaysia. Up to one week before the wedding, they weren’t sure if their family could come for the wedding as the Yemen airport was closed due to unrest. Thankfully, the couple had already left Yemen by then, and were sure that at least they would be there to attend their own wedding! This couple have known each other for a few months before getting married.

yemeni-wedding03The second couple was from Libya. I really had a tough time communicating in English for this wedding but thankfully, even though I couldn’t understand their verbal language, I understood universal body language! I found out that this couple have only known each other for 2 months and that the groom worked with the bride’s father.

One common theme during the two weddings were the separation of gender during the parties. I knew that it would happen, but I never understood how it would unfold on the wedding day. Interestingly, both cultures had different standings on how strict they were on allowing men to view them unveiled. I am not sure if it was specific to these families, or it was a cultural thing. The Yemeni family I photographed was particularly strict about this, so there were two grand entrances (one with the bride only to a roomful of unveiled women), and then the bride and groom to the same room of women who covered themselves again before the groom entered the room. There was a lot of cheering, clapping and singing as the couple made their entrance. Many of the women who were at the Yemeni party specifically told us not to photograph or film them, so it felt a little strange for me to mainly focus on the couple during the wedding. Naturally, I had to respect their wishes but it was not possible to completely ignore all guests! (one lady specifically made me delete her photo from my camera when she saw that I had photographed her). I found it challenging knowing who I could photograph and who I couldn’t.

However, at the Libyan wedding, the guests kept on asking for photos (repeatedly and in many different poses)! It was quite entertaining, really! Read More

To Diet with Photoshop or Not, that is the question…

Posted by | For Photographers, Life, Musings

whattheduck-photoshop

This issue has come up every now and then in our conversations with clients. It usually goes like this…

“My arms are huge. I want to hide it… or maybe you can Photoshop it smaller after our shoot…”
“Can you make my face look less round with Photoshop?”
“I don’t like my tummy. It’s very easy to Photoshop, right?”

(Random info: By the way, Photoshop shouldn’t be used as a verb, meaning, all those ways of describing Photoshop at the top is not the correct usage of the word. Read more here)

So, back to our conversation. While I understand that not everyone loves EVERY part of themselves equally (hey, I have a tummy too, after two kids!) and hope their photographer is a magician, I think editing an image too much in Photoshop is a distortion of reality. We would much rather use the right choice of angles & lenses, lighting and cropping to make you appear slimmer, rather than relying on Photoshop to solve all these ‘problems’. Naturally, in an event like a wedding where everything moves so quickly, it’s not possible to make sure every angle is a ‘perfect’ one for you. (By the way, we did have a request once by a bride to only shoot her from the right side during the entire wedding. Uhm… not possible!?)

We usually edit our images to enhance the colour and contrast, and when we create an album, we work on making skin a bit more flawless (but not plastic fake). So if a request such as the above comes to us, we will work on it for the album or print, but it will be done minimally and realistically. We really do not believe in creating a false representation of someone through editing.

After all, what kind of satisfaction would it get if you looked at your photos and saw ‘perfection’ but when you look in the mirror, you feel sad and upset?

BOUDOIRInterestingly, I wrote this post some time ago but hesitated to share it, until I read another photographer’s post that came out recently about a similar topic. Victoria Caroline who photographs boudoirs wrote in her Facebook post:

“Hi Victoria,
I am (blank)’s husband, ********. I am writing to you because I recently received an album containing images you took of my wife. I don’t want you to think that I am in any way upset with you….but I have some food for thought that I would like to pass on to you. I have been with my wife since we were 18 years old, and we have two beautiful children together. We have had many ups and downs over the years, and I think…well, actually I KNOW that my wife did these pictures for me to “spice things up”. She sometimes complains that I must not find her attractive, that she wouldn’t blame me if I ever found someone younger. When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These pictures…while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer….they are not my wife. You made every one of her “flaws” disappear…and while I’m sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years. I am not telling you all of this to make you feel horrible, you’re just doing your job and I get that. I am actually writing you to thank you. Seeing these images made me realize that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I LOVE her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder.

Regards”

It was a real reminder to her about altering the reality of life through her images.

I believe everyone is beautiful, and confidence comes from how you carry yourself in front of the camera. Practice looking at yourself in the mirror daily, and reminding yourself of the traits that make you a beautiful person on the inside. Even if you started with hesitation, I guarantee, over time, your face will naturally glow from this confidence.

And then, trust your photographer to create the best possible portrait of you, that is true to yourself.

On the hunt for adventure!

Posted by | For Photographers, Musings, Relationships, Running a Business

It’s been 4 years and 4 months since the ever bubbly Diane stepped into the Stories studio, making it a really happy place to work. Everyone who has been through the Stories door as a client (or potential!) over the past 4 years have met Diane in some way or another. Either through the phone, email or in person. So it’s really sad that we bid her farewell today as she embarks on a new adventure in her life. She’ll be heading to New Zealand for a few months to work there doing the YOLO thing before mid life crisis hits (just kidding!). :)

Well Diane, we do wish you a wonderful adventure ahead and the office will definitely feel a lot quieter without you around. No more bursting into random songs, lame jokes or just sharing a story or two over the table. You’ve made my life so much easier the past 4 years and have been such a pillar for me. I appreciate all those nights you worked late and those weekends when you came into the office on your own, just sorting out shoots or some paperwork.

Your dedication to your work and to people really speaks volumes and it is a testimony of your desire to do things with excellence even though at times, it was really hard to achieve. I am sorry if I have been hard towards you in the past. I pray that you will discover God’s path for your life (and life partner!) as you seek Him the next few months.

A post would not be fun without photos, so here’s a slideshow we did recently for our dearie Diane.

Diane from Stories on Vimeo.

Vendor Highlight: Wishing Tree

Posted by | For Photographers, Musings, Tips + Ideas

One would agree that having floral arrangements are essential for weddings as it adds beauty and warmth. The person I know who does a good job at it would be Wishing Tree. I had the opportunity to sit down with the founder, Lily Chew to have a chat about her thoughts and insights on the designer floral business.

VendorHighlight-wishingtreeOriginally from Singapore, Lily married the love of her life in 1999, who happened to be Malaysian. Since then, she has resided in Malaysia. Through her husband’s encouragement, Wishing Tree started 3 months after she was married. She wanted to make good the time she had at hand by pursuing her passion. With their first branch in Bukit Tunku, they have now expanded many times beyond their original size. Recently, Wishing Tree moved to their new 3-storey premise in Sungai Besi. 16 years since their doors first opened, Lily’s continued passion only grew stronger and it gets better.

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