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Musings

A Photography Workshop on Storytelling & Branding with WPM


I was recently invited to conduct a session on Photography: The Art Storytelling & Branding at Women Photographers Malaysia’s first-ever workshop! It was hosted at Citizen M Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, gathering about 20 of us from different backgrounds – the organisers, participants, our talents, and fellow photographers – all who shared one common interest: a love for this art.

It felt good to be connected with these photographers – some were already full time photographers, others were considering on making it as their career, or were hobbyists and even students who want to learn more.

When I was planning the workshop, I knew I wanted to run it in a way that was more than just a theoretical session. For me, it was important that participants could go back with real thoughts that would challenge them where they are, at whatever stage they might be at.

So I was really glad when many came up to me after the workshop to tell me what they experienced and learned in just three hours. Here are some other feedback message I received:

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Dancing Around KL City Centre

As a Canon EOS ambassador, I get to test out the new EOS R5 and a few lenses, namely the RF 15-35mm f2.8 and 85mm f2.0 macro. I contacted my friend, Joanna Koleth, who is an amazing dance-artist, and some other amazing vendors who made this shoot happen. Soon, we were doing jumps around KL city centre. This shoot is part of a bigger project, one that involves a few other photographers. But that is yet to be revealed. The theme of the shoot revolves around this word, Harmony.

When conceptualizing the shoot, I thought about this word and what it means to me. A quick Google search revealed the meaning of harmony as “the state of being in agreement or concord.” As a Malaysian, I truly desire a state where the people in our land can live in harmony with each other. Our country is full of culture and heritage, and we’ve gone through good and bad seasons since celebrating our independence in 1957.

Learning how to balance our diversity with unity is not easy. Harmony is not just an outward appearance of accepting each other, it’s respecting each individual as they are. It’s also about merging old and new mindsets so that we can grow as a nation.

It’s a delicate dance.

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Lessons I Learnt in 14 Years of Marriage

It was 14 years ago, exactly on this date that I said my vows at my dream wedding. I had 200 guests seated at the garden of the Palace of the Golden Horses, all dressed in shades of purple or white. It was the perfect day. There was a cool breeze that day, and everything went smoothly, despite a little accident that broke a portion of the trishaw I was transporting from Malacca for the ceremony that day.

14 years flew by, it wasn’t short, but it didn’t feel so long either. I do not remember the personalised vows I said that day but thank God for videos…all the memories were recorded beautifully. I was an idealistic 27 year old bride. I believed in true love and I found it. But I didn’t know how much work it takes to stay in love.

I’ve learnt many lessons over these 14 years. It took me some time to learn them, so if I could speak to my 27 year old self, I’d say…

The romance may disappear but true love is deeper than just feelings

The commitment we made to one another that day was the seal that brought us together. The heart palpitations faded after a while, but it didn’t mean I was less in love with the man I married so many years ago. The love I feel now is much deeper because of my understanding of who he is, and how much he tries to make things work for the family.

Change yourself first

We had a difficult first year of marriage trying to understand each other. In between tears and feelings of insecurity, I had to come to terms with my own weaknesses. If you accept responsibility for your own actions, your marriage will thank you for it.

If you want the fun and adventure to carry on, you need to make time for it

Life goes on after a while. The bills need to get paid, children come along, and soon, the only excitement you get is to choose which movie to watch on Netflix that night. We really had to make time for date nights where we spent time talking or exploring some new activity. This is even more important after the children are born.

Make time to listen

Even though we work in the same office, there were days when we just breezed through life without saying anything significant to one another. I had to learn to listen with undivided attention so that I could understand his needs. Frequent conversations was the key that made us feel connected.

Always forgive

We might have differing opinions, but we always attempt to resolve issues before sleeping. We need to remember that we are on the same side, not against one another. If there is a problem, it’s our problem, not the other person’s problem. Through the years, we had to learn what it means to speak kindly in the midst of a disagreement.
Ultimately, the very cord that holds us together is our love for Jesus Christ. It’s our belief system that kept us unified all these years. 14 years and counting.

If you would like to follow my marriage and parenting journey, please head on to Comma: Rethink Life.

DIY: How to Make Your Own Lightbox

It’s a DIY day again! Now you might wonder, photography isn’t my profession, so why would I want to make a mini lightbox? Well… besides being a fun craft activity when you make one, a mini lightbox can come in very handy for anyone.

For example, if you want to sell off second-hand items online, you need to take a photo of each item and upload it. Using a mini light box will make your photos look super professional – just like the product photos you see on shopping stores online. Grab the attention of potential buyers faster, declutter your life, and earn some extra cash in the process!

So let’s begin.

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How To Make A DIY Notebook With Old Photos

Remember the days where you would print out all your photos – even the most random ones? Well, if they’re still around – don’t throw them! Use them to make a DIY notebook! And if you have tons of scrap paper lying around – especially the ones that were only used on one side – this DIY hack will help you save some trees.

Some people cut them in half to create a raw notepad like this:

But why not take it a step further, and personalise your notebook so it looks more like this one below?

Here’s what you need:

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