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Running a Business

Merry Christmas from all at Integricity

The past few weeks have been filled with wedding and family shoots as everyone takes advantage of the holiday season to get some portraits done or get married! I have so many photos to share from the past few months but sadly, have been delayed in getting them posted online. 2015 has been a good year for us despite the implementation of the GST affecting everyone’s spending. Together with the team, we have photographed 45 wedding couples and 101 families. I thank God for an amazing team as always, spear headed by the ever awesome key people at Stories… Weiming, Jamie and Chi Yin. Not forgetting others like Diane, Nigel, Johan, Delvin, Choo Cherk and our latest intern, Hui En.

Do view our Facebook or Vimeo page for the latest updates in our work! In the meantime, our group of companies, Integricity, wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


By the way, have a look at some really cool DIY Christmas gift ideas in a jar at this site! Have a great holiday, everyone!

On the hunt for adventure!

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.

Monday Blues

There are days when you just get home from work, and all you want to do is continue working because the tasks never end. And yet you feel tired and a split second later, tell yourself, that work can wait till tomorrow. It feels like an almost vicious cycle…. even if this whole entrepreneurship journey started as a passion because you love your job. It has been a little like that lately… I even notice myself looking a little more grumpy in the mirror with more wrinkles.

Strangely enough, I come alive when it’s time to photograph a family or a couple. Adrenaline kicks in and I am in my ‘zone’… all energetic once again. Perhaps it’s the curse of the artistic entrepreneur – you get excited doing all these creative work, but the daily routine ‘business’ tasks bog you down. I feel stressed and worry about a lot of things. I feel sorry for my staff who sometimes sees a really serious, grouchy and stressed personality at the office! (Love you all, keep being your cheerful selves!).

Guess it’s not easy writing something like this, being authentic to yourself and others. But in order to be true to my soul, I have to be honest about everything. So this is my way of speaking to myself and saying, that maybe, I just need to look up and lighten up a bit.

I must say that coming home to two small smiley (one very drooly) beings makes me really really happy. Their hugs makes the world a lot better again. So tonight, the hubby and I decided to bring them out for a weekday ice-cream treat (ok, only one can truly enjoy that, since the other is too young to eat ice-cream). Simple pleasures in life of just being in the moment.

And since every post is better with photos, here’s a few images that we took from a day out with the kids at the local fire station visit last week.



GST Information please!

For the past few weeks, there has been a flurry of activity… businesses sorting out their accounts, repricing services or goods, consumers mass purchasing groceries… all because of the GST that will be implemented by the Malaysian government this 1st April. I must say, I too was caught up in this whole hype (or dread, to some!)… I bought some new dining chairs for my home, after procrastinating for years!

What is GST?

As explained on the official Malaysian GST websiteGST (Goods & Services Tax), which is also known as VAT or the value added tax in many countries is a multi-stage consumption tax on goods and services.

In Malaysia, we are now charged 6% GST on top of the services rendered or goods purchased. To put things into perspective, there are many countries all over the world who have been charging GST for years. Let’s see… Singapore (7%), Australia (10%), Indonesia (10%), UK (20%!!!).
Source: http://www.vatlive.com/vat-rates/international-vat-and-gst-rates/

How does GST affect my booking with Stories?

The mother company that runs Stories, Integricity Visuals Sdn Bhd is a GST registered company. If you are interested to find out GST information about our company, please click here.

So, to keep it simple, if you make a booking with us at Stories, you will be charged GST if:
1. You are residing in Malaysia, and the shoot is done within Malaysia or overseas.
2. You are residing overseas, but the shoot is done within Malaysia.

GST will not be charged to you if:
1. You are residing overseas, and the shoot is done overseas.

Hope that clarifies! As a note, we did not raise the price for any of our services. We look forward to having a good year with you!


Couldn’t have done it without teamwork

The past few weeks have been hectic, to say the least. On the 9th of October, I delivered a beautiful baby boy, whom we named Kyle Ezra Lam. My birth story is really a huge testimony unto God but I’ll save that for another blog post! And just last week, my dad fell ill, was hospitalised and passed away at the age of 81. I have been emotionally and physically drained from all that running around AND recovering from a c-sec operation. Before going on maternity leave, I hardly had time to rest because September was a busy month with 10 wedding shoots, lots of lifestyle shoots, a photography exhibition at Art Square in Bangsar, and an Ibu Tots fair at Publika.

It’s times like these that make me even more thankful for a wonderful team of people who have walked alongside me. Without them, everything wouldn’t have been possible.

Diane – For holding the fort when it comes to enquiries, communication with so many different clients and all with their own different needs, and for making time despite all of my demands to even do family shoots. Juggling this role is a really difficult and extremely time consuming one, but you never complained and you give 110% all the time. Thanks also for coming to take photos of my dad’s funeral last week.

Weiming, Nigel & Jamie – My core photography team! For tirelessly working on wedding shoots especially, editing till your eyes go a little blurry from seeing thousands of photos and creating albums and slideshows diligently. You guys (and gal!) are the backbone to Stories. People usually only see what happens in the forefront during a shoot, but they don’t see the hours of dedication that you guys put into every single image that comes back after that. I am so proud of all of you and how well you’ve done. I am especially pleased whenever I see beautiful images coming back after every single wedding.

Weiming, you are juggling many roles as well, but what I admire most is your sense of excellence that you place on everything you do. You always want to give your best, not just to the work that you do, but to the things you hold dear to your heart. Nigel, I love your can-do attitude, and really easy-going nature that makes you such a joy to work with! Jamie… you add fun and laughter to the team and always welcome a challenge, even though I sometimes place you in difficult situations! 

Chi Yin – Though you are new to the team, but your dedication, hard work and efficiency can be seen clearly! Keep up the good work in shooting videos and editing them!

Johan & Ben – Your support through the years has really humbled me. I appreciate everything you have done for the team and for your ideas, energy and always giving your all! You are like family, no matter how far we go, the bond is always there.

Delvin, Nick, Felicia, Wee Liem, Joshua, King, Lester and many more – An amazing video team that always strives for excellence. A special mention to Delvin, Nick and Felicia especially as they have been really hardworking the past few weeks. Thank you for your contribution! Love all of your work!

Sara, our intern – Every little thing you do is a big contribution to us. Hope you are learning heaps and enjoy working with us!

And finally, my husband Alex – you are my everything. Enough said!

I look forward to more years of shooting together, and creating magic behind the camera!

If you’d like to read more about the team, please check out everyone’s profiles and work here.

Stories_teamoct2014A few of the team members here – (Left to right): Sara, Jamie, Nigel, Grace, Weiming, Chi Yin & Diane

ArtSquareExhibition01Art Square Exhibition of my images

20140920_IBU_TOTS_FAIR_004Ibu Tots Fair at Publika. 

20140920_IBU_TOTS_FAIR_09120140920_IBU_TOTS_FAIR_00920141009_KYLE_BIRTH_02The arrival of my 2nd child, Kyle Ezra Lam.