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australia

Portraits in Gold Coast, Australia: Jamie & Ann

Photographer: Grace, assisted by Alex
Videographer: Net Productions

Years ago, Ann was told to chase after Jamie. Literally. On the soccer field. She had never really played soccer before, so she didn’t really know what to do. Ann was told to just follow after Jamie and run after him. The fun never stopped. After many encounters and long chats, Jamie finally asked Ann over MSN whether she thought there could be more between them than just friendship. Ann, being the creative person that she is, decided not to give him a direct answer there and then. She was in Melbourne then and Jamie in Brisbane, so Ann decided to answer him by baking cookies.

Yes, cookies.

In the shape of letters.

And even then, it wasn’t a straightforward answer. Jamie had to unscramble the letters to make a sentence. But when the cookies arrived in Brisbane via post, some letters were broken, so he had a really hard time making out the words. Jamie was breaking out in cold sweat as he tried to make sense of the words. “Stupid”? It was just too difficult.

Eventually, Ann sent him a photo of the cookies with what it was supposed to say…

“Yes I’d love to”

Ann styled the shoot and brought all these props that you see in the following images. She had sourced for them in Melbourne, and it traveled all the way to Gold Coast for our shoot! All I did was choose the best location for the shoot, direct & pose them, and take the images. :)

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My return to Brisbane

It’s been 11 years since I graduated and left Australia. Brisbane holds many fond memories for me… 3 years is a considerable amount of time to spend in a country. Today, I landed in Coolangatta airport and traveled by train to Brisbane city. Proudly, I showed Alex where one place relates to another, where my university was, and related stories about how I used to travel around by bus and car, and even driving to Sydney and back from Brisbane in my old 1985 Honda Civic. Yup, my friends and I made it without the car breaking down.

Seeing my old room in my uncle’s home where I used to stay for 3 years made me a little sentimental. It’s funny, I think I recognize the 3 plastic gerberas that are sitting in a vase in that room. I am sure those were the flowers I left behind 11 years ago. Gerberas were my favourite flower then.

After our first meal in Australia (dim sum at a Chinese restaurant, haha!), we went to visit Jeta Gardens, a retirement and aged care resort that is based on eastern values and philosophies. My uncle sits on the board of directors and ever since we heard about it, we knew we wanted to visit the place.

In Malaysia, if you talk about going to a retirement home, there is a stigma involved. Most people would feel guilty about ‘abandoning’ their parents at an old folks home. No one wants to be left behind at a place where they sit, stare at the 4 walls and await their ‘time’. At Jeta Gardens, there is a completely different mindset. People who come here are at various stages of their life. They see this place as a resort, a place where their needs can be met, a place to socialize and make new friends, and to be independent. Some of the elderly who live here are really able-bodied. They can drive, are fit and full of life. Then there are those that need 24 hour care.

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An Intimate Beach Wedding: David & Risa

Photographers: Grace & Mark
Wedding Gown: The Wedding Shoppe, Inc.
Location: The Andaman, Langkawi

18 guests flew all the way from Japan and Australia to Langkawi to attend the wedding of David & Risa. It was a small, intimate wedding filled with lots of emotions. Tears flowed freely, and love was expressed in its purest form. I couldn’t hold back my emotions, as I saw the strong bond between family members, friends and David & Risa. This is definitely one of my favourite weddings. I compiled a slideshow to showcase the many different photos as I cannot include so many in this blog post. I do hope you’ll enjoy this set of images as much as I did creating them.

Here’s David’s and Risa’s story…

We met in Japan in 2004. Actually, although we don’t like to admit it, we met in an English conversation school. I was teaching there and I met Risa, who was a student there at the time, a couple of weeks before I was due to finish my contract. We started dating and I moved in with her a couple of months after that.

Then, I had to leave Japan and return to my own country. We had only been together a few months and I wasn’t prepared for how difficult it was to say goodbye. I think I decided then that we needed to do our best to stay together, somehow. I had actually assumed that we would break up when I left, but I found that very difficult to come to terms with.

Anyway, Risa came to visit me in Australia about three months after I had returned.  She then came to live there for a year (after a difficult 11 month long term relationship period), and after that we came back to Japan, where we’ve been since mid 2007.  It was around November or December last year when I began to seriously think about proposing.  Although we had talked about it many times, I had not really given much thought to actually doing it.  We had been together for almost 6 years and had toughed out some pretty difficult times, with the long distance period, the bi-cultural relationship and all the complications that come with that, and it dawned on me that there was no reason not to. I certainly couldn’t imagine spending my life with anyone else, so we took a trip to Malaysia and ended up at the Andaman on Langkawi island, where I proposed.  Now, a year later, we’re returning to finish the job!

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