Newborn Portraits: Ahmed & Balqish

Ahmed & Balqish’s baby is blessed to have two good-looking parents, of Saudi Arabian and Malaysian heritage. Perhaps one day, she might follow in the footsteps of her mom who is a traveller, a public personality and a youtuber. When the family came to the studio for their mini session, the little one kept exercising her lungs (By the way, that’s normal in most photo sessions involving babies!). Eventually, she calmed down, enough for Jennifer to get the shots she needed. Congratulations on the birth of your baby, Ahmed and Balqish Maarif!

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Divya & her colourful family

Divya describes her family as colour to a white canvas. They wanted this photo session done with the immediate family as 2016 is such a significant milestone for them as a family.

Divya says: My mom and dad only had two girls. My sister Sandy (that’s what we call her) got married first and my parents were elated to have a son in the family. So technically my brother in law Rohen is the apple of the family. They then had a daughter, Maya, who was the sole grandchild for a good 4 years. She continues to remain as the princess of our family.

I got married last year and my parents got another Son in the family. My sister and I now jokingly complaint that our husbands have become more important to my parents than we are! (It may not be a joke… it actually may be the truth!.. lol) My dad was over the moon to have two sons on his camp as he has always been surrounded by my mom, sis and me who have talked his hair off his head :)

2016 was an eventful year for my parents they went from being grandparents to one little princes to having 3 additions to the family. AND all three were BOYS! of course you can imagine the excitement! We want to be able to capture that transition from just the 4 of us mom, dad, my sister and me to the whole lot of us now… our characters pretty much speak for itself. As a family we may seem loud (but aren’t all families?) and we love just being us. With the kids and us it can be a riot but it is what makes us who we are.

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You Made me a Mother

This Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a poem that I came across on Facebook, written by this lady, Melanie Tan. It’s a really lovely piece adapted from another similar poem. I love how she has captured the feeling of motherhood through these lines. Wishing all amazing mothers out there, a Happy Mother’s Day.

20150429_FAMILY_NICO_MURIEL_YASMIN_27Two blue lines,
Tears, excitement and fears
Will I be a good mother?
Can I survive child birth?
I wasn’t ready

Then, the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard
Hearing your heartbeat for the first time
That fast paced rhythm
I told myself, I can do this

I felt you
Your first kick
I smiled
Your first in-vitro hiccups
I laughed

Suddenly, you were here
Daddy’s nose, mummy’s lips
and those eyes
staring at me when we first met
and I fell in love

I held you, fed you
You cried and I cried
Our 3am staredowns
Sleepless nights

That smell of your head
Little wandering hands
A sniff, a kiss
While you gently suckle on my breast
You doze off
With droplets of love on your lips
I wipe them off and put you down gently
Thinking how much I will miss this
When you grow older

But there are also times I wanted to give up
Then you smile at me
Your cheeky wide grin
And you grab my hands with those little fingers
I pick myself up and console myself
This only gets better

We are growing together
Seeing the world as new
I’ll open my heart and shower you with love
You’ll giggle and I’ll do it all over again
And we’ll walk hand in hand
Until you let go
and explore the world with your two little feet
and I’ll be right behind you
Cheering you on
Or to catch you when you fall
Wherever you need me most
I’ll be there, always

I made you…

But you made me a mother.

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Photography and the Art of Documenting Life

I am a photographer because I love to document life. I feel privileged every time a client invites us to be a part of their life – whether it is photographing a union between two people who are totally and utterly in love with each other or documenting a baby’s first week of his life. It means so much to me because it shows that as a person, they are willing to be vulnerable in front of my lens, trusting me to capture them as who they are and in so doing, connecting with their souls.

I am enriched as a person because I see the fabric that makes us human… this emotion called love that binds us together and transcends culture and religion. Photographing people has always been my passion. I am drawn into this art because people captivate me. As the years go by and I hone my skills as a photographer, I realise the key word that stands out to me most is “authenticity”.

This word drives me to create images that are real. It pushes me to ask myself…

Is this emotion real?
Can I know a person through my images?
What does this image tell me about life?

I was originally drawn to photography because of the world of photojournalism. The images I saw were inspiring, real and gave me insight into someone’s life. It had truth in it.

Which brings me to the images I create for my own family.

As time goes by, I realise that the little things I cherish most are not necessarily the big events in life (yes, they have a special place in my heart), but it is in the daily, ordinary things of life that we take for granted most of the time. Now that I am a mother of two, I feel the cliche phrase “Time flies” really does hold its ground. “The days may seem long, but the years are short”, I was told by a friend.

Almost 10 years ago, I said my vows to this amazing man, Alex. The wedding felt like a fudge pot of random memories fueled by images captured by my photographer then. My pregnancy… well, how quickly those 9 months went by. Suddenly I had a newborn, then an infant and now a toddler who spews out “why, mom??!” every so often.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Now I have two.

I photograph my family as they are because I want to remember as much as I can (considering I am a forgetful person!). The beauty of documentary photography is that we get to relive daily life as if it were just yesterday. The joy of showering my newborn. The pain and glories of breastfeeding. Random bubble blowing sessions in our front yard. I want to remember these little things in life.

How much we love each other as a family. How we look like daily, eye bags and all.


20131201_KRYSTA_1728Krysta approves of dad’s choice for dinner

GT1_1584Feeding both babies at one go…

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