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Studio Family Portraits: Elisa, Phil & Eva

Every parent would share the story of how their child has deviously wrapped them up tightly around his/her little finger, despite the determined declarations that it would never happen. But if we are truly honest with ourselves, we’d tearfully admit that the child is queen. Or king. Yup, just look at that face. Who could ever say no to that kind of cuteness?

20140912_FAMILY_ELISA_PHIL_EVA_083Eva is one lucky baby, adored by her parents Phil & Elisa, her aunt Melisa and grandmum Amina. Even at 3 months of age, she has a personality of her own… cute, cheeky, loves baths but hates onesies that go over her head.

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Maternity & Family Portraits: Chee Seng, Sze Min & Katelynn

Chee Seng & Sze Min and Alex & I have a lot in common, really. We have individually conquered Mt Kinabalu before, are certified divers, have 2 daughters that are the same age (1.5 years) and are expecting our 2nd child in the same year! Oh, and we live in PJ too, just 10 minutes apart!

The difference is that they dated for 10 years and were married in 2011. Alex and I dated for 2 years and married in 2006. :)

It was great getting to know this little family early one weekday morning at their apartment in PJ. Our main purpose was really to just capture moments together that are classic, timeless and real. Honestly, Sze Min and I share the same values when it comes to photographing our children. We feel that time flies so quickly and everyday is a new learning experience with the child. It sounds cliched, but it is true… they DO grow up way too quickly! And part of being a kiasu parent is the feeling that we don’t want to miss a single experience in their childhood years.

Even when I look back at the photos of my daughter just a few months ago, I notice her facial features have changed somewhat. I am really glad that it is relatively cheaper nowadays to photograph our families as compared to the days of our parent’s time! Developing film was pricey (and 1 roll was only 36 shots!)! There were no such thing as lifestyle portrait shoots (If you wanted a family portrait, you’d just get one done at the studio, and you only get 1 image!). Now we can shoot in burst mode even on our phones and seriously not think about it.

The downside is that most of us don’t even print most of these images, and the value of photos as it is, goes down when you have an overabundance of images all stored… somewhere.

But a well taken family portrait will be cherished for years and years to come.

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Family Portraits: Simon & Monique

Simon and Monique live in the UK, but were back for a short holiday in Malaysia, where they decided to have a family shoot together. Unfortunately, on the day of the shoot, they got terribly lost getting to our shoot location since they haven’t been driving around Malaysian roads for a while. Monique’s mom, dad and aunt had arrived but we had to try our best to give them manual directions since she didn’t have a smart phone on her. I can’t believe how much we rely on Google maps and GPS etc. I remember years ago, I had to read and place stickers on a STREET DIRECTORY book before I head out for any shoot. Needless to say, getting there was a huge source of stress for me.

Well, eventually, they found their way, but was naturally quite flustered by the time they got to the location. I had the task of calming everyone down and having to come up with beautiful family photos, and make a good experience out of it. So a photographer’s job not only involves technical aspects, but people skills too, all the time! Good thing was that grandparents immediately smiled when they saw cute little Ethan. It was his first time seeing his Malaysian family on this trip! What a trooper he was, cause I am sure it wasn’t easy posing and smiling in humid KL weather.

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Welcome to Holland: Life with Down Syndrome

My first encounter with a Down Syndrome child happened while I was in Malacca, growing up as a teenager. I visited the Salvation Army frequently because of church. It was there that I met this boy… who seemed rather different. It’s sad to think that as a child, I was never educated about loving everyone equally, no matter how different they seem to me. Recently, I photographed a child with Down Syndrome, and honestly, I didn’t even realize it until her mom told me about the situation at the end of the session. She was still beautiful in my eyes. As a mom now, I felt an ache in my heart, and yet, I also wanted to pour out my love to this child… to tell her that she is very, very much loved.

This set of photos and story about Nella’s birth really touched my heart.

But the analogy below really stirred me. I never thought about it that way… it is so beautiful.

Holland

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by Emily Perl Kingsley.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

Family Portraits: Calvin & Audrey

I am excited to show you this set of photos which Weiming and I had done for Calvin & Audrey’s beautiful family- it’s one of those shoots that makes me glad about being a photographer. There’s really so much joy in seeing family portraits turn out great in post-processing (Thanks to our intern Digital Artist, Cheryl!) makes my heart flutter.

Calvin & Audrey were one of our former clients who hired us for their actual day wedding photography. Now that their little bundle of joy, Mikaela has come into the picture, it’s time for another photography session!

Weiming and I had a lot of fun during the shoot. Calvin & Audrey are cool parents, which made the whole photo session very enjoyable.

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