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Feature your wedding on an International Travel Channel

Hi everyone! We’re involved in a really cool, upcoming project and we’d love to get you involved too! It combines 2 of my favourite topics: Travel and Weddings.

For those who have been reading this blog for sometime, you might know that I started out my career in the local film and television line. For many years, I edited TV programs, dramas, films, documentaries… and also directed some episodes of various television programs. Then in 2007, I began to explore the world of weddings through my camera lens. You can read more about my history here.

So how is this relevant to what I am about to say?

Well, basically, we will be involved in a new project involving an international travel channel that broadcasts to 120 countries worldwide. No, this doesn’t mean that we are no longer photographing weddings. Every now and then, I believe in doing new things that will help fuel creativity, and though it’s been a while since I directed a TV program, this is something I’m excited to do.

So… this is where you come in.

We are looking to feature weddings in Malaysia, Indonesia (Bali), Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore. For each episode, we will feature one local couple and one couple who are traveling to that destination for their wedding. If you are getting married in these locations within the months of May-August 2012 and would love to have your wedding featured internationally on television, do contact us!

Please email grace.tan [at] stories.my with these details:

1. Your name & your fiance’s name

2. The location and date of your wedding

3. Why you think your wedding should be featured (or perhaps some unique details about your wedding plans)

4. Include a photo of the both of you

And that’s it! This is not a contest. We will select the couple based on the best story that fits our requirements. We are excited to hear from you, so do email us soon!

Wedding on the Float, Westin Langkawi: Stephen & Sarah

A wedding by the sea without sand?

Men in kilts?

A couple who are head over heels in love?

What a glorious combination! Stephen and Sarah’s wedding was filled with laughter, silliness, and lots of great memories. It didn’t matter that it rained on their wedding day. Everything came together beautifully.

I still remember the first time I met Stephen and Sarah at a Starbucks in Petaling Jaya, a couple of months ago. Sarah told me that though they wanted a beach wedding, she didn’t actually like sand getting between her toes. It made sense then that the Float at the Westin, Langkawi would make the perfect location for their beach wedding.

The day before the wedding, Alex and I arrived in Langkawi to meet the family and friends of the couple. I was really stoked that Stephen and Sarah were generous enough to put us up at the Westin… that was a really lovely birthday treat for me! That night, after a delicious dinner with Alex, we came back to our room to discover a surprise… a birthday cake from Stephen and Sarah! Thank you so much for being so thoughtful!

Ok, back to the wedding…

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Women: girls & International Women’s Day 2012

I’ve always believed in using your skills for a cause. Photography has always been a tool for me, something to express how I feel about a particular topic. When I travel, I use photography to show how awesome and diverse this world is. In weddings, my work becomes a record of someone’s life journey, and hopefully to remind them of that beautiful moment they said “I do”; years later when the eye bags and wrinkles appear. When I photograph families, I want them to cherish the most important people in their lives.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD), I collaborated with Capri Communications Sdn Bhd to bring forward yet another cause and purpose – to show how important it is that mentoring relationships are formed in every part of our life. The Women: girls campaign was created in line with IWD’s theme Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. The campaign aims to begin a connection to inspire and encourage a new network of exchanges between young girls and women. I think it’s really pertinent to life. I can remember many women I looked up to when I was young, women who inspired me to believe in myself and reach higher heights in life. My sister is definitely one of them.

The following series of images were created specifically for the Women: girls campaign. It features 10 local celebrities and 10 girls from underprivileged backgrounds. The photos were exhibited in Fahrenheit 88, KL for the past week. The celebrities share their thoughts on inspiration and what it means to them.

Some of the awesome thoughts that resonated with me:

“It’s a strong feeling and drive that I get from someone else that makes me believe I could do anything.”  – Julie Woon –
“Inspiration is that wonderful moment that makes you go wow and say, if she can do it I can do it too!” – Kartini Kamalul Ariffin –  

What are your thoughts on inspiration and who inspires you?

Julie Woon, Actress & TV Presenter with Gokila, 16 years

Datin Paduka Umie Aida, Actress with Valawanda, 17 years

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A Myanmar Refugee Wedding: Zwe & Stellar

Photographers: Grace & Weiming
Videographers: Alex & Monica
Wedding Gown: DUMC wedding ministry
Groom’s Suit: Alex’s suit
Make up & hair: Grace Wang (bride) & Katy K’ng (bridesmaids)

On the 19th of July, Alex and I received a phone call from Pastor Margaret of our church. It was a call for help. Two Myanmar refugees, Zwe and Stellar were about to start their new lives as husband and wife, and they needed some help with the wedding.

If you did not read the background story as to how Alex and I got involved with this wedding, you’ll need to do that in order to fully comprehend this post.

So at 10.30pm on the 20th of July, Alex and I drove to church for the wedding ceremony. I was elated to see the bride looking so radiant in a white bridal gown, provided by DUMC’s wedding ministry. Amazingly, some months ago, someone had donated a handful of second hand wedding gowns to DUMC. Considering Stellar is a really petite girl (about my size, 5 feet!), it was miraculous that she managed to find a gown that fit her perfectly (ok maybe it is a tad bit long). Now if only my wedding gown was not in a box somewhere, I could have loaned Stellar my gown and the length would have been perfect.

If Zwe had chosen to wear Alex’s wedding suit, that would have been pretty weird, to see someone else in my gown and in Alex’s wedding suit! (not that I would have minded).

But Zwe chose one of Alex’s beige suits instead, and I think he looked smashing in it!

Did you know that in Myanmar, 55 million people speak a variety of 111 languages, but majority of them speak the Myanmar language.(source: myanmar.net). The Myanmar script draws its source from the Brahmi script.

Translated into English, the bible passage featured below talks about love:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

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Updates, thoughts on business and time

One of my clients recently asked me, how do I find the time to blog, especially when my days are filled with meeting potential clients, going for shoots, sorting photos, checking through album layouts and responding to enquiries? (and on top of that, move house, move office and actually have a social life?)

My response is simple… I make time for it.

When I think back about it, I am amazed as well. Of course, there are days when I am overwhelmed with the workload. Since I started running my own business 3-4 years ago, I discovered that time is such an important asset. Everyday is a rush to complete the backlog of work that somehow manages to miraculously pile itself on my desk. Before I know it, a day has gone by, a week, a month, a year… where did the time go?

I am still learning the art of prioritizing my time. There are certain things I know I need to do, and those things are high on my priority list. Blogging is one of them. I feel it’s so important to have fresh content on the Stories blog, that no matter how busy I am, I must make time to blog. In my mind, blogging = marketing the Stories brand. How can I neglect something as important as marketing?

So yeah… I make time for it.

Here’s a simple update to what’s been happening the past one week:

Noel & Hui Yi’s pre-wedding shoot in Putrajaya

I love Pullman hotel for pre-wedding photography. The ambience is beautiful!

Kevin & Katherine’s pre-wedding shoot in Nikoi Island, off Bintan, Indonesia

With an amazing beach like this, you can’t help but feel soooo blessed at having a job that brings you places.

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