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Cherished Moments & The Hui Family



One of the most cherished items I have in my house are the canvas prints of my family photos, hung beautifully on the wall of my living room. The photos were taken at various locations and  at different times. But I remember each moment as if it was just yesterday. Recently, I started a wall of photos for my little girl, Krysta. Later, I hope to build a staircase filled of memories from various family events… some images could be as simple and routine as a meal at our dinner table.

Compared to our parent’s years when you’d only be taking photos at special events (film was expensive and not everyone owned a camera!)… images now flood every single moment of our life. I know of friends who would shoot burst mode on their phone cameras to capture that one moment where their kid is smiling at the camera. Unfortunately, those images stay in their phone (and the blur ones, if they are like me… sometimes NEVER get deleted… until, you are left with no choice when one day your phone tells you that you are running out of space).

But even with image technology getting better and better over time, it’s pretty rare that a family gets together for professional portraits (How often have I heard of comments by moms who say… The husband is behind the camera…somewhere!). And I know what it’s like to have your photo taken by Mr Tripod. It’s pretty dull and uninspiring.

So I do hope that we will have the honour of photographing your family and building your wall of memories. May each image be a small piece of the puzzle which tells a story of your life.

Recently, we photographed the Hui family. Mark and Mun Tzin are dear friends of ours. Mark is one of our resident photographer and Mun Tzin is an efficient and creative event planner, running her brand Milestones. Here’s a little story about her family.


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Opposites Attract?

He’s introverted, she’s extroverted.
He’s calm and collected, she’s a social butterfly.
He’s meticulous, she’s a little disorganized.

Just like magnets, opposites attract. I know of many couples who are completely different in terms of character (just like my mum and dad) and yet are together. Growing up, I never really understood this strange phenomenon. I suppose it’s natural to like someone who has strengths that can complement your weaknesses.

Alex and I don’t completely subscribe to this idea though. Yes, we’re different, and yet similar. We appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses (‘appreciate’ is subjective at times though) but there are many similarities that bind us together. After 5 years of marriage, boy do I appreciate these similarities! We love being around people, are rather sociable by nature, have similar taste in design (thank God, otherwise we might fight over house ID stuff), love the same God, and share the same values in life. Values like, no matter how tough marriage gets, we will never give up; or loving people trumps anything else in life. Bonus point: We love adventure.

Life to us is an exciting journey. I cannot imagine being married to someone who yawns whenever I talk about my photography business, or to someone who hates traveling. Married life to me means that I am able to journey along life’s path, sharing these experiences together. It’s these experiences that glue us together, stored in our shoe box of memories and help us love each other more.

I am contented.

Similar, yet different.

Photo credit: Jon Low

The Day It Began…

Clearing my house has helped me rediscover gems hidden in boxes and in files. Not only did I find old recipes my mother wrote to me when I was in university, I also found some old letters and cards I gave to Alex when we were dating. I admit, I am a hopeless romantic. On our 1st anniversary together, I created a simple set of handwritten messages for him – 12 pages for the 12 months we were together. I wrote these messages because I wanted him to remember… how we started, why I love him, and how our struggles can bring us closer.

So, though it’s a little embarrassing to be sharing this with everyone, I thought I’d include a short excerpt from this card (taken from my journal).

8th June 2004

I can’t believe it… Alex and I are getting together. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do, we both have our doubts and worries and are afraid of taking risks… but… our hearts… tell us to go forward.

Dear Lord, is this the right decision? And is this the right timing? Are we even compatible? There are so many considerations to think about… I don’t know how it all fits into Your plan, but Jesus, I commit myself and Alex into your hands. I am afraid of getting hurt, but if we don’t take risks, we’ll never know. There are so many worries Lord, but I do commit us into Your hands and give it all to You.

Alex and I during our Lake Toba holiday in August 2004

Of money and shoes

You know the advice that every mother gives to her soon-to-be-wed daughter… “You should always have a separate bank account from your husband. It’s for a rainy day, you’ll never know what may happen…”

Yesterday was one of those days when the topic of finances came up during a discussion with friends. Whenever it comes to finances, I have to admit, I am really lousy at managing it. When I started work years ago, I didn’t really think about budgeting or planning for my future. All that mattered was that money came in, I didn’t spend more than I earned, and that was fine.

When I got married, everything became even more complex. Put into the equation a man who says that my shopping and shoe purchasing habits are rather extensive, and you have a recipe for arguments. He believes in spending more on fewer pairs, but buying quality. I prefer quantity.

So… I worked hard to earn all that money, right! Having more shoes means more options for a girl! :) I don’t really consider myself a spender, in fact, I am super excited whenever I get a good bargain – I’d rather shop at the Chatuchak market in Bangkok any day than at any branded goods store selling LVs or Guess dresses.

But you see, when I said “I do” five years ago, I also said “I will” to opening a joint bank account with Alex. And part of that “I will” also meant “I promise” to be accountable to you regarding financial matters, and he the same towards me.

I don’t regret it. I remember a story someone told me before… this couple had separate accounts and as usual, they split the bills for everything… he paid for the daily expenses and she paid for the house. They were happily married, but soon, their marriage turned rocky. It was then that things got complicated when she said that the house was hers because she paid for it.

Frankly, I think money can either unite or divide. People quarrel over money matters all the time. So when Alex suggests rethinking my shopping habits, I need to stop myself and think, “Is it really worthwhile quarelling over this? If I go ahead and spend anyway, ignoring what he says, will it be damaging to our relationship?”

Think about it, even if you had your separate bank accounts and one partner bought something the other does not approve of, would that not be cause for conflict too?

I can imagine some of you saying, “But it’s only a pair of shoes!”

Ok, so we had an agreement. If we intend to purchase anything beyond RM200 in value, we’d consult each other.

I am happy with that arrangement. As for my mother (who did give me that same advice at the top)… I didn’t really have an answer for her then. But now that I am older, I wish I had told her, “I don’t want to go into any relationship thinking that a rainy day will come. I want to go into this marriage thinking that both of us will make it work, come what may. It’s a permanent covenant, not a contract. It’s not to be broken, it’s for life.”

* Alvin & Melissa’s pre-wedding session

Two hearts, One Journey: Our 5th anniversary

Five years ago, Alex and I said “I do”.

Time flies when you’re having fun. I am even more in love with this man today than when I married him 5 years ago. Perhaps I am a romantic at heart, I dream of growing old with Alex, walking beside him even when our hair is grey and our hands are wrinkled.

The joy of sharing life together is something I am grateful for every day of my life. I am so thankful that God brought Alex into my life, that I found in him a soulmate that would spur me on to greater heights, laugh with me everyday and go on little adventures together, even when the adventure is as simple as looking for laminate flooring.

A few months ago, Alex and I asked our friend Jon Low to shoot some portraits for us when we were in Australia. Jon’s an established photographer, and awesome friend. We started our careers in photography about the same time and since then, I am so happy to see that his business is doing so well!

These photos were taken in Brisbane, and it brought back lots of memories for me because I lived there for 3 years as a student. Thank you,Tania-Lea for the hair & make up! Hope things are going well for you there!

Alex, I am looking forward to our little date and adventure this evening… but more importantly, I am excited to think of what God has in store for the both of us. The past 5 years has been really awesome! I love you heaps, darling!

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