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Working Holiday

One of the greatest perks of my job is being able to travel to really beautiful destinations and call it work. I can’t help it, but the mention of a beach wedding totally excites me. I love feeling the sea breeze on my face, the sun on my back and the sand under my feet.

I am blessed to be living in South East Asia where there’s an abundance of scenic beaches, which boasts beautiful locations for weddings. Places like Langkawi, Redang, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Bali, Phuket, Krabi are just a stone’s throw away. Combine that with cheap Air Asia flights… and destination weddings become affordable!

At every wedding, I shoot in a team with another photographer, and sometimes being the husband of the photographer has its perks too!

I am currently in Redang Island for a wedding shoot. The next few months will be really hectic for me, with shoots every weekend till December. So I am taking the opportunity to enjoy 2 extra days here at Redang. Work wise, there’s lots of things I still need to do (blog posts in the pipeline), but I guess that will have to wait just a wee bit longer…

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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Beach to Garden Pre-Wedding: Eric & Mun Wai

Photographer: Grace
Location: Singapore and Dusun Garden Fairies, Malaysia

It was in a little restaurant in Suntec city that I met Eric and Mun Wai for the first time. We chatted, had tea, and laughed over various travel stories. I found out that these two are an adventurous couple. They are full of life and love to laugh! In Dec, I came back to Singapore for part 1 of their pre-wedding shoot. We ended up on a somewhat secluded beach near Changi (it wasn’t completely secluded, I just cropped the rest of the people out!). Would like to thank Eulyn too, who came to assist me on the shoot in Singapore.

Yes every now and then we would see a plane flying overhead us.

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On the road towards Santa Cruz

A few days ago, we started our first day down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Together with Jenny & Ju, we rented a car for our coastal road trip. The rental of the car costs about RM1,500 for about 5 days. Each driver you register incurs extra cost. I suppose it’s because of insurance coverage. So Ju and Alex were the designated drivers for the trip. Firstly, it’s important to get your orientation right. It takes a while to adjust to driving on the right side of the road. So Ju made some little reminders, just in case…

The coast on the way to Santa Cruz was just beautiful. We had excellent weather even though it was a little chilly with the breeze.

Alex clowning around as usual.

Alex showing off…

According to this sign, not every American knows how to spell properly.

One of our other stops was at this picturesque lighthouse. I can’t recall the name of this lighthouse. It’s so nice that it deserved a vintage treatment. :)

How amazing it would be if I had a bride and groom to photograph here.

The waves in California are huge and intimidating!

The view at Santa Cruz. The weather was a little gloomy when we arrived.

The seagulls here are so bold. They don’t really bother too much with people around. Caught this one stealing someone’s leftover food!

In the States, equality for all is a big thing.

I guess these doggies know where to go to have a good time.

Portraits: Eric & Debbie in Pangkor, Day2

Day 2 started at 4am in the morning for Debbie & Angie, our make up artist. While I was catching some much needed sleep, they had to get ready for the photo shoot. I admire such dedication from my couples! At 5am, I woke up, had some coffee and by 6am, we were off to catch the sunrise at the fishing village.

It was totally worth it, waking up so early in the morning for this view!!

If Angie wasn’t there, it would have been harder to achieve this shot – because I can’t hold a flash on a monopod with one hand, the camera in the other hand, and direct the couple to kiss at the same time. As Louis Pang says, “voice activated lightstand” :) Thanks Angie!

This fishing village is so quaint. And this jetty incredibly busy!! Every 5-10 minutes or so, we had to stop to make way for a passing motorbike. The ‘pak cik’s or uncles were really friendly! They were just so pleased to see a bride using their jetty for photos.

One of the things I am glad Debbie did was to ‘brave’ herself and climb down the jetty onto this boat! Eric said that it was only because I coaxed her!

And later, Eric ‘braved’ himself to climb this Dutch fort on Pangkor Island. Uh, is this even allowed? :)

That evening…

And to end our shoot…

Definitely a fun photo shoot. I’ve added Pangkor to my list of favourite places to shoot. :)