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Pre-Wedding: Nicholas and Lina in Krabi, Thailand

When I told Lina that she had to wade through sea water while wearing her gown in order to climb onto a long tail boat for our shoot, she balked. A little. But I thank God that she trusted me enough to just go with the flow. I must say that this pre-wedding shoot was a little challenging for me. Coordinating 2 boats in the open sea without a loud hailer (and with no Thai language under my belt) made me look a bit like a silly girl trying to play the charades with herself. Lots of sign language, yelling over the water, and patience was required.

Thank God I was pleased with the end results!

This was my 2nd time to Krabi, Thailand but my first time shooting at the surrounding islands off Krabi. I think being out of your comfort zone every now and then is a good thing. I seriously didn’t quite know what to expect because I had never been to these islands before. I had only seen those picture perfect postcard shots in all those tourist shops… but of course, those were just postcards… right?

So all I could do was trust the boatmen whom I spoke to, and believe somehow that we made the right choice to go to Hong Island.

The other part of the shoot was done at the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort, so no climbing into boats there!

Nic and Lina, I hope you enjoyed our little adventure in Krabi (not to the mention the delicious Thai seafood!). Diane and I had a blast, and this shoot will definitely sit in my mind as one of the most memorable for the year! It was also little Krysta’s first ever overseas trip at age 2 months! Couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for Alex who willingly became my nanny during the shoot. I have an amazing husband!

Enjoy the photos… :)

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Wedding of Chee Onn & Debbie

Chee Onn and Debbie’s images have graced our Stories blog before, when we did a pre-wedding photo shoot with them a few months ago. This time, we feature their wedding day, with a special Buddhist ceremony and exchange of rings after the tea ceremony. These set of images were taken by the talented Johan and Benjamin, and the video was done by our team too! Congratulations, Chee Onn and Debbie! Lots of love over to you…and thanks for your testimonial too!

“Both Debbie and I are extremely happy with the service that Stories have provided. In fact, we can’t stop watching the same day highlights. We love the shots as well as the music. It fit the occasion really well.

The feedback that I would like to provide is that your team were awesome! Initially both Debbie and I were nervous about the fact that Grace was not able to shoot our wedding but all these worries were unfounded. Johan was so accommodative to the unexpected changes to the plan, polite and jovial (as mentioned by Debbie’s mum many times :)) and we instantly felt at ease with him as well. I have received a number of compliments from guests after they saw the same day edit. Keep up the good work! 

I would like to thank the team again for making it so easy for us to enjoy our big day. There were many people involved in the organization of the day and everyone played a role in making it happen.

Both Debbie and I felt instantly at ease the very day we decided to go with Stories for all our wedding photography. You have a great team and keep up the good work!

We will always spread the good word about Stories’ work wherever we go.”

– Chee Onn & Debbie –  

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Pre-Wedding: Chee Onn & Debbie

Everyone claims that they are not good in front of the camera. I don’t blame them, because most people would not have taken professional photos of themselves prior to their wedding day. Studio photos of you blowing your 1-year-old birthday cake candle doesn’t really count!

It’s the job of the photographer to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. To make everything look natural and not posed (even though it was!). To make it seem as if the photographer was non-existent, because the image should be about the couple and the moment they are sharing, not drawing attention to the person behind the camera. There are times when I ask the couple to look at the camera, but most of the time, their eyes are on each other. Just as it should be…

I totally enjoy photographing couples in love. Connection is something that cannot be forced. Of course, living in an Asian country, where most people have some ‘issue’ with public displays of affection, it’s normal to feel awkward initially kissing in front of a photographer! In every pre-wedding or engagement session, I tell my couples that it takes a bit of time to warm up, but once they do… they end up having a great time!

Debbie & Chee Onn:

Debbie didn’t really sleep the night before the shoot because she was really excited! It was kinda awkward at the very start because we are both not really the photo taking type. Grace, it was good that you were around to get us warmed up! We did not know what to expect on that day so we were just following your lead which was very good. After the shoot, we were pretty anxious about the pictures. We were afraid that we didn’t prepare enough for the shoot.

But after seeing the pictures, all worries were gone because it was good and you captured the right moments! We loved the black and white photos too, cause it gave a very retro feel to the pictures which we like a lot.

Thanks once again, for making the shoot memorable for us. :)

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Pre-wedding in Langkawi: Sam & Kathy

I almost fell off my chair when I read Kathy’s email some time back. Their trip to Malaysia was going to a whirlwind one, as they only had a short break before flying back to Australia again. The main purpose was to attend a friend’s wedding, but of course, why not squeeze in time for a pre-wedding shoot? Best of all, why not fly in to Langkawi for a day trip, just for the shoot?

I tried to convince her to spend at least 1 night in Langkawi (you won’t regret it!) but time really wasn’t on their side. So our shoot became a little adventure. They arrived in Langkawi by noon, did their make up & hair, had lunch, and by 3pm off we went! I prayed so hard for great weather because we only had that short window of opportunity to shoot. God smiled on us, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

By the way, don’t you think Kathy’s short dress is just gorgeous!? I love how everything looks really simple and casual. She had also brought some props for the shoot, all the way from Australia!

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Phong & Laura’s Garden Wedding, Kuching

Photographers: Grace & Mark
Wedding Gown: Vera Wang
Make Up: Shu Uemura
Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss
Flowers & Decorations: Murloch (house) & Four Points Sheraton Hotel (for reception)
Stationery: Banana Greetings
Cake: Amy
Reception: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak

Phong & Laura’s story felt as if it came directly from a romantic screenplay. The setting: San Francisco.

Laura had traveled to San Francisco to be with her sister, Lisa who worked there. It was during this two month visit that she met Phong, who was Lisa’s colleague. Laura thought he was rather fun to hang out with and so they exchanged contact details and communicated via MSN. Fast forward a few months later, Phong had the opportunity to fly to Indonesia for work.

Perfect timing, as Laura needed another break from work too… and so she flew to Indonesia to visit him. From there, love blossomed and it was the most interesting weekend for her. As fate would have it, one week after he returned to San Francisco, he found out that the company he was working for was relocating to Singapore!

From then on, everything was history – and according to Laura, Phong loves to tell their friends that he flew halfway across the world to be with her.

During the wedding, Phong’s family flew in from Australia & Vietnam – and he was even reunited with family he hadn’t seen in years! I was really excited when Laura told me about this story… and also when she mentioned that her wedding would be held in her family home garden! It’s so meaningful when you say your vows in such a personal environment. There were so many elements that made this wedding a memorable one for me. From the Vietnamese car decorations, to the personalized popcorn box, to the massive trees in the awesomely pink ballroom… everything was just detailed so beautifully.

The other thing that made my heart skip a beat too was Laura’s Vera Wang gown. I instantly thought of the line from the movie Bride Wars… “You don’t alter a Vera Wang to fit you, you alter yourself to fit into a Vera Wang” (something to that effect).

I don’t know how much alteration Laura had to do, but she looked absolutely amazing in that gown that day.

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