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Raw, Vintage & Classic: En Ruey & Jas Min’s Pre-Wedding

One of the things I love about my job is the ability to connect with my clients. Photographing people is such a personal task, and making them feel comfortable and look confident in front of the camera is a challenge I take to heart. Just knowing that I have managed to capture the essence of a person through my images makes me really happy. That’s how I keep going on and on, year after year, even though physically, the job is really tiring.

En Ruey and Jas Min, I am really glad that we could connect and get along so easily. I love all the random locations you brought me to, and of course, all the fun ideas you had! My two photography sessions with you and your family made me feel like long lost family members; I feel so welcomed. En Ruey, thank your mom too for the brunch after the shoot! I am looking forward to your wedding this January!

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By En Ruey (Henry): Having done a family shoot with Grace a few weeks before, I was confident the indoor shoots would go relatively well. I was however very worried for the two outdoor shoots as we didn’t opt for the usual outdoor pre-wedding locations and went guerrilla instead. One of the locations we scouted was a piece of undeveloped land full of lalang, trees and was very secluded. To make matters worse, I heard a rumor the night before that a couple and their photographer got robbed at the exact location so I was quite stressed for everyone’s safety. But it was all for naught as nothing untoward actually happened on the day of the shoot.

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The first shot of the day was a walk-by in front of some steel structures and vines with the morning sun hanging low in the background. Being directed by Grace on how to stand and where to walk while being engrossed in each other made it so easy. After taking a few shots, she walked up grinning and showed us the shot on camera and it was absolutely beautiful. To me, that really set the tone for the day and we really got into the shoot after that and went all out.

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Pre-Wedding in Pulau Ketam: Charles & Lih Woon

Pulau Ketam holds a special place in my heart. When I was a young photographer, one of my first outings was to Pulau Ketam. I remember meeting this old man reading his newspaper in an equally old shop. He said that many of the young people had left the small island to work in the city. Indeed, it felt as if time stood still on that island. Now, years later, as I revisited Pulau Ketam for Charles and Lih Woon’s pre-wedding shoot, I didn’t think very much had changed. It had an old school charm which made it really special.

What was meaningful was that Lih Woon’s parents used to work in Pulau Ketam years ago. We caught a private morning boat to the island from Klang jetty, just in time for sunrise.

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Charles and Lih Woon accommodated my every request. We had to trek back and forth along small, dilapidated bridges, passing by wooden homes in the hot sun. The people on the island were really friendly, and even allowed us into their home compound for photos!

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ROM at Carcosa: Nicholas & Lina

Nicholas and Lina’s epic wedding started off with this gorgeous ROM ceremony at Carcosa Seri Negara. After photographing their ROM, I had a tough time choosing which images to share from this wedding. We also have a cool fusion video, and a wedding video highlight to share too… so you’ll be overloaded with images really soon!

It was in 2004 that Nicholas and Lina first got to know each other… they were both in Sri KL and through the help of Friendster (before Facebook existed!), they got acquainted…and they fell in love. Years later, Nicholas proposed in a spectacular way after their anniversary dinner, with the help of a magician. They were in a public place and Lina didn’t suspect a thing. Trick after trick, the magician performed, until it came to a fiery trick… where he produced a ring. Nicholas immediately took the ring, got down on one knee and gave the most romantic speech Lina had ever heard.

And she said yes.

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Blue & White Wedding: Wilson & Elaine

I was stoked when Wilson and Elaine said that they’d use our little Smurfette, the VW kombi as their wedding car. I was even more excited when I discovered that their theme colours matched Smurfette completely – white & blue! Elaine is a hands-on bride, she planned and sourced for some of the wedding decorations that you’ll see in this blog post, even created the signage for the back of the kombi herself!

Well, even from our initial meeting about a year ago, I knew that she’d be a detailed person. After all, she is a lawyer, and working for such a big organization like the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, you’d have to be meticulous. Needless to say, she pored over the T&C in my booking form prior to signing it. A little nerve-wracking to have to explain everything to a lawyer! Haha…

Wilson came across as someone who was really easy going, but completely supportive of Elaine. It’s a great combination to have as a couple. Wilson & Elaine, we had a blast at your wedding. Thank you for being so relaxed and letting me head off earlier, even before the dinner reception ended, since I was really quite tired from the pregnancy. I love how everything came together so beautifully, and how the morning Chinese theme blended in with the more western theme of the evening. All the best for the future!

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A Fireproof Marriage & A Pre-Wedding: Chih Wei & Diana

“Fireproof doesn’t mean that a fire will never come, but that when it comes, you’ll be able to withstand it.” – from the film Fireproof – 

It’s definitely one of my favourite films about love and relationships. If you have never heard of this Christian film before, it’s a story about a firefighter, Caleb, who tries to save his marriage from burning to the ground. Everything seems to be going from bad to worse, which eventually leads him to consider divorce. At the lowest point of his life, Caleb’s dad gave him a Love Dare challenge – to perform a simple act of love for his spouse every day for 40 days. It could be something as simple as resolving not to say anything negative to your spouse the entire day.

“The sad part about it is, when most people promise for better or for worse, they really only mean for the better.” 

The film spoke to me in many ways. Just like the quote above, it made me think about life and relationships. How often we go into marriage thinking everything will be rosy every single day of our lives. I often think of love as a choice and commitment. It’s not just a feeling or emotion, because when tough times come (as they surely will), we may not feel like we want to carry through with that commitment. It’s at times like these that you remember your vow to your spouse – for better or for worse. Choice to me does not mean that I have the option to leave anytime I want. It means that I choose to love that person even when I don’t feel like it.

And when tough times come into my marriage, I can say that it’s fireproof.

I was really excited when Chih Wei and Diana took out their Love Dare book from their bag during our pre-wedding session. I think it’s really awesome that couples desire to make their marriage fireproof by going through books like these together.

I was happy to hear that Diana also attends the same church I used to attend when I was studying in Australia years ago. It’s great that we have common friends and similar values in life. Once I got to know Chih Wei and Diana, I knew that we could instantly connect. Diana lives in Brisbane whereas Chih Wei works in Malaysia. I definitely respect any couple who goes through a long distance relationship and survives it! So much patience, understanding and effort needs to be sown into that relationship daily.

Since they are getting married this weekend, I thought I’d share some images from their pre-wedding session here. Congratulations Chih Wei & Diana, and may your marriage be filled with lots of exciting moments!

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