Category

International

From Dhaka to Chittagong

Ali recognized us immediately the moment we stepped out of Zia Airport in Dhaka. It wasn’t very hard really. There aren’t many Chinese around. In fact, the number of foreigners on the flight could be counted with 2 hands. Our first meet up with Ali was a good one. He came with his friend Rubab (I am not sure if I got the spelling right!). Our first stop was the money changer, and then Ali treated us to Movenpick ice cream! I can’t believe we forgot to take a group photo with Ali when we arrived. We must have just been really engrossed with just talking to him.

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A photo of Ali and Farhat that was sent to us before we left for Bangladesh.

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Taken when we went to Movenpick. Ali has not been sleeping very much. He’s been busy mixing his music album which will be out soon! He is a singer and has his own band!

At Movenpick, we had a chat with Ali, and he said this to us… “OK I want to see your expressions… on the first day, I’ll be expecting 2000 people to turn up for the wedding.” Kee Sitt’s eye balls went really big, like ping pong balls. 500 people for the 2nd and 3rd event, AND… 6000 people for the actual wedding day! Wow!! That’s amazing! He said that the culture over in Bangladesh is to really invite every single person to the wedding, even if it’s the guy who works at the grocery shop that you just met 2 days ago.

It’s really exciting but I am getting nervous now! Ali reassured us that we should just hang out near the stage where the action is, and take random shots of the guests that arrive. Well, our first event is tomorrow night, so we’ll find out how it’ll be soon enough!

So today, we didn’t really do much except wait for our flight from Dhaka to Chittagong. We wandered the streets of Dhaka for a short while and captured some street photos. One of the things we found out was that the Bengali New Year Festival falls on the 14th of April, the day after we leave Bangladesh! We didn’t know about this festival before we booked the flight. So we’re going to miss it. :(

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Dhaka is pretty chaotic with people and vehicles. There are beggars everywhere, and it is really hard to turn away when they come knocking on your car window persistently. Oh, my heart!

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We found this place where lots of flowers were being sold. Later, we were told by Rubab that this is the central location where all flowers get distributed from in Dhaka.

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The buses in Dhaka are really banged up. I must say the drivers in Dhaka are really skillful. It’s super challenging to navigate past trishaws, people, crazy buses, three wheeled tut-tut lookalike vehicles… etc!

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We were stared at everywhere we went. Hehe, I think it’s really funny that even as we take a photo, the people behind us were ‘posing’ for the shot too!

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We did some videos on the street, and will try to upload them when we can! Internet connection is quite slow where we are.

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We had a following after a while.

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Finally, we left Dhaka on a 45 minute flight to Chittagong. The view of Dhaka from our little propeller plane. More updates to come!

Leaving, on a jet plane…

Today, I had the privilege of giving some members of the Wedding Story a send off at the airport. They’re headed out to a foreign new land – Bangladesh, and none of them have been there before. Ali and Farhat, a wonderful couple from there found us via the Internet and were suitably impressed with the quality of work offered.

Several emails later, Grace was busy processing flights and visas for the team. Here’s a short amateur video clip by me of them at the airport before leaving.

Destination and International Weddings

I am amazed at how blessed we are this year despite the economic recession. The past few years, Kee Sitt has worked really hard into building the Wedding Story brand to be a well known and recognized brand. What started out as a small business by one person in a home on the small island of Penang has now expanded to a team with offices in Penang and KL! This year, God’s really blessed us with enquiries for shoots overseas.

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I am so excited to share that 4 of us from the Wedding Story team (Kee Sitt, Sharon, Ian and myself) will be flying over to Bangladesh from the 4-14th of April to shoot a wedding there. Ali and Farhat found us online, and he emailed us to say that he loved our style, energy and the ability to capture details. Ali is a hobbyist photographer, but he owns two 5D mark2 bodies!! Amazing! This will be the first wedding that we will be shooting in full HD format. Will try to blog as we travel in Bangladesh so that we can keep everyone updated.

And then in August, from the 3rd till the 10th, I will be in Holland, photographing a wedding in a town that I can’t even pronounce the name! Chee Su is Choon Ean’s brother (Choon Ean is part of our team, and she’s an amazing videographer and storyteller). He will be getting married to Christina, who’s Dutch. I am really excited about traveling to Holland for this shoot. I’ve never been there before and to think that I will be going to a town about 1-2 hours away from Amsterdam sounds lovely. Anyone in Holland who wants to do a portrait shoot while I’m there?

Other than that, we have had multiple enquiries for wedding shoots in Australia and Thailand. I am so proud of our team, that we have moved on to this exciting stage of our business. Truly, these are all God’s blessings on us. It’s all because of His grace that we are able to do this. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I lost my sight or my ability to walk one day… what would happen? All these skills that I have are given to me by God. I cannot help but feel appreciative of all that I have been blessed with.

Friendships in Egypt

In January, I took a 2 week break to visit Egypt, the land that has always captivated me since I was a child. I haven’t had a proper holiday since March 2008, so this was a much needed break from my hectic schedule. Egypt is a fascinating place, and the pyramids are definitely not a let down!

Alex and I enjoying ourselves in Egypt

One of the highlights of my trip is meeting interesting people along the way, especially since I went the backpacker route. I’ve made countless friends from various continents all over the world, forming the unlikeliest of friendships at times.

One such couple I met was George and Katy while we were enroute from Bahariyya to the White Desert. They are from Taiwan and they have been travelling for 6 months across the world! Wow, I can’t imagine what would happen if I took such a long holiday! The moment we started talking, we instantly clicked. We shared the same 4WD vehicle as we tumbled over sand dunes in the desert of Egypt. Beautiful landscapes captivated us.

The Black Desert before we approach the White Desert

Snow-like white rock in the White Desert

Along the way, my husband Alex found out that George and Katy are going to be married this year in 2009. With such amazing scenery before our eyes, how could we resist but offer to take a few ‘couple’ shots for them? Unfortunately we didn’t have a dramatic gown or 5-metre veil (darn, that would have been superb!!). Here are some of the photos that we took of George and Katy in the desert that evening as the sun sets. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and the 4 of us (Alex, Sarah, Kristin and myself) wish you the best in all your future endeavours.

George loves photography too!