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Musings

Zoe’s 1st Birthday Party

Styled birthday parties are the rage nowadays, and we love all the little details that go into making it such a pretty event. Two years ago, we went to New Zealand to photograph Calvin & Queenie’s wedding, and now, we’re photographing their daughter’s 1st birthday! So much love went into planning this rainbow themed, colourful party. Queenie also went as far as to coordinate her shoes with little Zoe. As a mother of 2 myself, planning parties like these are fun, but can be pretty stressful. It definitely helps if you have a planner and decorator like Mint Events & Soirées to do the bulk of the work for you!

We also photographed their family portraits the next day. I’ll share more of that in a separate blog post! I’ve included lots and lots of detail shots as inspiration for mothers who want a similar theme for their parties.

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Slowing Down

Wow, it just occurred to me that the last blog post I did was 3 weeks ago! November has been a really busy month for the Stories team. In the past, I would attempt to blog at least twice a week so I do need to buck up! I promise that you’ll see more images here on the blog. As a full time mother, entrepreneur and photographer, my life can get pretty hectic. But last week, God spoke to me after I picked up my son from school. He was taking his sweet time to stop at every drain cover to peer into it, and poke his foot into any small hole he could find. I was annoyed and I wanted to move, fast.

But in that precise moment, I heard God’s soft voice telling me, “It’s ok. Just slow down and enjoy the moment with him. It’s about the journey, not just the destination.”

I caught myself. I could have just ranted and raised my tone of voice but I didn’t.

Last weekend, I could have scheduled in more shoots or work, but I made a choice to just go unplugged on a camping trip with my kids and some of their pre-school friends. It felt good to just be present emotionally and physically.

Celebration of Life: Cancer Free!


I believe that we should celebrate all stages in life, whether big or small. It could be the 1st birthday of your little one, the graduation of your child from university, or even celebrating health like being cancer free. Five years ago, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was a difficult time for the family. The future felt uncertain. My siblings and I had discussions about whether to go ahead with chemotherapy and what the next course of action would be. I still remember praying for my sister before her operation and I felt so clearly in my spirit then that the removal of the tumour would be complete and everything bad would be removed from her. I felt the peace of God just wash over me then.

Life carried on. She adopted a healthier lifestyle and everything seemed to resume to normal. It was only recently as I pondered upon it, that I realised 5 years had passed since she was cancer free. FIVE amazing years!

When I came across a friend of mine who was hand-making some amazing Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts, I just had to ask her if I could order one from her. She did an amazing job, and gifted my entire family with not just 1, but 5 t-shirts! Thank you, Tanya Pong for your beautiful handiwork that reminds us… every woman who has ever fought breast cancer (or any form of cancer, really!) is indeed, a Wonder woman.


I think celebrating successes like these are so important. In the past, we have photographed some post-chemo clients even while they are still bald. It was a reminder to themselves that while illness is a fact of life we all have to face one day, at least for today, we can still smile, surrounded by people we love and who love us.


PS: It is always challenging executing your own family shoot when you are not behind the camera and your daughter is on grouchy mode. Thank you, Nat for helping us take these photos!

Everyday photos that you need to take

As a photographer, I have this innate desire and need to document my life. There are some important people, places or events that encompasses an essential part of who I am and the life I live. I believe that this process of documenting life is really important and I encourage you to think about your own life and how you can capture these moments because they become little windows into a memory that you once held dear.

1. Your house

It may seem trivial to take a photo of your house from the outside. But when you move and settle into a new home, you might find it hard to remember if there was a rose bush by the old gate or if your door was wooden or glass because those memories will fade. Just by looking at a picture of your old house on the outside can actually bring a flood of memories to mind of the times you spent pruning that rose bush and the barbeques you had on the porch.


My family home in Malacca where I spent my growing up years. This was the final goodbye as we packed the house to sell it in 2011.

2. The inside of your home

Just like the outside, you’ll want to remember the interior of the place you called home. Maybe one day your kids will want to see their old room, or the doorframe where you had their height measured every six months; and maybe even have a laugh at the type of furniture you had. They might even remember the time they spilled juice all over that carpet! They will be images that have far more sentimental value than you’d expect. This is one of the reasons I love photographing families in their own home, mess and all.


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A new phase of life for my firstborn

Just like every other parent I know, there are some moments in life that are just etched in your mind forever. Like that first cry your child made at the hospital which made you cry too. That moment she took her first few steps, or when she babbled those semi-incoherent words that you swore meant something. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little emotional too, as my 5+ year old is now about to leave preschool and head on to her first year in primary.


First day at preschool

It felt like just a few blinks ago when she stepped into preschool, all scared and tiny. Being a December baby, she was just 2 years and 1 month when she joined the 3 year old class in January. She blossomed from a timid girl to a confident and intelligent child. In fact, going into year 1, she is not fearful at all, but really more excited than the nervous wreck I am!


Packing up on her last day at preschool, just after her Merdeka party

I just want to cuddle her close to me, never wanting this baby to grow up. But she has, and she will continue to do so…growing more and more independent as a person. It’s hard to verbalise this feeling, so bittersweet. So proud of her, and yet this tinge of sadness that her baby years are ending faster than I am willing to acknowledge. Soon, I’ll have a teenager with acne and boyfriend problems and then the day will come when her dad will have to walk her down the aisle to the man she loves.

But for now, I’ll just cherish these memories and be brought back through time with captured moments.


Gearing up for Year 1 on orientation day