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Tips + Ideas

Documenting the Different Phases of Life

How true it is that daily life filled with chores, workload and family concerns may seem long and tedious! However, when you look back at how fast the months and years go by you find yourself yearning for time to slow down. That baby you hold today will be a young man or woman in a blink of an eye. Here are some phases in life you’ll want to capture and cherish forever:

BABY STAGE

Whether it is a maternity, newborn or baby stage, it is usually a very special time for the parents. Documenting the natural glow and protruding tummy in the later stage of pregnancy can remind you of how you felt throughout the pregnancy. Capturing shots of your precious baby sleeping in her crib, breastfeeding her or those of a gurgling baby will remind you of the happy (and tough!) times as a parent in the early months. It is also a good opportunity to share the journey with your child when they are older!

TODDLER STAGE

This is the stage when your child starts to discover new things and experiences… like the joy of cooling off on a hot day with the water hose in the backyard, or doing hand-painting in playschool, maybe even digging in the garden with their plastic garden tools. Having keepsakes of them in the midst of these activities is what you’ll treasure later on when they have grown up a little.

PRE-SCHOOL STAGE

At this stage in life, your little one is developing in character and is capable of so much more. They’ll be selecting their own attire for the day, helping you make cookies, learning to cycle, going for piano or ballet lessons! The list is endless… and there’ll be so much to photograph.

PRIMARY SCHOOL & BEYOND

Time zooms by once they start school proper because life takes over and days are filled with ferrying them from one place to another. But don’t forget that even as they grow into teenagers, documenting moments like holidays and achievements will give you something to hold on to before they leave the nest to lead their own lives. As a parent, you’ll want to capture every milestone with your child. Sometimes, you may remember to whip out your handphone to snap a picture or two, but most times the moments just pass you by. It is a good idea to make it a point to get some proper shots of the family together, in various phases of life. You will not regret how it made you feel to be reliving those times again!

Tips for Planning Children’s Parties

When I was growing up, I remember the most epic birthday party I had was when I was 8. Growing up in Malacca in the 80s, it wasn’t really common to have major parties for children my age, but my parents had organized my birthday at the new McDonald’s restaurant (the one and only in Malacca at that time!). It was totally memorable for me, especially since my mom baked a gorgeous cake for me, and my friends and I packed into the walk-in freezer to see how long we could stand the cold. I am grateful to my parents for organizing such a party for me.

Now that I have a 3 and 5 year old of my own and with the growing influence of Pinterest, DIY groups on Facebook etc, I feel a little ‘pressured’ to do something fun. So last year, I organised 2 parties for my kids. Yup, a unicorn party for my 5 year old and a fireman party for my 3 year old. It was quite fun doing some of the DIY stuff on my own, but unlike my mother, I can only bake instant cakes from those pre-mixes in the supermarket. (Needless to say, I didn’t bake these cakes).

It was a little stressful, but after all that organising, here are some tips to share with other mums who intend to plan their own child’s birthday parties.

1. If you are not good at something, hire someone to do it.

I realised that I was putting additional stress on myself in making some of the decorations myself. I went shopping for goody bags, was busy sorting out the guest list, planning food, AND thinking of how to keep everything under budget. Unless you are the kind of mum who truly enjoys this process, the best way to avoid unnecessary stress is to hire someone to do things for you. There are many great decorators / stylists who are great at what they do! (For my son’s 1st birthday, I had an Up themed party and hired Moments). For his 3rd year party, all I did was call the local fire station, do a site visit, and then let the firemen entertain the kids! (You need to give a donation to hold the party at the local fire station. Some fire stations do not allow parties)

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Alternative Photo Framing Ideas with Driftwood & Air Plants


If you are looking for new ways to make your wedding or family photos stand out, how about a driftwood and air plant photo frame? It is an alternative idea to displaying your beautiful photos. I have always loved succulents, cacti and air plants ever since I knew of its existence, so what better way to combine to passions than to create a new product like this? Each driftwood frame is unique, as no piece of wood is exactly the same. The one displayed here is about 10 inches in length and can hold 2 photos in 4R size.

Some interesting facts about air plants, also known as Tillandsia.
1. Native to the forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America, the southern United States and the West Indies.
2. They normally grow without soil and can be placed on various surfaces without harm.
3. They love well ventilated areas with lots of open space.
4. Air plants enjoy indirect sunlight or filtered bright light and do not require frequent watering.
5. You can water your air plant by misting it twice a week but you would also need to soak it in water for a few hours once a week.

So it’s pretty easy to care for, but here’s some other info you can read about air plant care. Let us know if you would like to order one for yourself! Prices start from RM150.

Our air plant displays will make a debut this 10th and 11th March at the StarWow bazaar at the Starling, Damansara Utama. You can purchase our photography packages, baby gift book or our driftwood frame there. Do let us know on our social media pages what you think of this alternative framing idea!

Credits:
Photography & Driftwood Photo Frame Creation by: Grace

Tips for Posing Families

Posing is more than just placing people in a specific position and having them hold still. It is about using your skill (and a few tricks) to help your subjects look their best in your photos. Here are 3 simple tips that will help you get better, natural and more authentic family portraits.

  1. Composition makes a difference
  2. Show emotional closeness
  3. Let children play

Watch the video for more information!

Tips on How to Survive an Outdoor Family Shoot

It is common to receive an enquiry requesting for a two to four-hour long family shoot. People tend to have the impression that you get more out of longer sessions. However, that is usually not the case. At Stories, most of our Lifestyle packages are an hour long. Some people seem to think that’s too short but do remember that if it involves children, you’ll be surprised that a single hour can seem like forever to them! I tagged along on some family sessions and here’s why I think an hour is really good enough, especially for an outdoor shoot in our beloved country.

1. Humidity
Even if it isn’t a terribly sunny day, you can be perspiring within five minutes of starting the shoot! On one of the shoots, the perspiration showed through the dad’s dark blue shirt. Fortunately, his wife had insisted he bring along an extra shirt to change into! Mum and child were neither not spared from the icky feeling of sweat. Can you imagine spending three hours posing for photos feeling like this? Believe me, an hour is just right. We all love our country but not the humidity.

TIP: Always bring along some extra clothing and a small towel for outdoor shoots. A hand fan can be very useful too.

2. Timing of shoot
If you’re a local, you’ll know that our tropical weather is quite unpredictable. Due to the heat, outdoor shoots should take place in the early mornings or late afternoons. However, certain months are prone to rain in the evenings so if you plan for an afternoon shoot, it could end up a washout. The other thing about being surrounded by greenery is that it’s perfect for creepy crawlies and mosquitoes to come out and play! You won’t be able to enjoy your shoot if you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

TIP: Check the weather forecast nearer to the shoot date and speak to your photographer about contingency plans. Bring along some insect repellent too!

3. Attention Span
Children are usually quite excited at the start of a shoot but that initial excitement fades very quickly. They don’t like being told what to do, where to stand or where to look! Most of the time, young children start getting fussy even before the hour is up. Tantrums are common when children get tired and an hour will seem like too much to ask from them.

TIP: Bring along some snacks (but nothing too messy!) for your child. Food usually helps to change their mood. We also usually start the photo session with the large family photo so that we get the safe shot done!


Now if you were thinking of doing an outdoor shoot, don’t let the negative aspects frighten you. Come prepared and you will have an enjoyable experience, plus beautiful photos in the park to last a lifetime. But if you’re toying with the idea of having a three-hour family shoot in the park, maybe you should reconsider shortening it. An hour really is sufficient.