LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE. LOUD

Sidney Mohede Family by Ivan
“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” ~Joyce Brothers

Grateful. Just grateful. That’s the word that keeps popping into my mind every time I look at my amazing wife Etha and my two beautiful children, Ethan and Chelsea. God has given me so much more than I could ever imagined or hoped for. From the moment I said ‘I do’ to my wife in 2004, I knew that my life would never be the same. But I had no idea how much fun and adventurous it would be with them in my life. From the moment both our children were born into this world to Ethan’s first kungfu lesson and Chelsea’s first dance recital. From Ethan’s first jump in a swimming pool to Chelsea getting lost in a crowded mall (she is the active, cheeky princess in our family!), our lives became one fun roller coaster ride of a big, giant adventure.

My wife’s mantra for our family is ‘LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE’ and I would have to add the word ‘LOUD’ in it because if you know our family well enough, you know that we are definitely NOT the quiet type. To be able to express ourselves to each other is an essential part of who we are. We never have to be afraid to look foolish with one another, because I’ve always believed that when we have to choose between perfection and intimacy, always choose intimacy. Life is too short and too precious for any of us to demand ‘perfection’ from one another. For when we Laugh loudly, Love each other fiercely, and Live this God-given life passionately, we’ll find perfection.

Love,

Sidney Mohede

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14 Jan 2013

L.O.V.E

Written by Maya

I believe that I am one of the few lucky princesses who not only got to marry a sweet cuddly polar bear, but also get to live the fairy tale life filled with enchanting creatures. Our world became sweeter when a little Fairy Ballerina came into our lives, four years ago. And just when we thought that it could not get any sweeter, it did, when we welcomed our little Wonder Boy less than two years later. And… by the looks of it, our world is about to get even more beautiful as we look forward to embracing the newest addition to our little clan in January. (Here is also when we started to give birth control some extra serious thought!)

So there we became… the Giant and his Queen (drumroll please). Of course, none of the fairy tales we read about or watched ever told us about the domestic life behind all the big white doors of the beautiful castle. In reality, I, the Queen, and he, The Giant, are challenged every day by our children’s tantrums, never-ending curiousity and unstoppable growth. We wake up on most mornings to a thousand cuddles and on other mornings to spin kicks and punches to the face. We try our best to follow their explosive energy that never seem to run out. We run the hectic morning routines and pat each other on the back when we do leave the house on time to begin our day.

The children’s arrival into the world will challenge every fairy tale dream every married couple have. And just when we think we have it all figured out, there they go outdoing us yet again (believe me, it gets weirder every time!). Children test our patience and challenge our self control, but at the same time, they surprise us with their little feet’s pitter-patter on puddles, mischievous tricks and toothless grins. Children are an erratic mixture of immense joy and complete frustrations all rolled into one. They come into our lives to stay… forever! But isn’t it amazing how these small creatures can bring out the worst in us, wrap us completely around their fingers, leave us emotionally and physically drained and yet, at the same time, our love for them can only grow bigger even as the tensions roll by and surprises keep coming in? This is the joy of parenthood that my Giant and I have discovered. That such love exists in this world – this came as a surprise to us too! No amount of bad behavior, yelling contest during moments of stubbornness or even demonic traits can make us love them any less.

Parents, remember that it is this love that fuels our children to be courageous and boost their confidence to win in life. This is the love that shifts our goals, shapes our priorities, and helps us weave the dreams for our children. If you are a parent today, remind your children that no matter how small they may feel to the world, in their parents’ hearts, they will always be celebrated as princes and princesses. My fairy tale dream world may not be the same as what it was when I first weaved it. But to find myself today, living in a world filled with such love and surrounded by these magical creatures, you can say I’m a pretty lucky girl!

Love, Maya

Photograph is courtesy of Donny & Firca with their adorable boys Sean & Ryan, by Ivan Mario.

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07 Sep 2012

Love is a Wonderland

Bobby & Priska & Baby Benzi by Paulus

I’ve know Bobby & Priska for a while now. I first met them during a concept meeting for their pre-wedding portraits a while back. I remember Priska gushing about the concept she had in mind, which was Alice in Wonderland. We all agreed it was brilliant! A few months later, I saw them again as they were joined as one in a grand wedding celebration. And then, a few months after that we met again for their Maternity Shoot. And then later again, we found ourselves talking about a concept for their Family Portraits. We decided that we would carry out the concept they had loved so much throughout their pre-wedding portraits into their family portraits.

It was such a joy to see the progression of their beings as a couple who later breathed in life into a little bundle of joy that is Baby Benzy. I had the privilege to capture their journey, to freeze moments and retell stories so that their today will never be forgotten. But on top of it all, I had the privilege to watch them stroll through the seasons in their lives, to watch them enjoy each and everyone, knowing that for them their little family will always be their Wonderland. And I took every joy in being a part of it.

Congratulations Bobby & Priska! May your love decorate your wonderland everyday!

Paulus

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17 Aug 2012

BABY TALKS TO GOD

Mother & Daughter Celine by Fen

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?" God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you." The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy." God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy." Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?" God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak." "And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?" God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray." "Who will protect me?" God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life." "But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore." God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you." At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name." God said, "You will simply call her, "Mom." author: unknown

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31 Jul 2012

Falling in love, over and over again

Karnadi & Katrin Family Portraits

Have you ever seen a couple who are so in love that they can’t keep their eyes and their hands off of each other?

I’ve seen quite a few doing what I do, but just last month, I have been given a rare privilege to shoot for a couple who are so much in love with each other that sparks are visible in their eyes… even after 25 years of marriage!

When Uncle Karnadi and Auntie Katrin shared about how they dated back in the days, I could see the see the sparks in their eyes as they took a walk down memory lane. Their beginning was humbling. Auntie Katrin said “yes” to him, despite knowing that the road ahead wouldn’t be easy for them. She moved from the big city to build a family with him in a smaller town called Tanjung Pinang. But she knew that as long as they have each other, everything would be alright. Together they made their dreams come true - dreams for a family, for a stable career, financial freedom.

Twenty five years later, they welcomed a son into their family of four as their eldest daughter married the man of her dreams, and to watch their angels grow up into the persons they are today is surely one of their lives’ proudest achievements. As they looked at how far they’ve come since then, they gave each other a knowing smile, as if they knew they were going to be here one day.

I took a moment after this shoot to reflect on why I do what I do, on why I love to shoot weddings. It’s not (only) because I love to party, but more than that, it’s about witnessing people fall in love and make the commitment to stay in love. There is a great difference between saying your wedding vow aloud for the whole world to hear and doing it day in and day out until death do you part for the whole world to see. I’ve witnessed many beginnings and after this shoot, I’ve seen what falling in love over and over again with the same person after twenty five years looks like. And it looks amazingly sweet.

So I’d like to thank this inspiring couple for showing us what growing old together really looks like. It is more romantic than fairy tales and much more touching than Hollywood. It is real!

Much love, David

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24 Jul 2012

Arifin & Martha

Golden Anniversary

I often get the chance to witness the union of two people in love. But it is a rare occasion that I am invited to witness the celebration of a Golden Anniversary. 50 years of marriage!

Grandpa Arifin and Grandma Martha have been through a lot over the years they’ve been together. They’ve fought together through the struggles and they’ve enjoyed a lot of good times together. They’ve welcomed children into their lives and watched them blossom into adults. They’ve watched their children fall in love and married the people of their choices, and they’ve eagerly welcomed little grandchildren and great-grandchildren into their world.

Yes, Grandpa Arifin and Grandma Martha have truly been through a lot over the course of fifty years of marriage. If you ask their family about Grandpa Arifin and Grandma Martha, they will say that their love life is the inspiration of their own. After all these years, they are still crazy about each other. Wherever one is, you will find the other. Grandma Martha is also the glue that holds the family together, no matter what happens or what will happen, they know that they can always count on her. Now I think that kind of love for her family shown through that kind of strength can only be possible if she’s feeling a lot of love from her spouse.

So, if there’s anything I’ve learned from this couple, it’s this: “True love isn’t Romeo and Juliet. True love is Grandpa and Grandma growing old together.”

Happy anniversary Grandpa Arifin and Grandma Martha! You are an inspiration to many of us!

Cheers,

Paulus

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04 Jul 2012

In front of the camera

Soong Family Portraits by Adi

We’re a family of photographers. You’d think we have lots of pictures of ourselves, right? Well, we could actually do with a lot more. Being behind the camera all the time, we forget sometimes that we need to capture moments with ourselves in it. Moments that we might want to look back on in the future, moments that we might miss later when our children are no longer children or moments when the love we shared was the strength that got us through the day. So, in the spirit of cherishing moments that we believe in so much, we decided to spare two hours of our family time in Bali to get in front of the camera and get ourselves a family portrait! The one with all three of us in it!

I’m sure that we’ll be adding some warmth on to our wall spaces soon. It’s always great to decorate the place we live in with the faces of the people we love most. And you know what else? I think after being in the client shoes for a few hours, we might have a go at this again soon. Being behind the camera is one thing, but being in front of it is simply addictive!

If you happen to be with family in Bali, our resident Bali-based photographer, Adi, is available for a three hour session family portrait shoot. For more information, email us at info@axioo.com

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30 Jun 2012

You and Me, Just us Three

Photography by David, Written by Maya

In the beginning it was just you and him. You’d stay up after work to unwind on your comfy couch with a movie on, or sit on your front porch until way past midnight to chat about how your day went. Your Saturdays would be filled with plans to visit your favorite restaurants, to catch the latest movies, or hang out with your friends. You’d bring your tired bodies and full hearts to rest on your warm bed at night and then wake up the next morning after ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Before, you were a couple. Now you are parents. And when your household has grown from two to three, your relationship with each other is bound to change.

To start with the obvious, you can say goodbye to uninterrupted sleep for a while. Sleep deprivation may result in easily irritable moms and dads who will have less time for themselves or each other. Moms may still need to adjust to her post-pregnancy bodies while dads may need to brush off jealousy of being a third wheel and share their wives’ attentions with the newest member of the family. There’s a lot of changes to endure, adjustments to be made, but you’ll do it gladly anyway because you know it will be worth it in the end. (And just in case things get dark for you, it’s common to feel like you need to take a break from the baby once in a while.)

But even though your baby has made you a family of three, it is still important to find some time for the two of you, to strengthen the bond as a couple, to rekindle sparks and ignite flames in your relationship. In between changing diapers and feeding schedules, it is important to remind yourself that you are a wife before you became a mother. Because your lives are busier now, the best way maybe is to plan your time together. Schedule a day off that you can both look forward to, arrange for a grandparent to keep your child company for the few hours of adult time you need to reconnect with your husband, or stay up for a few minutes after your baby has fallen asleep to ask your husband about how his day went. Praise him when he walks in the door earlier than expected and appreciate every second he takes the baby off your hands so you can have a peaceful shower. Assure him every day that whatever may come into your lives, he will always remain your number one man. Whatever it is, be creative and find ways that will work for the both of you to keep your relationship alive, because the best gift any parent can give to their children is a strong marriage!

Love,

Maya (lucky wife to a Super Papa and proud Mom of two)

Photos courtesy of Ervan & Shinta and Baby Clayton

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21 May 2012

Baby Verscha

Hey leute by Fen
"Hey leute, ich bin erst 2 wochen alt" means "Hello friends, I am two weeks old". Funny how fate has brought Ai and Ferry to Berlin where they first met each other. They fell in love and tied the knot in Germany. Ferry has been living his whole life in German. When they were expecting, they moved to Jakarta and two weeks ago Ai gave birth to Verscha Alexandrew Dary Muller. It was a blast to meet again with Ai and Ferry after their pregnancy session. Pregnancy is a miracle. There is this one song that kind of stuck in me since the day I listened to it during my teenage years. It goes like this: "It is amazing how God can touch the love of the man and wife and blossom it into the breath of life". I am so blessed to be able to witness and be part of Ai's and Ferry's miracles. So cheers to Ai and Ferry , congratulations for your handsome baby Verscha :)
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02 May 2011
All the way to the bottom already?
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