Happily Easter After

Ever notice that fairy tales always conclude with a happy ending?

The Beautiful Princess falls for her Prince Charming and they live happily ever after.

In fairy tales, the struggle always occurs before the romance. Cinderella, single and alone, struggles to survive under the hatred of her step-mother. Snow White, hiding in the forest with her 7 dwarfs, hoping to protect her life from the evil witch. Beauty, held captive in the enchanted castle, waits patiently for the evil spell to be broken. Each one struggling, waiting, hoping…
First comes the struggle, then comes the romance, and “poof”- the happily ever after…

The thing about fairy tales is that there is always a message that all problems and pain will end when true love comes in. Although it has set up young singles for hope, it has also caused great despair.

It’s easy to imagine a world of bliss, living happily ever after while forgetting that the majority of marriage comes down to routine ordinary moments wrapped up in the an extraordinary commitment. Marriage is all about the day to day choices - choosing love over selfishness, peace over rightness, intimacy over control. Faithful over temptation.

It is the day in day out of two people learning to love in a way that they never imagined they could; in a way they hardly know how to do.

Relationships were meant to bring companionship, friendship, and a great love - but they were never meant to be our happily ever after. Relationships can’t solve our problems, heal our wounds, or fulfill all our hopes because they were never intended to. They don’t have the capacity to. It’s a myth to think that all struggles will be lost in the true love kiss because the truth is that struggles, will always be a part of our lives.

While we are a part of this world, we will always be exposed to the consequences of temptations, sin and pain. Most temptations are for us to run from not to face it. Indeed, we are broken people who reflect a broken world.

But far above earthly love, there is a God who longs to embrace you in His loving and eternal arms; a God who wants to show you that there is so much more to your story than the happy ending of romance. God’s plans and purposes for your life include your love life, but even more exciting, they exceed your love life.

True love is not the end of your story. it is only the beginning, a glimpse of something more.
Don’t sell yourself short on your happily ever after, open up your dreams and allow God to let in so much more. For the broken hearted, please take heart, don't give up, know that God thinks you are to die for. Learn to see yourself through His eyes. You are beautiful.

Happy Easter

 

Xoxo,
Fen Soong

 

Courtesy of Roy & Sasha
Photographed by David Soong

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28 Mar 2016

Shine Bright

Nabila Syakieb Portraits by Fen

I’ve always been a big city girl. I love being surrounded by the light. It makes me comfortable. I can turn left and right and see lights all around me. But I can’t look up and see the stars. Sometimes they’ll appear behind the clouds and show me a twinkle, but the times that happened can be counted by my fingers. 

I am writing this on my balcony and when I looked up, there isn’t a star in sight! 

It’s so much different than what I had seen on my adventure in South Africa. We were driving from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and we pulled over for reasons I now can’t remember. I remember getting out of the car with goosebumps all over me as I stepped into pitch black darkness. I remember the crazy thoughts that crossed my mind and my imagination that ran wild - every thriller movie I’ve ever watched felt like it was about to happen to me right then and there. 

The dark felt frightening. The only source of light came from the headlights of our car. But it was at that moment that I chose to have up to the sky and saw a million stars. It was a beautiful tapestry of lights. Bright lights. And in that light, my fears subsided. I wasn’t scared anymore. We stopped our car. We turned off the headlights. And we sat on the roof of our car, just to gaze upon the stars.

Most of the time, we need to be in complete darkness to really see the stars.

And the same goes for you. You are the star. When there’s no light to be found, when you find yourself completely in the dark, that’s when you will shine. Even brighter than before. 

Your story isn’t over in the dark. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Whatever you are facing, don’t let it dim your light. Use the darkness instead, to make you shine brighter than you’ve ever imagined. 

 

With light and love,

Fen

 

In collaboration with Lightworks

Dress by Yogie Pratama

Make up & Hairdo by Priscilla Myrna

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18 Mar 2016

Relationship Goals

Joe & Julie Taslim’s 10th Wedding Anniversary by Will

On the day of Joe and Julie’s 10th wedding anniversary celebration, the MC asked them, what had inspired them to celebrate their anniversary, Julie replied: David and Fen’s 10th anniversary celebration a few years ago. At that moment, I thought about how lucky I was to be surrounded by such inspiring people to create my relationship goal. 

 

I’ve been in long distance relationship for 9 years. We’ve been together through the long years and the long distance apart. But lately, as my wedding date is drawing near, I have found myself thinking about how will things be after we’re married. Will I still feel butterflies whenever I see her? Will I still experience the same kind of happiness or nervousness that makes our relationship exciting? I heard that some people gave up going to the movies after they were married. They didn’t have date nights and never did the things they used to love doing before they were married. I got so worried. I was excited, but I was worried as well.

 

However, on Joe and Julie’s 10th wedding anniversary celebration, all my worries instantly vanished. It was as if it disappeared into thin air. I watched how Julie pull off the greatest surprise she’s ever done in her life, with the help of their family and friends. I saw how Joe, who didn’t have the slightest clue about the event, couldn’t hide his million dollar smile as he walked into the venue and saw his family and friends waiting for him. I saw how they looked at each other and how their eyes seemed to shout, “I love you!” 

 

I needed to set my goals right, and that goal was standing in front of my face. My relationship goals. Joe and Julie. David and Fen. 10 years of marriage. 

10 years of fun. 

10 years of continuous learning. 

10 years of family. 

10 years of love. 

And I have nothing to worry about. 

 

Thank you for sharing your day with me, Joe and Julie. You are an inspiration.

 

Love,

Will

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17 Mar 2016

Say “Hello” to our Shooting Star

Introducing Donny Wu by David

If there’s one thing we pride ourselves of as a company, it’s the people in it. We’re blessed with a lot of talented and creative personalities that want to join our team and we’ve always kept our doors and our hearts open for them anytime they want to join us. 

A few years ago, we got an email from a freshly graduated information systems engineer who answered the call for a job opening we posted on our social media. His email was so convincing and heartwarming that we couldn’t wait to meet him. We invited him into our office and we hit it off right away. This guy was kind and ambitious. He looked like he was a fast learner, a go-getter, and hungry for new adventures. We definitely wanted him on the team, but… we hesitated. And it’s not because we didn’t think he’s got the skills for it because we believe that skills can be acquired if you’re willing to learn. We hesitated because we doubted if he’d enjoy being around the rowdy bunch that is our team. But in the end, we decided to give it a shot. And we’re so glad we did, because this guy was about to become our shooting star. 

He joined our team as a photo editor. He taught himself - with the help of the team - to edit photos. A few months later, he told us that he’d love to assist the photographers on the job on the weekends, just so he could learn about what it’s like to be a photographer. A few months later, he started picking up the camera and learned to shoot. He is always up for a challenge and he continuously improved himself. He never minded the jobs that other people might think meaningless. He always gave his best. I have learned to never take that kind of talent and dedication for granted and so, when AXIOO Bali opened, we put him under Adi’s wing to polish his skills as a wedding photographer. 

It has only been a few short years since we first met him, but there’s simply no concealing the shine that he brings to our company. So, it is with great pride and pleasure that I introduce our shooting star, Donny Wu, to you today. He tells us just how honored he is to be a part of our team, but in fact, we are really the lucky ones to have him. He just makes our team so much better.

Donny is our newest Bali-based wedding photographer and he will be dedicating his talents and creativity to making pre-wedding portraits and shooting wedding on the island. I think you will like his subtle yet artistically expressive style.

 

Love,

David

 

PS: Please ask our Sales Team about the welcome package we have for Donny. Send your inquiries to sales@axioo.com or kinsky@axioo.com

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14 Mar 2016

Welcoming William!

Introducing William Lie by David

Hi everybody! 

 

I want to introduce you to a guy who I think is not a stranger to you in the first place. He’s no stranger to us, that’s for sure. He’s been a part of our AXIOO for a while now as editor and then as a shadow photographer and then, for a brief period of time, a photographer who specializes in single portraitures. 

There is more to William Lie than his adorable chubby cheeks the girls are always gushing about that. Beyond that baby face, there is a deep passion for photography and an extraordinary talent, combined with a charming personality. William is the picture of the artist with a golden heart. 

He checks off everything we ever wanted in a wedding photographer - young, spirited, creative, and more importantly, a really fun guy to be around. And so, it is with great pride and pleasure that we welcome William Lie into our wedding photographers line up. He will now dedicate his talents to making pre-wedding portraits and capturing your wedding moments. 

Everyone in AXIOO loves this guy. And I believe that you will too. Welcome to the team, William. 

 

Cheers,

David

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07 Mar 2016

Hey, Baby!

Baby AXIOO Photographers by Fen

What makes a good baby photographer according to Fen? 

1. Must love babies. 

2. Must love baby giggles. 

Contrary to popular opinion, being a photographer is not only about their photography skills. I believe it’s more about passion and interest. It’s more about what’s in the heart. I think that passionate people make the best photographers, simply because their eyes reflect what’s in their hearts. And we all know that eyes are really the best asset a photographer has. Not their camera. Their eyes. 

I’ve always been so proud of everyone on the AXIOO team. And lately, I’ve found myself feeling even prouder of the photographers line-up. Especially the female photographers on the BabyAXIOO team. They are intelligent and talented and passionate. And oh, they’re incredibly cute too! How I wish you can meet each and everyone of them in person! 

Meet Vania, the melancholic photographer. Vania loves capturing moments. Photography, to her, is a tool for capturing moments that fly by too quickly. It’s the only way to preserve thoughts and feelings, raw emotions, innocence and glow, to hold the things that will soon change for just a little while longer, to relive moments that will soon pass. Newborn and Maternity portraits becomes her passion and expertise because of this. Vania finds the joy in classical music, broadway shows and monochromatic colors. She thrives on the challenges of finding new experiences in her adventures to far off, exciting places.

Meet Aveline, the prop master. There is something about children that brings out the creative soul within Aveline. It could be their chubby cheeks, their innocence, their cuteness, or even their mischevious litte hearts. Whatever it is, children can never fail to bring a smile on Ave's face. Ave begins every day as it were on purpose and she jumps out of bed with a gleeful heart whenever she has a shoot planned for the day. She goes to work excited, bringing her props, ready to welcome the huge grins on her clients. When Ave is not out there capturing smiles on little children's faces, she spends good quality time with her loved ones, culinary trips with her friends and day dreaming about her favorite laid-back city, Melbourne.

Meet Herna, the lawyer turned photo editor turned photographer. Here is a girl who believes that a life without passion is no life at all. So much, that she gave up a law degree to devote herself completely to photography. Aside passion, Herna believes that life is to be lived in moments. Moments that make you gasp momentarily for air just by being in it. Moments that makes you question your brain’s capacity to soak in its beauty. It’s these moments that make up your life, making it worthy of every click on her camera. Capturing everyday life is Herna’s passion. It’s what she lives for. She’s fun and bubbly. When she’s not out globetrotting, she will be the first person you want to call and spend your day with. One cup of coffee can last for hours without you knowing it, because time sure flies when you’re with her.

I’m so proud of them and the person they’re about to be. I’m exceptionally proud to have them on our team. I really wish you can meet them in person and see for yourself just how wonderful they are. If you’re looking to shoot a maternity, newborn, children or even family portraits, they’re the best people you can call! 


Love,

Fen

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17 Feb 2016

Roger & Denny

The Wedding Anniversary by David

I love shooting weddings. I have loved it for a while now. However, lately, I have found myself enjoying shooting wedding anniversaries even more. There’s a distinct feel during anniversaries that can’t be felt at weddings. Grace. Strength. Gratitude. And love that has withstood the test of time. The words that are spoken to each other carry more weight. Even in the silence and even through the tears, their eyes shine, as if to say, “Thank you. I love you. I love being married to you.” An anniversary is a celebration, not only of a union of two people, but of the commitment to the marriage, to stay together no matter what may come their way. To fall in love is the easy part, the harder part is to stay in love. And that’s what anniversaries celebrate. 

Roger and Denny celebrated their fifth anniversary in the Maldives. You may ask, “Why Maldives?” and I’d reply, “Why not?” Maldives is a dream destination. The beaches are white, the sun shines all year long, the clear blue sea invites us to take a plunge, and the underwater world is so beautiful it makes you feel small in the greatness of our Creator. It is a place that feels different to any other places in the world. It’s almost like paradise. And it’s the perfect place to explore. 

Roger and Denny were joined by their closest friends who flew all the way to Maldives to share the joy of their anniversary. Each one of them are witness to their love story. They were there five years ago to witness them be joined as one and have been there since then. They’ve seen Roger and Denny through the seasons of their lives, from being a husband and a wife, into parents of two adorable little girls. Take a look at them. I’ve come to believe that marriage grows better when surrounded by a trustworthy and reliable circle of friends who will be there to share the joy, the tears and everything in between.

Roger and Denny’s celebration felt like more like a vacation than work and I’m grateful for the opportunity to, once again, visit this beautiful island which, despite being at the mercy of the sea, still holds its beauty. It kind of felt like the perfect description of a marriage, actually. Thanks again for letting us be a witness to your milestone, Roger and Denny.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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13 Feb 2016

Persevere.

Inri Beauty Portraits by Fen

Oh gosh. Where do I start? I can’t even use any emojis here, that’s another challenge. 

I read this quote once by Julie Andrews, “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” Perseverance. The sound of the word alone already gives me the chills. But it always manages to bring the image of my groom-to-be to mind. I believe that when you look up the word “perseverance” in the dictionary, you will find his picture. And let me tell you why. 

Truth be told, I am not open or showy (at least that’s what I think) especially when it comes to my relationship. Any kind. Whether it’s with my family or my friends, even with the man I’m about to marry this weekend. But he deserves some credit, this one. Especially after the amount of things we’ve (or he’s) been through. 

Some girls are lucky to be proposed to once. I feel special (or I should feel special) because I was proposed to not once, twice, thrice, but four times. By the same man. Yes, I turned him down the first three times he proposed and finally said “Yes!” at the fourth. If you ask me why, I really can’t remember anymore. Maybe it was because of the situation or maybe because I simply just wasn’t ready. I do know that at one point, it was because my parents haven’t given us the green light yet and so I just held back. But you know, he stayed around. I imagine that other guys wouldn’t think twice about running as far as he possibly can away from me, but this cutie-pie of mine never gave up. I can knock him down a thousand times and a thousand times, he will get back on his feet again. I don’t take advantage of this (although I must admit that I wish I could at times but I don’t). Instead, I choose to see that his love for me is selfless. It was never about his pride as a man; it was always about me and him. 

Our relationship has been a bumpy ride, right from the start. We experienced lots of disappointments, disapprovals, confusions, miscommunications… Often times I find myself wishing that our relationship could be as smooth and simple as everybody else’s. However, now that I am standing here, just a few short hours before I say “I do” to this one man for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t trade our story for the world. This is him. This is me. This is us. It isn’t a story straight out of a fairy tale, in fact, it’s far from it. Ours is a story of perseverance. 

 

Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still. Never give up. 

 

Wish us luck!

Inri

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15 Jan 2016

Part of your world

Dyan Beauty Portraits by Fen

The last time I saw Disney’s Little Mermaid was when I was still a teenager. I watched it again only recently and I discovered a new meaning of the movie. More than the lovely soundtrack and the entertaining lines, I realized the Little Mermaid is actually about sacrifice. Sacrificial love, because to sacrifice your world for love is truly something. 

Love needs sacrifice. It’s about taking a chance. However, unlike the fairy tale, it doesn’t always end in a happily ever after and forever in la la land. Sometimes love demands you to sacrifice a big part of you. Like Ariel - she had to give up her beautiful voice to go after the man of her dreams. And that takes a lot of courage. Okay, so maybe, in real life, it may not be as dramatic as selling your voice to a wicked witch for a pair of legs, but it requires courage none the less. Maybe you have to leave your home to move to a foreign land, maybe you need to leave your comfort zone behind, or change the ways that you’re used to. But when you’ve found the courage to do whatever it takes, as yourself, is it worth it?

I truly believe that once in a lifetime, you’ll find someone who can turn your world upside down. You look at that person and you think of the blue sky, a gentle wind, or even a little whirlwind over the horizon because you feel completely at peace or deliriously happy and no one has ever made you feel like that before. You found the courage to open your heart and you allow yourself to feel these feelings. 

To open your heart is a courageous act on its own, especially when you do it with honest knowledge that your heart might get broken one day. That’s the sacrifice. That’s the chance you take, but in doing so, you experience a love and overflowing joy that you have never even dared to dream about. You will find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that is so real, even if it scares you. However, you will find the strength in knowing that you have a true friend, and possibly, a soulmate, who will remain true to you till the end. And that’s what makes all your sacrifice worth it.

 

“When's it my turn? Wouldn't I love, love to explore that shore up above? Out of the sea, wish I could be part of that world”

 

Love, 

Fen

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11 Jan 2016

#ourjobiscoolerthanyours

AXIOO Christmas Party 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or more affectionately known here at the AXIOO House, the time we take off our work hats to give thanks for all that happened within the year and, of course, to have a crazy fun! 

I think I speak for everyone when I say that 2015 flew by in a blink of an eye. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were unwrapping gifts from the gift exchange only to realize that it’s time to exchange gifts again! They say that time flies when you’re having fun and I guess that we can all attest to the truth in that. 

2015 has been wonderful for us. We’ve seen good numbers and the personal growth of everyone in our company. We’ve seen each business unit do new things and achieve breakthroughs! Our BabyAXIOO team managed to kickstart a newborn photography program, in conjunction with various hospitals in Jakarta. Our design team have created new products to store memories that are beautiful as it is functional. And our Video Team have started to take on pre-wedding movies and shooting wedding films outside of the country. You know, come to think of it, these guys are heroes. They can be shooting pre-wedding movies in Bali on Friday, weddings in Jakarta on Saturday and Sunday, and then another pre-wedding movie in Perth the following week. Forget the airline miles, but how strong are these guys? 

We’ve all worked hard and tirelessly, but none of our efforts can ever be compared to the joy we feel when we see the smiles on our clients’ faces. In fact, you know what? You are our real heroes, because without you, we wouldn’t have been this motivated. So, thank you… from the bottom of our hearts! 

So, about #AXIOOXmas2015. I’m constantly amazed by the pool of talent we have here at the AXIOO. They are creative, loud, crazy bunch and Fen and I are just so blessed to call each and every one of them family. This year, they took up the theme occupation and as it is to be expected, everyone went all out with costumes. I can’t believe the creativity that is found all across Cassis Kitchen, were our party was hosted. There were Go-Jek drivers, bakers, students, painters, doctors, journalists, secretaries, maids, even jobless people. The best dressed team was by far, the BabyAXIOO team who dressed as airline crews, pilots and ground staff. I love how all out they were. The event was hosted by talented in-house MC, Jepher and Tysna, who made us laugh uncontrollably till our jaws hurt. The event was basically by us and for us and that made it intimate, warm and memorable. 

As this year comes to an end, I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at AXIOO for all your hard work. You are our family and we are grateful for you. I also want to thank every reader of this blog, both the loyal ones who comes to check on us every day or the occasional visitors, thank you for following along in our journey and for leaving us likes and comments during your visits. Words aren’t enough to express how much your encouragements mean to us. 

I hope that 2015 has been as wonderful to you and pray that 2016 has a lot of great things in store for you and for us. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, a joyous new year, and a very happy ho-ho-holiday! 

 

Peace out,

David

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22 Dec 2015
All the way to the bottom already?