Conversations in Bromo

Freeman & Shelly by Aha

There are two things I particularly love about the pre-wedding session of Freeman and Shelly. First of all, Freeman and Shelly are from Malaysia and they chose Bromo, an active volcano and a mastiff with beautiful scenery in East Java. I’m most glad about the fact that Indonesia’s beauty is already spread wide and heard of not only here, but also in neighboring countries! Although I’ve never visited the place myself, I have heard about this gem and it never fails to make me feel proud of our nation. So, when I knew that I had finally gotten the chance to visit it, I was beyond excited. And when I saw Bromo with my own two eyes, I grew increasingly proud of our beautiful Indonesia. It was truly breathtakingly beautiful. 

Another thing that I love from this session are the conversations we shared during the two days. At first, the schedule didn’t seem like it allowed for a lot of time to talk, however, in between the rain and the long trip we had to make to the locations that we wanted gave us some time to connect. It was pretty exhausting actually. Like when we wanted to go to the Pasir Berbisik (“whispering sand” - isn’t that beautiful?), unfortunately, for some reason or another, we couldn’t go on the jeep and had to take a horse instead. Going horseback riding wasn’t as nice and relaxing as we thought. Although the pace was slow and we got to talk a little, our backs were aching! Fortunately, though, that didn’t stop Freeman and Shelly from having a positive attitude for their shoot. We also had a chance to talk when we were stuck in the pouring rain and we ran for cover under the big tree in the middle of the forest. I remember a question that I asked Freeman, “What do you usually do when Shelly need you?” and his humble response, “Always be there, my friend.” If I forget everything we have talked about, I want to remember the simplicity of this answer he gave me. 

Two things made this a memorable trip for me. However, the best part of the trip was really the chance to meet Freeman and Shelly. Being with them for two days can grow my faith in love and relationships that last. Thank you for taking me to Bromo, Freeman and Shelly, but most of all, thank you for sharing your lives with me. You are truly inspiring. 

 

Woof ya,

 

Aha

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25 Aug 2016

Another Side of Paris

Harsono & Vinna by Dre

In the summer, I took my whole family on a road trip across Europe. Five of us in one car for miles and miles. Sure, there were moments I wished I had my earplugs on because three children in a confined space for a long duration of time can be quite noisy, nevertheless, those moments were never enough to steal the joy I felt throughout the entire trip. We came home with hearts full, dreaming of the next time we can be on the road again. One of the most memorable cities we visited during the trip was Paris. Even though I have been there a couple of times before, this city seem to exude a different kind of feel that time around. It felt warmer and friendlier. As I explored the city and saw it through the eyes of my children, I had found a new side to the most romantic city of the world. Paris really did have lots of secrets just waiting to be discovered. 

A few weeks later, I came back to Paris again. This time, I came alone on a work assignment. There I met Harsono and Vinna, the sweet and easy going couple from Batam island. They loved the romantic feel of Paris and chose the city as the backdrop to their pre-wedding portraits. Great choice, I must say. However, during that trip, as a continuation to the experience I had before it, I felt like I had to discover what else Paris had in store for us. I wanted to explore and capture Paris from a different angle. Lucky for me, Harsono and Vinna agreed with me. 

At the end of that trip, I found that Paris is truly magnificent from every angle. There’s always beauty waiting to be discovered in that romantic city. Just when you think you’ve seen everything to see in Paris, you’ll find something new. Every street corner, every brick wall, every bridge… there’s beauty to be found if you look for it. I always find myself being pleasantly surprised by this city. And I’ll be back again… no doubt about it!


Cheers,

 

Dre

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20 Aug 2016

Silver Lining

Ronald & Enda by William

Hello everyone. I want to share with you today the first album out of my #SummerInItaly series. 

The best memories of a pre-wedding session are never really about the pictures, but how those pictures were made. For me, personally, the best memories are always about the experiences I share with the clients, especially when we start the trip in a professional setting but become good friends by the end of it. 

The two-days session I had with Ronald and Enda were nothing short of memorable. Although almost all the planning were made before they even arrived in Italy, we had to make extreme adjustments to it due to the weather. A thunderstorm in the middle of summer? Mother Nature really wasn’t on our side that day because she basically left us 10 minutes on the castle on the hill at Lake Como before the dark clouds came above us! However, like they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. That day, when the rain suddenly fell upon us, we ran for cover towards the car but we never made it. We stopped in a cafe instead. We were stuck in there for a while because of the thunderstorm, so we made the most out of it. We traded stories over coffee and had a lots of laugh. There were 4 of us, including Ely the make-up artist, in the cafe that afternoon. Ely and Enda hit it off right away. They came from the same region and spoke the same dialect which the rest of us didn’t understand, so you can imagine how many inside jokes they shared there. 

That afternoon really set the mood for the entire photo session. Somehow, we bonded during the thunderstorm and hit it off. We enjoyed the rest of our time together, had a blast during the drive from cities to cities and on the ferry ride across Lake Como, and ate lots of good food. 

Everything does happen for a reason, and because of that thunderstorm, although we started off as clients and professional, when the trip ended, we were basically friends. 

These pictures I took of Ronald and Enda are beautiful, but more than that, I think the experience I had with them was even more memorable. Thank you for trusting me to capture your pre-wedding moments… But most of all, thank you for the friendship. 

 

Love,

Will

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18 Aug 2016

So Good Together

Stephen & Riri by Jan

Let’s take a vote. Which one is the most important to have in a pre-wedding photo session? 

a. beautiful wardrobe

b. flawless make-up

c, breathtaking location

d. all of the above

How many here said “d. all of the above”? Is it safe to say, everyone?

But guess what? The most important one is actually not on the list because more important than all of the above is actually personality and chemistry. 

You can look gorgeous with beautiful wardrobe and flawless make-up at a breathtaking location but if your personality cannot come out or you don’t share any chemistry with your partner, I can tell you right now that your pictures might not be as beautiful. 

On flip side, if you’ve got nothing else but a radiant personality and you share chemistry with each other, your pictures can be perfect! And, as a bonus to the photographer, you’ll make it so much more fun because capturing a strong personality and intimacy of a relationship is simply addictive. 

In my honest opinion, Stephen and Riri had all the necessary components to make the perfect pre-wedding portraits, although admittedly, it placed a lot of pressure on me to bring on my A-game to the shoot because since they’ve got it all, I felt like it was up to me to make it all work. Lucky for me, their bubbly personalities stopped me from becoming a complete nervous wreck. They were so honest, so real, so transparent towards each other, and so fun to be around that they made the entire shoot such an unforgettable experience for me. Their confidence shone through in every shot I took and they were so natural as if they were having so much fun with each other that they didn’t notice I was there. They looked so good together. 

I truly enjoyed making their portraits, but more that that, I enjoyed spending time with them more. Thank you, Stephen and Riri, for the memorable experience. 


Cheers,

Jan

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12 Aug 2016

The Beauty of Sumba

Hutomo & Stephanie by Ivan

A few months ago, a picture can on my facebook feed. To this day, I can still remember it clearly. It was a picture of the sun setting against the calm shores of a pristine beach. The orange hues were so captivating that I just stopped to stare at it for a while. The picture was posted by a friend of mine with the caption “Sunset in Sumba”. 

Sumba. Hmm. I clicked on her album to see a series of beautiful pictures that she took on the island. From pristine beaches, to low savannahs, to hilltop villages, every picture seemed to have drawn my attention and left me in awe of it’s beauty. And it wasn’t because of the quality of the picture too, as my friend herself have openly confessed that the pictures didn’t do justice to the beauty of the island. That made me even more curious. 

Sure, I’ve heard of Sumba, a place in my country more popularly known for horse-breeding, but clearly, I knew nothing of it. I became curious of it. I began to actively search for more information about it. Then, I couldn’t wait to visit it. 

I’m glad that, after a long wait, I had the chance and the perfect reason to visit this island. Although the first meeting with Hutomo and Stephanie started off like any other meeting, without the slightest mention of Sumba, the island kept coming up during the conversation… and just like the waves on the clear blue seas, the ideas came rolling in. Before long, we had settled our minds on capturing the story of Hutomo and Stephanie on the beaches of Sumba. 

The island stopped being a mystery and became a dream that I would never want to wake up from. It is breathtakingly beautiful and no pictures could ever do its beauty justice indeed. However, please allow me to show you a glimpse of the island. It does make a gorgeous backdrop for this love story though, doesn’t it?


Cheers,

 

Ivan

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06 Aug 2016

Touched by Love

Calvin & Patricia by Dre

I knew that I had been touched by love the first time I saw you, and I felt your warmth, and I heard your laughter.
I knew that I had been touched by love when I was hurting from something that happened, and you came along and made the hurt go away.
I knew that I had been touched by love when I quit making plans with my friends, and started dreaming dreams with you.
I knew that I had been touched by love
when suddenly I stopped thinking in terms of “me,” and started thinking in terms of “we”.
I knew that I had been touched by love when suddenly I couldn't make any decisions by myself anymore, and I had the strong desire to share everything with you.
I knew that I had been touched by love the first time we spent alone together, and I knew I wanted to stay with you forever
because I had never felt this touched by love.


Praying that you will always know that you've been touched by love for the rest of your days. Congratulations in advance for your upcoming nuptials!

 

 

Cheers,
Dre

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03 Aug 2016

Breathtaking

Ricky & Helena by Donny

I’ve always been an admirer of mountains. The view of the mountains never fails to take my breath away. Every visit to the mountain always seems to encourage my creativity as I gain new perspectives and new confidence just by standing on the greatness of the mountain. And that’s probably why, I love recommending going to the mountains for pre-wedding sessions. Aside from having a view that is naturally gorgeous, I think that love just looks much over there. 

Not many want to go though. Most prefer the beach views, since they’re already on the island. But those who wants to go the extra miles will find that there is more to Bali than its pristine shores. 

I felt really lucky when I suggested shooting at Mount Batur to Ricky and Helena and they agreed. The roads leading to the gorgeous spots were not easy. There was a long traffic (due to Balinese religious ceremonies) and road blocks (on the foot of the mountain, due to repairs). I guess we could have just turned back and decide to go to the lakes or the beach, but we didn’t. After asking around for alternative roads, we made it to the mountain. And every challenges we faced were redeemed by the breathtaking view that it offered. 

We stayed on the mountains for a while, until a few hours after lunch, then we headed down towards the lake, then to the beach, then to the clubs before finally wrapping the shoot at about 9 at night. It was a long, long, long day. But when I went to bed that night, I didn’t think about how tired I was because all I could remember was that gorgeous view of the mountains and how it took my breath away. 

To Ricky and Helena, thank you for coming with me on this trip. I hope it was as memorable for you as it was for me. Sending you all the best wishes for a smooth walk up to the altar. 

 

Cheers,

 

Donny

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02 Aug 2016

#111LoveStory

Kalvin & Olivia by Aha

“We met at a restaurant in Jakarta through one of our mutual friend who introduced us over dinner. My first impression was that he seemed like a nice guy. But there was one thing that bothered me throughout the dinner, his 70’s disco wide jeans. It hurts my eyes and I still vividly remember that jeans. His fashion sense was close to non-existent. One thing for sure though, physical appearance should not be the top priority. (Because I know I would be able to do a total makeover. Challenge accepted!)

I can’t really remember much about that day (apart from that pants), but we ended up swapping contacts anyway. Maybe it was because I was bored and single-ready-to-mingle (as they would say).

Not to my surprise, I woke up the next morning with a message from him. The first thought that came into my mind was ‘What another lame and desperate guy that I have gotten myself into. Dear me!’ 

And to my disbelief, this was his first pick up line. He said, “Good Morning. I have a diarrhea from the food we ate last night.” and I was like WOW. This guy is something else. Come to think of it, I was so flabbergasted with the topic that I ended up replying to his messages. I quickly learned later on that this is called the ‘shock & awe’ technique of pick line. Be warned ladies!

We talked a lot about unimportant things, just as you would when you first met a guy. Eventually, he asked me out for a date. But to be completely honest, I do not have the slightest interest with this man.” 

Well, we know that that story doesn’t end there. In fact, that was just the beginning. Kalvin ended up impressing Olivia enough to make her say “Yes!” to spending forever with him. He popped the question in the most romantic manner possible too - in the middle of Digital Fashion Week in Singapore! Love a good love story like I do? Do yourself a favor and read the rest of Kalvin and Olivia’s love story, which Olivia told in such a sweet way on her blog www.olivialazuardy.com. Then enjoy their pre-wedding album which I made for them in Japan. 

To Kalvin and Olivia, congratulations on your engagement! I wish you a smooth walk all the way to the altar until you’re finally joined as one forever. Stay in love! 

 

Cheers,

 

Aha

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28 Jul 2016

He’s Not Perfect

Suminto & Jessyln by Jan

You’re getting married! I can imagine how excited you must be as your big day draws near. I also can imagine the amount of fights that you’ll be having as a result to the impending deadlines and the anxiety. You could both be nervous wrecks and agreeing with each other seems impossible. You wish to change him, to force him to agree with you, but to no avail. Because marriage shouldn’t be about changing each other; it’s about accepting each other truly and whole-heartedly. By now, I imagine, you and your husband to be have been together long enough to know that you are not perfect. But let me tell you something - that doesn’t mean that you cannot have a truly perfect marriage! He’s not perfect, but you aren’t either. And while the two of you will never be perfect, you can be perfect for each other. 

So, as your big day draws near, remember to chillax - together or alone - because maybe all you need is some time away from the stresses of wedding planning, to realize that you are marrying each other simply because at one point in time (probably before any of this began), you knew that you are perfect for each other. 

To close, let me share with you some words of wisdom from the great Bob Marley: “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, cause you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him. Don’t change him. And don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had, because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”


Love,

 

Jan

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26 Jul 2016

Moments

Jaya & Catherine by Dre

Hi everybody! I am writing you from the air, where we have just wrapped up our family road trip. We drove over 2000 KM across Europe for countless hours! Admittedly, it was tiring, but it is surely something I cannot wait to do again. What I love most about family road trip is that it puts us together in a confined space for hours. And this brings with it many opportunities for us to talk and bond (and fight!) It was a great experience and while our bodies may be tired, I know for sure that our hearts are full. 

I don’t need to be in Europe to realize just what a lucky man I am. I know I am blessed whenever I see my wife and my three children. But there was one time, during this trip, on a bridge in Annecy, as I gazed at my wife, my heart swelled up as it dawned on me what a lucky, lucky man I really and truly am. We’ve been through so many things, she and I. We’ve had our share of really great moments and some not so great moments too. Every moments we share is what makes us who we are today. 

People have told me that our marriage and our family are “goals!” and we are flattered. While I am grateful for the compliment, I wish that I can encourage them to write their own stories; to make their own relationship goals. 

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Some pieces are colorful and some are dull, but all these millions of tiny moments create your very own love story.” I truly believe that. Live every moment - savor it, treasure it, cherish it - because those are the things that makes your relationship goals! 


Cheers,

Dre

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15 Jul 2016
All the way to the bottom already?