Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catching Up

I met with Ken Lin and David over the weekend. Ken Lin was in town from Penang for a function and David arranged for a get together over a leisurely lunch. The three of us have known each other since 1988, when we were in boarding school at Immanuel College in Adelaide.

We always make it a point to meet, be it in Penang or KL, depending on who's travelling. The only one who seems to be missing at these gatherings is Ken Bin, but I shan't dwell on that. What matters is those who turn up.

It is always good to catch up, share news of the latest happenings in our lives. Of course we are in touch on Facebook, but it is never really the same as chatting in person when the opportunity arises. Kudos to us three ... self praise is indeed well-earned.

Photo of Ken Lin, David and I in El Meson in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Two events that played out in the past few weeks have made me realise how important character is. Apart from integrity, class in character is also something to value. I suppose this subconsciously explains why I only have a small but close circle of friends.

If I were to think it through carefully, I guess I can categorise my close knit groups into those from boarding school and uni in Adelaide, from hotel school in Le Bouveret, a colleague from Genting, a couple from the advertising industry, some from the wedding business and a few personal friends, even a previous client or two. These are the people whom I can trust. To what extent I trust them varies of course, and they reciprocate in the reflective proportions. What I do know is that these are the ones who will stand by me and who will stand up for me. I would do the same for them. Such relationships are a blessing and I am grateful for them.

The aformentioned events basically left a somewhat bitter taste. I would just say this, when I treat people well, I expect to be treated in the same manner. When I offer someone respect, I expect respect in return. When we do a good job, a 'thank you' would be nice. As for the nasty ones, well, I don't tolerate them, and I certainly don't have time for nonsense. Most of all, for those who betray my trust, well, what is there to say except that I should have known better. And of course, there are new and better friends to be made. And by the way, you definitely need to trust those around you when a photo such as the one above is captured!

Photo shot in Bali by Janice Chan.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We, well most of us anyway, look for meaning in the work we do. It is so important to have fulfillment and personal satisfaction in our careers. Many would know that I do a lot of different things when it comes to work. I am a publisher, editor, designer, news presenter. Each offers me a different perspective, different challenges.

Relationships are also crucial in our careers. Some are purely business related, others are more personal in nature. I tend to associate with people who are like-minded. Colleagues and friends who are just as motivated as I am, who set high standards for themselves, who appreciate the hard work put into the creative process, who always aspire to seek knowledge so as to become better, who strive to do the best that they can, and most of all, who value integrity. Granted, I can be difficult at times, but aren't creative people allowed some leeway? Of course, not everyone shares the same values, and we will certainly come across those who do not subscribe to what we hold dear. It is really not something that we have control over, so I suppose the best thing to do is to remain cordial and move on.

I keep reminding myself that the ultimate goal is to enjoy one's work. Some days may be more disappointing than others but on the whole, I think I'm doing fine. My motto for 2011? Work to travel! I am hoping for a trip every two months. That's a huge goal to achieve and I shall definitely work towards that. Enjoy, that's what I intend to do.

Photo shot in Kuching recently, courtesy of ShenSnaps Photography.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Leap Of Faith

Sometimes one finds oneself in a situation where one has to decide whether to take a leap of faith. In instances where facts and figures are part of the equation, it is an easier decision to make. The level of uncertainty rises when one has to only rely on gut feel and instinct. And the reality is that when the resultant outcome will be of a big impact, for better or worse that is, then whether to jump or not takes on such bigger proportions.

It's true when people say 'you only live once'. And if you subscribe to that motto, then perhaps a leap ain't such a big deal. That is if one is willing and ready to accept the ramifications.

Yes, I am rambling, in the hope that by rambling, I may find some light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and hope that the outcome is a pleasant one.

Photo shot at Yoros Kalesi in Anadolu Kavagi, Turkey, with a view of the Bosphorus meeting the Black Sea.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Emotion And Passion

I am in Kuching to attend the dedication of ShenSnaps Photo-graphy's gallery. What struck me most at the ceremony was the emotional testimony that Shen Yeo shared with all present. I am certain that my fellow industry colleagues - Louis Pang, Jim Liaw, Ning Liaw, Alvin Leong and John Seah - would share my sentiments. We all felt the passion.

In his speech, Shen spoke of the milestones that marked his journey so far, the people who helped him along the way, the support of family and friends, the unplanned coincidences that opened doors. For the faithful, like Shen, the latter are the work of God. For others like me, we may think of it as fate. Whatever the case may be, the lesson to be learnt is that when opportunities are presented to us, we should seize them.

Thanks Shen for inviting me to be part of this meaningful day. I look forward to exciting times ahead for ShenSnaps Photography.

Photo by Shen Yeo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Visit By Martin Kisseleff

It's been a number of years since I've seen Mr Kisseleff of Cesar Ritz Colleges in Switzer-land. According to him, the last time he was here in Malaysia was probably 5 or 6 years ago. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I received an sms from a fellow alumni inviting me to a dinner hosted by Mr Kisseleff Monday evening.

I always make it a point to attend alumni functions when I can, be it primary school, university or graduate school. And whilst none from my batch attended on Monday, I also enjoy mingling with those from other years. These are the friends whom you can count on to show up.

Some are still hoteliers while others like myself have moved on to other things. But we share a common bond. A link to the happy times as students in Switzerland.

Photo of Cesar Ritz Colleges alumni, shot in Penang Village, Great Eastern Mall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hope And Faith

A friend was lamenting the lack of success in finding love despite having tried very hard. Having seen so many other friends happily coupled, it has been rather disheartening for this friend of mine. More so when it seemed so easy for those who are married or in long term relationships.

Well, I am certainly not qualified to give advice in matters of the heart. So all I could muster was 'it'll happen when it happens'. Not that comforting words I must say. But I definitely do believe in fate and I suppose that response was based on this belief.

I also feel that while trying is important, trying too hard may be counterproductive too. I would think that it is necessary to be aware and sensitive to one's surrounds, and when an opportunity does appear, then act on it. Of course, this is easier said than done most of the time. To my friend, I would just say this, keep the faith. Hope is what keeps us going. And when fate finally does deal its hand, I hope that it will be a card of hearts.

Photo shot at Ku De Ta in Bali, Indonesia.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Linda And Derek

I came back from lunch yesterday to a beautiful framed photo of the wedding gown we created for Linda. Linda had dropped by while I was out and left me this thoughtful gift plus an even more thoughtful hand-written 'thank you' card.

Although I work in an industry that many regard as a happy one, it is not without its downsides. I often rant, and stress is an all too common everpresent pest. But a thoughtful act from an appreciative client does make it a bit more worthwhile.

Having seen some of the photos shot by Fiona of FIFOTO Photography, I must say that Linda and Derek do know how to pull off a great wedding. My best wishes again to you both.

Photo courtesy of FIFOTO Photography.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doors And Windows

I don't watch that much TV. Correction, I don't watch that much TV on TV. I watch some online. Grey's Anatomy. Brothers and Sisters. 24. Britain's Got Talent. The X Factor. Small Space Big Style.

It's funny sometimes what one can learn from watching such shows. Sure, it's entertainment, but when one can relate to the dialogue, that's when one gets hooked, that's when I reflect at the end of that particular episode.

Here's what I learnt very recently ... when a door is slightly ajar, perhaps we should open it fully; when there is a window in a room, let's look out and see what the world has to offer; when someone comes through the door, pay adequate attention; leaving the curtains drawn means that we don't get the opportunity to look through the window; sometimes we should close the door to a chapter in our lives and at other times walk through the door into the unknown; open the window and breathe in fresh perspectives. Valuable lessons indeed. Now to put them into practice.

A quote I shot from a wall in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Working Together

I am happy to say that for the most part, my friends and industry colleagues within the weddingsmalaysia 'family' get along well and are always willing to cooperate and lend a helping hand when the need arises.

In an industry such as ours, we can seldom work in isolation. There are too many components of a wedding for us not to be intertwined in one way or another.

Here's a photo of decor by My Bridal Florist, shot by Andy Chin Studio during the recent wedding fair at Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur. Us non-photographers often rely on our more artistic counterparts to capture our work in a stylised way only they can. A fine example of how cultivated relationships are a boon in our line of work.

Photo of flowers by My Bridal Florist, courtesy of Andy Chin Studio.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Sound Of Music's 45th Anniversary

As you may be aware from my 2 previous posts, I am in reunion mode. It came as a pleasant surprise then that I read online that the entire cast of The Sound Of Music was reunited on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show very recently to mark the movie's 45th anniversary.

I remember watching The Sound Of Music as a young kid and have since rewatched it countless times. For me, it remains as my favourite musical movie of all time. It is a classic, appealing to generations, and the songs are timeless, catchy tunes within which some valuable lessons can be learnt.

Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer as well as the rest of the cast who portrayed the Von Trapp children were on hand to chat with Oprah and watching the show definitely brought back many wonderful memories.

Here's the interview on Oprah :

And of course the beautiful song Edelweiss.


Photo of the Von Trapps in The Sound Of Music.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Personal Touch

How important is the personal touch? I'd say very important. We receive gifts all the time - I may be prone to exaggeration but you get what I mean - but if you think about it, what we remember best are the gifts that have a personal touch.

From something as simple as beautiful wrapping to a present as priceless as a painting, I admire the effort taken to make it extra special. When I receive such a gift, I appreciate it. If handmade, I don't look for flaws, instead, I marvel at the artistry, the originality. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder so they say, and for me, the beauty lies in creativity, inventiveness and the personalisation. The effort.

Here's a photo of Izlyn, just having won the lucky draw grand prize at our primary school reunion recently, a painting of acrylic and crayon by our friend Shazlina. When I first suggested at one of our organising committee meetings that Shazlina do a painting to be offered as a prize, she was hesitant. Who would want her painting she contemplated. I said I would. And my other friends concurred. I am really glad that our tacit coercion and gentle persuasion worked. And when the time came for us to allocate the prize, the committee at once decided that it had to be the grand prize. Afterall, what could be more meaningful than winning a painting created by a childhood friend? We're happy for you Izlyn, we notice that the painting is now proudly hanging on a wall in your office. As for Shaz, well, she's deluged with demands from the rest of us ... we want a painting too!!

Photo of Shazlina and Izlyn at the SSP82s @ 40 birthday party and reunion.