Written on 28th September 2011, 2049hrs

Disclaimer: There are a few terms in here using Malay language, but I don’t think it disturbs the meaning of the whole article.


I’m not saying that I’m a good photographer; there’s a lot for me to learn still, but I do know what I want to achieve, and what I’d love to see.


I love it when wedding (or any event, actually) photos includes candid shots of the couple’s family members enjoying the beautiful day. I’m not a really big fan of posing/’control ayu’ kinds of posts…of course I’d want a nice photo of me and my husband but I’d want to know what the rest of the family is doing, how they enjoyed themselves during the wedding, what funny things happened on that happy day.


I’d love to see the emotions caught on camera.

Like the face of the father and mother of the bride, and groom.

The joy of the children, running around while the bride and groom are having palpitations – mixed anxiety and happiness.

The emotions of the couple before and after the solemnisation is done. I could see from a recent wedding I went to, the face of the bride was so different before and after…it’s like a huge burden has been lifted off her and she’s way calmer.


I’d love to see the little flower girls preparing for their important role. How the parents would try to organise them into lines and tell them to “not walk too fast but not too slowly”.

I love to see the uncles sitting in a row, at first quietly, and then they’d start chit chatting and suddenly erupt into laughter.


I love it natural rather than acted.


As there are too many cameras these days, it makes the already awkward situation more awkward during the “upacara membatalkan air sembahyang” where the wife kisses her husband’s hand for the first time, and the husband kisses her forehead. It’s supposed to be such a sweet moment for the two of them, but when photographers tell them to stay at a certain position longer, on top of the couple already being aware that the whole family is watching, it just spoils the moment.


I don’t like the term “nice for the photos”, be it about the make up, or about the occuring events. Everything should be natural. I was born into a family who’s not very fond of layers and layers of make up, intending to make someone’s eyes look bigger or nose look sharper, more so if it’s only for the photos. I mean, as brides we’d want to be comfortable and neutral, so that we could remember the day as beautifully as possible, not to be conscious about our makeups, fake eye lashes, hair, tiara and/or veil, the photographers…would this be nice, would this look weird in the photographs…


For me, being happy and confident makes a whole lot of difference to our whole appearance.


Ooops…back to our candid shots.


I do notice that, in facebook (therefore I’m sure the response is similar in ‘real life’ too), people always get excited and comment more on the candid photos rather than the posed/acted ones.


Like during a friend’s wedding, I couldn’t get too close to the couple, but I managed to get some candid shots when they were singing, when the cousin was singing…the photos had a lot more hits/comments than some of the posed photos that I’ve taken for some other weddings.


For our hari raya photos, my family members were more excited looking at the candid shots rather than the proper shots.


I love this one shot years ago of my brother sitting on a buggy during a wedding, and a few little boys were watching excitedly from behind.


There’s one photo during Jaspal’s wedding when I was busy with my camera right behind the couple. I didn’t look pretty at all in that photo, in fact my face looked really weird, haha, but somehow I think it’s a really good shot by her photographer.


Of course we’d want to appreciate the people who made the dulang hantaran (in which, if it’s my family, most often than not it’s my aunt who prepared them), and take shots of them. But I don’t want to see FIVE shots of the pair of shoe I gave my husband, do I?


I loved it when my little cousins struggle to hold the cold and sticky ice kepal, or when the little girls sit in a circle together eating their 5th helping of the delicious soto.


During my previous wedding I asked the photographer to take photos of my family members too. I introduced my family to them. I didn’t want the day (or photos) to be all about me.


I could see that many photographers take nice shots of the couple, nice portraits, nice sunset, nice hall, nice flowers, nice rings…but for me, the best photographer is the person who makes the best out of what he sees.


For me, the best photographers is the one who could capture not only the beauty and happiness of the couple, but also the mood, the joy, the merriment of the whole event, so that when one looks at the photo album, he/she could feel, smell and see that special day again