Masthead header

Glen & Rachel were married at the Grand Marquee of Hotel Fort Canning last month. Glen is the founder of Prodigal Roasters at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 whilst Rachel is an architect. I visited Glen at his cafe recently and the coffee and tarts are excellent! I would highly recommend a visit if you love coffee.

I really enjoyed witnessing and capturing how Glen & Rachel’s families and friends gathered to support, encourage and celebrate their coming together. Selecting a set of photographs for this blog post brought back to mind much excitement, laughter, singing, words of wisdom, affection and love that I observed that day.

The following are highlights from their wedding day.

My grandmother whom I called ‘Mama’ passed away peacefully on the 16th of March 2017 at the ripe old age of 96. She was a truly remarkable woman who had a tremendous impact on me. She was humble and always thankful whether she had much or little. She was the gentlest person I have had the privilege of knowing. The rare times I heard her raise her voice was when she was being protective of her precious dogs. She was frugal and yet generous towards others in terms of her time, resources, attention and love. When I was working for an organization that required me to raise my own funds, she was the only person that supported me regularly throughout my time there.

When I look back on my childhood, what I remember most about her were the Saturday sleepovers at my grandparent’s place with my brother. We used to accompany her to her hairdresser’s on Saturday and spent the afternoon playing at her home. On Sunday mornings, she would bring us with her to church. Much of what I heard in church during those days went in one ear and out the other, but I am pretty sure that the little that did stick in my head, together with her prayers, were seeds that over time germinated into my own love for Jesus Christ.

The Beatitudes by Jesus kept on coming to mind when I think of my grandmother:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:3-12

About four and a half years ago, I photographed my grandfather’s funeral (see HERE). Since then, I have photographed other funerals and found that the photographs make for an important record of a sad and difficult time. When I look at my photographs from events such as weddings, baptisms, birthdays, and even funerals, a quote by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók comes to my mind:

“What matters most of all, is to penetrate into the pulsing of life of the people themselves, to become imbued with their way of living, and to see their faces when they sing at their weddings, harvests and funerals, and from all these associations to distill and preserve something more significant than a song on record, something beyond music and words, an abstract essence that will remain a living force within you.” – Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945)

Mama was beautiful in life and in death. Her funeral felt to me like a celebration of a life well-spent. We all miss her dearly and look forward to seeing her again in heaven. The following are a selection of photographs I took during her wake and funeral.

Christian celebrated his 5th birthday at the kid-friendly Eat Play Love cafe about a week ago. He had a ‘Power Rangers Dino Charge’ party theme (I had to google to figure out why the Ranger’s helmets featured jagged teeth)! The balloon lady got lots of requests for guns from the boys while the girls mostly requested for cartoon princesses or animals. My daughter Beth was thrilled to finally get an Elsa balloon sculpture! Many of the kids (and an unknown number of adults) also got fancy glitter tattoos which lasted quite a number of days. The unicorn tattoo my daughter had lasted 5 days before she let me help her scrub it off while her pixie fairy tattoo stayed for 3 days.

Christian’s parents are both talented artists. Christian’s mum, Melanie Lee is a freelance writer and the author of the award-winning Adventures of Squirky the Alien series of books. We have a full set of the books and Beth enjoys reading them from time to time. Christian’s dad, Darren Soh is a renowned award-winning photographer. Having a professional photographer as a client can be a bit nerve wracking at times. It is something I have to push to the back of my mind and just concentrate on the task at hand of photo-documenting the party. After I sent Melanie a set of the party photographs, she mentioned on Facebook that the photographs were “shots Darren and her would have been too frazzled to take“. That’s exactly what I strive to deliver for parents so that their painstaking efforts to organise the event is intricately photo-documented, and they can sit back and enjoy the party to the fullest.

The following are a selection of highlights from the party.