Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

South Island, New Zealand


Nearly one year on and I’m still thinking about the beauty that is South Island, otherwise known as Te Waipounamu. It was definitely a trip that has been on my bucket list for years and getting to experience it for two weeks was really a dream come true.

My main intention for the trip was to really immerse myself with the great outdoors so instead of my bulky dSLRs, I brought along the Sony RX100IV which weighed less than 300gm. So yes, major difference from carrying around a dSLR which would’ve been 5 times heavier LOL!

Words can’t describe how majestic the views were. But I’m glad that I did take snapshots throughout for when I look back on these photos, I’m reminded how elated I felt then. So humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to explore bits of South Island. Will definitely return there sometime in the future and get more hikes done!

For those who are keen to know, these photos were shot straight out of camera and the only editing done was resized for web and cropping. They looked a bit sharper before I resized them so slightly sharpening them may have been something I should’ve done as well during the slight editing process :p Thanks again Sony Malaysia for the great lil powerhouse that is the RX100IV!

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Past & Present


Taking a couple of minutes off real work to do a quick recap of 2012 made me realise just how abundant my life is. To be blessed with travel opportunities, the companionship of old and new friends, memorable experiences, all this and more fill me with gratitude and hope that 2013 would be even better.

Looking back, 2012 was the year that I;
~ conducted a workshop for the first time, not once but twice, with Bloom Workshops in March and August
~ splurged on travelling and went to Tokyo, Tasmania and Melbourne for the first time.
~ hiked up Mount Kinabalu for the 4th time and went up Mount Fuji for the 1st time.
~ quit smoking after 17 years. Not exactly voluntarily as I had acid reflux but have been off it for more than 6 months now :p Fingers crossed for good!
~ found a cosy (a.k.a super small) little apartment in October and decided to make it my first real adult purchase (still in the process of getting it!)
~ had a near death experience, also in October, when I went into an anaphylaxis shock after getting stung by two bees whilst hiking. Survived that thanks to a friend’s supply of anti-histamines.
~ had shoots in Kota Kinabalu, Ipoh, Perth, Kuantan, Langkawi, Singapore and Hong Kong and all this reminded me that I am super blessed to be able to travel for work
~ and I celebrated my fifth year anniversary doing what I love doing for a living :)

It was a good year. But now that that’s in the past, at present I’m really looking forward to 2013, with dreams which I intend to materialise and some positive changes in terms of achieving the right work-life balance as well as fitness and health related goals to work on.

May we all have an awesome 2013 ahead and be able to realise just how blessed we are to have all that we do.

Much love and appreciation xx

  1. Haikal says:

    Hi Anna,

    Don’t think you remember me but we met back in 2009 at that mini-gathering you held ‘paying it forward’ in Damansara. Good to see you are still going strong in the photography business. Keep it up!

    P/S: It’s good that you quit smoking too lol!

  2. Excellent stuff about quitting the ciggies. If you were closer here, you would hear my nagging daily how bad they are for you.

  3. Nice fotografi, but quitting the ciggies, achieving the right work-life balance

Post Bloom Workshops


As some of you may know, I recently ‘joined forces’ with 3 other female photographers to organise a ‘female only’ photography workshop. Together with Asther Lau, Fiona Lim and Grace Tan, as well as Diane Lee who was behind the scenes, we worked hard on Bloom Workshops months prior to the March 2012 event. And we were thankful enough to have immense support from our main sponsors Canon Malaysia as well as Schmidt Marketing, WCA Fine Arts, Tech Garage (Kelly Moore bags!), Simplr Album, Laura Mercier Cosmetics and Liez Cakes & Etc.

The weekend came, and like a nervous bride (with 3 ‘grooms’ in Asther, Fiona and Grace ;p), I actually had the jitters the night before and couldn’t sleep! It was a weekend filled with insights from all four of us and together with 30 participants, I myself learned a lot from the other three presenters as well :)

Fiona’s presentation was on starting up your own photography business and hearing her share business tips made me wish that somebody had shared all this to me when I first started up my business. Grace’s session on ‘seeing light’ was very much a practical session peppered with tips on how to see and use both available and artificial light for on-location shoots. With 2 gorgeous couples to work with, I reckon we all had fun fiddling around with the reflectors and external flashes. Asther’s baby photography session not only got us all going “awwww…” but it also got us all gobsmacked as we didn’t realise just how much preparation is involved in newborn photography. It was also then that I found out there’s even an application which emulates the sound waves babies hear in their mummy’s tummys!

You can check out all the pics on Bloom Workshops Facebook page here :D

As for me, my presentation was on bringing out the natural side of your subjects where I actually went blank for the first 5 seconds. Despite my tendency to ‘tokkok’, I actually get stage fright and am not very good with public speaking. But I thought to myself, I’m gonna be talking about what I’m passionate about, what I love doing, this shouldn’t be hard. And true enough, once I started, it felt like I was born to share about my passion. What I can remember from the session was that there was a lot of laughter – I just hope they were laughing with me instead of at me 0_o

The whole weekend was truly an awesome learning experience for me. Meeting the participants reminded me that even though I’ve been doing this for 4.5 years, there is still so, so much for me to learn and by sharing, I’m learning more. Some have asked why we’re sharing ‘trade secrets’, why bother letting others know easily what took us years of trial and error to learn.

I believe that one way or the other, people are going to learn. Be it through workshops, magazines, google, it’s just a matter of time and effort. Whilst it’s true that we’ll have more competitors, it also means we’ll have to upp our game and work harder at being better. Another thing I always remind myself when it comes to sharing is that, at the end of the day, there can only be one ‘you’. Your personality, your style of photography, your business ethics will be your own. Even if someone else knows all your trade secrets and buys all the gears that you use, no one else can be 100% you. So there.

There’s so much more I wanna write about how I feel (cos I haven’t had the opportunity to gush to anyone about the joy and gratitude I felt throughout the weekend!) but lest I bore you all, let me just end this post with a ginormous THANK YOU to all the participants, speakers and sponsors of Bloom Workshops inaugural event! You all reminded me just how blessed and humbled I am to be in such a wonderful industry!

Much love and gratitude xoxo

Group shot of Bloom Workshops’ participants & speakers courtesy of Wei Ming :) Thank you!

  1. farah says:

    I’ve always follow your blog, in fact in some ways you have inspired me, been saving for sometime but unfortunately things came up…was so sad I couldnt make it in the end =( look forward to the next workshop =)

    Keep up the good work ! U inspire me ! and I am sure other people tooo…some where , some place (^^)

  2. Lesley says:

    It was a great workshop, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend, for the information, fellowship and the great food. There was a great emphasis on sharing and there was much laughter throughout – certainly not directed at the presenters, who all spoke and demonstrated their craft so effectively. I’m not a baby person, but I learnt lots about photographing babies and I have some lovely photos of my brand new grandson, thanks to what I learnt from Asther. I took back something from each session and now feel much more confident to experiment with all the bells and whistles on my camera.
    Thank you Anna-Rina. Thank you all.

  3. Laviinia says:

    Would love to join the next workshop you have! :)