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Awe Shucks…Love & Thank You’s

I don’t think I can ever stop expressing my gratitude when  clients express their gratitude. Most of the times, I’m left speechless in knowing that I have played a part in making a difference (or contributed in a positive way) during one of the most important times in a couple’s life. Some define a successful life with monetary value, other through social status, careers, etc… I  define mine through living a life of gratitude (no matter the circumstances) and making a small difference in everything I do.

I think as humans, we’re created to give & receive love in order to feel a sense of contentment. If you ever wonder what my language of love is, it’s without a doubt “words of affirmation”. I give love and I feel the most loved through verbal expressions. I save every hand written card and emails of gratitude because your words mean that much to me. Actually, the thank you’s have been piling up by the ton that I felt the need to share some of the love and the small difference I was able to contribute to others.

1) Love Through Cards: Some clients choose to express their feelings through cards such as below:

2) Love Through Gifts: One recent client kept me in their thoughts even on their honeymoon and bought a beautiful gift for me while in Italy! I’m the type that gets excited for a packages in the mail (because I’m always a sucker for pretty packaging). The beautiful gift was accompanied with the most encouraging note:
Nick & I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being our wedding photographer. The Photos came out absolutely amazing! You were able to capture every breathtaking shot without ever intruding on our special moments. You worked so diligently throughout the long shoot with the best attitude and a smile for everyone. It was like having a friend photographing us on our special day. We also want to thank you for tirelessly scouting the perfect location for our first look and formal wedding portraits. My mom loved the photos and you know Mama Wong is hard to please! We can’t wait to be your repeat clients. You have earned a fan and a friend for life. *We hope that you like the gift. We got it in Murano, Venice during our honeymoon. - Love Sara & Nick

3) Love Through Blogging: Another particular client expressed her joy of finding her photographer through a personal blog.  With her ridiculously hip name, personal style and cool factor for running a music company with her close-knit family, I developed a major crush on her over a phone conversation. Genuinely joyful people make me happy.  So I’m just counting down the day till I get to shoot her Hamptons Style wedding next year!

4) Love Through Sharing Life: When people ask why I do what I do…(with SO many reasons to give), the one thing that impacts me the most is knowing I can tell someone else’s story through imageries. When clients are vulnerable, genuine in heart and share their personal stories, no matter how big or small, it’s their openness to let me in their personal life that allows me to truly connect with them. Not too long ago, I received an inquiry from a bride who had only 2 months to plan a wedding with the hopes that her fiance’s mother (who was diagnosed with terminal cancer) could be there. My heart-felt so saddened by the thought of anyone losing their mother (as I am so close to my mom). I made an exception in my schedule so that I could be there to tell their story.  I was determined to help wherever I could in making the process as smooth for them leading up to the big day. Such perspective you gain when faced with life’s two extremes. All the importance of wedding details and prettiness seem to fall by the wayside when the idea of celebrating life seems so much bigger! So needless to say, I was absolutely encouraged by her email below and excited to be shooting her wedding soon:

Hi Twah! I just wanted to drop a quick note after our phone call last night. First, I am so happy Jeff and I could “meet” you before the wedding. ……… With everything going on with Jeff’s mother, our heads have been spinning trying to wrap our minds around two drastically different life changes at one time. However, I can honestly say that I have never been so comfortable with whatever may happen on [our wedding day]. But, a GIANT part of that is you. Knowing you will be there to capture all of the moments and details totally puts my mind at ease and I really cannot thank you enough. So, with that said, I hope you enjoy your night and the rest of your week! We will talk soon:)– Mary & Jeff

5) Love Through Loyalty: I love committing to my clients and making sure their experience with me is an exceptional one from the moment they inquire, all the way through to life after the wedding. My first wedding client I ever photographed is still one of my biggest source of referrals to this day. I will always have a deep gratitude for her believing in me when I had no true portfolio to prove my ability at the time. That same client recently referred another couple who based their wedding date around my availability. That is just humbling in every sense. Another client who was dating my husband’s childhood friend knew they were going to book me even before they talked about getting engaged. Earlier this year, I finished designing their beautiful 200 page 10×13 Coffee Table Album that truly told the entire story of the day in a book. After the entire process, it was so rewarding to get a wonderful long email expressing her complete and utter satisfaction over the entire process.

Twah, it was truly amazing to work with you throughout the wedding process and we couldn’t be happier with everything!  As friends who were familiar with the impressive quality of your work, we came in with VERY high expectations, and we are ecstatic about the whole experience!  From the engagement shoot and other pre-wedding shoots, to your words of advice and shoot scouting, to the wedding day itself and our absolutely UNBELIEVABLE wedding album, it is clear that this is your passion and it shines through brilliantly in everything that you touch.  You have such a unique and beautiful perspective and we are deeply impressed with how everything came out!  Our album is just EXQUISITE!!  Both the artistry and perspective of the pictures and the quality of the printed images themselves is unparalleled.  Not to mention the time you took to go painstakingly revise the album with a very detail oriented client.  Your attention to detail and guidance throughout the process was icing on the cake.  It is such a treat to go through the images and get to relive the wonder of the day:) Thank you for bringing our memories to life just as radiantly as we remember them. We recommend you with the highest regard to anyone looking to experience the magic of your lens in an upcoming shoot of any kind, and especially anything wedding related. xoxo - Janice & Joey

I would say, I feel quite successful in life right now. 

Rosecliff Mansion Newport, RI Wedding on Carats & Cake

When Brooke (Editorial Director) of Carats&Cake reached out to me to connect over the phone, we instantly hit it off. I love C&C’s business concept (a social media meets pinterest with a dash of yelp site). Aisle Perfect explains it best in their article here. I’m just thrilled to see one of my brides featured on there. Go take a spin for yourself on Carats&Cakes beta site.

Caroline Frost - OMG where is the rest of this wedding…looks amazing. My hubby and I toured Rosecliff when I was shooting a wedding at Castle Hill Inn!

W HOTEL NYC WEDDING

It has been quite a looooong time since I’ve posted a new wedding on the blog. Part of me wants to save all fresh material for my new website that I hope will launch before Summer is over.  Since I just finished editing this wonderful NYC wedding today (a few minutes ago actually), I felt compelled to share this one.  Arie & Ben, whose beach engagement shoot was recently posted back in April, had a very Contemporary Classic NYC style wedding at the W Hotel in NYC.  There’s something about a city wedding that gets my eyes to light up. I love the juxtaposition of the gritty busy streets & beautiful wedding details. From shooting Arie & Ben’s wedding, I love how they were focused on getting to the fun part which was to celebrate with  friends and family. Oh, and what a FUN group they had. Dancing went all night and silliness abounded everywhere. Click on any image below to see the highlight slideshow!


Vendors//  The Dress by Marisa Bridal | Veil by Ansonia | Shoes by Jimmy Choos | Jewelry by David Yurman | Hair & Makeup by Jessica Yoo | Bridesmaid Dress by Bari Jay | Flower Girl Dresses by Janie & Jack | Flowers by Design by Anh | Entertainment  by Stem Productions | Cake by Carlo’s Bakery | Dessert Table by Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Happy Clients Make Me Happy!

Though I love the luxurious things in life… I’m well aware it’s the beauty of  love and friendship that really fulfills me and gets me out of bed in the morning… along with capturing this prep session image that also makes my heart dance!  And then it felt like the sun rose in my soul  (I tend to get a little poetically dramatic & cheese-ball when my emotions get stirred a bit) when I got this email below from last week’s bride.

Hi Twah,

I hope that you are fully recovered from your flu.  You and your team were so amazing on Friday.  Everyone in my bridal party fell in love with you and your amazing energy and spirit.  Despite having the flu, you went above and beyond our expectations.  You rolled with the punches when my aunt changed our wedding plans the last minute.  You were so patient with us when various family members decided to wander off during family portrait sessions.  You made me feel at ease when there was so much noise and chaos while we were getting ready.  I felt absolutely comfortable around the camera because you made everything so easy and effortless.  Your giddiness was so infectious that it made me smiled all day.  Nick and I can’t wait to see the photos.  I know that they will be gorgeous and capture our love for each other.  Please extend our thank you to Danielle as well (we didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to her).  She was such a trooper taking so many photo requests during the cocktail hour and reception. 
 
I will write a proper thank you letter soon.  In the meantime, please let me know if there is anything I can do to spread your name and your amazing talent.  I still remembered the day I found you on 100layercakes.com and started squealing looking at your portfolio.  From that day on, I just knew that you had to be my wedding photographer.  Thank you so much for being part of our special day. 
 
P.S.  So glad to have met your husband.  You guys make such an adorable couple.
 
Love,
Sara 

Thank you Sara for such an encouraging email. I NEVER tire of the thank you’s. To know even the small things we do get appreciated means so much to me and my team. Also want to express my gratitude for my star Associate shooter, Danielle, who works her butt off to get the right images and who gets my working style. Thank you for meeting my high expectations of what needs to happen on a wedding day to make sure we take care of our clients.

Danielle the Star Associate Shooter - Love you deeply, friend. Congrats again to the happy couple. I’m glad I was there to share their love.

WeddingChicks Hand Picked Vendor & Other Behind the Scene Thoughts

Last week I received an email from Jocey at WeddingChicks.com that I have been Hand Picked to be a featured New York vendor for WeddingChicks. This honor is awarded to only 3 vendors per category per region. To see my work  featured along-side two other talented & established photographers, Trent Bailey & Bryce Covey, just makes this honor that much more humbling. My heart is singing and dancing right now. There truly has been some amazing things happening behind the scenes with my boutique business that I can’t wait to share as they unfold this year.

I  recently shot a beautiful wedding that had me so inspired I made it a featured image in this post {above}. I am loving the bride’s polka dot shoes!! This moment truly just unfolded naturally without me having to direct the scene to get this look. If you’re familiar with my work, this is definitely one of my “Signature Style” shot during a prep session.

In other exciting news behind the scene, my wonderful Branding Team, Lara Casey, Emily Ley and the ladies at SouthernWeddings have been working hard to pull together a new look for my business that ultimately will express the true heart and soul of me & my work. I am like a child at Christmas right now who can’t wait to unwrap and reveal my shiny new look. From what the ladies have shown me so far, I have been dancing and spinning in my chair. They really nailed the true essence of me straight out of the box. My branding team has also been amazing at stripping all the gunk away and getting to the core of operating a beautiful business that will not only better serve my clients but fill my own heart with inspiration along the way. The launch date for the new site is inching close and I’m not sure if I can contain myself much longer. It has taken so much restraint for me not to post a sneak peek of my new logo and inspiration board….

Another inspiration on my heart is my husband, who is also my business partner, Chief-Financial-Officer, equipment manager and body-guard of international travels. He has been a huge support system & personal cheerleader on this business journey of mine. Below is a picture he took of me while in Poland recently. He travels internationally for his corporate job and whenever he gets the chance, he shares my work with those he meet. In doing so, I had the opportunity to fly to Poland recently to do a shoot for a new client who quickly turned into a very good friend (all in 1 short visit!). I will definitely share more about my Poland trip when I get a chance. This month, my heart is overflowing with so much goodness I am overwhelmed to share it all.

Ewelina - Miss u :)

Anna Kim - Gorgeous work! I met your sister when she was visiting Maui and she said I would love your work.

Thanks for the dose of inspiration!

Arie & Ben Seaside Engagement Session

I will never grow tired of shooting at the beach, especially one accompanied by amazing light and a beautiful couple. When Arie & Ben agreed to do a beach engagement session, it got my heart dancing. We went to my secret little location in Long Island {NY} that’s my go to spot for beach shoots. No matter how many times I photograph here, it never gets old and I see it with fresh eyes every time.


When I first spoke to Arie on the phone, we immediately connected and discovered our mutual love over snowboarding. Because we got along so easily, I’m the type that would invite her out on a ladies snowboarding trip without having ever met.  After meeting Arie & Ben in person, I knew right away, from their ultra cool personality and sweet relationship, that we were a match made for something wonderful. This proved true during our beach shoot. There was so much magic happening in this session.  Arie & Ben have this easy way about them so we just kept things simple which usually result in the most authentic images.  They arrived with their adorable pup, Dakota, who added that perfect personal touch. We didn’t anticipate weather being so cold, that by the time the shoot wrapped, our toes were numb and we lost function of our fingers… but it was worth it for the images that we got! Arie and Ben were such troopers.
To see more from this beautiful session, click an image below:

Ayenia - So Sweet! great photos!

W HOTEL NYC WEDDING » Style Art Life - [...] today (a few minutes ago actually), I felt compelled to share this one.  Arie & Ben, whose beach engagement shoot was recently posted back in April, had a very Contemporary Classic NYC style wedding at the W Hotel [...]

Happy Film Photography Day!!

In honor of the first Film Photography Day declared by Lomography as being April 12, spurred me to share the origin of my heart for film photography.

I love the creative freedom that digital photography allows me to have…. but there is something that gets my heart aflutter when it comes to the old school days of film photography. I love the anticipation as I wait for that package in the mail from the print lab to see the result of my work.  My photography days started back before I could even pick up a camera.  Both my parents (being Asian… and as my husband likes to jokingly stereotype us as “being born with a camera around our neck”… a stereotype I can’t deny.) were obsessed with pictures and documenting everything in our lives since I could remember.  So naturally around the age of  7 I asked for my own 35mm camera.  It spawned an obsession which took me from dressing up my sisters for “fashion shoots” and using the images for my “homemade” fashion magazines (including made up Advertisements for shampoos and such which my sisters were also models).  I remember handing my step-dad a bag full of film that I needed him to take to the photo lab. He looked at me in complete bafflement wondering how could I possibly use up that many rolls of film.  In middle school, I was one of the few art students chosen for an exclusive photography trip down to Old Town Alexandria (VA) to photograph to our hearts’ content. In high school, I found joy working in the dark room of my photography class and having classmates pose for portraits.  And after an adventurous career run as a Fashion Designer… my heart and original obsession took me full circle back to film. Whether on vacation or in my personal every day life, I barely pull out my digital camera any more. With photography being a full-time career and business, the last thing I want to do on my day off is take more pictures and edit more images. But when I decided to purchase a Medium Format Film camera… something in my heart began to dance again. I also forgot how expensive a habit this film photography craft is.  Oy vey!

Below are images shot on my Contax 645 (85mm Zeiss lens) from a very cold &  grey day wandering around Williamsburg, Brooklyn with my husband (with a stop at the Wythe Hotel Rooftop bar for an afternoon cocktail. Current drink of choice: The Dark & Stormy).  I have a few professional sessions shot on film I will post in the coming weeks as well.

And this post wouldn’t be complete without an image of my adorable little nieces/God-Daughter (below) who makes my heart happy! The expression on Brooke’s face (in the center) is the perfect depiction of this little girl’s personality. I see a little adventurous & independent spirit in this girl that is very reminiscent of myself. With only 16 exposures to a 120-roll film, I was pretty proud of the result below from my last remaining exposure available.  It was the perfect image to end my personal film adventure.

Featured on Brides.com | Erin & Brett’s Buttermilk Falls Wedding

So Ecstatic to share that Erin & Brett’s beautiful Buttermilk Falls wedding was featured on Brides.com today! Erin is a talented jewelry designer who got so inspired from the process of crafting her own wedding that she has branched out into the wedding business herself. Erin will be offering services such as custom belts and jewelry along with wedding styling and event coordination. Her website is currently in the works. Also wanted to say how amazing Erin’s Flowers were, done by the talented team of  Steven & Melissa Bruce of StevenBruce’s Design. They are so passionate about what they do and it really shows in their beautiful & well-balanced arrangements. If you are getting married in the Hudson Valley or even NYC, I would highly recommend this dynamic duo. They really strive to get your vision. Erin’s invitations also blew me away as well done by the talented ladies at Gourmet Invitations. They really did a beautiful job executing Erin’s vision.

Venue: Buttermilk Fall |  Caterer: Oliver Kita | Coordinator: Carrie Wykoff | Event Styling & Design: Erin Braun (Bride) | Floral Design: Steven Bruce | Rentals: Party Rentals | Lighting: Stortz Lighting | Bride’s Hair: Garrett Bryant | Makeup: Amanda Hudzkiak | Band: Live Wire Entertainment | Dress: Vera Wang | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Custom Veil: Brides Head Revisited | Groom’s Attire: Ticknors | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew, Amsale, BCBG | Custom Rings: Linhardt Designs | Invitations: Gourmet Invitations

F a c e b o o k   U P D A T E S