Monday, December 24, 2012

To my dear wife, on her birthday.

Dearest wife,

   Ever since i knew you, christmas had never been the same. Before, it was simply a time to soak in the lights and merry songs, to hope for unexpected presents and to wish for good things to come. Then i met you, a special person whom god decided to bring to this world on christmas day. 
    From then, a good 12 years ago,  short of growing a big tummy, don a red suit and grow a white beard, i knew i was born to be your santa. I have to admit, at first it was not too difficult. All i needed to do was put in extra effort, extra time and extra money, i always managed to find a gift that would remind you why you should ignore the fact that Daniel wu is the better option for a soulmate. From cheesy handmade flowers and cards to my first and last cross stitched masterpiece (yes, i actually had a feminine side to me once), I always felt proud that I could always bring a smile to your sweet face come every 25th December.
   However, as years passed by, the task to please my queen on her special day became more and more difficult. Items were slowly scratched off the wish list, and somehow giving you your fourth necklace or third earring just does not cut it. 'Been there, done that' became a problem. Despite what you or many others might lead to believe, that is not a sign of fading love; On the contrary, because of the fact that my love for you has grown year by year, I am faced with the pressure of topping what i did the year before to prove to you just that. 
   So here i am, on christmas morning, writing this blogpost when i really should be on my way to a shopping mall to make a last attempt that find that special gift. Only reason being, i know the search would end up fruitless. For the past week, i had pondered countless options: I had stood in front of a rack of color pencils for half and hour, pondering if i can still hold a color pencil straight enough to make a decent card. The shopkeeper kept staring at me strangely, wondering why this potential shoplifter would want to make away with a box of rm10 color pencils. I had visited numerous jewelers, each time having to remind myself that anything worth buying there will make you happy probably for that few minutes, and make myself quite sad for the rest of the year as i slowly realized the fact that i had traded a macbook pro or nikon pro camera for a little piece of shiny rock.  I went online to search for answers : googling ' Best present a man would ever give his wife' didn't really help much. 
   So what could i do, or try to do, to at least see you smile on this special day? That was when i decided to do something really risky. I am going to place my bets on a blogpost. A bunch of words from my heart, that would help me tell you how special you are to me, and how much i appreciate having you in my life. It would not be something as simple as i love you, as even our soon to be 2 year old son can say that. It should not be something as cheesy as 'happy birthday darling, i will love you forever', as that would likely be something that Daniel wu would say to his wife. (After giving her a 5 carat diamond ring probably) It has to be a compilation of words that would be simple enough to not seem like i copied it from the internet, yet complex enough to show you how much thought and heart i had put into it. Thus, this blogpost was born. 
  Thank you for being there for me for the past 12 years of my life. Being somewhat of an odd bloke, i had serious doubts on whether there would be someone perfect for me. You made me realize that there was something more important: there was someone in this world that i actually wanted to be perfect for. 
  Now that i have scratched 'write a cheesy blogpost' option off the list, next year will probably be another huge challenge all over again come 25th dec. However, till then, i promise you i will be there for you, to care for you and our family, to make you smile and laugh. 
  And after all this, if you still think that a one carat diamond ring is a more relevant and concrete proof of my undying love, darling, my credit card is already in your wallet. :)
  Happy birthday dear. I love you.

With all my heart,


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jeff + Ee Sian - Perth Romance Part 2

As promised, more of my favorite shots from the shoot. It was not exactly the sunniest of days, in fact rain drops were our constant companion throughout the later parts of the day, but I should say the sweet couple more than make up for the lack of help i got from the big guy above. :)




Sunday, August 12, 2012


It's nearly 15 past 1 in the morning, and I am beside my dad, who is sleeping.

Written at any other time of my life, the above would not seem like a likely situation in which for me to start writing a blog post, but for now, it is.

For I am writing this in the CCU room no. 201-1, and the CCU is, in laymen terms, an Intensive Care Unit for heart patients. My dad has a huge breathing pipe put through his mouth straight into his lungs, to facilitate a steady flow of oxygen into his body. There are more than 4 drugs being pumped into his body through a mess of small plastic tubes, all functioning to ensure his blood pressure and heart rate is steady enough to sustain his life. It has been this way since the past 72 hours, with my dad lying helplessly on the same bed he is lying on now, fighting and clinging on for dear life. The only reason I only started writing now is because before this, I could barely type the first few paragraphs before tears blurred my vision so much that I could not continue writing. Yes, it has been that painful. Emotionally for me, and physically for him.

It was meant to be a regular minor surgery he was supposed to undergo 3 days ago. He did something similar before, and was out of the hospital in no time. On the day of the surgery, he asked me and my brothers to come see him, which was the first time he made such a request. I had actually pondered visiting him only after the surgery, since work was catching up, but when i got a short message from mom telling me of his wish, I wrapped up whatever i could and made sure I got there before he was pushed to the OT. When me and my siblings were there, he discussed on what he had planned for us for our future, and what hopes he had for our family. It seemed like a normal conversation, one that we had fairly regularly ever since he almost succumbed to a major heart attack just some time back.

When he left for the OT, I had barely enough time to hold his hand, and to wish him luck.

After the surgery, he was weak, but conscious enough to crack a little joke or two when we talked to him. That was enough to make me presume that everything was alright, and after wishing him good night, I left for home, not knowing in a couple of hours, he would be staring death in the face.

The next morning, I heard a sharp knock on the door. " Wake up, dad's in critical condition." Not much details, but more than enough to fill my heart with fear and dread.

Apparently, it was suspected that dad had a minor stroke in the brain, was unconscious, and was having a rapidly deteriorating heart rate and BP. By the time I got to the hospital he was already under the web of tubing that he is now, and his doctors were all doing their best to get him back. One by one family members were informed, and one by one they came and stood outside by dad's CCU room, tears as the obvious proof of their shock and sorrow. It was not the first time we saw dad being seduced by death, yet somehow that does not make it any less heart wrenching.

It is now 1.45 a.m, a good half and hour after I first started typing. Recalling the events for the past few
days and putting it in writing is not fun, but definitely a way to stay awake while i make sure dad stays asleep. Not that I dont' want him to be up and going, but in the state he is in, being conscious only means one thing --- being fully aware of the immense pain that he is in. To roughly quote what the doc said, patients in his condition are usually sedated as the pain is too much to bear. For dad, due to his health conditions, sedation is not an option. Every single time he winces, it is as if i could feel the pain he is going through myself. Yet I am aware I am far, far, far from close from even knowing how torturous it is to him.

His heart doctor is wise and kind man, but not a man of kind words. Not a believer of false hopes, he more often than not gives you the bad news in your face, despite knowing you are desperately seeking any sort of positive feedback from him. We found that out the first time he treated my father, the first time he saved his life. However, when he asked for our family to gather in my dad's normal ward room the same night after he collapsed, his words felt like a thousand sharp blades stabbing my heart, over and over again. " Your dad's is in very bad condition, and I am not happy with what i have seen. If anything were to improve, it would have already." Still naively seeking something to hope for, I asked him what should we look forward to the following few days. Bluntly, he replied without a thought, " I am not sure if your dad HAS a few days." You could hear a pin drop after he uttered those unforgettable words. Immediately after he left the room, family members started to break down. I stormed out of the room, and headed straight towards to the CCU. Somehow, I had to be beside him then, to hold his hand, to stroke his forehead, to tell him to not leave us now. Somehow, that message seemed to get through. For late in the night after that announcement was made, my dad opened his eyes. And showed little responses to our cries. We were ecstatic: Damnit, miracles do happen twice.

It's now an hour after the start of this blog, and thankfully, dad is still sound asleep. It's been a helluva weekend, with a saturday of joy and hope, as dad's condition slowly improved, with him being more responsive and awake. Even the bad news doctor was taken by surprised, as he once more is being shown that my dad is no ordinary man and would not go down without a good fight. But just as fast as the good news came, the bad news followed suit. Sunday morning, his condition took a turn for the worse. Blood pressure fell sharply, and once again, the reality of him leaving us once again set in. The reality of not being able to make up for the times that i made him unhappy, that I argued and got angry with him over the most trivial of matters. To make up for the regret that I did not spend more time with him, for the guilt that I could have been more attentive to his needs. He gave his family his life. He knows we love him, yet I know better that i could have done much more to show him that.

Late Sunday afternoon, most probably exhausted after a sleepless night the evening before, dad was slowly coaxed by my aunt to get some shut eye. Literally, as ever since his trauma, he had somehow unable to fully close his eyes. Gently, she helped him, rubbing and massaging the area above his eyes, and in a gentle voice asking him to try to relax and rest. I recalled of nights before that i saw him sleeping at home with music playing from his Iphone beside him, so I did the same for him this time, trying to re-enact the same environment that he would be comfortable to sleep in. I also remembered the maid constantly being asked to help massage his feet when he started to sleep, so I attempted that as well. I had always known he had lost a lot of weight since he had his kidney problems, but then and there when i massaged his legs, i was still heartbroken at what i felt --- literally just bones wrapped firmly with dried skin. The same pair of legs that belonged to a great sportsman half a century ago, the same pair of legs that carried a 60 year old man who still surprised many with his uncanny shooting on the basketball court, now worn, and weak.

I did not planned on writing this blog, yet I forced myself to. I knew when he woke up, he would want to read it, to know what a fight he went through, and how the battle was fought. I have to admit, negative thoughts do come into my mind at times, but somehow deep inside, I have this feeling my old man would emerge as the victor.

There are lots and lots of things I hope to make correct when he is able to talk to me again. But for now, nearing 3 o clock in the morning, all I can do is make sure he continues to rest, his BP continues to be stable, and hopes for recovery are kept high. Come on, dad, I know you can do it. I know you can! I love you.

Your eldest son, Alvin

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jeff + Ee Sian - Perth Romance Part 1

Can still remember she was one of the first new faces i saw when i first visited perth nearly a decade ago. Never would I have imagined then that years down the road, when I return to the beautiful city of Perth, it would be on a request by her to shoot her pre-wedding shoot with her super friendly fiancee, Jeff.  It was such an honor and pleasure to have them in front of my lenses, to witness and capture a love story that transcended oceans and countless obstacles. Here's a sneak peek of some of my favourite shots, more to come soon~~~ PS Make up and styling by Adorn by Shinny Ong.






Monday, December 26, 2011

.Chin Seong + Iris - Actual Day

A beautiful bride, a handsome groom, beautiful weather, with plenty of love from family and friends thrown in for good measure - as a photographer i can't wish for more. Thanks for having me be the 'main' guy behind the lens ('main' cause from one of the pics you can see how many 'assistants' i had, haha) , wish you guys the best! :)