Geoff and Ellies’ Wedding in Taiping and Putrajaya

Putrajaya Wedding Portrait Photography


Putrajaya Wedding Portrait Photography

Geoff and Ellie had flown in from Canada so they could celebrate with Ellie’s parents in the town of Taiping where they held a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony and banquet dinner for the family. Geoff’s folks flew down from Canada to enjoy the ceremonies and they were also joined by his brother and sister in law from Japan. Traditional Chinese weddings include giving of tea by the couple to all of their older relations, and receiving tea from their younger relations. It is a great way of getting to meet the family and understanding the relational links. The bride and groom also receive a lot of gifts, both jewelry and cash. This provides a good “kick start” to married life.

The dinner banquet had the traditional cake cutting, champagne popping and table-by-table yumseng. We rounded out the end of the night with a series of family group photos, one of which is shown below. With family group photos the secret is to work quickly, professionally, and be able to banter with the family to get everyone relaxed. And as always – shoot RAW for best results. We used a total of 6 flashes for these photos. Setting up that many lights quickly requires you to know your gear.

Four days later we all headed to Putrajaya where the legal technicalities of getting married in Malaysia were taken care of. Then we headed off to a nice location for a small private ceremony by the lake. I have to admit I was a bit concerned about this part of the day as it was going to be mid-morning, and the heat could have melted all of us…me included! Fortunately the sky was overcast, and a gentle breeze started which kept temperatures moderate. All in all it was very pleasant.

I know a lot of photographers like to see how we shoot a wedding. I have attended a few weddings where you see more of the photographer and video crew than the wedding couple!!!! There were 2 of us covering each of these days. Take note of where we were shooting from. One of us (my shooting buddy for +10 years)  is way off doing long shots, while I am up “close”. I like to use the professional 70-200 f2.8 lenses for their versatility and reach as well as their quick focusing and sharpness. Do note where I am shooting from. It does mean I have to move around fairly rapidly (walking not running) but ensures I never block the family. Why stop the enjoyment of someone who flew thousands of miles so they could witness the wedding?

After the ceremony we did a quick series of family groups and some portraits before the weather closed in and it started to rain.

Flemington Hotel Taiping

The Flemington Hotel in Taiping

Wedding Portraits in Taiping lake Gardens

Wedding Portraits were in the beautiful Taiping Lake Gardens

Wedding Portraits in Taiping lake Gardens

Geoff and Ellie looked splendid

Portraits at Taiping Lake Gardens

We believe photography should be fun. The right word at the right time.

Wedding Portraits in TaipingFamily photo at taiping lake gardens

Geoff’s family noticed it was slightly warmer in Malaysia than Canada

Taiping Lake Gardens Wedding

The famous “Blue Frame”. Nat Geo eat your heart out. Blue is the new Yellow.

Think tank bag at wedding

Grant giving some photo tips. I used a 5DMk3 and D3 at this shoot

Flemington Hotel Taiping Wedding Photography

Welcome to dinner!

Flemington Hotel Taiping Chinese Tea Ceremony Wedding Photography

Ellie and Geoff serve Ellie’s parents tea

Chinese wedding ring at tea ceremony

Ellie’s mum bedecks her daughter

Flemington Hotel Chinese Tea Ceremony Wedding Photography

Ellie strikes gold. What a great smile.

Flemington Hotel Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony Photography

Geoff’s parents entering into the spirit of the traditional Chinese tea ceremony

Bride and Groom walk in to their banquet at the Flemington Hotel Photography

Geoff and Ellie’s grand walk in to their banquet in the Flemington hotel

Flemington Hotel Wedding Banquet Photography

Popping the champagne!

Flemington Hotel Wedding Banquet Photography Group Photo

Ellie’s family. End of evening group photo.

Putrajaya Wedding Registration Photography

A few jumps through the hoops at the Putrajaya registration centre and Geoff and Ellie were married.

Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

The private wedding ceremony was held on the end of a pier in Putrajaya near the Maritime centre

Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

I do!

Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

I do too!

Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

Personal note: I enjoy weddings…can you tell?

Beautiful Bride Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

A very happy day for Ellie

Putrajaya maritime Centre Wedding Photography

Sometimes families travel thousands of miles to view the wedding. Wedding Photo Tip: NEVER block the families view of the ceremony.

Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

Geoff and Ellie wrote their own vows for a personal touch

Putrajaya Wedding Ceremony Photography

The Kiss

Putrajaya Wedding Portrait Photography

Ellie was simply stunning

Putrajaya Wedding Portrait Photography

Putrajaya Wedding Portrait Photography

The happy couple

Putrajaya Wedding Portrait Photography

A dramatic skyline…weather was closing in at this stage.


Punjabi Hindu Wedding in Melaka

punjabi wedding couple at the melaka equatorial hotel banquet
punjabi wedding couple at the melaka equatorial hotel banquet
The happy couple at the wedding banquet in the Equatorial hotel

A Punjabi Hindu wedding. Anusha’s mum had just outlined her daughter’s upcoming wedding day in Melaka as we sat in the local Starbucks enjoying a coffee. I have been the photographer for many Hindu weddings in the past and I have shot quite a number of Sikh weddings as well, so the fusion of the Punjabi culture and Hindu religion promised a very colourful couple of days with lots of fun.

The wedding day started with the Saainth ceremony (performed with oil) at the brides house, followed by the bangle ceremony. I was at the brides to cover these events while the team headed over to the grooms and awaited the priest who would perform the reciprocal saainth ceremony at his home. After the groom performed these rituals his family performed the Sehra bandi ceremony. This is a meaningful time whereby he gets dressed and puts on the traditional head dress and veil (known as the Sehra).

The wedding ceremony was held at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC). Both Punjabi and Hindu wedding traditions were observed when the groom Karun arrived at the wedding venue. Traditionally the groom arrives on a horse, typically a mare, along with his “best man” (who is called the sarvala). The families met and greeted each other with bhangra drums, dancing and Milni (exchange of garlands between our fathers, our brothers and our uncles).

The Punjabi Hindu wedding ceremony is quite different from the south Indian traditions. Immediately on meeting the bride and groom garland one another (Jaimala). Rumour has it that the bride and groom should be careful not to bow as it is a marriage of equals. As you will see in the photos the parents are integral in the ceremony itself. Once the wedding ceremony is over the groom is finally permitted to remove his veil. To everyone’s relief it was Karun underneath!

Later in the evening we all retired to the brides house where the bride and groom were welcomed. Karun had to bargain his way into the house and the bridesmaids/cousins and sisters all made good on his lavish donations. A tearful goodbye was expected as Anusha left her home. It is quite a dramatic event for any woman.

Two nights later the final wedding banquet was held at the Equatorial Hotel Melaka. It was a very colourful event, with many family members flying in from overseas. The bride and grooms first dance turned out to have a flash mob made up of cousins and friends.

punjabi bride wedding photographer

Stunning wedding bangles

punjabi bride henna wedding photographer

The brides beautiful henna prints on her hands

punjabi indian groom arriving by horse at his wedding

The groom arriving to the wedding venue on his horse

punjabi wedding photographer milni in melaka

The Milni welcome garlanding

punjabi wedding photographer melaka sehra sarvala

The Serbala aka grooms “best man”.

punjabi groom wearing sehra at wedding

Groom in his Sehra

brides entrance punjabi wedding melaka

The brides entrance

punjabi wedding garland exchange mandap Jaimala

The first part of the ceremony is the Jaimala (exchange of garlands) between the bride and groom on the Mandap

Bride performing hindu wedding ritualBride praying at punjabi wedding in MITCpunjabi wedding ceremonypunjabi wedding parents involvement in ceremony

The parent’s play an integral role in the ceremony

punjabi mandap wedding MITC melaka

The Mandap looked very beautiful

punjabi wedding ring exchange

The ring exchange

punjabi wedding couple


punjabi wedding tease groom

The girls teasing the groom

punjabi wedding teasing groom

Money opens doors!

punjabi wedding photography melaka

Bride, groom and sarvala resting up after the negotiations for entry

punjabi doli ceremony

Doli ceremony as the bride leaves her home

wedding banquet grand entrance at the equatorial melaka

The bride and grooms grand entry into the ballroom at the Equatorial Hotel in Melaka

punjabi wedding melaka equatorial hotel banquet

The happy couple at the wedding banquet in the Equatorial hotel

Punjabi wedding banquet speeches at the Equatorial Melaka

The grooms speech was well received.

Punjabi wedding banquet speeches at the Equatorial Melaka

The grooms parents enjoyed their sons speech

Punjabi wedding banquet speeches at the Equatorial Melaka

Brides speech was touching

Punjabi bhangra at the Equatorial Melaka

Dance and Celebrate!

Punjabi bhangra at the Equatorial Melaka


punjabi wedding couple at the melaka equatorial hotel banquet

The happy couple at the wedding banquet in the Equatorial hotel

punjabi wedding banquet at the equatorial hotel melaka

The happy families

Portrait of Freda Liu of BFM

Freda Liu of BFM
Freda Liu of BFM
Freda Liu of BFM

Just a quick post today as I am very busy at present with a variety of photography shoots: On Saturday I had a short studio portrait shoot with Freda Liu of BFM. It was a fun, relaxed photo shoot and we were finished in what seemed like no more than 60 minutes.

For those who don’t know Freda (most probably those living outside of Malaysia) she is one of the producers and presenters of “Enterprise” and “Tech Talk” on BFM 89.9. She has conducted thousands of live on air interviews with various people of note, both in business and people of interest including Julian Assange and me  :-). I met her way back (“in another life” according to Freda) when she was the Communications Manager for IBM Malaysia.


Smallest Wedding Ever in St Barnabas Church Klang

Agnes contacted me from Japan where she has been living for the past 8 years. She was coming back to Malaysia to get her marriage with her fiance Isao registered with the government. As she had been away for so long she was a bit out of touch with the wedding industry so asked me if I could:

  1. Arrange a wedding gown
  2. Arrange a suit for the groom
  3. Arrange a church
  4. Arrange a minister
  5. Arrange a make up and hair stylist
  6. Arrange a bouquet
  7. Arrange a wedding car
  8. Recommend a hotel for easy access to the church
  9. Draw up a timeline and co-ordinate the day – Hey I am a wedding planner!  BTW I worked in an event management company for 12 years!

That’s a tall order when you contact your wedding photographer a mere 2 1/2 weeks before the date! Even more so when you realise I was in the midst of a heavy shoot schedule with photography for the annual report with one of the big banks in KL as well as heading off to do the Perhentian “Trash the Dress” shoot you will find elsewhere on this web site. Other than the car which they found on line before I could get back to them (Perhentian is a remote place to do business from!) I organized and advised them with everything else. So yes WE CAME THROUGH!

We chose St Barnabas Klang as its a great wedding church and has nice air-conditioning! I also know the minister well so there were no issues. We respect the rules the church puts in place for us. (Photographers: Please remember that in a church you are a guest and you should always respect the location).

This is not the smallest wedding we have shot, its TIED with two others we have done. One in Four Seasons and the other in Assumption. All three had a bride, a groom, and officiant and ….us. In this wedding blessing both myself and the makeup artist were called on to be witnesses 🙂

The ceremony was very moving and significant for both Agnes and Isao.

Afterwards we spent about 30 minutes taking portraits before heading back to the hotel. Job well done.

Thank you for the wonderful memories!



Wedding in St Johns Cathedral and Berjaya Times Square

Wedding Banquet Champagne at Berjaya Times Square
Wedding Banquet Champagne at Berjaya Times Square
The Wedding Champagne Fountain. Time for Yum Seng!

Ben and Yin’s wedding was both a special day for them and a unique one in Malaysia’s wedding photography industry. Why? Because my friend Mr How brought along his brand new Canon 200-400 F4L, The first and only one in Malaysia. I will share more on this lens at the end of this posting and have tagged several of the images below that show it in use.

Ben is the last of three brothers who have asked us to be their wedding photographers. Each one has been fun and it was like old times being back with the family again. The wedding was a traditional Chinese one. For those not familiar this means the groom and his friends come to the brides home (in this case the Berjaya Times Square hotel) and have to bargain their way in to collect the bride. Once the bargaining is over there is a tea ceremony with the family of the bride, and then another one with the grooms family.

Ben’s family are committed Roman Catholics, so the church wedding mass was held in St Johns Cathedral, in the centre of Kuala Lumpur.

In the evening the wedding banquet was in the Berjaya Times Square hotel. Ben very pleasantly surprised Yin by hopping up on stage and singing her a love song. She was blown away by this as any bride would be by such a pleasant surprise.

Enjoy the photos and for a quick opinion piece on the new Canon 200-400 F4L please skip down to the end of this post.

Happy Chinese Bride waits for her husband at Berjaya Times Square

Yin awaits her groom Ben’s arrival at Berjaya Times Square

Bride and Groom in Wedding car

The Bride and Groom in their wedding car as they leave Berjaya Times Square for St John’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur

Bride processional at St Johns Kuala Lumpur WeddingHere comes the Bride

The page boys very cute wedding procession sign

Bride processional at St Johns Kuala Lumpur Wedding

The wedding procession in St Johns Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur – sans page boy who decided to opt out   🙂

Canon 200-400 F4L Wedding Malaysia

The just released Canon 200-400 F4L allows really long shots down the church aisle.

Emotional moment in a wedding at St Johns Kuala Lumpur

An emotional moment for dad as he “gives away” his princess. In reality he gets a brand new son!

Wedding Blessing in a St John's Kuala Lumpur

The priest blessing the wedding couple in St John’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur

Wedding at St Johns Kuala Lumpur

Ben and Yin are married!
(Shot with a 24-70 F2.8 at 56mm. Compare with the following photograph)

Wedding recessional photo taken with the Canon 200-400 F4L

Wedding recessional photo taken with the Canon 200-400 F4L with 1.4x teleconverter engaged.
Note the compression and background blur compared with the preceding photo.

Canon 200-400 F4L in Malaysia

Photo of the sweet bride with the Canon 200-400 F4L

Bouquet toss at St Johns Wedding in Kuala Lumpur

The very eligible catcher of the bouquet toss outside St Johns Cathedral

Table decor at Berjaya Times Square wedding banquet

Wedding table decor at Berjaya Times Square

Wedding Banquet at Berjaya Times Square Kuala Lumpur

The grooms brother anounces the wedding couples entrance

Bride and Groom walk in Wedding Banquet Berjaya Times Square

Bride and Groom’s grand entrance to their Wedding Banquet at Berjaya Times Square

groom sings to bride

Ben surprised Yin with a song

groom sings to bride

Which delighted her.

groom sings to bride

Ben’s a natural.

Bride and Groom walk in Wedding Banquet Berjaya Times Square

The second walk in showed off Yin’s evening gown.

Bride and Groom walk in Wedding Banquet Berjaya Times Square

Beautiful couple

Wedding Photo Booth Berjaya Times Square

After the Wedding banquet the wedding photo booth got heavy usage.

Mini review of the Canon 200-400 F4L: My friend and co shooter Mr How of Photowerkz picked up the very first 200-400 into Malaysia. Apparently it caused quite a stir when it appeared in YL Camera. He is primarily a sports photographer and also owns the Canon 400 F2.8L.

So what’s the new Canon 200-400 F4L like. Three words, sharp, versatile, pricey!

This was the lenses first outing on a photo shoot, and the lens gave a very sweet taste. So is this a killer wedding lens?

If being able to take photos completely unobtrusively is your goal this lens is excellent. Coupled with the Canon 5DMk3’s silent mode no one will know they are being photographed, however getting yourself into position with this or any telephoto lens of +200mm takes a lot more thinking as changing angles with these lengths takes a lot of walking to do so. There is also the additional hazard of being so discreet that videographers and family friends with cameras do not know you are there and will block your view. Unfortunately in Malaysia a lot of weekend photographers (and some non-thinking pros) have “educated” the populace that the proshooter needs to be joined at the hip with the couple thereby blocking everyone’s view, so this type of lens can come as a surprise.

As I am an NPS member, Nikon have kindly loaned me the Nikon 200-400 F4G on ocassion and it is a very nice lens to use, however it certainly wasn’t light and required the use of a monopod at all times despite my being a regular gym goer. It also precluded the use of other lenses unless you have an assistant to hand it off to so you can use something shorter. Fortunately with three of us shooting this wedding my friend How could concentrate on using the Canon 200-400 F4L exclusively while my other partner Hock Seng and I could cover the more usual bread and butter photos. As you can see from How’s set up below, a monopod is definitely required to make the most of it. This helps relieve the strain of carrying the lens, and also gives much sharper photos.

Wedding Photographer with the first Canon 200-400 F4L in Malaysia
The first shoot with the only Canon 200-400 F4L in Malaysia was at this wedding. How made history for local Wedding Photographers!

The built in 1.4x teleconverter makes the lens even more versatile, enabling it to rack out to become a 280mm-560mm F5.6 lens. The recessional photo shows the lens to be very sharp when it is engaged. The lever’s operation is very smooth and positive.

All of this comes at a price. Shashinki lists the Nikon 200-400 F4G at RM22,000 and the Canon 200-400 F4G at RM34,000. Either lens requires a heavy financial investment, and that means a lot of weddings to recoup ROI.

Compared to the Canon 400 F2.8L: How is looking at selling his unit (let me know if you are interested in buying it) so in his opinion the versatility wins out. The only issue may be that you do lose a full stop of light. This may be an issue with some sports as the difference between a photo at 1/1000th of a second and one 1/500th of a second for freezing motion may be a possible issue.

Compared to Nikons 200-400 F4G: The Nikon is a good performer. I know some people complain about softness but I have never had a client do so. Most clients can’t see the difference between an 85mm 1.8/1.4/1.2 either. That said, as a photographer you probably will notice a difference if you shoot both lenses side by side. The big advantage with the Nikon is that you can buy one AND a D800, monopod and flash for less than the price of the Canon 200-400 F4G.That said, the Canon 200-400 F4G is very sharp throughout its zoom range and trumps the Nikon in this area. I do hope to borrow Nikons 200-400G along with a D800 (I shoot with the much lower resolution D3) so we can do some comparative testing.

Am I going to buy one? That is the RM34,000 question 🙂

Property of Grant Corban Photography Sdn Bhd (666138-V)