Family Portraits and Birthday Photography in Malaysia

baby family portraits malaysia

Originally posted 2014-07-01 18:35:10.

For years, I’ve been known as a wedding photographer but what people don’t know is that many of my couples go on to grow their families and when they need great birthday or family portraits, guess who they call? I love shooting kids…every shot is different and every shot tells a story. Call me to book a session if you want some great photos of your kids and family that tell a story or capture a memory. Pricing starts from an extremely affordable RM300 for shoots in the studio. Pricing at your venue starts at RM600.

NB: Please use the form on this page to contact me, or email me at Do NOT add a comment to this page where you include your phone number or email address as it can leave you open to fraud. Any comments you inadvertently post with these details will be answered and then trashed for your protection. Thank you.

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Wedding of Tengku Bahar Idris in Negeri Sembilan

Malay Royal Wedding of Tengku Bahar Idris in Negeri Sembilan

Originally posted 2014-01-11 23:35:30.

Malay Royal Wedding of Tengku Bahar Idris in Negeri Sembilan
Tengku Bahar Idris and Mayuko Yoshida


Tengku Badris and I met up to discuss his upcoming wedding back in September 2013. Career wise, he started as a news photojournalist and is currently a news editor with Agence France-Presse. He wanted unobtrusive photojournalism for his wedding to Mayuko in Negeri Sembilan.

On the day there were close to 40 overseas wedding guests from all over the world. many of whom were also photojournalists which made me quip to the groom when their coach rolled up that it “Looks like the press have arrived”. Most of them had not been to a Malay or Muslim wedding so they were fascinated and soaked up the culture and enjoyed traditional food.  The Japanese guests especially enjoyed the completely new experience.

After the ceremony Tengku Bahar Idris’ mother thanked us for our being so discreet with our handling of the wedding which was particularly satisfying. A wedding photojournalist needs to move as quickly and quietly as possible as they anticipate where they need to be for each part of the ceremony, or where the best angle will be to capture the brides/grooms or other family members emotions as the story unfolds.

His Uncle HRH Tuanku Muhriz (Yamtuan Besar Negeri Sembilan) and Aunty HRH Tuanku Aishah Rohani, along with his cousins Tunku Ali Redhauddin and Tunku Zain al-’Abidin were present for the wedding and following lunch.

For the sake of their privacy I am not going to post up the photos, however they were very pleased and would like us to return to cover  the next family wedding later this year.

I am looking forward to it.

Pulau Perhentian Bubu Long Beach Resort

Bubu Resort in Perhentian Hotel Rooms

Originally posted 2013-06-15 22:06:25.

Bubu Perhentian view from the jetty
The Bubu hotel viewed from the end of the arrival jetty.

After my trip to beautiful Perhentian I thought I would do a quick write up on my experience. If you have never been I have one word for you: GO!

How to get there: There are three ways I know of. Take the bus, drive, or fly. I have heard the bus trip is 9 hours, driving all the way is likely only an option if you have two drivers (please do not be the sleepy dead hero and do it solo in one go), or fly. I decided to fly with my preferred airline, Firefly. I like their aircraft and as a corporate account holder I get some small perks if I need to change flights/passengers. The fact you leave from nearby Subang instead of the horrible cattle shed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy out at the KLIA and dont have to worry about buying luggage allowance or food are also factors worth consideration. Also it was the cheapest!

One thing you have to watch out for on the firefly aircraft is that the over head compartments are very small. If you are a photographer a smaller Lowepro back pack will work. Into this I was able to fit the following: Canon 5DMk3, Canon 650D (backup), 135mm F2.0L, 85mm f1.2L, 24-70 F2.8, 16-35mm F2.8L, Speedlight 600EX. I could probably have gotten by with my Nikon D3, however it is a taller and noticeably heavier camera, all part of the price for being more rugged.

If you check in to the same hotel I used then you will get picked up from the Kota Bahru airport and driven south for about an hour to the jetty. You will be asked to pay an RM5 tax by a customs officer before boarding your boat. This is supposed to be put into a fund for the protection the marine environment. I have no idea where you can find updated information on what these efforts may be.

The fast boats takes 30 minutes to get to the island. Make sure you know which island you are going to as there are two of them.

Where to Stay: If you are on a tight budget or want to “slum it” you have lots of options. Most places have fans and likely have hot water for limited times during the day. My own criteria was:

  1. Must have an in room safe so I can secure my camera equipment.
  2. Must be a place I want to come back to at the end of the day
  3. Have decent food.
  4. Accept credit cards (just in case)

My back packing days are more or less over and with over 25 countries under my belt by the time I was 25 I think its time to have some comfort now and again. With these as my criteria there was only one location that would foot the bill: Bubu Long Beach Resort on the small island of Perhentian Kecil.

Bubu Hotel Perhentian Island

Welcome to the sun bleached Bubu resort on Long Beach

Boat times do not sync very well with check in and check out times however that will give you time to chill out and take in the venue.  Below you can see the general layout. The ground floor rooms open out towards the beach front while the middle and top rooms open towards the rear. They are accessible via staircases either end and an open walk way facing the hill side jungle, and if you are over towards the right of the photo you will see the power generators. My room was the one in the top right of this photo and despite being the closest to the generators I didn’t find the noise disturbing.
Bubu Resort in Perhentian Hotel Rooms

The lower rooms of the Bubu have entry ways that lead towards the beach.

The beach bar offers two free cocktails every evening if you are staying there. Either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, so the kids can join you too. Be warned that a long day on the beach will make that second Maitai a wee bit more relaxing than you were prepared for   🙂
Bubu Resort Bar free cocktails

Two free cocktails EVERY afternoon from 5pm.

Bubu Hotel Perhentian room view of beach
View from my room in the Bubu Perhentian

My room view was simply awesome. I could wake up to this every day and reminded me of my childhood home. The breakfast area is in the thatched building to the left. They have a proper coffee machine and barista which translates into: Best coffee at any resort I have been to up to this time.
Bubu Perhentian room interior

Interior of my 3rd floor room at the Bubu.

Here’s a look at my room interior. Good air conditioning. Clean interior. No phone. No TV. Comfortable bed. Perfect.
Bubu Perhentian bathroom interior

Bathrooms were small, nice and clean. Hot water all day.

Bathroom was clean, has hot water all day and good pressure in the showers. I did find the shower floor slightly slippery and it nearly caused me a problem. There is a compound available in hardware shops that can alleviate the slipperiness. I hope they apply it soon…hint…hint
Bubu Perhentian room safe

The Bubu guest rooms have an in room safe. Probably the ONLY hotel that does on the island.

The in room safe was perfect. Easily big enough to accommodate all of my camera gear and then some. It provides peace of mind when you are out and about. While crime is certainly not in your face like in a big city, I heard petty theft is an issue and a friend who goes there regularly knows of someone having their camera stolen. Better safe than sorry.
The beach area in front of the Bubu Resort

The beach area in front of the Bubu Resort

The primary purpose of going to the island is the beach and sea. The beach is very nice powdered coral and the water is very clear compared to the Klang river and Port Dickson, so you will find it an amazing experience. Right next to the Bubu there is a dive shop which takes out several boats in the morning so you can snorkel. It costs RM60 for the full morning with gear rental additional. The gear rental covers mask, snorkel, flippers and life vest. Most people wear the life vest while snorkelling for safety sake however if you are an experienced free diver you don’t need to wear it when in the water. There are 4 locations they take you to see. The first is usually turtle bay. This is a sandy bay with a sea grass growing on the sea bed. It is about 4m deep and we saw two good sized turtles I would estimate were 1m across and 1.5m long. If you are a good free diver then you will love diving down to the sea floor to get a closer look at the turtles. Just be careful coming up as there are a LOT of boats and other divers. Someone mentioned there had been someone hit by a boat a few weeks earlier so please stick with the crowd.

The second location was above a reef which had myriads of fish. They were very friendly and delighted many of the snorkelers as they swam up to have a closer look at us.

The next location was Shark Bay. Hopefully you will be able to see black tipped reef sharks here. They are harmless but most people feel a tinge of trepidation about going in. That’s normal so don’t worry. Swallow your worries and head on in. I was fortunate enough to see one on our trip. It’s not guaranteed. Water is about 5m-6m here.

The last location was a sandy bay had completely different fish, made for speed and agility.

I was keen to get some photos under the water. I rented a Canon G9 from a diving instructor (RM100 per day) along with Canon’s underwater casing for it. It was a good job I did as I found the Dicapac DCP-WPS10 totally unacceptable due to its buoyancy, poor focusing and near impossible control system. The G9 was marginally better. After shooting with a DSLR the response speed of the G9 when in its underwater case the control system was soft and sluggish. Under water it was pretty much spray and pray. All of these photos were taken in water easily accessible and only waist to shoulder deep.

Pulau Perhentian underwater photography of fish
Underwater photo of some interested fish (Canon G9)
Pulau Perhentian underwater photography of fish and reef
Underwater photo of a reef and some fish (Canon G9)
Pulau Perhentian underwater photography of clams
Underwater photo of some large clams (Canon G9)

Perhentian fish

On Perhentian you do not have to go far to swim with the fishes. This is from the jetty.

Photoshoot for Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett

Originally posted 2012-12-10 13:45:34.

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett
Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett

I was contacted to provide a photo shoot for Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett for the run up to the Miss Universe 2012 finals in Vegas in December. Part of the experience for each contestant are the photo shoots in evening gowns and swimsuits so we simulated this experience to help Kimberley for her build up. Most Miss Universe contestants are not professional models (but many go on to become one) so these types of shoots are valuable. I found Kimberley to be excellent to work with through out the shoot and has nailed her poses well. After the hair and makeup was  completed it was then on into the shoot which was for another 3 or so hours with a total of over 700 photos being taken.  I can only post up a few of the images here as it is for internal use only, but I would say we had a very successful shoot.

Behind the scenes photos kindly provided by Selvam of Creative Imaging Works whose studio we rented for the shoot. Special thanks to Andrea Fonseka for providing the team and artistic direction.

We wish Kimberley all the best for the finals.

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett checking her poise

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett

Fun on the set

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley LeggettMiss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett with the team including Andrea Fonseka, Swimsuit designer Steph Tay, Photographer Grant Corban and the support team.

Honeymoon Locations in Malaysia

Four Seasons Malaysia Honeymoon

Originally posted 2012-01-25 19:31:34.

Four Seasons Malaysia Honeymoon

Over the years I have been to many hotels throughout Malaysia and wanted to put up some of my suggestions.

Four Seasons Langkawi Island: Intimate and quiet. The perfect honeymoon destination where everyone know your name. You can enjoy the infinite pool, water sports, cycle rides to waterfalls. his hotel tops my list for couples who want that something special. They have a variety of specials for honeymoon couples so best you call ahead.

Pangkor Laut Resort: Another very pleasant location.  A bit busier and will feel a bit more hustle and bustle, but a tasteful resort experience.

Datai & Andaman Hotels: The Datai and Andaman are both fantastic places. Deciding between the two can be difficult.

Westin Langkawi: Lovely beach and larger scale than the above resorts. It can feel like a family holiday destination.