This is really one of the rare opportunities when everyone is in Singapore and spending some time together as a family because Evelyn and Jochen live in Australia. I am extremely glad we had this family portrait session, not only because of its preciousness, but also because it served as a sequel to their wedding which seemed to happen only not too long ago.
I know Daryl since the age of 17, and Wee Nee when we were residents at Temasek Hall. In fact, we were all residents there except that I did not know Daryl was pursuing more than just a degree back then. I had the fortune to shoot their wedding, their family photos when number 3 was still inside mummy's tummy, and then this latest one when all the three monkeys are well capable of flashing their cheeky smiles at me. Having three kids seems like a good idea, barring the incessant noise and shrieks, because parents are guaranteed constant entertainment and they actually make a nett positive contribution to Singapore's population. I would always ask myself if I would relish having a third child. I guess it would have been fun, but it is something I will never get to find out.
Bingkun and Chee Wei are my friends from the eighties and nineties respectively. He and I were in the same secondary school, and she and I were in the same class in junior college. After some twists and turns, the two of them fell in love in London and I had the honour to shoot half of their wedding (because I wasn't available on the other half). I also shot their first family portrait with their firstborn Chloe. As happened to most families, the second-born was skipped (haha) but they got together in front of my camera again when no.3 Bundle the whippet joined the family.
See how happy and beautiful the three girls are in the above image....but when the daddy joined in, something changed. Just joking. Bingkun is a caring and doting dad and all the girls love him to bits.
The Tans are a family of five whom we got along pretty well during the days when our kids attended the same kindergarten. Their only daughter Gwyneth and mine were in the same class and they hung out back in those days.
Subsequently, they each went to their respective primary schools and "lost touch" (the parents still keep in touch). This family photo session was so special because it provided us an opportunity to catch up. "Gwyn misses Yuwen," according to her mum, CY.
Interestingly, the two girls just looked at each other and laughed for the duration they were together in the same room, and that is precisely why kids are such precious creatures. They are genuine and do not hide their feelings. Honestly, their paths have diverged and have no common topics now. They do not know what small talk is, but then, from their laughters I could sense their affection for each other.
I believe the seed of friendship has long been sown inside them, but due to distance, it has not germinated the way it should. Maybe one day, their paths might cross again, and the seed will have grown into a tree.
Today's post is about.....Today. Ariel , mum of the two boys; Lawrence and Meifang, parents of the two girls; Phei Phei, mother of son and daughter ----- are all ex-colleagues from Today newspaper. Ariel, whose husband Chris is working in Business Times, was a sub-editor when I worked as a photojournalist. Phei Phei was a reporter while Lawrence was and still is in IT and Meifang was a photo technician. Meifang was eager to learn photography, and we were happy to share our knowledge with her. Before long, she was shooting assignments on top of her usual duties, and more rewardingly, she and our IT colleague became an item. Those were good days because back then Today was a start-up which nobody really gave a chance when we were fighting the Goliath Singapore Press Holdings. We had a well-respected boss in P.N. Balji, but at the junior level, most of us were either rookies or fresh graduates. Wide-eyed, wet behind our ears, but most importantly, FEARLESS.
I am very happy to document some precious moments of their families. It is an honour to have them visit The Family Man studio. Sometimes, just once or twice, I wonder what it would be like if I stayed on with Today? Would it have been a better tomorrow? *chuckle*