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Jeff and I love shooting Day After sessions. These are post-wedding shoots that typically happen a few days or even weeks after the couple’s wedding. There’s a level of comfort and ease there, and a carefree excitement that comes with having the wedding preparations completely behind them now, and being giddy newlyweds who are madly in love.

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We met up with Mark and Melissa in Kyoto just a week after their wedding, and it was perfect. Japan has always been special to us since the first time we went there for a wedding back in 2012 with our then 4 month old son. Going back was every bit as amazing as the first time we went, and we were happy to explore a bit more of Kyoto with these two for a short while.

Arashiyama, in particular, was so beautiful it almost hurt, and if I wasn’t excitedly shooting these two, I think I would have stood in the middle of the Bamboo Forest and maybe cried a little bit. There’s nothing quite like it. We went there around 7:30am, which means we all woke up before sunrise. There are very few things worth waking up for before the sun comes up. There’s love, there’s light, and then there’s this place. It was so quiet and tranquil and peaceful, and I could hear my heart slowing down to a kind of calm I only usually get when I’m by the sea.

Then we took them to a couple of little streets where Jeff and I went before, where we stopped to take pictures and talk about how much we wanted to shoot a couple there, and we couldn’t be happier it was Mark and Melissa we returned there with. We were having the time of our lives and seriously didn’t want to stop shooting. Missing Japan and these two.

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Henrik and Ria 01

Starting 2015 on this blog with Henrik and Ria’s crazy fun wedding. You might remember them from their Hong Kong engagement shoot last year. Been looking forward to this wedding for a long time, and boy, it did not disappoint. Ria is so warm, friendly, and genuinely nice, it’s hard not to love her off the bat. And she is one of the chillest brides we have ever had.

Jeff and I have been shooting weddings for six years now. We’ve come a long way from me crying at every single wedding we shoot because I got carried away by all the emotions in the room. Hahaha. But I teared up when Ria walked down the aisle to Henrik. I’m not quite sure how to put it into words, but it was mostly the way his eyes lit up when he saw her, and how her walking down the aisle to him felt like she was coming home. There was just so much joy all around, it was overwhelming. And this wonderful feeling lasted the rest of the day.

Henrik and Ria, it’s been an absolute pleasure documenting your wedding. Wishing you both a lifetime of this much happiness and then some. Much love!

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Bridal preps: Peninsula Manila | Church: Santuario de San Antonio | Reception venue: The Blue Leaf | Coordinator: Jody Liwanag | Videographer: Notion in Motion | Bridal and entourage dresses: Bride’s aunt, Sandy Yuseco | Bridal shoes: Faire la Fete | Invitations: Printsonalities | Hair: Hyatt Laurel | Makeup: Ria Aquino | Entourage Flowers: Grace Padpad | Catering and reception styling: K by Cunanan | Emcee: Atom Ungson | Band: 3rd Avenue

I always say that more than just pretty pictures, I want grit, honesty, and rawness. Photographs that make me look twice, not to marvel at how elaborately they were orchestrated, but because they were real, because I found some measure of stillness in them, and because they moved me.

My husband took this portrait the other day, and I can’t get it out of my head. This was Isa hours before her wedding.