The Proposal

A couple of months ago, a colleague of mine, Alvin who sat besides me in my workplace, like literally next to me, asked me if I would be interested to be the photographer for an event he has been putting a lot of time and effort in planning. It was his proposal to his girlfriend, and my goodness, for such a wondrous occasion, how can I turn such opportunity down? For a friend who has been very kind and generous to me all this time, and to be able to capture such an important moment of his life, I was truly honored.

I have photographed pre-weddings, actual day weddings, registration of marriages, but I have never taken a proposal before. I did not quite know what to expect, or what to plan for. Nonetheless, it was a casual session, with a gathering of some close friends. This was certainly a good chance for me to be exposed to something rather unusual, and a good experience it was for me.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 or 50mm F2 macro. FL-36R flash was used in selected images. ISO setting was set between 1000-1600.

Cups of roses.

Surrounded by fire.

Doraemon, the theme for today's proposal.

Say YES !!!

A golden rose, better than the real rose.

A diamond ring. Gotta love what the 50mm macro can do.

A music player.

I arrived early, to capture any preparation works being carried out before the event unfolded. The setting was at a karaoke room in Red Box Karaoke, Pavilion KL. Much to my surprise, Alvin has actually put so much thought and effort, I immediately wanted to marry him !! Jokes aside, I was dumbfounded by the amount of detail he put into setting up the place. Jacklyn (the luckiest girl on the planet today whom Alvin proposed to) was crazy about anything Doraemon, hence the theme was everything Doraemon. He has brought lots of Doraemon figurines, being arranged in such beautiful manner, with a speech bubble standing proudly shouting "Marry Me". Even the balloons were all white and blue in colors, the primary colors that make up Doraemon. There was a golden rose encased in glass, surrounded by a bed of red roses, enclosed by a heart shaped arranged candles. Furthermore, there were candles arranged on the floor, saying "Marry Me".

Impressive, very, very impressive I must admit.

Jacklyn arrived without having the slightest clue of what was going on. When she entered the room, she was shocked to find her friends there, awaiting her, because she was told it was Alvin's company event. When she set eyes on the floor where the candles screamed the words "Marry Me", tears started to roll down her cheeks, and she immediately covered her face with her hands, sobbing. It was such a beautiful sight, really, seeing someone burst out in such pure joy. After that, you guys know the rest of the story, Alvin got down his kness, proposed, slipped the ring into her finger, hugs, and kisses. It was like a fairy tale, not matter how brief those moments were, the world seemed to stood still for a while.

Bringing the candles to life.

Words that burn with fire.

The arrival.

The surprise !!!

In shock, awe and disbelief !!

Emotions bursting out.

The proposal.

Acceptance kiss.

Happiest girl in the world.


This was one of the most challenging photography situation I have come across in a long, long time !! Did I mention all this proposal was taking place inside a Karaoke Room? Did you know how dark a karaoke room is? I did not say dim, I said DARK. It was like cinema dark before the lights were fully off for the start of the movie. I had no choice but to bump up the ISO and use of flash was unavoidable. The ceiling was black in colours, and the walls were a mixture of green, brown and red colors, negating the ability to produce bounced flash effect. I had not much choice in that instant, so I decided to fire the flash almost directly, diffused only by the al-cheapo omni-bounce diffuser cap which was my last resort in such lighting situation. Also, the room was not that spacious, my movement was limited, and there were just too much clutter to achieve clean compositions all the time.

Working around the challenges, I did quite enjoy myself shooting this session. The couple were so in love with each other, you can feel their emotions oozing out. Such is the reward I seek, and all that I wanted in the photography session, to capture those beautiful moments so that they can keep it.

I must thank Alvin for giving me this opportunity to photograph his happiness. I only wish all the best for Alvin and Jacklyn, may your future together be filled with peace and happiness !!!


  1. Maybe You Can Be My Event Shooter Too Next Time LOL~ ><" & I thought u can discuss with the Karaoke Supervisor to use any others things for the proposal?? the Karaoke System which can choose to play their CD or DVD, & Maybe all Flying Balloons will get better Mood of it~ why there's no any Balloon shoot?? it's a nice texture/subject to shoot with not??

  2. Hello Kenyrl,
    What do you mean other things?
    Yes, they were playing their own song.
    What flying balloons? The room is so small, so congested, with REAL fire lit candles !! Instead of flying balloons I think it would be burning and exploding balloons instead. LOL.

  3. You done marriage proposal, pre-wedding photos, actual day wedding, babies and birthdays. Well done. Got one more left, one starts with Fun. Heh!

    Nicely done, it takes more than just knowing your skill to do the job, but also faith and trust to get you on board for what seemed to be the most important moment of the couple's life.

    Well done mate! So, faster propose yourself for pre-wedding shots, actual wedding day. :P

  4. Thanks Jason Mumbles,
    Appreciate your kind words.
    My turn? not anytime soon I suppose. LOL. Time will tell.

  5. excellent photos Robin....i almost cover my mouth like the lucky girl.. haha..
    this is taking photography to the next level..

  6. thanks andrew!
    you are being too kind really. I wished I had more time to capture from more interesting angles though.

  7. thanks andrew!
    you are being too kind really. I wished I had more time to capture from more interesting angles though.

  8. Robin... nice shot!
    Alvin... good job!
    Jacklyn... u are such lucky!

  9. Hi Robin, your photos are wonderful! I have open a page for Olympus E-5 on facebook : can I post your blog in it?

  10. hello thomas!
    thanks for the compliments on my photos!
    of course you can link me up! go ahead!

  11. you are getting too sort actually. I wanted I had additional time to get via more exciting perspectives though.
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  12. Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no. clipping path

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  15. Great photos and professional job done here . thanks for sharing with us .

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  17. Robin, You are relay amazing! All of the photography are eye catching. Thanks for share.