Calvin and Mabel: A Wedding in Bali

Hello beautiful people !! I am back to Malaysia, and boy, what an adventurous ride for the past four days. I travelled to Bali, Indonesia to cover my friends' wedding ceremony, as well as doing some pre-wedding shots at the surrounding locations of the breathtakingly stunning looking island. It was a full on solid four days of shooting and and shooting and shooting and I have come back with a truck load of photographs !! Here is a preview, comprising of small selection of my favourite photographs in this blog entry.

This was my first Destination Wedding assignment, and I was very nervous and excited at the same time. There were many uncertainties and doubts in the beginning, but thank goodness everything went smoothly and beautifully. The sky was perfect for all the times of shooting, including the actual day of wedding ceremony itself, and no one could have asked for a better weather on such an important occasion for Calvin and Mabel. I have known both Calvin and Mabel since my university days in Perth, and it was indeed a huge thing for them to get married. They did it with style in Bali, and I was honored and privileged to be the invited as the photographer for their most special day.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR: E-5 and E-520, Zuiko Digital Lenses: 11-22mm F2.8-3.5, 50mm F2 macro, 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 and 8mm fisheye.

The wedding ceremony was held at Infinity Chapel at Conrad Resort, Bali.

Everything and everyone were running on extremely tight schedule, there was very little time to breathe in between. There was the Bachelor's party which I had to shoot immediately upon arrival on Friday night in Bali, and Saturday itself was filled with rehearsals, Chinese tea ceremony and family dinner. Sunday was "the day", and began with pre-wedding shots at the beach, then followed by the actual Wedding Ceremony in the late afternoon approaching sunset. Without a pause in between, the Wedding Reception dinner happened immediately after the ceremony till late. There was almost non-stop shooting. Was I exhausted? This was probably not the most tiring assignment, but surely, most challenging and fulfilling at the same time.

I have learned such a great deal from an actual experience of being there in a Destination Wedding. It is usually very easy to just admire and awe at the other destination wedding photographer's portfolio, but not having the idea of how the photography was being carried out, and of course, not knowing all the difficulties and struggles the photographer faced in such job as well. Though this was my first time, I can really see how dangerously possible for anything to go wrong from anytime. It was about how prepared the photographer is, the ability to think ahead an anticipate occurring events, but at the same time, capable to react quickly should any emergency rises and come up with a spontaneous plan to quickly resolve any issue that may obstruct the overall workflow or photography process. It is easier said than done, and I too, have faced my set of challenges, but by God's grace, all went well, and I was actually surprised because I expected more hiccups and mishaps. Nonetheless, Calvin and Mabel have put a lot of thoughts and planning in their wedding, and I must say, this was one of the best coordinated and executed wedding ceremony I have ever attended, even though it was actually more complicated because it was not done locally and it involved invited guests flying from all over the world.

I have brought along all my photography equipments, which consist of very humble set of equipments and a small selection of lenses. My current lens line-up was able to cater almost everything I needed: 11-22mm for most of my wide angle needs, 50mm macro for close up on details, portraits, 50-200mm for shooting from far distance (which came in surprisingly useful at many times) and not to forget the fisheye, to provide extra extra wide coverage. I must say that having absolute faith and trust in your equipments is very, very crucial, because even the slightest doubt will throw your mentality off-balance. Lighting during the ceremony and outdoor shooting was harsh, but I find the camera to handle the skin tone and dynamic range very well, since all photographs were taken at lower ISO sensitivies anyway. I found my current lenses to work efficiently, especially the combo of 11-22mm and 50mm as my primary shooting lenses, which at times I would switch to 50-200mm and fisheye to achieve certain effects. The signature famous Olympus colors shined throughout the photographs because of the clear blue skies. I did use the aid of wireless TTL flash for fill in during some impossibly harsh back-lit situation. Above all, I think technicalities is not the major concern, there were many others things that come into the equation as well: communication with the couple, direction of poses, overall planning, etc etc.

I think it is many people's dream to have a wedding in a foreign land, such as the ever-popular Bali. Witnessing one happen right before my eyes, through my own viewfinder was a truly memorable and unforgettable experience. The wedding was so beautiful, I even shed a few tears myself in some eventful parts. Although I did not get any chance to travel or sightseeing and do street photography in Bali but I felt very satisfied and unimaginably happy being given the opportunity to cover such a beautiful wedding. I sincerely felt honored and touched by Calvin and Mabel's generosity, and I have to thank them for their faith and trust in me. I pray that God bless their marriage, and be with them, continue showering them with blessings at all times through their walk together.


  1. Nicely done.....

  2. Thanks anonymous !!
    But may I know who you are please?

  3. Welcome back. Good job friend. You capture the ceremony well. You should have extend your stay there. Street & scenery in Bali is excellent! Now you made feel like going back to Bali again.

  4. Thanks XuenPhotoz! That means a lot coming from you.
    I have to come back to KL, need to work my friend !! But of course, there will be next time to return just to shoot the street and scenery !!

  5. Sorry robin, the anonymous was me Luke

  6. Hello Luke !!! Glad to know !! Thanks for leaving your name, it is easier to trace your commenting history that way. Cheers.

  7. Splendid work...i envy your works...TTL flash-did you usesome softbox or umbrella for softening the light from the flash.

  8. Hello Anonymous,
    Thanks for the compliments. Nothing to envy really, I am still learning and improving, so much to explore still.
    I used the TTL flash mostly for backlit or difficult lighting conditions only, but I fired either direct (when there is no other choice) or bounced (if there is ceiling or wall nearby.

    And please kindly leave a name next time you comment so I would know and trace your history here.

  9. Hello Svenreinhold,
    Thanks a lot !! Oh dear now I suddenly remembered I owe you some comments on your wedding shots !! My apologies, sometimes I think I must have dropped part of my brain somewhere.

  10. ...and maybe you could give me some advice for a cleaner output of my pics at the blog. they look much more grainy here than they are in original. flickr-output of the images is much better.
    Your blog-images are always very clean and sharp!

  11. Robin. these photo are awesome.. high solute to you.. xifu...

  12. Woohoo nice set of wedding photos =D Love it~

  13. LOVED the picture with the two birds in the foreground. Amazing they did not freak out and fly away with you taking their picture nearby.

  14. hello Svenreinhold,
    No problem, I will hop over to your blog to comment soon. Sorry for the wait, been rather busy lately.

    Hello Khee Hwa,
    Thanks for the kind words, but me not sifu la, this is only my second pre-wedding assignment.

  15. Hello Tian Clad !!
    Nice to see you here again !! Thanks for the compliments bro. I am sure you could do the same, or even better.

    hello Viv,
    Getting close is one of the important things to get better photographs. They did fly after I tried to get closer ahahah.

  16. *Like*

    Me like the colours. :D

  17. Hello Chong !!
    Thanks !! Olympus colors, ehehehehhe

  18. Hi Robin,
    Congrats to yet another fabulous set of photos. Your creative eyes are there for all to see.
    I am just wondering if you were shooting in JPEG or RAW? Did you do any post processing?
    Did you bracket any of the shots? The photos were very well exposed. If you didnt bracket them,.. i guess you nailed them first shot.
    I did weddings before when on film... its not easy at to nail good shots will high consistencies at all. But you seem to be able to do it... great job!

  19. I like your photos.. since I'm green in photography, I always look for inspirations. And you sure are one of them.

  20. Very good work Robin!

    Colors are very vibrant and to reflect the perfect weather you mentioned in your story, kudos to your matching photos too!

    It has been a while since I last got to visit your blog & from what I am seeing you have leveled up your game big time where the composition-angling-lighting and fleeting moments are well captured in your shots.

    The couple shots with the petals frozen in mid air has got my attention so much that I enjoy seeing the expressions captured in that photograph as well.

    Anyway thanks for sharing your experience and it was a pleasure to view, now your making me want to visit Bali thanks to your shots!

  21. hello calex,
    glad to hear from you again and thanks for the kind compliments. I shot all images in RAW and used Olympus Viewer to emulate the original JPEG output, especially the colors.
    I did minor post processing, mainly to add contrast and. boost a little saturation. other than that the photos are almost straight out of camera. no I did not use auto bracketing, it wont help in fast moving captures.
    the consistency of exposure is due to constant lighting, thanks to the perfect weather and blue sky!

    hello virtual writer,
    thanks for the compliments. I appreciate it. I too am still. rather new to photography, lets explore together!

  22. hello jaime,
    thank you so much for kind remarks, I do not deserve them!. surely I have improved but not that much I supposed.
    the shot with the couple and floating petals is my favourite too!! kind remarks, I do not deserve them!. surely I have improved but not that much I supposed.
    the shot with the couple and floating petals is my favourite too!!
    and it is always a pleasure to share my experience here. I should return to bali just for pure landscape and street/travel photography, its crazy beautiful there!!

  23. Yes, you should go back to Bali for some landscape shooting therapy.
    The volcano (not live i hope) at Ubud is fantastic sight for nice landscape.
    Not sure where you shot the wedding beach photos... assuming its either at Kuta, Nusa Dua or Jimbaran. Of the 3, i prefer Nusa Dua as its more serene and easy to shoot without too many peddlers coming to you. Also the water is beautifully clear.
    You should organize a trip with your kakis and go again.... purely for shooting. :)

  24. calex,
    yes I will surely return for shooting one day, but lemme save up some cash first.
    the beach we shot at was nusa dua, clear water and less people like you mentioned!

  25. Hi Robin,

    Architecturally, that chapel is beautiful! I love it.

    Did you use a PL filter for the first few chapel shots or were the skies really that awesome?

    Also, any news on when can we get the 45/1.8?

  26. hello zyran,
    the chapel is indeed modern in design and I love it!
    I used ND8 filter for the first few shots and yes the sky was already that awesome.
    45mm f1.8 is already selling in local stores in malaysia.

  27. Your shots were very creative and really captured the joy of the couple. Excellent job.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Jian,
    Thanks but dont use that "word" can? ahahhaa later some people "beh song".

  30. Fantastic images, love the beach shots!

  31. Hi Robin,

    This is Nadirah - we sat at the same table during Mabel's reception :) Got here via Mabel's FB page.

    Beautiful pictures, I love the shoot! And agreed, the wedding went wonderfully and everything was really coordinated, considering how hard it is to do a destination wedding.

    Can't wait to see the rest of the pics :D

    Any chance I can get the pics from the reception night? :P

  32. hello nadirah,
    thank you for stopping by and I appreciate the kind compliments!
    please add me up on facebook so that I can inform you when the reception dinner photos are ready. it will take a while, but im working on it.
    thankd again!!

  33. WOW what a wonderfull gallery you have. awesome

  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  37. What a fantastic wedding – massive congratulations to the Bride! Where is this chapel situated? We booked but not sure which chapel to choose. It would be great if you give us few tips))