SORTA LIKE A DREAM {A Family Photography Session with The Hilton Family in Kuala Lumpur}

Well, I’m about to hit the way-back machine, but before I get there let me tell you about the here and now.

I’m just back in Kuala Lumpur after an epic Jakarta family photography trip where I did eight family photography sessions in about 48 hours. It was intense, but also lovely. But also intense. Eight family photography sessions is a lot of sessions!

I reconnected with old friends, you know those expat specific types of friendships, where in the absence of your own blood kin, you fall into a friendship family with bonds as strong and tender as those you left at home. I photographed; fit in some visiting; road around on the back of a motorcycle; almost had a traffic related rage attack; almost cried from the beauty of it all about four times; and fell in love with so many families, that my eyes sting and my ribs hurt, and love love love. I have more to say on the jakarta topic, but I need to gather my thoughts (and have relevant photos to share). Until then. Wayback machine.

Anyway, I’m waiting for about 10593379 photos to upload onto my computer, and while so doing, I'm actually publishing a blog post!

Here is a lovely family, the sort I’m talking about above. The sort of family who welcomes you, unmasked and completely open into their home. The sort that are so comfortable with each other themselves that they don’t hide behind pretense or or fluff. The sort who just love one another, and just truly enjoy their children. The sort that have hearts so big they make room for you, and after an hour you think you’ve know them for years. Maybe that’s something about family photography: you spend this time watching and observing, and really getting to focus on what’s in front of you, that it can feel as though you know a family after just a short time together.

These kinds of families are a dream to shoot, and leave me skipping home, delighted and full. Wanna be one of them? Get in touch!

A tropical lifestyle image of a young family in front of tropical plants in Kuala Lumpur.
One of Asia’s top family photographers captures a little boy sitting on his father’s shoulders.
A family photography session in KLCC park in kuala lumpur malaysia.
Water reflection in KLCC park by top Asia Family Photographer Erica Knecht
A couple cuddles their baby in  KLCC park during a family photograph session in Kuala Lumpur
A young family relax in KLCC park during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A traditional costume in Malaysia by top Asia Family Photographer Erica Knecht.
A little girl smiles brightly in Kuala Lumpur.
A beautiful young family cuddle together in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
A black and white image of a young family hanging out at home by Asia family photographer Erica Knecht
A lifestyle family photography session featuring a young family hug on a bed in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
A picture of a mum standing in front of a window holding her baby during a lifestyle family photography shoot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A mum laughs and cuddles her children in bed by top Asia Family Photographer Erica Knecht.
Kuala Lumpur based photographer Erica Knecht captures a young family as they prepare to go to the park.
Kuala Lumpur Family Photographer Erica Knecht captures a dad holding his son’s hand while in the foreground a mum kisses her baby.
Mum and son cuddle in KLCC park by Kuala Lumpur based family photographer Erica Knecht.
A black and white image of a young family cuddling together in KLCC Park by Asia family Photographer Erica Knecht.
A family photography session in KLCC park featuring a dad holding his son upside-down while his mum looks on by top Asia Family Photographer, Erica Knecht.
A lifestyle family photography session in KLCC Park.
Dad and mum snuggle their baby during a lifestyle family photography session in KLCC park.
Dad and mum and baby in black and white by KL family photographer Erica Knecht.
A family . photography session in KLCC park featuring a family reflected in a pool of water by top Asia family photographer Erica Knecht.

COMING HOME {The Cooney Family in Kuala Lumpur}

Alright, I’m calling it: doing family photography, as I do, in the expat context, is, for certain, the best way to shoot families. I’m invited into the homes and hearts to bear witness to how families love, how they live, how they raise their children, how they discipline, how they connect, how they respond with nervousness, how they unwind into ease, how they open up and let me see that vulnerability, that courage, that ember the godhead that glows deep within every human. I get to see all of that plus, generally speaking, people who are far from their country or origin are pretty effing interesting.

Take the Cooney family. A multi-multi-multi ethnic clan who LITERALLY live on a tropical island where their children are homeschoold and run barefoot through the jungle while the parents work on development projects to bring education and healthcare to indigenous minorities. Interesting right? They happened to be in Malaysia where the extended family gathers together at the grandfather’s home. I was welcomed by cousins and aunties, along with these three little kiddos who remind me so much of my own.

So, have a look if you’d like! And if you’d love to tell me your story, show me your light, I’d love to reflect it back to you in pixels. You can reach me here, or my email at ericaknecht@gmail.com

Three children cuddle together in Mount Kiara, Kuala Lumpur by top Asia family photographer Erica Knecht
A lifestyle image featuring Dad tickling little boy’s feet by one of Asia’s top family photographers, Erica Knecht.
Three children give the camera a hard state by Kuala Lumpur family photographer Erica Knecht
A life style family photography session in Kuala Lumpur
A beautiful multi-ethnic family gather’s together with a view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline by lifestyle photographer Erica Knecht
A little girl dances while her loving parents look on as captured by top asia family photographer erica kecht
a family holds hands while the stunning kuala lumpur skyline is fatured from behind.
A beautiful family captured by Kuala Lumpur family photogaher Erica Knecht
A family snuggles on the couch. A lifestyle image by kuala lumpur family photographer erica knecht
A little girl gives the camera an intense stare by erica knecht, a top asia photogapehr
a little girl smiles while her dad kisses the top of her head. A lifestyle image by erica Knecht, a top aisa photographer
A dad holds three children at once. A family photography session in Kuala Lumpur.
Three children pose with their muscles by Kuala Lumpur Photographer erica knecht
A sweet boy gives a coy smile as captured by Kuala Lumpur photographer Erica Knecht
A little girl hugs her mum. A lifestyle family session by one of Asia’s top family photographers, Erica Knecht.
Three children cuddle / put each other in a headlock. A lifestyle family photography session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A family laughs and cuddles and tickles each other during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur
Three kids play swards. A black and white image by kuala lumpur family photographer Erica Knecht
three beautiful children look at the camera during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur.
A little girl and her mum cuddle together on the bed. A family photography session by asia’s top family photographer.
A black and white image featuring a little girl with messy hair looking at the camera by one of asia’s top photographer’s erica knecht.
A little girl cuddles her dad with eyes closed during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur.
A mum cuddles her toddler on the bed by one of Asia’s top photographers erica knecht.
a mum sits on a chair and cuddles her son during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur.
A happy little girl in a beautiful dress jumps on the bed in Kuala Lumpur by family photographer erica knecht
three children in black and white. A family photography session by one of asia’s top photographer’s erica kencht
three kids cuddle / headlock during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur
A family photography session featuring a multi ethic family in Kuala Lumpur
A husband kisses his wife as she smiles brilliantly by erica knecht one of asia’s top photographers,
A dad with beautiful eyes stares at the camera while he cuddles his wife during a family photography session in Kuala Lumpur
A mum clddles her son during a family photography session in kuala lumpur.
a mum and her three kids stand together in Kuala Lumpur by erica knecht, one of asia’s top photographers.
three kids cuddle together in a powerful image created by asia’s top family photograher erica knecht.

NEW {Kuantan beach on Film and Pixels by Kuala Lumpur Photographer}

a view out over the hoizion on kuantan beach by kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht
a boy plays on kuantan beach -35 mm film - kodak gold
sea shore of kuantan beach -35 mm film - kodak gold - kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht

sea shore of kuantan beach -35 mm film - kodak gold - kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht

beach vines growing along kuantan beach -35 mm film - kodak gold - kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht
a boy plays in the sand at sunset on Kuantan Beach by Kuala Lumpur family photographer erica knecht
flowering beach vines - 35 mm film - kodak gold - kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht
a boy cries in the pool - kuantan - 35 mm film - kodak gold - kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht
a girl plays in the waves - kuantan beach - film - erica knecht - kuala lumpur photographer
a girl stand in sungai pandan waterfall near kuantan by kuala lumpur photographer erica knecht
a girl runs out towards Sungai Pandan waterfall near kuantan by erica knecht, a kuala lumpur based family photographer
a freelensed image of the sky over kuantan beach by kuala lumpur family photographer erica knecht

The new year came like a mirror dream; slow and unsure, woolly. It came as though moving through some sacred liminal space, off balance, and not yet sure if it is stepping in the energy of before or the energy of yet to be. The kids got sick in the myriad and sundry ways that children get sick. We went up the coast to the beach, and for a moment I played with Stella and we rolled about in the waves and thought only about waves and water and salt in our mouthes. I poured “tea”with Lyra and delighted in the tea that was there only in mind, and we were together, really together for an instant. Or perhaps five. Or perhaps longer. I swam with Hugo and answered his call to “do that funny thing again” as though he wanted desperately to relive an ephemeral joy again and agin and agin. Then I had to pull them away from the pool, give them showers, make them stop running through the restaurant , worry about illness and behaviour, and the dumb stupid, you’re so stupid dumb, MOOOOM HE CALLE DME STUPID, and it all boils down to that fearful question, if my mothering is the right kind of mothering.

I made plans and goals and dreamed a bit. I intended to do work, but forgot my hard drive at home. So instead I took naps, read books, and went early to bed and slept with Lyra’s feet in my ribs and on my face. And it sometimes felt great. And it sometimes felt too much. And I wonder what my word for the year should be, and maybe it’s everything is perfect. And maybe it’s just love. Because everything is perfect, and everything is love.

Farewell KL {A Charity Family Photoshoot at Batu Caves}

This was one of my very favourite Family Photoshoots in Kuala Lumpur so far. Maybe it was one of my all time favourite. It came together just at the last second, a confluence of lucky conicidences brought us together to make these pictures. The Sidaros family was about to leave for a new life in a new country, home packed, and on their last days in KL. They wanted a shoot that captured the feeling of the city, some of the magic of the place, and their memories of their life here.

Not only was this photoshoot at an amazing location, kaleidoscope colourful with joss sticks floating on the air; not only was the family a true delight, warm, loving, and up for anything; not only did they come to me by way of Clare, who had been their long time family photographer, and who had trained them so well, I hardly had to direct at all. All of that is true. And also, it was a charity shoot, and the Sidaros Family was so beyond gracious and generous in supporting my cause. I guess what I mean to say is that sometimes the stars line up in such a way that your track through life intersects with those of others and for a moment there is a flash of knowing, an opening of hearts, and of touching insides, and that expanded feeling that all is as it is meant to be. I’m only sorry that they left KL; I’m only sorry that I didn’t get to know them better.

This family photography gig is a real honour.

A happy family sits on the steps of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur.

A happy family sits on the steps of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur.

A family portrait by Kuala Lumpur Family Photographer Erica Knecht.
A family stands in front of a temple as a worshiper walks by at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur.
An abstract double exposure by Kuala Lumpur photographer Erica Knecht.
A man shows off a string of Jasmine in Kuala Lumpur.
Batu Caves in the pre-dawn light by Kuala Lumpur Photographer Erica Knecht
A father embraces his daughter in a family photoshoot by KL photographer Erica Knecht.
A bag of Jasmine near Batu Caves.
Colorful Batu Caves steps in the early morning by Kuala Lumpur photographer Erica Knecht
Lydia at Colourful Batu Caves-42.jpg
A family stands together as their little girl runs towards the camera with an exuberant smile on her face at Batu Caves.
A worshiper descends the steps at Batu Caves.
Paint on the Steps at Batu Caves,
The colorful stairs at Batu Caves, leading up towards the temple by Kuala Lumpur photographer Erica Knecht.
Birds fly over a temple at Batu Caves.
A family with two little girls in front of a temple at Batu Caves.
A mother embraces her daughter on the steps at Batu Caves by Kuala Lumpur family photographer Erica Knecht.
A black and white image of a father embracing his daughter framed by the mother and her daughter.
A mother embraces her daughter in front of the colourful facade of a Hindu Temple by Kuala Lumpur photographer Erica Knecht.
A black and white image of a mother embracing her smiling daughter in Kuala Lumpur by family photographer Erica Knecht.
A black and white image of a mother tickling her daughter by family photographer Erica Knecht in Kuala Lumpur.
A family portrait in front of a colourful temple in Kuala Lumpur.
Two little girls laugh on the colourful steps of Batu Caves.
A family portrait on the steps of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur by Erica Knecht
A family plays together on the steps of Batu Caves by KL photographer Erica Knecht
A black and white family portrait with a mother and father each embracing a daughter in Kuala Lumpur by Erica Knecht.
A black and white portrait of a father embracing his daughter in Kuala Lumpur.
A mother and a daughter play on the steps of Batu Caves.
Two little girls give each other a big hug on the steps of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur
A family portrait in black and white in Kuala Lumpur

At home with The Cheoks {A Charity Photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur}

A little boy looks at his parents embracing during an at home photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur.
Grandparents embrace a young boy who looks up into his grandmother’s eyes during a family photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur.
A little boy looks out a window during a family photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur.
A tired little boy sits on his father’s belly and rubs his eyes during a family photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur.
An asian family with a little boy at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A candid image of a mother looking at her son, while he cuddles his father by Kuala Lumpur family photographer Erica Knecht.
A little boy stands before a window with his arms raised up above his head in victory.
A mother feeds her son while he stands on the counter during a family photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur.
A father and his son make coffee with a french press during an in home family photoshoot.
A black and white images of a father crawling with his son at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A father and his toddler son play in reflective light at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A lifestyle family photoshoot featuring a young family and their toddler son lounging in a window seat, at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A young family enjoy each other’s company at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A mother plays with her toddler son by lifting him overhead while a father looks on and smiles by family photographer Erica Knecht.
A black and white image of a mother, a father, and their toddler boy in a window seat by kuala lumpur based photographer Erica Knecht
A little boy reaches out and places his finger in his father’s mouth.
A grandmother offers a taste of her cooking to her husband during a family photoshoot at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A documentary style images in black and white showing a large family gathering around a kitchen island at home in Kuala Lumpur.
A black and white images of a boy looking at the camera while his parents embrace by family photographer Erica Knecht.
A family photoshoot at home in Kuala Lumpur featuring a little boy giving an impish smile.

It’s always sort of terrifying starting to shoot again after a long absence. The mind rattles with doubt, as you wonder have you forgotten all you knew? Will you be able to run the shoot? Will you remember you set list? Will you be able to quite that doubt to see a family, the bonds, the quirks, the joy and above all the love that bathes them like light flooding through a kitchen window?

Making these images for the Cheoks was my first shoot in Kuala Lumpur. It was also my first Shoot For Charity session in 2018. And I couldn’t have asked for a better family to welcome me back to shooting, calm my nerves, and make me feel like I was coming home for a big, wild, noisy and love-filled Thanksgiving.

As with all my Charity shoots, the Cheoks made a generous donation to Orbis International in lieu of paying my session fees. Orbis International is a wonderful humanitarian organisation that brings sight-saving medical care to people who risk preventable blindness all throughout the developing world. My youngest child has a rare disease which might rob her of her sight. But we’ve had the incredible good fortune of being able to seek treatment from some of the leading specialists in the world, and after about five surgeries, she is now, for the time being, stable, and her sight is totally normal. But so many other children are not so lucky. In fact, most born with this condition would slowly watch as their field of vision shrank and shrank until they could no longer see that light soaked kitchen window, and they could only feel the tenderness of an embrace, but not see the love that floods their mother’s face as she regards her child.

I run these charity shoots once a year at the end of summer as a way of celebrating all the good that we have in our lives, and spreading some of that good out to others who need it. If you’re interested in joining me, get in touch! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram or by email. I’ll be taking bookings for August / September 2019.