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
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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.

Down to The River {Shoot for Charity}

My first shoot for my charity project in partnership with Orbis International took place right in own neighbourhood. Each year I donate one month of work to a Charity project. And this year I'm working with Orbis, International, an organisation that brings sight-saving treatment to people in the developing world.

I connected with some neighbours, the kind you chat with on playground; the kind you admire but don't yet know why; the kind you wish you knew better. The brief was the kind I like best: capture us here in our home and in our neighbourhood and help us remember this time and this place, our boy's first home as we prepare to leave China behind.

We met at home, while Baby O was waiting for Daddy to come home. We chatted and played as we waited. I learned to say a few words in Czech. We talked about life, our families, our difficulties, and the the beautiful ways that living outside your passport country can stretch and change you. We talked about Lyra and how she's doing, and how lucky we are to get the treatment we do. We got to see each other and realize that it would have been better to know each other like this months earlier. 

And then Daddy came home. And it was all tickles and cuddles and jumping on the sofa. We got ready to go outside, the heat of the day was starting to soften. We walked down past the river, to their favourite bakery and got ice cream. Then we ran up the pathway and watched the boats. We saw a man playing the flute, and remarked that in China there is so much life in public spaces, and yes, we'll miss that. We did what is normal on a Friday evening, we became part of our neighbourhood and participated in the act of living. 

Thanks lovely people, thanks so much for participating in this project with me. Thanks for donating to Orbis, and giving the gift of sight. Thanks for giving the gift of sight. Thanks for helping another beautiful soul to be able to see their neighbours and be able to walk down to their river and watch their boats and participate in their own community. This is a gift that changes lives.

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