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.

Shoot for Charity {Charity Family Photoshoots}

A charity photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur by family photographer Erica Knecht.

It’s that time of year again! My birthday month, and time for Shoot for Charity. From now till September 26, I am offering family photoshoots in exchange for a donation to Orbis. Sessions are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, and 100 percent of the money goes directly to charity. 


While we were on holiday in Switzerland, Lyra got sick. What at first seemed like a innocuous virus took a nasty turn and became a really dangerous infection. Long story short, I took her to the children’s hospital in Bern, probably the best Children’s Hospital in Switzerland, and she got thorough and careful medical care, a quick diagnosis, and a very full recovery. 

For days I lay with my sick little girl in hospital, our world expanding not much further than the foot of our bed, and I watched helicopters come and go, knowing that the children in them were likely much sicker than my little one. I felt gratitude swell beneath my ribs, immense thankfulness that I could just take my kid to the hospital, without a second thought to the expense, the competency or honesty of the doctors, or my ability to access and understand the system. I felt in my knees and my guts how lucky we are, how unjust it is that we have access to this, where  most other’s don’t.

I thought more about her eyes, her condition, the many surgeries she’s had, how much she’s gone through, how much we’ve gone through together. I thought about how at our list visit to the opthamologist, right before we left to Europe, he had told us that one eye the optical nerve had regenerated. Which is not something that is supposed to happen. But did. And it’s like a miracle bestowed upon us by top ranked specialists and  world class medical care. Again, a train of gratitude, and a deep sorrowful knowing that most kids who are born with eye disease can not even dream of such miracles.

And so, like I do every year, I’m donating my time and skill to raise money to help stop preventable blindness in people, just like my little girl, who have eye disease. 

I’m running a charity drive in support of Orbis, a global organization that brings sight-saving treatment to people in the developing world while also training local doctors to provide better care. They have this really cool flying hospital, aka an airplane with an operating theater inside, in which they preform sight saving surgeries in parts of the world where people need it most.

 

THE DETAILS

I’m offering family photography charity sessions between now and 23 September. Make a donation to Orbis, pay what you can (my suggestion is my usual rate for a family session 1680 MYR, but I’m happy for any reasonable donation! Really. No pressure. If you want to participate but can’t afford that, pay what you can.) And I’ll do a full family shoot for you.

If you’re interested, get in touch and we’ll work out a date. I’m asking that clients make a donation directly to Orbis, so that it’s 100 percent transparent and clear where the money goes. You can donate here on this page. Then, you just send me the email receipt, and you’re booked! 

For examples of my work, please go here to my portfolio, and for some recent sessions, here, and for some charity sessions see here and here

 

A BIT MORE ABOUT BLINDNESS AND WHY IT MATTERS

Imagine if you were living in an isolated, rural community in Malaysia, without many means, and with little political capital. Imagine if the joy of welcoming a new baby was then dampened by fear and worry as you noticed something not quite right with your child’s eyes. Imagine where you’d be able to find good help (nowhere?) Imagine what prospects that child would have for schooling (few?) and what their life might look like as an adult (pretty limited?) Now, imagine you were that mother or that father, really think, how would that feel? And what would it feel like to know that a medical intervention could save your child’s sight? 

I can tell you about the last part. It feels like your heart chest bursting wide open and your heart swelling with gratitude, hope, and your eyes stinging with tears every time you thought about it. 

Do you know that 40 or 45 million people in the world are blind (as defined by being unable to walk unassisted?) And most of those people live in sub-saharan Africa, India, and China. That’s 45 million people, mothers, fathers, children, lovers, friends, neighbors, people with stories and dreams and families and sorrows and hopes and love in their hearts. And that for most of these people, their dreams and ambitions are not releasable, snuffed out as their field of vision begins to close. Their lives are shrunk down to the circumference of the care and support they receive from their family and community.

What’s amazing though, is that about 80 percent of blindness is avoidable. Eighty percent! That means that so much can be done! And so many of these stories could go on to have a wider, and more fulfilling arc.

That’s why, out of all the amazing causes out there, I love to support Orbis. I know what good work they can do, and how much of an impact they can have on an individual, on a family, even a community. And I invite you to join me in giving the gift of sight to people who deserve it every bit as much as my little one does. 

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.

shanghai family photographer_down to the river_04
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_01
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_02
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_06
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_06
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_02
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_07
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_09
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_08
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_10
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_11
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_12
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_14
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_16
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_15
 
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_17
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_22
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_18
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_19
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_23
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_24
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_21
shanghai family photographer_down to the river_20