The Hendriks {Jakarta Sessions}

As an Asia Based family photographer, it is a true delight to have the privilege to travel around making images and telling stories, connecting hearts and weaving memories in all sorts of places. There are times when I think about the people that I get to meet and I’m nearly bent double with gratitude; all of these people who come into my life and teach me something about living: it’s a gift.

These days, as a Kuala Lumpur family photographer, I’m mostly shooting around KL, but a good handful of weeks ago, I was off to Jakarta, capturing wonderful, open hearted people there.

These guys I knew from ages ago. Our children used to run together (before they could all even walk!), chasing bugs, exploring, creating silly games. Mundane, quotidian but after school, when the sun bent low, and the cool air enfolded us, it felt like magic.

So, you can imagine my delight to get to come back, see this city where my family grew from three to four, and delight again, in watching these two gorgeous little ones play and tumble and discover. Bigger bodies, but same sweet hearts.

Wanna make some magic with me in KL? I’d love to photograph you family, and learn from you a little more about what it means to be a human.

a happy family in Jakarta, Indonesia by Kuala Lumpur Based family photographer Erica knecht
An n exuberant girl poses with her stuffed animals in Jakarta
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A cozy family together by Kuala Lumpur based photographer, Erica Knecht
Black and white portraits of a brother and sister by Kuala Lumper Photographer Erica Knecht
a funny portrait of a brother and sister by Kuala Lumpur based family photographer erica knecht
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a family cuddle on bed in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographed by Kuala Lumpur family photographer Erica Knecht
a boy jumps on the bed captured by Kuala Lumpur family photographer That Wild Road
a black and white portrait of a little girl as shot by kuala lumpur family photographer erica knecht
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a family cuddle and play together in Jakarta, Indonesia as captured by Kuala Lumpur Family Photographer That Wild Road
A portrait of mother and daughter as shot by Kuala Lumpur based photographer Erica Knecht
A father and young sun wrestle together as captured by Kuala Lumpur family photographer Erica Knecht
A cuddles together as captured by Kuala Lumpur Family Photographer Erica Knecht
a brother and sister cuddle by asia family photographer erica knecht
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A silly portrait of father and son by Asia woman photographer Erica Knecht
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A moody portrait of a young girl by asia based female photographer Erica Knecht
a happy family hang out on their sofa in a beautifully styled room as captured by Kuala Lumpur based photographer Erica knecht
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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.

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

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.