Family Photography,  Personal,  Philosophy

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I am the greatest photographer… says who?

Hello! I’m Shirley – Ken’s wife, or in Ken’s words, I am the ‘boss’ (he knows deep down that I’m not!).  Well this evening, after putting our little son to bed, I have come up with an idea for Ken’s blog.  I would like contribute my little thoughts onto this blog.   I don’t know about you, but I think a blog of a photographer should not just restrict its contents purely on photography… agree?

Everyday we come across different people, experiences and lessons in life, so I’d love to share all of these with you all who have come to our blog, and hopefully this will also let you get to know us more.  Therefore from now on (*drums rolls*), when you see articles entitled : “FOOD FOR THOUGHT”, they are written by me.  Yup, just by me.  I want to keep them short, sweet and simple, somewhat casual.  There will also be some photographs taken during our (very little) spare time, and with a snippet of photography tip by Ken.  I will make sure Ken won’t get carried away with using too many F-words (not the swear word!  but the F values in camera terms).

This afternoon, we went to meet a couple who are planning a rather grand-scale 250 people wedding at Slaley Hall.  What they shared with us is a simple fact, so simple yet easily forgotten.  Before meeting us, they have already drawn up a short-list of some really excellent photographers in the region (because the bride herself is a photography hobbyist) but none of them suited their criteria.  The groom told us that the photographers they met have come across aloof and like to think that they are the person IN CHARGE and that they are all high & mighty, super-dooper photographer and so they know it ALL already.  And because of that, no matter how amazing their photographs or portfolio are, this couple have not chosen them.

Well although they have not told us of their decision to book us or not, I think this is a lesson for us all.  We may think that we are good in what we do, but who’s to say that?  There is a Chinese Proverb that goes like this: “For every mountain, there is always another higher one out there”.

In the meantime, here is a photo of one of my proudest moment as a mother: when I saw Karl holding his first piece of bread (it is a very small piece so it is not obvious in the photo) and putting it into his mouth, all by himself.  It is such a basic human reflex that we take for granted day in and day out, but this development milestone is a beautiful moment and it gives me some sort of sense of achievement!

PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: This was taken at the Bewickes Restaurant at Close House Hotel, a very cosy and beautiful restaurant.  The food is top-class and has been rated as The Best Restaurant in North East 2009 by the Gourmet Society.  It was quite dark in the restaurant, so Ken moved the tealight on the table to the centre to light up our faces.  In a dark environment, when you do not have your professional lights with you (who does anyway?!), try using a little creativity.  Tealights, torch (if you have one on your mobile phone) all works well.  These images were shot at 1/50 sec at f1.2, ISO2000, without flash.

Well, that’s all guys.  I’d love your feedback on this post, concept of the FOOD FOR THOUGHT series, or any suggestions on what other articles you would like to see on the blog.  Have a great week ahead!



  • Candy 18

    Hi Shirley & ken,
    How are you guys? hey Lingling, I really like to read this “Food for Thought.” Good job!
    Karl grows up a lot. He is so adorable~~~ You also do a great job as being a mom.
    Take care, u guys!

  • Carrie Ee

    Hi Dear, love your article and love reading it so much!!!

    You are right, one has to learn to be humble!

    I would definitely love to read about your experience with KARL!!!

    Yiyi Ganma

  • Carrie Ee

    Hi Dear, love your article and enjoy reading it so much!!!

    You are right, one has to learn to be humble!

    I would definitely love to read about your experience with KARL!!!

    Yiyi Ganma

  • Liza

    Great idea Shirley : ) We all love seeing photos of the very handsome Karl too!
    You’re a lovely family as well as talented professionals, so we’d all love to read your blog running alongside photography based discussion. I think the link between the photographer and the client is very important. Anyone can make your flowers for your big day, but a photographer is different, you need to understand each others needs and energy and work together to create that something special….
    Looking forward to the next blog addition! xxx

  • Alexis

    Hi Shirley!

    hope you are all keeping well 🙂 I love this ‘food for thought’ idea, very very good!! You are so right too…there is always someone out there better than us or thinks they are better haha…and we should never stop learning new things about ourselves..or being more self-aware & humble! I think we learn most from being with others. And many people forget that something as simple as a smile or just listening attentively is what can make another person feel really special.

    Baby Karl has grown sooo much, hes such a handsome little boy! You must feel so proud when he looks at you. And i agree every milestone in their development should be celebrated. I always felt in awe watching my little nephew develop- he never ceases to amaze me! Children are such a blessing and a joy 🙂

    all the best xx

  • Carmen

    Love this new Food for Thought section! I think this is a place where many couples and wedding professionals will gain much needed tips and advice… and it is always great to see what goes off Behind the Scenes! Thank you Shirley =)

  • Selwyn

    Shirley, your blog is great. Miss you two. Still remember the night out in Chinatown, Newcastle and of course the wonderful Prague photos…

    Secretly, you write better than Ken! lol

    Fiona & Selwyn

  • Victor Ng

    Hi Ling, loved your blog. What a great way to share with us a piece of your life over there and sprinkle some words of wisdom that we can never get enough of. Carrie misses Karl dearly, so do I.

    Looking forward to more doses of wisdom from you and photography tips from Ken. I don’t mind any of those F-words at all. In fact, the more the better! 😉

    I’ve finally gotten the time to tinkle with photoshop a few days ago and guess what? I’ve managed to learn the trick of making things ‘disappear’ which Ken does it so effortlessly. Yippee!

    Take care and pls send our regards to Ken.

  • Fern Wood

    What an excellent idea, it’s ideal for a wedding photographer to share a personal side, especially the ‘wife’ afterall that’s what every bride and groom who hire you are doing, with one of the most personal days of their lives ☺
    Karl looks very proud of himself too x

  • Shirley Ee

    Thank you so far to everybody who has responded. Your support means that Ken can allow me to have somemore space here in the future 🙂 and I won’t appear like a cranky mother talking to herself!

    Selwyn, we enjoyed meeting you & Fiona. What memories! Will you come back to Newcastle again? How was the food at Gordon’s?

    Alexis, I love ths statement about the smile & listening attentively.

    Victor, good to hear that you are self-developing all the time in the world of photography despite your busy lifestyle. I met a solicitor who turned into full-time photographer, will you be next? 🙂

    Liza & Fern, thanks for the meaningful comments! A photographer is like a very good friend, somebody you trust a lot, and someone whom you can be yourself with.

    Candy & Carrie, I will update you more about my lifestyle as a mummy soon.

  • neo

    Love to see baby Karl, eventhough he is scared of me now. I don’t know why …. before this, he liked me…. 🙁

    Nice photos of him and you. Neo

  • Shirley Ee

    Neo, he’s probably just forgotten about you because of our holiday in Asia, but I think Karl likes you ‘back’ now. He wasn’t crying when you held him today! 🙂

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