It is good to be back!
While everyone was reviewing 2015 and setting goals for 2016, I was celebrating Christmas and New Years in New York and visiting some friends on the east coast. When I travel, I like to just soak it in, experience as much as I can, and spend less time in front of my laptop. In addition to that, I think it takes courage to write about your new year resolution. Taking the first step towards something new and unknown is always nerve wracking for me.
In January 2015, I went to Eric Kim’s street photography workshop in Portland. It was absolutely a fantastic way to start 2015. Portland was beautiful and people there were kind and really warm hearted regardless of how cold the weather was this was the challenge I gave myself when I decided to sign up for the workshop. The workshop really enhanced my photography skills, and I learned so much about interacting with strangers from Eric. The experience really opened me up and literally changed my life in some ways!
An invitation came from Javi in February, and we created IGAustinTexas Instagram account with Zoha. We designed the logo together and spent a lot time planning activities for the Austin Community. It was great practice for me to interact with people and I got to know some good friends through Instameet organized by IGAustinTexas. Within 6 months, the IGAustinTexas account started to take off, but Zoha and I decided to move on from it due to our own busy schedules. If you are an introvert like me, I really encourage you to check out the account and go to their instameet. People are welcoming and photographers are very passionate about sharing and learning.
From Spring to Summer, I started to take more portrait jobs. It was satisfying to create beautiful portraits for clients, but then deep in my heart, I started to learn and realized more about what I want in my photography career. Thus, I decided to take a pause on my portrait photography business before 2015 ended. Yes, you can still try to book a portrait session with me if you really love my work, it is just my schedule is much more limited since I am switching gears in 2016.
In June, my dentist retired. Yes he was one of very important persons in my life because he saved me a lot of money. I had bad experiences in the first few years I moved to Texas. Somehow, I ran into quite a few unethical dentists that just tried to make me spend money by fabricating and exaggerating my teeth health. If you knew any good and ethical dentists in Austin, please send them my way!
Near the end of June, I went up to Wisconsin and Chicago to participate with some friends and family events. Since then my personal life became chaotic and went down hill all the way through 2015. I tried not to whine too much because everyone has their own misery to deal with. I think we can still try to focus on better things in life even when things are like shit. At least, I am still alive and I am grateful for that. The dairy farm owner that I visited when I was in Wisconsin had passed away right before 2016 because of cancer this was a really sad note for me to end 2015.
In mid-July, my dad passed away. For a long period of time, I wasn’t able to even mention it. The feeling was very complicated and I didn’t get to really take time to mourn due to all kind of crazy things that happened in my life. I know tears certainly are not going to help, but there is still a dark hole in my heart and I don’t know how to patch it.
I took a 2 week trip by myself at the end of July. Visiting Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies was a special experience for me. The beautiful landscape in Banff and Jasper was a perfect way to soothe any pain and sorrow.
My friend high school friend OoiKock moved to Germany in 2015, I had always wanted to visit him when he was busy moving around the world. We finally got to catch up in Halle, Germany after all the years we hadn’t see each other. That was also the second time I traveled with my good friend Mitch out of the United States, including our trip to Japan. He is always a good travel companion and it is easier to plan a trip since we both love photography.
Ending the year in New York was definitely a perfect turning point. For at least, I like to believe so and hope for a better year in 2016. New York has the best and authentic Malaysian food and the broadway show really stole my heart. It was a great trip and I am so thankful to have Freddy show me around!
Before I finish up here, I also would like to mention that I did tons of hand lettering work in 2015! I spent months to develop my brush lettering and modern calligraphy skills. I didn’t get to do as much during the second half of 2015 because of my travel schedule. I will definitely pick it up again in 2016 and hopefully create more beautiful work!
Time flies, and it never stops even when we feel like we need to take a break. Growing older and with more experiences filling my little brain, sometimes memories get fuzzy and I can lose perspective in life.
I am glad I survived 2015!