I am no stranger to the destination wedding photography world. 2020 would have marked my 7th year in the profession, but I, like many others, never anticipated how drastically the world would change. I live in Malaysia, but as a destination wedding photographer, I travel around the world to work with my clients. The past year was no doubt tough, but I was able to take that additional time to focus on new projects and honing in my skills as a photographer.
From the Faroe Islands to the USA and several countries across Europe, these are just some of the more recent places that I have traveled to for work – Pre-Covid of course! It goes without saying that the onset of the pandemic put my destination wedding work on hold. So with travel out of the picture, I shifted my attention to sharing my crazy plant obsession with other plant lovers in Malaysia. I have been teaching a variety of basic plant 101 workshops like “How not to kill your plants” If you share my love of all things plants, you will want to head to my instagram (@janethecrazyplants) on which I share my plant babies and plant growing tips. In addition to slowly turning my home into an indoor jungle, I am thinking of teaching Art Journaling, a hobby I took up years ago when I first began traveling for work. I have shared a couple of flip-throughs over on my instagram and have received the most phenomenal feedback. It is still something that is a work in progress, but perhaps sometime this year I will begin holding some workshops.
Now my life can never be completely devoid of photography. After all, my camera will always be an extension of me. In August of 2020, I partnered with Leica to exhibit my work in their Malaysia store. For the exhibition, I showcased my travel film photography about India. My travels in 2019 to Markha Valley, India left me awestruck by the natural untouched beauty of the mountains and valleys.
The most unexpected thing to come out of 2020 would be me fulfilling my dream of publishing a book with my photography work. I count it as one of my biggest accomplishments. It still feels surreal that my artwork has been published in a book! My book is titled “Jane’s Journal: India” and can now be found in stores, online and through Leica’s e-store. My book launched in tandem with my Leica Exhibition in August of last year.
2020 has made me stronger as a person, more resilient and adaptable. Above all, it has only made me more grateful for the opportunities that have allowed me to pursue my love of photography for a living. Now heading into my 8th year as a destination wedding photographer, I will continue to stay optimistic and wait for the world to heal. As soon as it is safe to travel and destination weddings resume, I will definitely be ready to start capturing those special moments.