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Bought this Summer, this is my first ever red dress. Apart from dressing up for to have some photos taken, I don’t see any other occasions it could be had. I was buying it regardless. To me, it was like fulfilling childhood dreams – to dance freely in a large circle skirt, in a far far away land.

Well Australia is quite far away from any other continent and Mt Wilson is about 100km west from Sydney – not particularly close either. I was too intimidated to wear anything red when I was young. Grey and brown coloured outfits were my wardrobe staples. But now? I don’t care that much. You see, age is a good thing. It gives you confidence. It makes you do whatever pleases you.



My natural resting worried look

My natural resting worried look

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The side eyed bitch face?

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The boring “nice” smiling face

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You’ve probably all heard of the term “Rest Bitch Face”. I guess that face belongs to cool people.

When my face is in a natural resting state, I look worried. It’s a 100% Resting Worried Look. In the old days, I normally put my boring smiling face on in front the camera. Not any more. J & I go out to shoot quite often & we’d have a lot of fun shooting in different locations and for different looks/expressions. Truth to be told, J is much more natural in front of camera than me. It took me years to shake off that awkward smile when the camera is pointing at me.

Nowadays I could do calm and relaxed look. Seriously, who wouldn’t feel relaxed when you have this calm ocean view right in front of you?


Photos: CandidTown Photography

Saba top with silk frills, Tokito skirt & Manolo Blahnik shoes.


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One of the reasons I love my job is that we get to explore different locations with different perspectives. Though I’m a Sydney sider and have been to Sydney Little Bay a few times, one particular job led us to revisit this place for some fresh shooting ideas.

Starting from last year, I made the effort to remember having a few outfits photos taken while scouting locations. As always, we left in a rush so I just had my favorite Ray Ban sunglasses on and quickly grabbed a straw hat on the way out.

Needless to say, I’m a designer handbag addict. This is the first time I bought a cheaper clutch online. It looked good online and the feature of a detachable golden chain to convert the clutch to a hand-free sling bag convinced me it’d be a good buy. I was pretty happy to take it out the first time and have some photo taken with it. The thing is, that golden chain kept coming off the hock that is supposed to attach it to the clutch.

So after a few minutes, there I was, holding on my clutch with the chain dangling in one hand, my sandals in the other, camera bag on my shoulder, climbing the stairs up from the beach.  Looks a bit untidy, but such is reality right?

Ladies, trust me, expensive handbags are so worth it!


Photos: Candidtown Photography

Botany Bay Sydney

Botany Bay Sydney

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Botany Bay Sydney

A pleasant afternoon walk around my favorite bay area in Sydney – Botany Bay, where Captain Cook landed nearly 250 years ago.

I’m not someone who wear shorts often but like buying them all the time for some reason. This pair of white shorts is the only one of many other white ones that I can fit into right now. It matches nicely with my white long fish tail top.

J was not very happy that I used the picture of me standing again the red, rusty door for instagram:

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“It was only the very first test shot, and the pose is so boring.”

“But I love it so much!” I said, “It’s unpretentious and it’s me.”

“You are trying too hard to blend in. Too afraid to stand out.” J concluded.

I thought about that for a minute. Maybe he’s right about me trying too hard to blend in but I still love this photo of me standing in front of that gorgeous door!

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Wollongong is about one hour and a half’s drive from Sydney. Over the years, I’ve grown fonder and fonder of this coastal town. The beach is nice and long over there and it’s not overly crowded like Sydney beaches even on a nice sunny day.

I was finally brave enough to take some beach shots in Bikini 2 months ago. Now finally brave enough to put a few pictures up on my blog… Ha. I know what my older sister is going to say: Take them down! How can you put bikini photos online?? You look like a ….! Mum doesn’t even know I have a blog. Can’t even imagine her reaction if she finds out. Well, my family is not that open minded.

It’s marked to be a set of high waisted bikini but still didn’t go high enough. Nevertheless, I love the color and style of this set so they are good enough for me.

I’m still on the hunt of a perfect set of high weighed bikini. So if you know where to find them, please do let me know!

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Never thought it was that windy. J and I went out for a walk just before the sunset the other day around the neighbourhood. The sun was glowing softly and the temperature was just perfect but oh my. The wind.

It was surprisingly windy, so I kinda regretted wearing a flowy silk dress and hoped there was a hairband handy to tie my hair up. We managed to have some photos that looked calm but that naughty wind kept blowing my dress up, my hair all over the place. My hands were very busy pulling my dress down and holding my hair away from my eyes so I could see the world. One thing for sure to remember: always wear great underwear!

On the flip side, we had a lot of fun playing with light and shadows against a red wall. The crazy wind, my crazy hair and crazy shadow just worked perfectly together. This is the picture I’m falling in love with:

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Do you like my shadow?


Photos: Candidtown Photography

Topshop black silk dress, Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag, suede boots, necklace from a boutique in Germany.


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Kirribili is one of my favorite vantage points that offers brilliant views to Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Those photos were taken last month on Boxing day ( 26th December). It was heavily overcast when we first arrived and the rain started rushing down after 20 minutes or so. You can probably see some rain drops in the last photo.

I decided to wear a white top with this black lace skirt to go with a classic black and white theme. This white top is quite unique not only because it’s pleated in different ways but also because it has 2 different kind of straps: one shoulder strap has 2 rows of small pearls. A long strand of pear necklace is then inevitably added to compete the outfit.

Instead of pure black or white shoes, I picked these pair of Manolo Blahnik leather sandals with those hot pink crystal rings on them. Hot pink isn’t at all serious as black and white but given it’s Christmas time, public holiday and all that, a bit of right color seemed appropriate.


Photos: Candidtown Photography

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Views to the city from Manns Point park

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Manns Point Sydney

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Manns Point is a unique park in Sydney that has 2 levels. I only explored the upper lever the first time and thought it was an hidden narrow park with great view to the city. This time we discovered its stunning lower level and the walking trail connecting the lower and upper lever.

It was early in the morning so again I had messy hair and zero makeup, even my pants were slightly wrinkled but all of that didn’t really matter. How I enjoyed the tranquil water view dotted with yachts, the morning fresh air and the little hike to the top!

While walking to a bench to take a seat, this little furry friend followed me all the way and stayed to play for a few minutes. Dogs sure love cuddles and a good pat!

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Photos: Candidtown Photography

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The Breakwater lighthouse behind me

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On the right: The Flagstaff Hill lighthouse

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Wide leg pants are back. I’m not a trend follower but I know this because a couple of PR agents sent me photos featuring some rather ugly wide leg pants.

One of the reasons I don’t follow fashion trend for the sake of it is because not all styles would fit me well. Wide leg pants are exceptions. I like them. It was pointed out to me quite a few times that my legs are relatively short (though overall I can be classified as tall in person) and not as straight as they should be. Wide leg pants don’t show my flaws that much. For that reason alone, I like wide leg pants, but not the ugly ones.

As the saying goes: Fashion comes in cycles. Wide leg pants, are IN not for the first time. I had many of them from a long time ago but have cleared them out over the years. The only one left now is this pair of Chloe white pants. They are not that wide legged but still count.

Now back to the location: Wollongong. We were not even planning going to Wollongong that day. We were driving to Port Kembla and Wollongong is just on the way. We took a wrong turn & were immediately drawn to this row of large rocks. It was an easy decision to pull over have some photos taken there.

There are 2 light houses in Wollongong not far from each other. The bigger one the hill (The Flagstaff Hill lighthouse) attracts a lot more visitors on average but don’t you think the smaller one ( The Breakwater lighthouse) and its harbour surroundings are more photogenic?




What To Do If Your Friend Becomes Depressed

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Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions affecting people today. However, most people have little understanding of the realities of the illness. That means it’s often difficult to help friends and loved ones who begin to suffer from depression and associated disorders. What to do if your friend becomes depressed? At the end of the day, nobody wants to see people they care about losing interest in life. So, it’s vital that we all educate ourselves about the best ways to help. The information on this page will make a great starting point.

Give them your time

When people become depressed, they can often feel like their world is ending. No matter how many times you tell them to pull themselves together, their mood doesn’t seem to improve. That is because the depression doesn’t come from adverse events or social circumstances. It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes all the problems. Instead of telling your friend where they are going wrong, just sit and listen to them. In most instances, people suffering with depression will get a certain level of relief when they can discuss their feelings.

Make sure their family is aware

Most people don’t like discussing their depression with people who are likely to provide a negative response. So, your friend might not have told their family about the situation. You should encourage them to speak with their parents and siblings as soon as possible. It’s not fair that you should deal with the issue alone. If nothing else, they might offer you some support in helping your friend. Also, you can find out a little more about the family medical history, and whether your friend is prone to such conditions.

Encourage them to seek help

There are many support groups and clinical psychologists who could help your friend to deal with their condition. Sometimes it’s easier to get back on track when you’re dealing with people who understand. With that in mind, you should encourage your friend to seek professional help as soon as possible.

The doctors and support workers they encounter will know about techniques that can ease the strain. They will also help you to gain a better understanding of the situation. Most people with depression end up taking medication to keep their moods under control. However, many talking therapies are known to work well. It’s essential that your friend gives up all their bad habits like smoking and heavy drinking because they will only make things worse. Explain to your friend that they don’t have to take drugs if they don’t think it will help.

It’s impossible to say when depression will strike and someone you know might deteriorate. So, make sure you keep your eyes open and look for the warning signs. Depressed people often withdraw from social activities and work during the early stages of their condition. They can also exhibit a lack of interest in the things that used to bring them joy. Some people don’t know they are depressed, and so they need friends like you to help them out. Never give up on someone who’s going through a hard time. You might be the only person with whom they want to communicate.

Do you have someone close to you suffering from depression? How does it affect your life?

Austinmer Beach

Austinmer Beach
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Zombie walk on the beach… a happy zombie for once

Sydney has been raining literally non-stop for a week now. Without even a minute break from those heavy rain drops from the sky, one can only sit inside and dream about beach weather.

Those photos are from my last trip to Austinmer Beach a couple of weeks ago. Autinmer beach is about one and a half hours’ drive south from Sydney, close to Wollongong city centre. Why drive so far to a beach while there are so many wonderful beaches in Sydney? Perhaps the scenic drive is quite enjoyable; perhaps that large rock platform has our names on it; perhaps it has this little shop that can cook up the best fish and chips. Whatever the reason, a day trip to Austinmer beach always manage to make me feel energized and happy.

And that’s all that matters. Do whatever makes you happy, whenever you can.


Photos: Candidtown Photography

Silk top from Marcs, Ray Ban sunglass.


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Sydney has so many nice beaches but whenever there’s a chance, we’d drive along the coast for a day trip either to the North or South. For the last couple of years, we’ve driven along the Sea Cliff Bridge increasingly number of times to the south coast where we found our favourite fish and chips shop and the favourite spot on the rock to watch the day go by after a dip in the water. Here’s my mention of the Sea Cliff Bridge around 3 years ago:

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View from Sea Cliff Bridge, photo taken in Jan 2013.

To give you a better idea of what the bridge looks like, here’s the view from the above:

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Photo found on Internet, from Pinterest.

The driving experience on those cliff hugging roads is always amazing. No wonder it is the most featured location on car ads. If you drive pass this bridge one day, stop for a few minutes and take a walk on the bridge. It’s a treat to walk along the pedestrian path and enjoy the uninterrupted ocean views.


Photos: Candidtown Photography

Wish top, Witchery shots, Marc Jacobs leather bag, Superga sneaker
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Lately I decided to use the opportunity of our light testing/ location scouting trips to have some of my outfit shots done at the same time. Why didn’t I think of this any earlier? No idea.

I’ve got this long dress for a while but never had a chance to wear it. So when we needed to test our new heavy duty light strobe and scout a location for the next client portrait session, I decided to wear it the first time and have some test shots in it.

One of the reasons I’ve never worn this dress to any occasion before is that I couldn’t find any suitable shoes to go with it. But it looks great without shoes in the wood!

Needless to say, chances of going to a party without shoes are slim in reality. So what do you think? What kind of shoes would go well with is dress at ankle length? Do you have any favorite shoe maker that you’d recommend?


Photos: Candidtown Photography

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That old pub has been abandoned for 30 years, since 1985. Rumors say it’s being sold and people are speculating what it’ll put to be.

Until it’s turned into a ugly construction site, it remains one of my favorite spots of portrait sessions for some of our clients. But we managed to take a few photos of me around it using a mixture of light sources for the first time a couple of days ago.

As usual, it wasn’t planned. I’d just spent the whole day catching up with my girlfriends – having an extra long lunch near Sydney Opera House; afternoon tea with the most delicious cakes at the Rocks; wandering and shopping around Sydney Pitt Street Shopping Mall. My plan was to chill at home in the evening, read a book or something. Instead, we picked up our gears and went out to shoot for fun after 7pm.

You see, I’m a queen of spontaneity, J has a name in the family of being “Mr Last Minute”. This kind of “last minute shoot” happens all the time. Luckily, I wasn’t not in pyjamas as usual so we were out of the door within 3 minutes. There were literally a few minutes of daylight left for the day but we had those speed lights and light stand with us. So lighting wasn’t a concern. My concern was, we attracted quite a few onlookers shooting with the lighting equipment. Some people stared, some people stopped and watched, some people came over to give me a hug.

As someone who’s always working behind the camera, I was feeling quite uncomfortable. The awkwardness might have been written all over my face, but I love the texture of those old walls as well those lush ivy leaves growing on the wall.


Photos: Candidtown Photography

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One of my favorite dresses of late is this black and white little number. It’s a white tank top and a black lace skirt combo cleverly made in one, nothing fancy but extremely versatile.

Simply add a black or hot pink leather bag to get a more serious or playful look. It is such a stylish time saver. What more can I ask for?


Photos: Candidtown Photography

Louis Vuitton shoes, Prada black leather bag, Marc Jacobs hot pink crossbody leather bag. 925 Silver jewelry from Europe.

All the images were taken by Jay Smolak Boudoir Photography Sydney.