On a wedding of Matt’s friend, I met the photographer, Kester, who flew over from Hong Kong to Vancouver. He’s a friend of the groom and Matt. As friendly as most photographers, Kester is also a mellow guy. He speaks so gentle that I was afraid if he would pass out over my loud voice as we were seating at the same table. Turned out he survived. He also nicely offered to take pictures for us when we came back to Hong Kong.

Despite the fact that we hadn’t have a decent family picture as getting Ethan to sit tight for even two seconds seems impossible, I was skeptical if Kester was serious about the offer. What if he doesn’t want to see Matt anymore after he meets Ethan? You know, we don’t seem to hear from our friends who have met Ethan because they don’t think they have an obligation to handle a shrieking toddler who constantly throws himself in a whirlwind thrashing of anger over absolutely NOTHING.

BUT! Yes, and there is always BUT! BUT what I was hoping was only one or two nice shots with all of us focusing, hopefully being smiley and warm as a family, none of our mouths open screaming or yelling to each other, because that would probably be what we would be doing in the studio. Plus it’s FREE! A professional photography session. In a studio. FREE! I couldn’t help but unashamedly emailed Kester to confirm if he’s really ready for a sweaty but probably unworthy job. And he said YES!

We tried our very best to make sure Ethan would behave. Except NOTHING CAN! And before Kester started, I was so close to bent my knees and bow to him as what he offered was huge. Not only the service itself, but the whole exhausting session. Every time when we tried to grab Ethan from crushing his pricey equipment and get him to stay still for a shot, he would resist us with every muscle in his body including the one across his forehead. Every second on the studio set was a BIG MESS! And all along Kester just smilingly and patiently led us to try something else with different props. And I grabbed the boxer glove right away and pretended to punch Ethan in the face, because I really wanted to punch him in the face.

On our way leaving the studio, I told Matt, “Thank God we didn’t have to pay. Seriously I don’t think we let Kester capture any good moments at all. Imagine we pay a fortune for completely NOTHING!”

We didn’t expect to see the pictures in less than two weeks as Kester is extremely busy. I still can’t figure out why he’s willing to squeeze two hours to do this undeserving task for free. The only explanation that I could think of: Some talented photographers could be really stupid. Or, some of them are really up for a challenge to turn a huge mess into beauty. Kester is definitely the latter. And he hadn’t done this with children before. Not to mention an untamed beast.

P.S. I’ve realized it’s a huge mistake that we didn’t bring Maya to Hong Kong for this photo session. Very soon, she will start walking and crushing everything like her brother does, and I don’t think I would dare to ask Kester for the same favor. Meaning: I AM SO GOING TO.

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