Erica Knecht

Professional Photographer | Kuala Lumpur

lifestyle photography

At Home {A Mini-Session in Kemang | Jakarta Family Photography}

families, family photography, Indonesia, lifestyle photography, mini-sessionsErica KnechtComment

I was sure this shoot was going horribly wrong. I thought, for sure, I was going to get nothing good. You see, there were these two little ones, full of life and laughter and a fair pinch of mischief, vibrating with pre-Christmas energy. And I made that silly mistake of puling out the FUN PHOTOGRAPHER card waaaaay too early. Jump on the bed, I told them. Run away, I'm a monster, I said. I got them all wound up, and I was sure it was game over.

But then look. Some magic happened. We connected. I saw them. And these images were the result. And I think, possibly, this ended up being one of my favourite sessions of the year.

So, anyway, if you want me to spend some time running your kids wild, chasing around your garden them like a monster, hoping against hope for a good picture, well, hey! Send me a note! ;) ericaknecht@gmail.com

To You and Your Kin

Indonesia, jakarta, lifestyle photographyErica KnechtComment

Twelve months ago, I was sitting in a little cafe, my computer balanced on a wobbly old table, collecting my favourite images and writing words that I hoped would come to life. I was working on this website. Twelve months ago, I hit publish, and released my dream out into the world. Twelve months ago, I was anxiously wishing that maybe, somehow a few people would hire me to make their portraits.  

 

And here we are, now, entering a new year, and I can hardly believe how this past year has unfolded.

 

I put up my website. And people started calling. I met so many gorgeous people, I got to hang out with babies, I was charmed (and challenged) by toddlers. I photographed a new life coming into this world. I was published, and this I can still hardly believe, in a real life print magazine. I took a handful of courses, gained confidence and courage. I got to travel all the way to San Fransisco to attend a workshop and meet some amazingly talented and creative photographers. I got to meet my ultimate photography crush. 

 

But the best thing of all, I think, really, if it comes down to it, is I got to meet so many lovely people. Each time I am hired to work for a new family, I’ve got a stone in my belly and worries in my mind: will I be able to do this? Will I be able to handle the kids? What about the parents? Will they like me? Will the like my work???? 

 

But then, each time, without fail, I’m let in the front door, I kneel down and greet the kids, I get a shy smile, and then it’s all over. I’m in, and we’re buds. I fall in love with each family I work with. I see the families before me, dressed in their best perfection disguises, think, well hey, you guys are sweet and maybe this is going to be okay? And then the middle kid crosses his arms and starts to pout, and the big kid chases the little one with his nurf gun, and the baby starts to cry and the mum starts to crack just a little and shoots a look at the dad, and I think, guys, I see you, I really see you now and I just love you all the more. 

 

I mean, shoot, there really are so many wonderful people in the world, and I get to see them, I mean, really see them. I get invited to their homes. I get to see how they live and how they lvoeAnd I’m sure that I have the best sort of clients, and I just can’t believe my luck. 

 

Anyway, 2015 has been pretty wonderful. Which isn’t to say that every moment has been dreamy, because certainly there’s been doubt and angst, because hello, I’m me. But overall when I look how this year has unfolded, I’m just glad. So, here’s a little roundup of some of my favourite images from 2015, all lovely families, all perfectly cracked just a little bit.

 

And guys, thanks. Really, this has been such a special experience for me. To everyone who’s hired me to see them with my camera, given me a high five, or liked a post, or even just visited this page, thanks. Really. I'm going to be running a giveaway this  month to say thank you for all the support. So. But until then, good tidings to you. All of you. Thanks.

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Waiting {A maternity shoot in central Jakarta}

lifestyle photographyErica KnechtComment

This was my first foray into maternity photography in Jakarta. And to tell you the truth, was a little bit nervous. Without the energy of little children, I wondered, would this session have enough dynamism?

As it turns out though, working with adults is WAY EASEIR than working with children. I mean, adults follow instructions! They stay where you pose them! They look at the camera when you ask! It was kind of a revelation.

And so, I came away from this shoot happy. I wanted to give my clients a portrait of that waiting era: that liminal period when it’s just the two of you, but not really, because there’s almost three, and your heart has expanded but you don’t yet know how much it still has to grow, and you can feel that a sea change is imminent, but you can’t quite picture how your life will look two months hence. And so, together, just the two of you, waiting, waiting, waiting. 

I’d love to do more shoots like this. If you’re expecting, and you’d like to make something special, let’s talk. You can email me at ericaknecht@gmail.com.

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Keep the Streets Empty for Me | A South Jakarta Family Session

families, family photography, jakarta, lifestyle photographyErica KnechtComment

Most of the people I photograph are here in this city for a very limited amount of time. Our days here in Jakarta are bounded by contracts, cardboard boxes, and shipping containers. We bring our kids here, raise them up, and then wonder, how much of this place will they remember when they’re grown?

 

This question of roots and a sense of place is one that I reflect upon in the context of my own family. And I think that is part of the reason that I am drawn to making photographs of families out in this city.

 

Often when families ask about an outdoor venue for their photographs, I suggest taking a walk in the neighbourhood. I say get out out there, discover the cityscapes, vibrant and rich and beautiful in their mundanity, embrace it all the chaos, noise, and grit, because it’s part of your story and your story is beautiful. We'll make some photographs and you'll keep them and years later remember that time in your life when your kids where small and loved superheroes and play fighting and in the evenings they ran up and down the streets with the neighbourhood boys while the sun hangs hazy orange low.

 

I got to work with this gorgeous family several weeks ago near their home in the South. They were lovely, dynamic and fun and their boys bouncing, full of life and karate chops and that general bread of boy-ness that I so love. Anyway, it made photographing them a total dream. Plus, we did a little tour of the neighbourhood, red wagon in tow and everything. All of which is to say, this shoot was a dream. And I’d love more like this please! ;)

 

If you’re interested in doing a session like this one, I’d love to hear from you! Get in touch either here, or via my Facebook page. Or you can email me directly at ericaknecht@gmail.com. Okay! Do it! Talk to you sooooon ;)

 

It's for the Neighbourhood

family photography, jakarta indonesia, lifestyle photographyErica KnechtComment

Do you guys know how amazing this city is early in the morning? The streets are still quiet, the air a little fresher, and the light is just so good.

I met up with Joanne, Keith and Chase recently to make some photographs. The brief was simple: just some simple images of their family in the home; they wanted to capture their wee boy on that precariously heartbreaking cusp between toddler and boy. 

So we met up, I tried to do some indoor shots of the family, but this boy, well he wasn't into it. He wanted out. He wanted to run. So we followed. We went out and explored the neighbourhood, up graffiti lined streets and down narrow allies. And it turned out to have been the best.

Kids know, I tell you. It's like a life lesson, I'm sure. Follow their lead. They'll show you the way.

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A Goodbye Shoot | Jakarta Family Photograher

family photography, jakarta indonesia, lifestyle photographyErica KnechtComment

Leaving is tough, isn't it? Saying good by to that home where your toddler took his first steps, to that room where you nursed your infant in the stillness of the night, to that pool where your big kid grew two sizes the day she learned to swim, it’s poignant, and painful. Those rooms in which your memories are housed now become memories themselves. 

 

 

Saying goodbye to place is difficult. But saying good bye to the people that helped raise your kids, that is, you know, heartbreaking. These lovely souls who brushed away your little one’s tears, or who lifted your boy into the driver's seat of the car, and played race cars all afternoon, or those beautiful people who reached out held your baby when you just needed to catch your breath, well, these people become bonded to us like family. 

 

Recently, a lovely family booked a session right before leaving Indonesia. Their children are tiny, too tiny to really hold onto any memories of their first home. These little boys would move away and never really remember Jakarta home, or their life here. These boys would never know how Pak Ari was devoted to the bigger one, or how the Ibus loved the baby with gentle, patient hearts. 

 

This family asked for pictures of them in their Jakarta home. But they also asked for pictures of the whole household. The nanny, the driver, the housekeeper. Each one of these people has played a role in helping this family make a home here. And the mum wanted to make sure that their boys knew these lovely faces, and that their helpers would remember them for always.

 

 

I’m a firm believer in preserving our stories. Our stories, weather we know them or not, shape us. The people who love us teach us about love. And so much better for us to know our stories, to remember.  

 

So many third culture kids don't have the chance to go back to their first homes. They'll never have the experience of driving by their first house, and remember the smell of cement and red earth, the driver who played race cars, and the housekeeper who sang lullabies. They won’t return to that garden where they around after shcool and remark on how small it seems now that they're grown. 

 

But these boys will get to return to these photos, and know a bit of their story. They’ll know the places that were important to them when they were small. They'll know how many people were around when they were small to love them wholeheartedly. 

 

If you would like to preserve your Jakarta story for your family, for your little ones, I’d be honoured to work with you.  I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here or at ericaknech@gamil.com 

Farewell to Jakarta {A Family Session | Jakarta}

family photography, lifestyle photography, jakarta indonesiaErica KnechtComment

Saying goodbye is tough work, you know? It’s like sadness and nerves, the ‘what will be’ and the ‘oh my heart what used to be,’ It's the promise of longing for old times, old places and old friends, plus the excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead. What new adventures? What new roads will we travel? What new hearts will we meet?

 

I said goodbye to a dear friend last week who is leaving Jakarta, off for new adventures. Jenn is a real, good, kind heart, an artist of the truest order, and an inspiration in that essential art of how to be a human.

But before she left, I got to hang out with her and her gorgeous family. We wanted to make some pictures to remember her time in Jakarta, a city that’s been home to her family and her children during their most magical years. This little family is saying goodbye to life in this crazy city, goodbye to chaos, and bad traffic, goodbye to pollution and flooding. But also goodybe to having a beloved aunt and uncle down the road, to their pet dog, and a veritable menagerie of stray animals that made a home together. Goodbye to slow evenings when the light slants low, and the dogs run around until they can't run anymore, and little ones play naked in the sprinkler, no one caring that there are no dry clothes. Goodbye to their school, to community. Goodbye to friends so close they are now family. Goodbye to that golden light, those banana leaves glowing green, and the sound of the call to prayer drifting lazily through the air. 

Goodbyes. They are hard. 

 

I’m so glad, though, that I got to take these pictures and remind them of wheelbarrow races and white wine in water glasses, golden afternoons, lush green leaves, and red earth, and little dirty feet.

 

Anyway, J. I’m gonna miss you. I already do. 

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