Gao Neng & Khue - Vows in Bali


Gao Neng & Khue

Destination Post-Wedding Photoshoot



This is my first post of 2018 and I hope for many more to come. This post is rather late (8 months late) but I wanted to post it now because it's been a year since the couple asked me  to photograph their destination post-wedding photoshoot in Bali. I love photographing portraits and documenting so this photoshoot shoot was just a cherry on top for me. I hope you enjoy it. 

Vows in Bali (Destination Post-Wedding Photoshoot)

I was honored with photographing the post-wedding portraits and reading of vows of two of my sweetest friends from high school, Gao Neng and Khue. In March 2017, they asked me to photograph their vows and I willing agreed because first, who would say NO to capturing such a beautiful couple and secondly, they told me it was going to be abroad.

And I love travelling.

So I said “Yes.”

So during mid-summer, the destination they selected was Bali, Indonesia. Early in January 2017, I had travelled to Bali for the first time and it was a trip of a lifetime. Bali truly has a precious and sentimental hold on me and I’m so thankful to have such a beautiful country to visit again.

With Bali in motion, tickets were bought and we had a party of roughly 16 people and you can only imagine the stories we had to tell after returning home! Everyone jived with each other and filled the packed passenger van in Bali with so much laughter everyday. I loved it! We spent less than a week in Bali; however, I felt we travelled all over Bali’s major cities in a nick of time. I’m so thankful to have travelled with this group who kept the energy so high.

Aside from enjoying ourselves in paradise, I knew I had some work to do. I knew Gao Neng and Khue growing up, but I hadn’t interact with them for years on a personal level so I was very nervous and antsy at first. With luck and a couple of days to explore together, I was very fortunate to see how they were as couple and individual. And that gave me a door to capture the soft side of their relationship.


Family & Friends

Climbing the six temples of Mount Lempuyang, Bali

Uluwatu Temple - Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple - Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Walking near the cliffs of Uluwatu Temple


Pa Chia Xiong

After recieving a blessing in Goa Giri Putri Temple in Nusa Penida


Around 11 PM, the night before the photoshoot, I remember getting my camera, lens, snacks and anything I needed into my backpack. Even during that day, my assistant Xue and I had bargained for Balinese umbrellas and I was excited to use them in the photoshoot.

Before we flew from the States to Bali, I was very prepared in the forms of making a concept board and finer details such as marking the time to get ready, the time to leave the door and arrive and locations where I wanted to shoot. Everything was laid down with clear intentions.

And my intention was to have a timely successful photoshoot, which to me meant beautiful timeless photographs to be remembered by.

My couple got ready around 2-3 AM. I woke up at 2 AM. Our favorite driver, Ada, picked us up at 4 AM and we drove two hours north in the middle of the night into the mountains of Bali towards Lake Tamblingan. This place had a beautiful rustic temple surrounded by a body of water and rough spotty land. This residence was popular for its leisure boat ridings on the morning.

When we arrived, it was pitch black but slowly and surely, the sun sweptin. It was photoshoot time and we all didn’t miss a beat. Xue was my assistant and she did everything for me! The photoshoot wouldn’t have been the same without her or our driver Ada who arranged the boats for us. From that point on, we took one hour on the boats, two hours on the rustic temple and another hour on dry areas. I am very fortunate to have an incredible couple that was willing to pose all morning and a team who arranged everything for me. Thank youuuuuu so much.


Lake Tamblingan

6 AM


If I were to tell you every detail of this photoshoot, I would probably miss so much information so with that, I leave you with the portrait session of Gao Neng and Khue.



As I mention above, I not only capture their wedding portrait session, I captured their wedding vows as well.

With this section of the photoshoot, after we left Lake Tamblingan, we drove back down the mountains of Bali and rushed into our next venue. My intention was to capture their Vows like a real wedding day in candid motion. I captured everything from details of the villa, the couple writing their vows, getting ready, receiving guests and lastly, the intimate ceremony and reception.


At some point, we just have to leave it to fate, let live, and capture what we can.


Below are my photographs of the Vows in Bali. I hope you see the value of what I put into my photography in these photos. I loved every photo and genuinely want my couple to feel what I felt when capturing their beautiful day!



Pa Chia Xiong