Christine & Philip … Getting out of the “friend vault”

The Beauty of Winter
The thing I love about winter and evening engagement shoots is that you are pretty much guaranteed that no one else’s photos will look similar to yours. Winter has a mysterious deep quality. Rather than going wide and spacious, it has an element of of focus and reflecting inwards. It can be totally magical!

Winter also calls for a totally different palette of ideas and concepts. I’m lucky because Christine was up for anything. She absolutely loves dressing up in costume and character and we uncovered this in our first meeting, so we started to play with the concept of wearing masks in the shoot. She was totally up for it : )

A love story I couldn’t understand at first …
Christine & Philip have a love story that I was very curious about. It’s a type of love … actually maybe I should say it’s a way of falling in love I haven’t yet experienced. So I met up with them quite a few times (mainly with Christine) to find out more about their story and why and how they love each other the way they do.

A love story 10 years in the making …
Christine and Philip met over 10 years ago through work (back in 2000). They were working for the same company but different branches. She had to email him regarding a complaint. He solved it. But they continued to talk and keep in touch. At the time they were both in relationships so they started off just as friends.

It wasn’t until six years after their initial meeting and break ups in tow, that they officially started dating at the end of 2006. After six years of being great friends, Philip declared his feelings for her. Yep … he wanted more than just friendship : )

At the time Christine was in a bit of shock. Philip was one her closest male friends but he was ultimately a friend. She didn’t see him in that way. But after a lot of perseverance and patience by Philip, Christine gave it go and as they say, the rest is history!

So how the hell did Philip move out from the “friend box”?

As far as I’m aware, the “friend box” is more like a titanium vault. There are no fire exits and secret escapes. Once a woman puts you into the friend vault, you are stuck there for life. It’s often a really big mistake a guys makes when pursuing a girl … being her friend usually means she doesn’t see you as her lover. Period.

So this is the part I was really curious about. How did he get out? It’s a big switch in the brain and the heart for a girl to make (I confess in the past I have not been able to make the switch … actually I don’t think the switch even exists for me!).

When I probed Christine about this she was very open with me. We had lots of conversations but here is something she wrote to me in an email. Once I read it I knew I wanted to work with her …

Philip is the only man I’ve met who has accepted and loved me as I am. This may sound cliché and cheesy, but it’s 100% true. I am not without flaws and possibly a very difficult person to be with at times, but Philip doesn’t judge me or comfort me, instead he gives me room when I need it, and support when I seek it. He is the first person I go to when I need to share any news, be it good, bad, happy or sad. He is the only person who can make me laugh and feel silly for letting my random thoughts take over me. He is the only person who grounds me and makes me see sense when my world is about to go topsy-turvy. He is the only person who can, with just simple words, ease my anxieties, doubts and worries and turn them into logical perspectives and nonsensical spouting!”

Lots of respect to you Philip!

In many ways it seems fitting for them to wear masks in their engagement shoot. It has a mysterious quality of seeing and not seeing. Being and not being with. But underneath ultimately there is love.

Photographer: Darren Wong
Art Director: Thaoski
Make Up & Hair: Ellen Mak
Assistant: Mr J

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4 Responses to “Christine & Philip … Getting out of the “friend vault””
  1. Lucy L says:

    Love this shoot and love the mysterious feel to this set of photos! 🙂

  2. Christine says:

    Hey there Thao,

    I can’t believe you managed to find quite a few pictures of us with a serious look on our faces! I could have sworn I was laughing in each and every single one of them!

    The woods are my fave =)

    I have wondered about the photos we could’ve taken if we got hold of that theatre! But anyhow the whole experience was truly fantastic – we had such a great time despite the cold weather! Even Philip said he had fun – ansd that’s pretty rare! I love the photos and completely agree about photos in winter – it helps create such a magical atmosphere.

    I would do this over and over again if I could…thank you!!

  3. Humaira says:

    Something different to come out of you! Very Phantom of the Opera I think, but it’s a beautiful shoot and very mysterious. Loved it!

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