Behind every wedding there is a story. Lydia Isnanto uncovers it and tells the story in images.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
“The love story of a couple gives me the inspiration for the concept behind the video. We want to capture the most meaningful moments for each couple. Each story is unique and we have to look at it differently—there is no fixed template for a wedding video.”
Lydia Isnanto, 33, is the antithesis of the typical “creative director”: she is cheerful, generous, kind and yes, creative and resourceful. These attributes give her the ability to unlock that unique story behind the coming together of a couple, and to use different concepts and angles to create one-of-a-kind photo albums and wedding videos for each of her clients.
Isnanto was born in Bandung, Indonesia and schooled at Tarumanagara University, Jakarta. Following what she believed was God’s call, she packed up her bags after university and came to Singapore. She had emailed churches in Singapore before she left, hoping for support and a Christian connection. A group of Indonesians from City Harvest Church met her at the airport, and before long, she had settled comfortably into the country and the church.
“I studied architecture in university and my first job was graphic design,” says Isnanto of her career path. She worked as a web designer for a short period. “But when I did a video montage for my friend’s wedding, I discovered that I liked the process of doing the video, so much that I decided to do it for a living.”
That was four years ago. Since then, she founded d’Zign For You, a production house that specializes in photography, videography and digital designs. While weddings were its main focus at the start—and still remain Isnanto’s bread-and-butter business—the business has expanded in recent years to photography for family portraits, children’s photos, events and parties, even fashion shoots.
But Isnanto emphasizes that the core of her business still lies in the very inspiration that started it all: love stories.
“That was also the season when Pastor Kong (Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church), started preaching on Cultural Mandate and encouraging us to excel in the marketplace. I was very inspired to use what God has given me to shine in the marketplace. At the same time, I felt that I didn’t want to be locked up in a marketplace job all my life. I thought to myself, if I wanted to try something different, I should do it when I am still single and don’t have too much responsibility.”
IT’S A LOVE STORY
With a heart full of faith, and a simple idea of doing “love story” pre-wedding videos, Isnanto started learning videography to produce personalized short films that ultimately became the unique selling point of d’Zign For You. Till this day, Isnanto still finds immense joy in listening to the stories of different couples, and coming up with fresh concepts and storylines.
“We have to meet up with the couple to find out more about them: how they met, how he proposed, what they like about each other, what they like to do together, what are their personalities and so on. We will then conceptualize the video and its storyline according to their unique story.
“We believe that no one comes to us by chance; they are all entrusted to us by God and we cherish every opportunity to work with them. That is why I do every project with all of my heart. Till today, I can still remember the process of every video I’ve created,” Isnanto says with a smile.
While Isnanto’s passion has inspired more clients to refer projects to her in the last two years, the beginning was a tough one. With just a few hundred dollars to her name when she left her job, Isnanto fought to keep her dreams alive.
“At that time, the video montage was only a ‘side dish’ in the whole wedding and not many people wanted to pay for that service. I had to work odd jobs waitressing, playing extras in TV productions and doing freelance web designing in order to pay for my rent and bills. It came to a point when I told myself if I can’t pay another month of rent, I will go back to work.”
Looking back, Isnanto said that it was the Word of God spoken to her when she read the Bible and through His servants that gave her the faith to carry on. “There is a verse in the Bible that says ‘If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?’ In Bahasa Indonesia, the word ‘clothe’ is not simply to put a piece of clothing on the grass, but to design the outfit. As a designer, I know how much work is put into the process of designing something. Knowing that God put in so much effort to clothe the grass that lives for such a short time gives me the faith to believe that God will do much more for me.”
The messages Kong preached each week also gave her strength day after day. “Phrases like ‘Champions are not those who never fail but those who never give up’ and ‘You may be poor today but when you have Jesus you’ll not be poor forever’ keep me going every time I feel discouraged.”
God indeed took care of her needs when she put her trust in Him and faithfully tithed out of the little she earned. By the grace of God, Isnanto found that finances come in miraculous ways and she has never needed to do extensive advertisements for d’Zign For You. Clients have either approached them after viewing their videos on Youtube, or are referred to them by happy clients.
Today, d’Zign For You has a network of 10 freelance photographers and videographers. Isnanto plans to train them as project managers who will one day be able to take on assignments on their own. Starting next year, d’Zign For You will also venture into Indonesia’s wedding market.
d’Zign For You