Dua – The Answer to our Prayers

Meet Dua! The Life of my Life!

Dua

Dua is my 6 (turned 7 today) years old niece with a mind of a 12 years old & is absolutely lovable. You know the type of personality that can light up the whole room? Yup! She’d be the one. Hands Down. No, Seriously! I’m not saying that because she’s my niece and I adoreeeeeeee her to pieces. Well, that too. But I’m saying that because she truly is a extremely smart for her age, is a character & has a personality with a spark.

Since the day she was born, I made it my mission to document her entire life. With cell-phone camera, to point&shoot, to my 5D Mark III, she never fails to pose with her endless expressions – spontaneous smile, broken teeth, questioning eyes, turning the computer with her toe, Lady Gaga style – she’s certainly my favorite model & it has always been a trip chasing her with my camera. I can never get enough of her photos & she knows it very well. It’s like I want to capture and save her smiles, evil smirks, bewitching laughter, sparkly eyes – her entire childhood. Part of it is also because I hardly have any of my own childhood photos.

So before you scroll down, let me WARN you. Do NOT be deceived by that innocent smile. She’s a little fire-cracker who adds flare, colors, festivity, and magic to our lives…

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Dua is answer to our prayers,
smiles to our blues,
spark to our eyes,
life of my life,
… & of my photos as well <3

Dua

~*~ Happy Birthday Dua ~*~

Love,
~Rima Khala

It’s a Big World out there

I twisted and turned sleepless in my bed because the room felt hot. My weather app showed 97 degrees Fahrenheit in Dubai. At 1 am. I closed my eyes and thought of the beautiful sunny days with cool breezes of Turkey from our three day stay at Turkey during our Dubai-USA trip.       

OhMyGod!!! I opened my eyes wide.

I wrote three blogs from Missouri, USA but none for NYC and Istanbul, Turkey. May be because I have seen everything there. Those places were not new to me. When I went to Turkey for the first time, both my husband & I returned with almost 3,000 photos in 4 days. I couldn’t find many from this trip. So, the next morning I insisted that my hubby makes me a video of this trip that can make us relive the experience.

And so he did! (how cute, I know)

With our favorite Turkish instrumentals by Taksim Trio and shot with GoPro and our youngest baby, FujiFilm X-E1, this video will take you from the famous landmarks to streets of Istanbul to the VIP cultural show to Galata bridge and will show you much more.

Here it is.
Enjoy!!!

It’s a big world out there. Explore!
Make mistakes. Try different things.
But keep exploring!

Love,
~ Rima

P.S. This makes me want to make another trip. To a new place. Hmm….If money wasn’t an issue and you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why???

Wedding in Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah – Mostafa & Alia

As much as I love big weddings, smalls weddings with great deal of details are my favorite. They are so intimate and personalized. It is a delicious cherry on the icing if the wedding is decorated by Julie & Romeo wedding planner. I guess the photos will do more justice to how Julie gloriously decorated the wedding of Mostafa & Alia in Al Majlis Ballroom of Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Al-Majlis Ballroom

Al-Majlis Ballroom

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Gorgeous Centerpieces

Gorgeous Centerpieces

Dance Floor

Dance Floor

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Party Favors

Party Favors

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Lots of best wishes to Mostafa & Alia for future. May they keep lighting up each other’s life with their smiles and warmth of their love, ameen.

Shine on
~Rima

My Thankful List

It has been a year since I wrote my first blog entry.
Since today is a *special* day, I want to take a moment and jot down my thankful list.

I’m thankful for Almighty’s endless bounties & blessings upon me – even though I am less than deserving.
I’m thankful for those who believe in me & support me – even when I don’t believe in myself.
I’m thankful for my family – they taught me the true definition of selfless love.
I’m thankful for friends – my shoulders to cry on, best advisors, and my support system.
I’m thankful for my nieces & nephews – my source of entertainment & bundle of joys.
I’m thankful for university scholarships – they helped secure my future.
I’m thankful for my blog & its readers – they help me express myself.
I’m thankful for free-online-education – it helped me establish my business.
I’m thankful for amazing clients – brides who believed in me, became my cheer-squad & friends.
I’m thankful for my ex-boss – her actions taught me what not to do.
I’m thankful for my house, food in the fridge, clean sheets to sleep on, shower, and clothes.
I’m thankful for health – it makes me appreciate life more.
I’m thankful for awesome photographer friends – they have my back.
I’m thankful for mistakes – they teach lessons and help make me a better person.
I’m thankful for my camera – it changed my life & made me a firm believer of possibilities & opportunities.
I’m thankful for my husband – he lets me follow my dreams & makes it possible for me to live out loud.
I’m thankful for another year – full of health, travels, successes, failures, experiences, & lessons.
I’m thankful for things that make me, me.

Happy Birthday

P.S.  Does anyone actually know what you have to do when people are singing happy birthday to you???

Wedding in Ajman – Amal & Ali

There are some people you automatically click with in the first meeting. Amal & Ali are amongst them. From discussing the major & cute little details of their wedding to choosing Amal’s super unique bouquet, they kept me involved throughout the planning process of her wedding although I was initially their wedding photographer but now feel like we have been friends for years.

I thoroughly enjoyed Amal & Ali’s wedding because it was not only the union of two people in love but the union of two entire families who embraced and welcomed both bride & groom into each other’s families.

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I’ll end on this note because Amal & Ali’s night was filled with love, dancing, cheers, and selfies of epic proportion…

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Happy Tuesday!

For the Love of Art

Art comes in various shapes and forms. Whether it was the tremendous SIKKA14 event of Dubai Art Season or simply visiting the malls and admiring the showcase displays, art always attracts me. Talking about art, this blog is for the love of art & dedicated to one of my favorite creatives of all times – a very talented artist, Irfan H. Mirza.

Irfan is a contemporary versatile artist and calligrapher, based in Saint Louis, Missouri. He is amazing at putting imagination onto the canvas. Through his profound aesthetic sense, he experiments with various forms of art like abstract, conceptual, figurative, landscape, cityscape, digital, and calligraphy (i.e. art of writing). He uses oil paint and acrylic as a medium to visualize his artistic creations. Inspired by nature and spirituality, the work itself illustrates his mystical series of art.

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“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde

Irfan’s work highly speaks of his creativity and I personally am a big fan of his exceptional calligraphy. With thoughtful use of colors and strokes, he makes the religious verses, quotes, and/or abstract – anything & everything – even more captivating.

His work has been showcased, admired, and got attention internationally by various galleries and private collectors. I can’t express how excited I am that he’s exhibiting his latest work – The NUKTA (Dot) Series of Calligraphy – in Dubai within 2 days. I can’t wait to purchase a huge canvas for my living room & would like to invite my blog readers to come and see his exceptional work.

Date: August 13 & 14, 2014
Venue:  Mussawir Art Gallery, Al Qouz, Dubai
Time: 7 pm – 10:30 pm

Visit Irfan’s Facebook page or click here to watch a video clip of his work.

Hope to see you at the exhibit.

Cheers!

Fear of Failure

My phone rung at 3:00 am in the morning.
I opened one eye to look at my phone screen and it was a call from my eldest sister in New Jersey.
‘Oh God!’ I said under my breath because in my head, calls at this late at night (or shall I say this early in the morning don’t mean good news). I answered the phone and the first thing she told me was that she just saw my latest blog post & set of images I posted & how impressed she was with them.  
I smiled, thanked her, inquired about how everyone was doing in NJ. Few minutes later she hung up the phone but I couldn’t sleep. A million small thoughts took over and I thought of the fear of failure that occupied my mind when I was about to hit ‘publish’ to share that blog entry & photos on Facebook.I read somewhere that there r five types of Fears:

1. ‘We need to talk…’
2. Username or password is incorrect.
3. 15 missed calls from mom (in my case – husband).
4. Terror.
5. Fear of FAILURE. Yes, in all capital letter.

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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I try my best to conquer fear of failure on daily basis. When I’m publishing a blog entry, sharing photos on social media, meeting clients for album designs, making business decisions, and striving in the directions of my dreams. As time passed, I’ve realized that if you find a support system & surround yourself with the right people – family, friends, clients – who are encouraging, nothing can stop you to move forward in the direction of your dreams. At the end, these are the people who will be there celebrating your successes.
Take a chance. Anything is possible. Anything!
Have a fearless day.