Al Twaar, Dubai Wedding – Fatima & Mohammad

Their smiles seemed wider & brighter.
I remembered how shy and quite they were on the engagement day. However, on the day of their wedding, they seemed at ease, expressed their joy upon seeing each other, and more frank. As if the words became books, the rivers merged into oceans, the buds bloomed into flowers, and them – their liking of each other turned into complete love.

Venue: Al Twaar Wedding Hall, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Wish Events ✨
Makeup: Nada💄
Dress: Hazar Couture👗
Bouquet: Aster Flowers 💐
Shoes: Louboutin 👠
Photography: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Dearest Fatima & Mohammad,

Thank you (yet again) for trusting me to photograph both your engagement & wedding. I took great pleasure in watching your love and documenting the beginning of your journey. May the Almighty showers you with more happiness, love, and joy more than you can imagine. I wish you the best on this wonderful journey, as you both build your new lives together.

Love,
~ Rima

10 Things I absolutely Love…

As this year started, I made a list of resolutions for 2018 and sharing personal blog posts landed on number 4. Although I wasn’t able to share as much as I wanted to, but here is an up-close and personal insight of my life.

Following is my list of 10 things that I absolutely love but can’t get enough of… (in random order):

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  1. Waking up super early – OMG, I feel overflow of creativity early in the mornings & get so0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o much done (and by early I mean between 4:30-6am).
  2. Karak-Chaye – I can’t start my day without it. Life’s better with Karak-chaye.
  3. Meeting followers/blog readers – this has to be my most favorite of all! I absolutely love when a follower/reader comes up and says Hi. It makes all the hard work & time that I spend producing content so much more worth-while.
  4. Sound of my camera shutter – sorry if it sounds weird but I absolutely love the ‘chunk’ of me pressing the camera button and the following of ‘chuck’ of camera shutter. It makes me feel like something of great value has been produced & legacy has been captured.
  5. Retail-therapy – feel so guilty for admitting this, but I only go shopping for myself (and have a high tendency to spend more than I intend to) in the name of retail-therapy.
  6. Car washes – this has to be my newest addiction (ever since I bought a black car in a dust-stormy Dubai). #NoOneToldMe about problems with black cars.
  7. Stationary – I had always been obsessed with pretty pencils & pens and all-things-stationary as a kid. Even to this date, I make sure to visit the Back-To-School aisles at stores. Notice the pens I use to sign the contract if we ever meet 😉
  8. Covers & smell of new books – books are the only thing I judge by the covers & I love the smell of new books. I spend more money on books than I spend on clothes.
  9. Perfumes – has to be my most expensive addiction. I kid-you-not! I’m obsessed with smells (good ones ONLY) & have perfumes for everything (tons for myself, my car, home, abayas, hand bags, gym clothes, bakhoor/oud for the house, and the list goes on….).
  10. Receiving #Lo0oveLetters – I’m fixated on them. Almost as much as I’m addicted to love. When I have a bigger house (inshaAllah), I’d probably print out all the loveletters that my couples have sent me and frame them. All of them!

Friends, feel free to share in the comments below all the things that you absolutely love and can’t get anough of or something from the above list that you agree with or have also been obsessed with. I’d love to know!

Stay Fab,
~Rima

Grand Hyatt, Dubai Wedding – Fatima & Omar

She looked angelic.
In her exquisite white bridal gown, which was more sparkly than the sky full of innumerable stars. Her smiles like magic. Her eyes like heavens.
He, on the other hand, was beaming. His eyes reflected her beauty; and promises of a lifetime. To know that she’s his. Forever!

Venue: Grand Hyatt, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Eissa Hakim ✨
Makeup: Rafia💄
Dress: Ezra Couture 👗
Shoes: Jimmy Choo 👠
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Dearest Fatima & Omar,

Thank you for the being as wonderful as you both are ❤ My team and I had so much fun & we laughed so much during photographing and videographing your wedding day that our stomachs hurt. May the Almighty continues to shower you both with eternal love and endless joy; the same way you both bring joy to the world.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

How to Deal with Unsatisfied Clients

Dear Rima

I need your very straight advice. What if you have a very annoying client who is not satisfied with the photoshop we do for her wedding album? As she saw her cousin’s images that I took, she started to complain that her images is not as good compared to her cousin although her cousin spent way more money on the decoration and other details. What do I do with her??

Please. Please. Give me your advice please!

Sincerely,
Severely Annoyed

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Dear Severely Annoyed,

I know exactly how you feel. The third year of my business, I had a client who just wasn’t happy with her photos. Apparently she didn’t like the curtain color in the room & believe me there were just 2 rooms in her suite. The other one had a huuuuge bed & no space for the couple or my team to stand. I mean, I am a photographer, not the hotel’s interior decorator.

Now that I know better, I’ve become very open about this with the brides and I discuss these details in advance like: its not my style to change the backgrounds of the photos so they let me know if they like one room of the suite better than the other, if they have a preferred face-side, if they have marks/scars that they worry about, etc.

**Here is my advice to you love: you may ask the bride to meet you (or your editor) in person and make the changes exactly how she wants them to be.

At the end of the day, she’s the client and its her wedding photos. I completely understand that some clients are harder to please but I suggest you schedule plenty of time to meet her in person. Meeting her will validate two things: (1) you care and are willing to do anything in your power to make her happy & (2) it’ll fasten up the process and you can finish the albums ASAP.

Always put extra care, be extra polite, and try to be super fast with the clients who may turn out to be not-so-easy. Just so you can finish and deliver their albums in less time.

I hope you stay strong, give a top-notch service to the bride, and take your customer-service to the next level. The best thing will be when this specific bride refers you to her family/friends for your ahmazing service, inshaAllah!

Love,
~ Rima

Al Qouz, Dubai Engagement – Kawthar & Ahmed

Everything was picked & put together with keen attention to details.
From her dress, to shoes, to jewelry, to party-favors, the intricacy was praiseworthy. As they both enjoyed their first day of a new journey ‘together’, their families joined in the happiness with lots of dance & love.

Venue: Al Sadiq Center, Al Qouz Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Wedding 4 Life ✨
Makeup: Hamda 💄
Shoes: Vinci Shoes 👠
Bouquet: Moz Flowers 💐
Photography: Rima Hassan Photography 📷

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Dearest Kawthar & Ahmad,

I can’t express how grateful I am for being able to document your first day as officially each other’s. You both are adorable and I had so much fun on your engagement day. Thank you so much for the warmth, the love, and for being absolutely a delight in front of my camera ❤ Can’t wait to see what you both are planning for the wedding day.

Love,
~ Rima

Thank You, Friend!

If you’ve followed me a while you know for certain, and if you’re new around…well, I’ll bet you’re catching on pretty quickly, too. This blog & my Instagram are place where I share my passion for wedding photography, travels, tips & tricks for brides-to-be as well as for photographers, and quotes to live by.

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Whether you come for all of it, or just some bits and pieces, I want to thank you for coming at all. Thank you for caring about what I say and thank you for all your helpful feedback in shaping my brand into one that resonates with youYou’re the reason I get to keep doing what I do, and I am forever grateful. Really. Thank You.

Grand Hyatt, Dubai Wedding

Upon my darling bride’s request, no names are mentioned but following are details of a beautifully decorated wedding my team & I had the pleasure of documenting ❤

Venue: Grand Hyatt, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Eissa Hakim ✨
Makeup: Faiza 💄
Dress: Martina 👗
Shoes: Menbur 👠
Bouquet: Flowers from John 💐
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Advice for Brides on Budget

Dear Brides,

The first step in planning a wedding day of your dreams is to budget for the wedding. I always tell my brides to budget wisely and spend on things that are more long lasting, create experiences for the couple and the guests, and things that are absolute necessity.

If you are a bride on a budget, here is my advice for how you can avoid (or reduce) some of the costs of your wedding:Advice_for_bride_on_a_budget

  1. The Venue.
    • The venue to host the wedding party marks up to 48-50% of the the entire budget. Instead of looking for a 5* hotel, opt for a wedding hall. It will dramatically save you lots of money. Dubai itself has some amazing new wedding halls that host weddings and provide all the needed services (security, valet parking, bridal-room, etc).
  2. The Dress.
    • If you want to save money on the dress of your dreams, ask the designer if you can rent it instead of buying the dress. If your designer doesn’t rent dresses, buy the dress and you can rent/sell it after the wedding because you will never, ever, wear it again. Ever. Oh but you get to keep & wear the shoes & jewelry again so spend well on it 😉Rotana_Beach_Abu_Dhabi_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_bride_dress_Hazar_gown
  3. Catering.
    • My university professor of ‘Consumer Behavior’ course once said “people will forget the details, decorations, and everything else of a party, but they always remember the food!” and I can’t agree with him more. Instead of 10 fancy welcome drinks, 15 types of desserts, 20 types of teas and what not, spend a good amount on the main courses. I mean, not everyone will drink all 10 types of drinks & I’m not suggesting to reduce the cost for this one, but adjust the cost and really spend on things that everyone gets to enjoy such as the main dinner.
  4. Bouquet / Flowers.
    • Brides, please note that I absolutely loveeeee centerpieces with real flowers because they look gorgeous in the photos but if you are on a budget, I highly suggest you choose centerpieces that don’t need too many real flowers.
    • Also, the cost of your bouquet will be reduced if you ask your stage decorator to provide you with a bouquet. First, they know the theme/colors of the wedding & can make you a bouquet accordingly. Second, they get flowers in whole-sellers price and can help you save AED 2,000+ on a bridal bouquet. Third, you don’t have to wait for the bouquet to arrive or pick it up yourself as the decorator will be present at the venue and can deliver the bouquet to your bridal room.Etihad_Tower_Abu-Dhabi_Wedding_Female_Dubai_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_bride_bouquet
  5. Live Band vs. DJ.
    • Live bands are fun. No joke! If they are good, the can really take the party to the next level. Are they cost-friendly comparing to a good DJ? I’m assuming you answered this one yourself already 😀
  6. Wedding Stationary & Party Favors.
    • Personally, I love invitation cards. But lets be real, do you really need thank you cards placed on the dinner plates or fancy tissue boxes? I’ve seen them lying around at the end of the wedding with the couples’ names on it and it breaks my heart. I suggest you pay attention to these little details when budgeting for the wedding.
    • Choose party-favors that remind guests of your wedding day & something that they want to keep and use later on (mirrors, bakhoor, atr or perfume, book-marks, etc).Emirates_Palace_Wedding_Abu_Dhabi_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_giveaways_stage_decoration_party-favors

Brides, if you ever feel stuck while making the budget for the wedding, ask yourself these questions: “will this product/service benefit me or the guests after my wedding? Do I or the guests keep this as memories?” If the answers are NO, chances are you don’t need to spend too much on that product/service.

I really hope this blog post helps you save tons of money that you can use for your honeymoon and/or for your new house. Again, I hope you make budget wisely and spend on things & experiences that you and your wedding guests get to keep & cherish even after the wedding.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

Al Jawaher, Sharjah Wedding – Maryam & Mohamed Fikri

As I was finished his solo photos, she entered the room.
Walking like a royalty, absolutely breathtaking in her white bridal gown.
He looked at her and stood there still. Composed but still. Almost like a statue.
A statue with a fast beating heart. His eyes gleaming with happiness. And the smile that couldn’t stop from spreading across his face.

** Sounds unreal? Scroll down & see the last photo yourself ❤

Venue: Al Jawaher Reception, Sharjah 🏰
Decorator: Dream Wedding Services ✨
Makeup: Mariam 💄
Dress: Pronovias 👗
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik 👠
Bouquet: Dream Wedding Services 💐
Cake: WoW Sweets 🍰
Photography: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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My dearest Maryam & Mo,

You two are the cutest couple everrrrrr. Truly! (mashaAllah times a billion). It might sound repeated wayyyy to much but all I can say is THANK YOU! For being an awesome couple to work with, for openly sharing your emotions & joy in front of me & my camera, for being my friends, and most importantly, for being WHO YOU ARE! It is so rare to find such genuine people in this world now and I’m so grateful to the Almighty that not only I got to meet you both & became friends with you, but also got to witness & document your love! ❤

Stay real and may the Almighty showers you both with all his blessings!

Much Love & Appreciation,
~ Rima

Should You Turn Away Business?

Hello Photographer Friends,

A follower of mine sent a message on my Instagram asking “if you have a soon to be client and she said that her budget cannot afford your price, will you go with her on her wedding or you will decline her?”

I literally cringed after reading her question! In the past 6 years of my photography business, this has happened way more than I want to admit that a bride really likes my work but can’t afford me. And although it has always been a difficult conversation to navigate, I have managed both – adjusted package and worked cost-to-cost as well as politely & gracefully turned down jobs that didn’t fulfill my brand or covered costs.

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To answer the question in detail, if a wedding photographer should turn away business or not”, here is my advice:

  1. First and foremost, the decision should be based on supply and demand. If the wedding season and/or demand is low, absolutely go for it by adjusting to her budget.
  2. Secondly, if the client hasn’t signed the contract, payment not received, and the date isn’t locked – you are in the negotiation portion of your agreement. My advice is to be honest with her. Explain to her why you are charging what you are charging or make her a new package based on her budget/requirements.
  3. Cover your costs. At all cost! If the bride’s budget will not cover the cost of your travel, videographer, album-designing time, and printing; then its best that you don’t offer those services because you’ll have to pay for them yourself.
  4. Ask questions about other wedding vendors she’s hiring. May be she’s working with a wedding vendor that you have been wanting to work with & that can be an opportunity to grow your business in future (please cover your costs though).
  5. If you decide to turn away the business, go the extra mile and refer her other photographer(s) in your area who may be a better fit for her.

If your heart continues to feel dissatisfied even before signing the contract, the chances are both parties will be left unhappy at the end. It’s a tough conversation to have but I’m sure you’ll find a way to make sure that she’s well taken care of – by you or another wedding photographer.

Best of Luck,
~ Rima