Hamlet, NYC Valima – Khadejah & Sami

I love writing about love,
but theirs couldn’t be described in words…
Their love was felt in the air, by everyone who took breath in their radius of a mile.
I feel honored to document and present to you,
the wonderful sweethearts,
perfectly made for each other! ❤

Khadejah & Sami’s valima reception was celebrated at Hamlet Golf & Country Club, NYC. The Cinderella-themed decorations were done by Stylist Events NY, henna by Henna for All NY, and the entire event was planned by non-other-than Events by Khadejah herself. Khadejah looked absolutely beautiful in her light blue & gold long-shirt from Pakistan, Kate Spade‘s golden heels and clutch, and her make-up was done by Beauty By Tamanna.

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My dearest Khadejah & Sami,

It may sound repetitive but I can’t express my gratefulness in other words than these two: THANK YOU! For EVERYTHING! From your first email to the latest Whatsapp message, you have been nothing short of a sweetheart ❤ May Allah showers you both with his utmost care and mercy & increases your emaan, happiness, success, love, and provides you with alllllllllllllllllllll that your hearts desire. And much more…..ameen ❤

Abundance of love,
~ Rima

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Bustan Rotana, Dubai Wedding – Bashayer & Ibrahim

As we wrapped up the photoshoot, he was about to leave the bridal suite.
“We’ll see you in the ballroom Ibrahim!” I said to him. He smiled and said “inshAllah.”
Right before exiting the room, he turned around, smiled at her and said “Bistagh-lich!”
She smiled and lowered her wa-wa-woom eyelashes with shyness.
I couldn’t resist and asked her what he said.
“I’ll miss you!” she translated.
Of course the room full of girls gasped and let out a long unanimous ‘awwwww….’ and I thought to myself, this had to be today’s moment that needs to be documented, for ever! ❤

Bashayer & Ibrahim’s beautiful celebrations were held at Roda Al Bustan Rotana, Dubai. The ballroom and stage/kosha decoration was done by Dream Wedding Services.
Bashayer wore a stunning bridal gown designed by Michael Cinco, heels from Jimmy Choo, and carried a bouquet from Moz Flowers. The beautiful perfume table was from Touch of Oud. My personal favorite was the gorgeous juice glass from Wardjoory Arrangement

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Dearest Bashayer & Ibrahim,

You two! ❤ Absolutely melted my heart! Thank you for having me on your wedding day, trusting me to document your memories, and for the opportunity of witnessing so much love and care. I pray that the Almighty showers you both with his thoughtfulness, care, love, and mercy. May you both always stay in front of each others’ eyes & have tons of adorable ‘awwww….’ moments, ameen.

Love,
~ Rima

Marriott Al Jaddaf Wedding – Alia & Jassim

All her life she wrote his name with hers.
Without knowing that Allah has already written their names together.
As the residents of Bahrain are called Bahraini,
the residents of Pakistan are called Pakistani,
the permanent resident of Jassim’s heart became Alia Al Jassimi ❤

Alia & Jassim’s wedding was celebrated at Marriott Al Jaddaf, Dubai. The ballroom and stage/kosha decoration & Alia’s extremely unique bouquet was made by Moritz from Flower Boutique. Alia wore a stunning bridal gown designed & tailored by The R Design, heels from Charles & Keith, and a crown to die for from Miu Miu.

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Dear Alia & Jassim,

Thank you for your trust, warmest welcome, and inviting me again to document your families’ most joyous day. I thoroughly enjoyed watching you both begin this wonderful journey together. My best wishes & prayers are (and will always be) with both of you. May Allah keeps you both happy, healthy, and always smiling by each other’s side. ameen.

Love,
~ Rima

Planning Wedding Timeline

Dear Brides & Photographer Friends,

This blog post is for both of you ❤ ❤

Lets chat about Wedding Timeline because it is not one of the mostttttttttt, but THE MOST important thing when planning a wedding (for brides) and setting expectations of the clients & getting things done (for photographers).

those who Fail to Plan,
Plan to Fail!

That’s exactly why I love talking to each bride and discuss their wedding timeline way in advance. This gives me insight of their plans, how the wedding day will unfold, & helps me not to miss any details.

While discussing the timeline, I always ask all the vendors’ names for credits, give tips and insights of the wedding to my brides and answer any questions/concerns they might have. I also make sure to let them know how much time I need for specific section of the photoshoot and to keep some grace time for prayers, late makeup artist, hairstylist, mishaps, etc.

Planning-wedding-timeline

Following are some of the questions I always ask my brides and write them down.

  1. Is the bride getting ready at a salon, the venue, bridal room, or hotel suite?
    • helps me determine travel time to/from the ballroom.
  2. Who is the makeup artist, makeup start & finish time.
    • Is the makeup artist doing makeup on family members or only the bride? This can make/break the entire timeline.
  3. Who is the hairstylist, hair start & finish time.
  4. Is the groom coming for the photoshoot before or after the ceremony?
    • Brides, feel free to read my recommendation about first look – it is super useful, promise!
  5. Ballroom/kosha ready time.
  6. Expected number of guests. Expected arrival time.
    • helps me plan how much time I have for the ballroom decorations’ photos.
  7. Bride’s entrance time.
    • helps me know time for bride-groom’s photoshoot from her prep until her entrance.
  8. Any entertainment, singers, performers, Zaffa, belly-dancers, violinist, etc.
    • anything the couple spend time/effort/money on must be documented.
  9. Groom’s entrance time.
    • I also ask if the groom is coming in alone or with family/friends. Helps me choose the right lens in advance 😉
  10. Cake cutting & drink exchange times.
  11. Family photos time.
  12. Expected exit time.

I hope this post helps you plan the wedding day even better. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’d be moreeeeee than happy to answer them.

Love,
Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid & PF (photographer friend) 😉
~ Rima

Hilton, NYC Wedding – Khadejah & Sami

You know what happens when a very creative wedding coordinator/decorator plans her own wedding? Magic!!! That is exactly what happened at Khadejah & Sami’s romantic wedding reception, leaving every guest in awe because each detail was put together by great care & deep love.

Khadejah & Sami celebrated their Baraat (wedding reception) at Hilton Long Island, NYC. The decorations were done by Stylist Events NY, henna by Henna for All NY, cake from The Sweet Peace, and planned by Events by Khadejah. Khadejah looked stunning in her red lehnga/skirt customized from Pakistan and make from Beauty By Tamanna.

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P.S. Khadejah & Sami’s super colorful Henna can be found HERE. Can’t wait to blog their gorgeous Valima reception.

Ajman Henna – Maryam & Mohammed

The smell of mogra flower & love was in the air…
She looked extra stunning.
His dimple looked extra deep.
There are some people that, even a thought of them, make you smile. Maryam & Mohammed are, without a doubt, amongst such people.

Their super colorful & fun Indian themed henna party was celebrated at Maryam’s villa in Ajman. Maryam took everyone’s breath away in her stunning red Indian lehnga and jewelry. Mohammed continued to smile, showing off his deep dimple, throughout the night looking at her.

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Dearest Maryam & Mohammed,

I may have said it several times already, but I’ll say it in writing that you both are absolute sweethearts ❤ May the Almighty continues to bestow blessings and mercy upon both of you and keeps your pure hearts always beating for each other forever, ameen.

Love,
~ Rima

 

Novotel, Fujairah Wedding – Mariam & Amer

He sat down on one knee, took her hand in his, and kissed it.
She smiled and the red color flushed through her cheeks. It was like watching a fairytale come to life & I am so grateful for being able to capture it all ❤

Mariam & Amer’s wedding was celebrated at Novotel Hotel, Fujairah. The ballroom was decorated by Sayedati Wedding. Mariam looked breathtaking in her bridal gown from Dar Sara Fashion, shoes from Ted Baker, and carries a bouquet by Turquoise Flowers, Abu Dhabi.

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Dear Mariam & Amer,

Thank you for the opportunity of having me document your lovely day! It was full of happiness, joy, and surrounded by love. I wish you both a lifetime of real fairytale’s happy moments to cherish together, forever. Ameen.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Murooj Rotana, Dubai Wedding – Reem & Ali

They were secretly sneaking peeks at each other.
Their wedding day was the beginning of a long happy life together.
I watched through my camera’s viewfinder and had no doubt that their joining together will bring them more joy and happiness than they could imagine. Then I too, secretly said ‘ameen’ in my heart.

Celebrated at Murooj Rotana, Downtown Dubai, Reem & Ali’s wedding’s stage and ballroom was decorated by Forever Events. Reem wore a Hazar Couture‘s bridal gown, Manolo Blahnik heels, and carried a bouquet from The White Boutique.

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Dear Reem & Ali,

Thank you for letting me share in this joyful day. I wish you both the best as you embark on this wonderful union. May the love and happiness you felt on your wedding day shine through the years. Forever, ameen.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

InterContinental, Dubai Wedding – Ebrahim & Waad

She placed her hand on his shoulder as I asked her to.
I told her, “…hold him like you’ll never let him go!”
She grabbed his shoulder so tight with such a mischievous smile that everyone present in the room laughed out loud. Of course including him.

Ebrahim & Waad’s beautiful wedding was celebrated at InterContinental Festival City, Dubai. The kosha/stage and ballroom decorations were done by Forever Events. Waad wore a customized Hazar Couture bridal gown, stunning Louboutin heels, and carried an extremely unique bouquet from Tulipano.

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Dearest Waad & Ebrahim,

You twoooooo!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Calling you both adorable would be an understatement. Thank you for all the cuteness you two spread everywhere you go. Thank you for the joy you two bring into this world and make it a better place. I absolutely adore both of you from the bottom of heart & pray that the Almighty showers you both with more happiness and joys, always! ameen.

Lots of love,
~ Rima

How to Take Sharp Photos

Once I heard, “if you learn late, pass on the knowledge to someone else early.”  When I received her message, I answered her questions and then asked her if I can share both (her message and the answers) publicly so someone else might benefit from it too.

“Hey Rima!! I saw your Instagram feed and I am so inspired by your detail shots! They are so beautiful! How do you get your lighting in such difficult venues so perfect? Every single one! So consistent and glossy. Just beautiful. I have major goals this summer inspired by your sharp images. Totally in love.”

Even if it helps ONE person, I’d feel that this post served its purpose. I’m not a guru but I tried my best to answer with all that I know. Here is my answer to her…

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  1. Know what your equipment can do.
    • I upgraded to Canon 5D Mark IV. It is a 30.4 Megapixel full frame camera (5D Mark III is 22.3 Megapixels in case you wonder). It is ahhhhhmazingly SHARP!
  2. Macro Lens.
    • Get close to the main subject, use shorter focal length and lens. For all my detail photos (as well as few of bride’s portraits), I use Canon’s 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. The macro lens is specifically used for tiny-details and its latest results can be seen here.
  3. High Aperture.
    • I use a flash or soft-box with very high aperture for jewelry shots. Most of the jewelry, bouquet, shoes, and/or dress photos I take are between f/4 – f/11. The high aperture will produce great results regardless of the lens.
  4. Use Flash.
    • For ballroom photos, I use On-Camera Flash (600 EX II-RT) but on MANUAL to keep the colors consistent. You might need a battery pack for speedlites because manual mode uses too much battery power.
  5. External Lights.
    • I also use external lights in the ballroom (for details only – not for the family/bride/groom photos in the ballroom). It provides extra lighting and separates the main subject from the background so it pops out in the photos. High aperture makes it easy to edit and the photos end up crisp sharp regardless of the dark venues.
  6. Light Angles.
    • Use flashes/soft-box at different angles so the details, especially diamond jewelry, doesn’t get too many highlights. Place the external source of light on the sides, on top, or behind the main subject to produce exotic photos.

I hope my answer help you create beautiful sharp photos. Feel free to share your own tips/tricks in the comments. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions related to photography. I will try my best to answer. Promise! 🙂