My Thankful List – Continuing to Learn

Today I celebrate the fourth birthday of my blog (and my own as well – don’t ask how old I am now). Honestly, I didn’t think I’ll make it this far in life but I did. Just like the past three years, I wanted to jot down my Thankful list for this year to look back next year and be even more grateful.

I’m thankful to the Almighty – I continued to fail. He continued to be the most merciful.
I’m thankful for phone calls with mom – they always end with ‘I love you too Rima’.
I’m thankful for family for always standing by my side. Despite my failures.
I’m thankful for friends who pray for me without me knowing.
I’m thankful for my health & being able to eat whatever I desire.
I’m thankful for being able to learn/do things I always dreamt of.
I’m thankful for being able to read & write.
I’m thankful for another successful business year (say mashaAllah).
I’m thankful for having an amazingggggg team. Extremely talented & trustworthy.
I’m thankful for being able to cover destination weddings.
I’m thankful for finally being able to travel in business class.
I’m thankful for my home, great halal food, free home deliveries.
I’m thankful for the sound of Azaan.
I’m thankful for being able to learn from mistakes – mine & others.
I’m thankful for my clients for continuing to shower me with their trust & love.
I’m thankful for everything I have now that I longed & prayed for last year.
I’m thankful for lessons that people/life taught me.
I’m thankful for being able to laugh & cry at the same time.
I’m thankful for another year – and for continuing to learn.

I’m so very thankful for my blog, clients, followers, friends, and family who make me more ME. Who listen to what I have to say and understand without judging. I’m grateful for all that I have and even more grateful for all that I don’t have.

Happy Birthday Learner….

Thankful List – 2014
Thankful List – 2015 – Bring it On
Thankful List – 2016 – Dreaming Big

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When Life Gets in the Way

For the past several days months, I have been working like a machine.
It is funny how I wanted (and waited) for this time for so long yet when it arrived, I feel overwhelmed.

I remember the time I used to refresh my inbox just to see if a client sent me an enquiry. Now is the time that I got overbooked (Alhamdullilah & mashAllah) yet I found myself falling behind. Behind schedule. Behind work. Behind Life.

When I tried to regain my life back, my work started to suffer. It felt like my own personal life was getting in my way…

At times like these, I remind myself why I started this business…

  1. I didn’t want to wake up early in the morning.
  2. I didn’t want to work 9am-6pm & make money for someone else.
  3. I wanted the freedom of working from home, in my PJs.
  4. I wanted to live the life. My life. My Way!

When life seemed to slip out of my hands, I held back. Promising myself to go easy. Cut myself some slack. Take lesser bookings so I can also do other things that I enjoy (like reading books, writing, spending more time with the family, exploring the world, etc).

If life/work is getting in your way, take a step back and take a look at the broader picture. Remind yourself WHY you started this and try to figure out HOW to make it better.

You only have one life.
Live it Right!

Salalah, Oman

When a client booked me to cover her brother’s wedding in the Sultanate of Oman, my heart did its happy dance. For several days.

It truly felt like ages since #RimaTravels
The fun doubled because this trip was work + pleasure and thank you lord for an amazing associate photographer and a friend who turned out to be an expert on Salalah, Oman and literally made this trip three times more fun.

We stayed in Oman for three days and after the wedding day, we rented the car and explored Ain Garziz, climbed the stairs on Ain Razat, the beautiful Al Mughsayl Beach, Sinkhole Shaat, watched camels on the roadside, serene views of palm trees along the beach and roads, did my silly dance on top of the mountain and of course drove for miles and miles to find the much needed dose of my Karak Chai.

I hope you enjoy Oman through my lens.
To follow along my journey (and travels), you may watch my stories on Instagram and/or on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }.

Cheers to many many more adventures!

Love,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

Thorns

Past few hours daaaays have been bizarrely restless for me.
I was up and down the emotional roller coaster for apparently no reason.

Sometimes I felt like I was stuck in quicksand that was taking me in deeper and deeper. Other times I knew the only person who can help me is my own self. Trust me, I tried everything I could. I tried reading the unfinished book, constantly flipped through TV channels, aimlessly wandered the mall, and tried to find anything that might consume my time.

dubai_wedding_photography_female_photographer_rima_hassan_uaeWhen nothing helped….I did what I do best in such situations.

I cried and I wrote.
I wrote and I cried.

I wrote because that was the only anti-drug left. When I can’t give voice to feelings, I write. And I write until there is nothing left to say.

Sometimes life is not all happy-happy journey. Not at all!
In fact, most of the prettiest flowers are the ones with the thorns.

When you do come across such flowers (& their thorns), remember that ‘what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger…

 

Live a Good Story

Sometimes all you need is time to yourself.
Laughing with friends, eating what you desire, reading a good book, and exploring new cities can have long lasting impact on your life.
Live simple. Dream big. Be extremely grateful for what you have.
You only have one life. Make it worth while by living it right.
More importantly, live a good story.
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Learn to Let Go…

If order to solve a problem, we need to identify it first.
If something is bothering you, try to find the root and see how you can fix it. If you can’t fix it, then simply let go. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but give it your best shot.

Here is a list of 10 things to let go to be happy…

  1. Let go of toxic people in your life.
  2. Let go of regretting past mistakes.
  3. Let go of the need to be right.
  4. Let go of feeling sorry for yourself.
  5. Let go of negative self talk.
  6. Let go of the need to impress others.
  7. Let go of limiting beliefs.
  8. Let go of pleasing everyone.
  9. Let go of gossip and complaining.
  10. Let go of worrying about future.

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Learn to let go of the things (& people) that are holding you back.
When life gives you lemons, be ready to clink your lemonade glass. You know where to find me 😉

Life is too short to hold back on happiness.

Cheers!

I See Yes!

I sat in the car and tried to hold back the tears.
Despite all my efforts I couldn’t stop the drops of salty water coming out of my eyes. I cried through the entire ten minutes drive back home.

It was a beautiful day three years ago – the first year of my business.As I explained my request to him (a former fashion photographer who owns two studios in Dubai), I felt that he was resisting and within three minutes of our meeting he said no. No, his name is well known and I’m just a new-bee. No, because I’m not at the standard of his studio. No, his studio is too busy. No, his female-team won’t print my albums…

I called my best friend/cousin. She listened patiently and then said “….since when did such things started to bother you?!? As far as I know you, you are a rebel. Use the rejection as motivation to rise higher. Don’t see yourself through his eyes.” That night, I cried even more….

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Why do I share this story?

  • Because today when I was going through my fully booked calendar for the next four months, I said screamed YES!
  • After every wedding, before I doze off, I ask myself if I did everything in my power to ensure today was the best day for my client, I usually end up with a YES!
  • Every time I receive a #Lo0oveLetter from a bride/couple after the wedding or album delivery, I say YES!
  • Every time my standard of work is praised or compared to some of the top wedding photographers in UAE, I say YES!
  • When someone meets me for the first time but tells me that they know who I am & what I do, I say YES!
  • I see YES for all the reasons he told me No for…and Yes for much more!

So, next time someone tells you no, see the YES in it. Don’t look at yourself from someone else’s eyes. They are seeing you with their perspective and defining you based on their limitations. Not yours!

YES,
~ Rima

 

10 Life Lessons in Quotes

I read somewhere that just as we feed our bodies with good food, we should feed our minds with good quotes. Following is a list of 10 quotes that I believe can be life lessons and my take on them…

  1. Don’t let your difficulties fill you with anxiety. It is only in the darkest nights, stars shine more brilliantly. – Imam Ali
    • You are stronger than your difficulties
  2. Seek respect, not attention. It lasts longer.
    • Stop pleasing people. Do your thing & you’ll earn the respect
  3. img_7439-1Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln
    • Be the best version of yourself
  4. Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you, and if you are alive they crave your company. –  Imam Ali
    • Be a listening ear, a reason for someone’s smile, a shoulder to cry on…
  5. Be somebody who makes everybody feels like a somebody.
    • People should always come first – regardless of their status, bank balance, and influence.
  6. Money doesn’t make you rich. Attitude does.
    • Nough said!
  7. Be with those who support your being. – Rumi
    • Be around people who lift you up and also be the one lifting others.
  8. A flower doesn’t compete with the flower next to it. It just blooms!
    • Jealousy never does good to people.
  9. Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.
    • Pray regularly. Your faith should overcome the fear…
  10. Take risks. If you win, you will be happy. If you lose, you will be wise.
    • The key is to be brave and do it. Done is better than perfect…

You may follow the hashtag #RimaSays on Instagram to follow up with my collection of quotes.

I would love to know which one of the quotes stuck out to you most and why….and if you have any of your favorite quotes / life lessons, feel free to share in the comments below.

Stay Fabulous,
~ Rima

 

Dubai, UAE – Wedding Inspiration

As a creative, my soul craves art. And inspiration.
Looking at art is one thing but creating it feeds my soul.
Without any pressure of the outcome, it feels great to create something just for the sake of creation. To test new horizons. To see the capabilities. To overcome the boundaries and limits. When 2016 started, I promised myself to make time for things that have been pending and a styled shoot was certainly on the top of the list.

I feel so very grateful for the team of creatives who brought my vision to life….

Makeup:  Maryam B.
Hair: Matilda
Dress:  Contessa, Dubai
Bouquet: Crochet Flowers
Model: Elena
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography

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Here is a video trailer from the shoot.

Grand Hyatt, Dubai Wedding – Mohamed & Maryam Z.

Her thoughts were free to go anywhere.
But it was surprising how they were constantly directed towards him.
Thinking of him (& wanting him to see her as the bride) was making her smile.

She was smiling even when she was annoyed about something over the phone.
As soon as she put the phone down, the entire room bursted into laughter. Including her. That’s what love does to people. Taking them away from the sadness & making them happy. And hopeful. I could totally predict that Mohamed was just as anxious and excited to see her as she was.

As they exchanged first look, I was captivated by their calmness and assurance of their choice.  The room felt quite – under a love-spell as they stood in front of each other – except for the sound of the camera shutters. As if the entire universe was watching them speak through their eyes and smiles…..making promises of a lifetime.

Maryam & Mohamed got married at Grand Hyatt, Dubai. Their kosha/stage was decorated by Klassna Events. Maryam looked stunning in her wedding gown from Ezra Couture, shoes from Manolo Blahnik, and a beautiful bouquet of real flowers from Crochet.

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Since M&M were going to Japan for honeymoon, Maryam got these adorable Japanese dolls as props. I absolutely lovedddddddddd them.

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I call them Mr. & Mrs. Coffee Lovers…

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M&M – together as one!

Dearest Mohamed & Maryam,

Life is a beautiful thing. May yours be bloomed even more by each others’ love. May you always find each other by your side in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health – be the reason of each other’s smile as you were on your first day as husband and wife. May you both live a long healthy life & always love each other in all days of it. Forever…

Love,
~ Rima