Wanna Talk about Business?

Most people look at successful photographers/studios and think it is solely because of their amazing skills and techniques. Let Me. Tell You. The TRUTH!!!!

Honest equation of being a successful photographer/studio =  20% of Photography and 80% BUSI-NESS! (get it, busy-ness/business 😉 )

I’ll tell you what…if you are an aspiring photographer, it is easy to find photography techniques on Google. You may also learn by trial-&-error & self-teaching. But one thing that most people will not teach you is how to run the photography, or in fact ANY, business!

Very very fortunately, I graduated with a business degree (majors: marketing & management – graduated with honors – on full scholarship!) So here is my humble proposal to YOU!

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  1. Do you want to learn about photography business?
  2. Need help with marketing & social media?
  3. Wanna learn how to write emails/contracts?
  4. Need help selling your services?
  5. Want to build a brand?
  6. Want to be your own boss?

If you answer YES to at least 2 of the questions above, you wouldn’t want to miss this chance. I’m hosting the very first Rima Hassan Photography’s Mixer on 9th December 2017 from 3pm-5pm in Jumeirah area, Dubai, where I will be answering all of these (and some more…) questions. And YOU are cordially invited. Only a couple of seats are left & registration will close on 7 December 2017. All you need to do is fill out the form on THIS LINK.

I hope you join me to celebrate photography & talk business!

GirlBoss,
~ Rima

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Let’s Celebrate Photography – First RHP Mixer

I felt alone…
Nowhere to turn to, no one to ask for help.
Refreshing the inbox every 5 minutes waiting for the enquiries’ email is frustrating. Very frustrating.  Starting a business wasn’t easy. I didn’t know where to look for the ideal brides, how to reach them, how to price the packages, and the list goes on.

Five years later, as I enter the 6th year of business, I can proudly say that I have established not only a successful business (Alhamdullilah) with the bestest of clients (double Alhamdullilah), I continue to try my best to help both (the brides & the photographer friends) who need help with photography and business.

In honor of my consistent photographer-followers, who ask me questions about both photography and business, I am hosting my First Rima Hassan Photography’s Mixer!

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If you are a photography lover, especially wedding photography, I cordially invite you to join me for a fun event on 9th December 2017 from 3pm-5pm in Jumeirah area, Dubai. Yes, I will be answering questions about building a brand, social media, running a business, photography, and marketing your wedding services. There will be lots of food & lotsssssssss of fun & informative chatting involved! ❤

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This event is FREE but highly private, RSVP is must as the seats are very limited. More details & venue of the mixer will be sent via email to the confirmed attendees.

I hope to see you there & don’t hesitate to bring in allllllll the questions that you need answered.

Let’s Celebrate Photography!
Because together we go farther… ❤

Love,
~ Rima

Bangkok, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

I know it has been long since I posted my last travel blog to Salalah, Oman.

I made a total of six trips (Oman, USA, Pakistan, USA & then Pakistan twice again) within this year and I am so grateful for all the friends & followers who followed along the journey via my Instgram stories. I generally don’t share blog posts from USA and Pakistan as they are mostly family trips but this year, #RimaTravels to experience a new country, Thailand, and its three destinations – Bangkok, Phuket, & PhiPhi Islands.

Since this was a last minute trip and I wasn’t carrying my professional camera, here are glimpses of Bangkok through my iPhone.

Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0001First stop was Bangkok & it was alright. I only stayed there for a day, felt awfully sick and was very tired from a long plane ride so didn’t enjoy the hustle bustle of the city as I usually do. Plus, the street-food stands were making the atmosphere stink.
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Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0005Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0002Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0019Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0004I thoroughly enjoyed Phuket’s laid back atmosphere, late-night open markets & of course shopping. The serene sunsets and rides around the city on a cute rental Vespa Scooter were the highlights of my trip. I continuously sung ‘rotay howe, atay hain sab….’ from the movie Muqaddar ka Sikandar while speeding up on the scooter. Fearlessly 😉

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From Phuket, I took a boat-ride to Phi Phi Islands. The water & sky were terrific. The beaches in-between islands looked like paradise. Traveling from Dubai & Pakistan, I was thrilled to see that the sky & waters looked beautiful shades of blue, the enormous islands and palm trees green, and colorful boats decorated the port of Phi Phi Islands.Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0009Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0010Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0006Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0011Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0012Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0016Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0013Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0014Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0017

Thank YOU for following along the journey and I hope you enjoyed Bangkok through my iPhone photos. To follow along my future travels, you may watch my stories on Instagram and/or on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }.

Here is to future adventures,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

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

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! 🙂

Styled Photoshoot – Dubai

I know I know…
I’ve been late in posting this styled shoot but trust me, I’ve been delaying it on purpose. This style shoot made my heart feel so full and despite the awesome-craziness on the day of the shoot, I wanted to share most of these photos separately on my Instgaram.

Each photo is so close to my heart as I got to work with some of the most ahhhhhh-mazing wedding vendors in Dubai as well as the super talented photographer + friend, Vangelis, from Santorini, Greece (see his breathtaking photos from the shoot HERE).

Thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart for making this dream shoot come true. It would not have been possible without your utmost efforts, talents, and creativity.

Decorator: Ekleel Designs
Flowers & Bouquet: Firenze Flora 
Bridal Gown & Accessories:  Vanila Wedding Boutique
Model:  Parul Shah
Makeup: Zareen Shah
Hairstylist: Hajar 
Photographer: Vangelis Photography Rima Hassan Photography

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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!

Styled Photoshoot – Al Jawaher, Sharjah

I was thrilled when I received a call from one of my favorite venues, Al Jawaher RCC in Sharjah, to document a styled photoshoot for their upcoming marketing campaign. Covering countless weddings of my clients there, I was familiar with its spacious rooms, tons of props, and amazing interior that JRCC offers.

I feel honored to be chosen by their team as well as being extremely happy to share the photos as I don’t usually get to show the actual portfolio to the world.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the amazing Al Jawaher’s team for putting up a successful photoshoot together and for trusting me with the job.

Venue: Al Jawaher RCC
Bridal Gown: The Bridal Showroom
Model: Camila, Miss Universe Kosovo 2016
Photographer: Rima Hassan

Internet, I hope you are ready for this!!! 😉

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A Step Forward…

She had tons of questions…
Being the first one amongst her siblings to get married, she was lost in all the wedding planning process. As I was answering her questions, a past bride of mine came in to meet me. I asked her to join in and the conversation went to a whole new level.

I sat back and watched both of these amazing girls. It was like watching an amateur meeting an experienced one. The crazy idea popped into my head and I asked the bride-to-be if she’d be interested in meeting my other past & future brides to help her plan the wedding. She agreed in a heartbeat. Before leaving, she turned back and said thank you several times to my past bride and myself for being the reason that so much of her stress was reduced.

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In that moment, I felt like I was the missing link! I decided that I haddddddd to take a step forward & plan a friendly get-together for my future brides-to-be. To help them connect the dots, help each other with the tiring wedding planning, bring and share ideas to plan and have the best day of their lives.

With that being said, I feel sooooo very nervous & super excited at the same time because I actually did take the step…..the venue has been booked, invitations have been sent, and I can’t wait to see what this small step will result into…

Cheers to a step forward!

The Missing Link,
~ Rima

Things Worth Seeing…

I cherish spending time with the couple beforehand as well as on the wedding day and getting to know their love story. I love watching their chemistry and writing about it. When I am unable to express my severe joy and/or sadness, I write – hence this specific post is a byproduct of my extreme happiness & dedicated to the bridesmaids who put their hearts and souls to make it the best day of their friend’s life.

This past weekend, I was honored to document wedding of a bride who was loved and cherished and taken care of beyondddddddddd measure. The bride’s family and school-friends since childhood, along with her teachers were so immensely involved throughout the wedding planning process. She had an entire army of absolutely adorable bridesmaids. Their love & compassion for the bride showed in every conversation & gesture.

Not only I thoroughly enjoyed watching their excitement, my heart was doing its happy-dance the entire duration of the wedding and even until now for being able to observe them take love to a whole new level…

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Sometimes, reading between the lines leave me speechless. It’s not about how much money is being spent on the stage, decorations, overall wedding. I absolutely enjoy to witness care & love of the family and friends for the bride and the groom. It shows how good-hearted the people giving the love are, but it also shows that people receiving that love are more than deserving.

And that is exactly the type of brides/couples I feel humbled & honored to work with. Who give and receive love with pure heart. Who do things selflessly. Who see beyond what is visible. Who see things worth seeing….