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….

Brand New Ending…

One of my hobbies is to binge-watching YouTube videos.
While doing so, sometimes I stumble upon videos that uplift me to a degree that I feel more resolute. More curious. More determined to pursue my dreams.

If you are in search of some kind of revival, definitely check out this gem of a video by Price Ea. He is a very talented American artist, rapper, and music video director. I absolutely loo0o0ove his videos’ cinematography and more than that, the concepts and messages behind them.


I hope this video makes you write a good story of your life….and your own Brand New Ending

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

 

Saint Regis, Abu Dhabi Wedding – Ayesha & Tariq

As I looked from my camera’s viewfinder to photograph her getting ready shots, she looked up in the mirror and I gasped for breath. She looked so breathtakingly beautiful (mashaAllah) with the hair and makeup done although she was still in a t-shirt and yoga pants.

She smiled then asked “Chee wa choo?” leaving me utterly confused. I asked her what she meant by ‘chee wa choo’ and she looked in the mirror with wide smile saying this is ‘chee’ and then smiled a little less and said ‘this is choo.’ I bursted into laughter and told her she looks stunning with either ‘chee wa choo.’ It became our inside joke, made us laugh for the rest of the night, and oh yes, the photos came out amazing (courtesy of both chee & choo).

Ayesha & Tariq celebrated their wedding in Saint Regis, Abu Dhabi. Their ballroom was decorated by Hamasat weddings. Ayesha wore a gorgeous bridal gown by Ezra Fashion, Dubai & shoes from Saint Laurent.  I really liked her idea of party favors with roses in a glass jar and logo of her and Tariq’s initials in Arabic letters were found in different details.

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Thank you for inviting me and trusting me for documenting you wedding. You two are so sweet and totally amongst the most politest people I’ve ever met. I pray that the Almighty showers his endless blessings & bounties on both of you. May you both live a life full of happiness, love, and laughter with Chees wa Choos 😉

Much appreciation,
~ Rima