I Promise You!

I’ve always been a fan of wedding vows & promises that brides and grooms make to each other. They promise to love and cherish each other in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.

Here are my set of promises to my future couples who hire me to document their document day.

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I promise you to be at your wedding day as more than just a photographer.
I promise that I understand how important of a day it is for you.
I promise to hand you tissues if you cry. I promise to hold your dress if you need to use the bathroom & to carry your bouquet on our way to the ballroom.
I promise to make you feel like the most beautiful couple & get rid of any insecurities or stress you might have.
I promise to put my heart & soul in documenting your wedding day to the best of my ability. I promise to capture your legacy that will be worth showing to your children & grandchildren.
I promise that hiring me will be the best decision you will make for your wedding day.
I promise you good times & countless smiles in front of my camera.
I promise you that I will take care of you. Not only on the day wedding but throughout the entire process.

I Promise You! ❤

P.S. Here are all the #lo0oveletters that my past couples have sent me. Alhamdulillah for best of the best clients who become amazing friends ❤

Norway & Sweden

After spending a total of 54 days in Norway-Sweden-Houston-NYC-&-NJ, I’m back to home sweet sweAt home Dubai and can’t wait to share my adventures from the latest wanderings. Here is another installment of #RimaTravels to Norway & Sweden.

 

Stockholm, Sweden

You need to buy shopping bags for anything you purchase which can get annoying butStockholm was all about Go-Green and I loved it.  The people were very friendly but the weather is as moody as Pakistani Aunties. The shops have amazing decors (IKEA was founded in Sweden – duh). Oh and Swedish are obsessed with H&M & McDonalds because I found the stores for these brands in every corner. The highlight of Stockholm for me was when I found a Pakistani’s souvenir shop & the owner invited us for a karak chaye. Something I whole-heartedly cheered for!
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Oslo, Norway
Free internet Everywhere. It may not sound as a big deal but they Norway had the bestest of Internet I’ve ever experienced. Ever! The hustle bustle of the city center and easy to commute to hotel was a delight. The cherry on top of the icing is when I found this Pakistani halal food restaurant with the best Samosas (that marked the only day I didn’t had pizza on this trip). Oh and the entire Norway seems to be obsessed with Vikings. From the museums to cute souvenirs, Oslo was all about Vikings (and the weird trolls everywhere). The National Opera & Ballet House was a beautiful building.
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Leknes, Norway
The main reason I took this entire trip was to see Lofoten Islands. Since they don’t have an airport of their own, you have to take a flight to Bodo & then a 15 minute private-jet ride to Leknes airport (definitely the smallest plane*ride*airport I’ve ever seen). The views from the plans are breathtaking and Leknes itself is peaceful as well. I watched and documented the sunset at Haukland beach (it never really sets though as they had midnight sun). In a small town Leknes, I witnessed the biggest full moon I’ve ever seen. Oh and did I mention that the town is so small that everything is literally 13-15 minutes drive away.

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Bergen, Norway
By the time I arrived Bergen, I was homesick. It was continously raining but the upside was that the restaurants in Bergen’s city center are open until 4 am (YASSS!) and I found this amazing halal food hidden gem that was worth every penny. The Colorful houses on top of mountains look beautiful and there are several sources of transportation to explore (bus – train – cruise). Bergen would’ve been boring for me if it wasn’t for the trip to Flåm. To get to Flåm, I decided to take Fjords trip on a cruise. Once in Flåm, I drove this tiny electric car all the way to the top of the mountain & the view from there was breathtaking & mighty. Then a beautiful train ride through the mountains and oh-em-gee, I’ve never witnessed this many waterfalls in one place ever before.
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Lofoten Islands, Norway 
Surreallllllll. Lofoten Islands was my absolute favorite destination on this entireeee trip. The red fisherman’s cabins add so much beauty & perfect pop of color to the brown mountain backdrop & blue waters. The beautiful sky adds more admiration to the place. Although it was a bunch of islands & the place I stayed at (May’s Apartments – studio apartment better than 5* hotels) seemed like a remote village yet they had absolutely amazing WiFi & facilities.  Lofoten Islands were unbearably cold at night but truly are a photographer’s heaven.
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Hope you enjoyed Norway & Sweden thorough my lens. Until we meet again with other wanderings of mine, do check out my past travels around the world.

Already looking forward for future adventures,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

Dubai Art Season – SIKKA 2018

Every now and then I use my camera to experiment and document things that are outside of my niche (wedding photography). You may say its for fun as well as for the sake of creativity. I was fortunate enough to join IgersDubai this year for a photowalk in Sikka Art Fair 2018.

To say the least, I had utter pleasure in meeting some of my favorite lifestyle Instagrammers, joined fun activities hosted by Dubai Culture, got plenty of stock photos for the blog & social media, as well as explored, documented, & appreciated the installations & masterpieces of extremely talented artists.

Here are a bunch of photos I clicked.

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I hope you join me & other Instagrammers for next year’s photowalk.

Cheers!

How to Use Social Media Strategically

Dear Photographer Friends,

Before I start this post, here is the brutal-honest-truth: I’m not a social media specialist or a guru. But obsessively using social media for years, running a successful business and thriving it solely because of it, I can safely say that the following useful pointers may help you with some ideas on how to use social media more strategically.

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The biggest turn off for me is when I visit a photographer’s Instagram account (or any business account) and I can’t figure out what they do & where they are located.

  1. Clearly mention WHAT you do (wedding photographer, portrait photographer, etc).
  2. Do mention WHERE you are based (Dubai – UAE, NYC – USA, London – UK, etc).
  3. State HOW your prospective clients can Contact / Connect with you (email address, contact form, website/blog, phone number, direct message, etc).
  4. Make your Instagram grid & Facebook feed consistent (colors, style, etc).Rima_Hassan_Photography_instagram
  5. Post regularly. Avoid posting 4-5 photos a day and then long breaks. Pay keen attention to the time you are getting most engagement. Make your own posting schedule & patterns.
  6. Show Personality!!! People are investing more into WHO you are as a person. Show what books you are reading, what kind of pets you have, what cool places you are exploring, your favorite drink/food/place, etc. Give people a reason to connect.
  7. Create Content. Show the process or before/after photo of your work. Answer frequently asked questions to help those who are starting out as well as to your clients.
  8. STOP turning your Instagram/Facebook profiles/captions into advertisements. It is okay to post occasional ads but people are more interested in behind-the-scenes and reading about your clients, knowing the process of how you got that photo, etc.

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Friends, I hope this blog post helps you change a few things around and gets you to think more strategically.

I pray for your success & hope to celebrate it together virtually, so let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to meet you there!

Shine on,
~ Rima

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

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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