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)

The Glamorous Affair – Styled Shoot

When Louma (from Design by Louma) and Zeina from Jive Events asked me to be a part of a styled photo-shoot they were planning, I absolutely jumped on the opportunity. Not only because I knew them for quite some time, but also because I am well aware of how great they are at what they do. I knew they are both professionals and best in their leagues & won’t settle for anything that is less than perfect!

My heart is beaming as I share some photos from “The Glamorous Affair” styled shoot. Heavy florals with a lot of blooms in soft and delicate shades were paired with crystal centerpieces. Peonies, white anemones, and roses in white, cream and pink were perfectly paired with soft greenery for contrast. Shades of pleasing pinks and gold created a feel of luxury to the décor and pops of bright pink & gold added the extra edge – or should I say Glamour –  to it all.

Here is a short video trailer from the shoot.
Hope you are ready to handle the Glllaaaaammmmour! 😉

A sincere Thank you & Kudos to the wonderful team for bringing this entire shoot to life:

Planning and styling: Jive Events
Stationary: Design by Louma
Flowers: Mesopotamia Flower
Tabletops and favors: Galeries Lafayette TDM via My List
Table linens: Table Top Events
Furniture rentals: Mint Experience
Venue & cake: The Hamptons Cafe
Bridal wear & accessories: Vanila Wedding Boutique
Hair & make up: London College of Make-up in Dubai, artist Kasia Domanska
Model: Alaa
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography

 

 

Santorini, Greece

Ever so often my heart wants to explore new places.
Travel gives me power, imagination, hope, memories, and of course photos. Since the island of Santorini had been on top of my list for quite some time, I felt so privileged to be able to go explore it (#RimaTravels finally!).

Santorini is what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island and created what we now call Caldera. The white houses with absolutely gorgeous background of blue sky and water were incredibly calming and exactly what I need after working non-stop for the past eight months. The cherry on top of the icing was that I got to meet (again) one of my favorite photographers – Vangelis – and his family whom I proudly call friends. Make sure you check out his work. He’s exceptionally talented.

Through photos, I had a good idea that the island had lots of stairs but no one warned me that there were a kazillion stairs everywhere. I was also surprised to find that people there are obsessed with donkeys’ milk. They have donkey milk soaps, donkey milk moisturizers, hand lotions, etc.  Jokes apart, the absolutely breathtaking views of this island made me realize that if you are or have been wrecked, don’t let the past destroy your beauty. Bounce right back up! If you need extra energy, you might want to consider donkey’s milk.

Following are some of my clicks from this trip.

 

Oh and here is a short video from the trip.

Do let me know how you liked Santorini through my lens.
Oh and also share if there is a place you recommend for me to go next ❤

Love,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

P.S. Follow along my future journeys on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }

 

Hyatt Regency Creek Wedding – Nouf & Ali

As the only arabic song I had saved on my phone started playing, she took his hands into hers and slowly swung. He smiled at her with so much love that, I won’t lie, I got lost in the moment myself.

Within seconds I collected myself and snapped few shots. “Aliiiii…..you have to do at least one move” I told him. “La la la la la la….no no no no no no…” he replied back without taking a breath. We all laughed including him. The gorgeous Nouf smiled wide and took a full swing in her gorgeous dress, holding his hands, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching how he balanced her and helped her come right back to him. Supportingly. Happily. With Love. 

Nouf & Ali celebrated their wedding in Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights hotel. Her stage / kosha and ballroom were decorated by Sayedati Wedding. The super cute cake by Mimoza Cakes added sweetness to the day. Nouf looked breathtaking in her bridal gown by Hazar Fashion, shoes from Sarah Jessica Parker, and carried a violet bouquet by Fiore Designs.

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Dearest Nouf & Ali,

Thank you so much for inviting me and letting me document your night full of laughter, fun, and love. Nouf, your bubbly personality is so sparkly that it can light up an entire room. Ali, you are a kind and welcoming person who can easily make friends even if you are meeting them for the first time. I pray that Allah keeps you both healthy, happy, sparkly, and always laughing at each other’s silly jokes, forever.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Choosing THE Wedding Photographer

Dear Brides-to-be,

You are probably on a hunt to find the best person who can document your wedding day. Let me take a minute and explain why choosing a wedding photographer is a lot more than choosing someone to take good photos.

Wedding photographers are the only wedding vendors who will be with you throughout the day, witnessing your love story unfold, and documenting the union of two people beginning a new journey. We are in the business of love.

To enhance your experience and to make sure that your day goes smoothly, here are some tips to make sure you choose the right wedding photographer to document your big day.

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  1. Research Well – during the tiring wedding planning, don’t just hire a photographer that your best friend and/or cousin hired. Make sure you choose someone who fits your budget as well as your aesthetic vision. If you are planning an indoor wedding, do NOT choose an outdoor photographer merely based on how much you like their photos. Choose someone who’s style matches yours especially based on the type of wedding you are planning.
  2. Meet the Photographer – after cutting down the list of best choices, email the photographers to set up a meeting (given that they live in the same city). If you are planning to have a destination photographer, make sure to have a Skype session to explain your wedding planning and requirements.
  3. Personality Matters (a lot!) – Once you meet/Skype with the selected photographers, then decide to hire one you can imagine having around on your big day. If you gel well with the photographer during the initial meeting, chances are they are the ones you want to spend your special day with.
  4. Communication is the Key – make sure to keep your photographer in loop via email sharing special details, décor design, asking for their feedback. Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding lighting, timelines, and stage layout. Also, make sure you are comfortable enough with the photographer to discuss any family and/or timeline issues that may occur on the wedding day.
  5. Timeline is Essential – If a photographer is not asking for a timeline, make sure you take things in your hands and discuss how your day will go. Discuss what time you expect them to arrive and for how long you will need them for. Ask them how much time they need for bride & groom’s formals and family photos.
  6. Trust is a valuable asset – when you choose a photographer after research, trust them. Refrain from asking to see every photo that they click.What you see is unedited and may make the photographer hesitant and under pressure.
  7. Go with the Flow – it is crucial to understand that things will go wrong on the wedding day. They always do. The bouquet is not the right size, the makeup artist is late, the centerpieces have pink peonies instead of white. Don’t let things ruin your day (and photos). Brides who are angry will look angry in the photos despite of the efforts to smile. Believe that your wedding day will end well and it will.

May you find the best photographer who’s intention is to provide you an experience along with beautiful photos. May the photographer with happy memories of your wedding day. Oh and in case you want to get in touch with me, fill out the contact form to holla at your girl 🙂

Love,
~ Rima

Crowne Plaza Wedding – Ali & Hamda

He picked up a piece of lint from her veil.
Their eyes met and smiles spread across their faces. He took her hand into his, brought it close to his face. Her heart skipped a beat, she smiled, and lowered her eyes in approval. He kissed her hands.

The invisible Sufi dervishes started dancing around them. I stood their stunned by the tranquility of their love.  They were lost into each other’s existence, making them forgot that the videographer, my assistant, and I were watching them. It is rare to find couples who are not afraid to show off their love for each other – loud & proud – especially in the midst of a wedding day. And I…..well, I was loving every second of it.

Ali & Hamda got married in Crowne Plaza, Dubai.  Hamda wore a gorgeous dress by Hessa Bourqiaba and Chanel shoes. Their ballroom was decorated by Tahani AlKhaleej. I had such a pleasure photographing these two dangerously-in-love souls and their amazing families. Oh and I met three past clients’ families and friends. I called it a great night!

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Dearest Hamdu & Alawi,

I absolutely love for all that you both are, all that you both had been, and alllllllll that you both are yet to be. Thank you for trusting me enough to document your big day, for being yourselves, for being so open and welcoming. Thank you super much for allowing me to watch your love-story unfold in front of my eyes. I pray that the Almighty keeps your hands into each other’s and may you both always be surrounded by invisible dervishes dancing on the songs of love.

With much much much Love,
~ Rima

 

MyList Wedding Workshop – Dubai, UAE

My heart frequently desire to do things outside of the box. I come up with crazy ideas but most of the times I end the thought with ‘may be one day…’ or ‘soon’ because I simply don’t know where to begin.

When Anne from MyList.ae asked me to be a part of their Wedding Workshop in association with BetterLifeUAE, I felt so honored & agreed with all my heart! Better Life event  invitation

The workshop was held at BetterLife’s showroom in Mall of the Emirates. It was absolutely fun, educational for the brides-to-be, and free. Yes, it was FREE!MyList_BetterLife_Event_Mall_Emirates_Dubai-UAE

I was so honored to be speaking alongside some of the best professionals in the industry such as May from WeddingHaven, Olivia from HelloChef, Mirna from MyPediaClinic, and Kiah from ToniqueConsultancy.

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Because the event was targeted towards brides-to-be, I spoke about how to choose your wedding photographer. I will be blogging about it under my “UnOfficial Bridesmaid” series soon for those who missed the event.MyList_BetterLife_Event_Rima_Hassan_Photography

Thank you to Julie & Anne from MyList.ae for inviting me for this workshop & to put together such a wonderful (and successful) event, to Johanna from BetterLife for being a wonderful host, and to all the attendees. I hope that the event was as educational and fun for you as it was for me.

Much love,
~ Rima

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

Six Tips for Engagement Photos

Dearest Brides-to-Be,

Congrats on saying YES to the proposal…
If you are planning your first party (milcha/engagement) to announce being officially together, this post is perfect for you!

After documenting countless engagement parties, I jot down a quick list to give brides some thought provoking ideas to think about while planning their first day as husband & wife.

  1. It is OKAY to be nervous! It is the first time you are being professionally photographed together as a couple. A little nervousness is okay but don’t let it hold you back from enjoying the party.
  2. Be on time. This is very important. Discuss the timeline with your makeup artist, hairstylist, and of course your photographer. Make sure everything is running smoothly and you are ready on time to make the most of your investments.
  3. Confidence is the key. The first 20 minutes of photo-session will be awkward. It is normal. Don’t let your nervousness make you more nervous. Make sure to smile a lot & enjoy your time with him. When you are confident, it shows in the images.
  4. Prepare the groom. If you are planning on having him put jewelry on you, make sure to tell him to practice. If he knows how to open and close the jewelry pieces, it’ll be easy for him to do and will result in more natural photos.
  5. Set priorities. Having props with sentimental value for both you and the groom is awesome but having 10+ props & expecting the photographer to take photos of each one might not be a great idea. You & your husband are the stars of the night. You are the priority. Don’t get lost in the props game.
  6. Relax & trust your photographer. You probably chose your photographer after much consideration and for a reason (hopefully their personality is your #1 priority). Trust them. Allow them to be creative & you’ll have an awesome photo session.

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I hope these tips help you and result in the best of photos ❤
If you have some tips for the future brides-to-be, I’m all ears. Share them in the comments below.

Happy Planning,
~ Rima