Keep Calm because…

I held my phone and smiled.

I posted the following photo on my Instagram and got busy with work. I checked back after a few minutes and received lovely messages by my past and current brides on both Instagram & Whatsapp. Oh I love my brides!     

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Since people have been sharing Keep Calm posters on social media, here are my version of Keep Calm messages:

Keep Calm & Count Your Blessings.
Keep Calm & Work Harder.
Keep Calm & learn from your mistakes.
Keep Calm and have karak chai.
Keep Calm & buy new shoes.
Keep Calm and watch movies.
Keep Calm & Google it.
Keep Calm but be prepared.
Keep Calm. Game on.
Keep Calm & keep Kaam se Kaam (mind your business)
Keep Calm and call your mom.
Keep Calm and read.
Keep Calm & do yoga.
Keep Calm & Love Life.
Keep Calm when saying I Do!
Keep Calm. Then dance on Gangnam Style!
Keep Calm & Dream on.
Keep Calm if people talk behind your back. They are behind you for a reason.
Keep Calm because You are Loved!!!

Keep Calm & Shine on!
~ Rima

Fear of Failure

My phone rung at 3:00 am in the morning.
I opened one eye to look at my phone screen and it was a call from my eldest sister in New Jersey.
‘Oh God!’ I said under my breath because in my head, calls at this late at night (or shall I say this early in the morning don’t mean good news). I answered the phone and the first thing she told me was that she just saw my latest blog post & set of images I posted & how impressed she was with them.  
I smiled, thanked her, inquired about how everyone was doing in NJ. Few minutes later she hung up the phone but I couldn’t sleep. A million small thoughts took over and I thought of the fear of failure that occupied my mind when I was about to hit ‘publish’ to share that blog entry & photos on Facebook.I read somewhere that there r five types of Fears:

1. ‘We need to talk…’
2. Username or password is incorrect.
3. 15 missed calls from mom (in my case – husband).
4. Terror.
5. Fear of FAILURE. Yes, in all capital letter.

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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I try my best to conquer fear of failure on daily basis. When I’m publishing a blog entry, sharing photos on social media, meeting clients for album designs, making business decisions, and striving in the directions of my dreams. As time passed, I’ve realized that if you find a support system & surround yourself with the right people – family, friends, clients – who are encouraging, nothing can stop you to move forward in the direction of your dreams. At the end, these are the people who will be there celebrating your successes.
Take a chance. Anything is possible. Anything!
Have a fearless day.

Things NOT to Worry About

Few days ago, I randomly stumbled upon a letter that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his daughter in 1933 about things to worry about. Worry about courage, worry about cleanliness, worry about efficiency, and so on… His letter stroke a chord in my brain and made me think of all the small things that occupy our minds on daily basis and prevent us from moving forward. The list is longer for things not to worry about. Definitely a must read. You may read the entire letter here.

Thigns to worry about

Have a worry-less Thursday!        

Wedding in Four Points by Sheraton, Dubai – Shama & Shahid

“Although I may try to describe Love, when I experience it, I am speechless.”
~ Rumi ~

This is how I felt when I met Shama & Shahid for the first time. The way they looked at each other was always an ‘awwwww’ moment. The classy Shama’s eyes sparkled, literally, with her shy smile. As if her & Shahid just shared a funny secret, or thought of an inside joke, or just spoke in secret language of their own.  We all know that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ so I will make this blog post super short of words but definitely want to share some highlighted moments of Shama & Shahid’s wedding. They exchanged their vows in the presence of their family and close friends at Four Points by Sheraton in Dubai and became the Man & Wife!               

Wedding Kosha (Stage)

Wedding Kosha (Stage)

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Gorgeous Pakistani bridal dress that Shama bought from England

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المصورة ريما حسن

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“Don’t let fear of change cause you to hesitate. Toss some confetti in the air & CELEBRATE! Good things are coming!” – Unknown

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Shama was nothing short of stunning.

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 المصورة ريما حسن  المصورة ريما حسن

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I feel honored that Shama & Shahid allowed me to capture their love. I wish endless joys of life for them. May they have the funniest secrets to share, be kind to each other, & always be the reason behind each other’s smiles, ameen.

Love,
~ Rima

You are Never Alone

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others;
for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness;
and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
– Audrey Hepburn –

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Make up by Alessandra

Have a Beautiful day!                 

– Rima

(in)Finite Hope

Hope is what drives us all. Well, most of us. I have big dreams and even bigger hopes. Sometimes I’m surprised by my own hopes.

For example:      

  • When I have french fries and hope to burn more calories than I’m consuming.
  • Staring at the pile of washed laundry hoping for it to be folded on its own.
  • Hoping to clean the house with Photoshop one day.
  • Stepping on the moon with karak-chaye in hand.
  • Wishing and hoping to find halal food anywhere I travel in the world.
  • Being the official photographer for America’s Next Top Model.
  • Hoping to cook more often and better than I do now.
  • Winning a talent show for non-stop talking.
  • Hoping for clients to understand why I might be charging more than Studio X and Y.
  • Keep on dreaming – dream bigger – and hoping for all of them to come true, amen!
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Keep Moving Forward! Proceed with wisdom, obviously, but don’t be afraid to proceed.

Even if I get disappointed in something, I keep on hoping to do it better the next time. It motivates me to move forward and try harder just so my-curious-self can see if the result was what I hoped for. If it’s not, then I hope for it to be better the next time. There is no point in settling for less and I am definitely not letting all the effort go to waste.

“We must accept finite disappointment,
but never lose infinite hope”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. –

I hope you all have a Hopeful Day.

Love,
– Rima

A Girl Should be 2 Things….

A prospective client called me to ask why she can’t find photos of any ‘actual brides’ on my blog and website?     

This wasn’t the first time someone asked me that question.    
Can you imagine marketing a product/service without showing it to people? I mean, seriously, think about it….”I can show you the sample albums and some real weddings but in person. Oh, and only to ladies” is my reply to pretty much all the inquiries. I do this for living. Gotta work it somehow….

First it was heart-wrenching to be unable to share my clients’ photos.  A very wise photographer once said “…..you gotta see the world through your clients’ eyes” and it all made sense to me. I mostly work in Dubai, UAE where 95% of my clients are Arabs. I respect their culture, privacy of their ladies, and take care of the confidentiality of each wedding and every album.

I am very well aware that as a photography business, sharing of the photos is key to bringing in more clients. So I ask permission from my wonderful brides if I can share their kosha (wedding stage), accessories, dress photos to showcase at least the style and quality of my work. Yes, the business growth might be slow but it is steady because I keep my promises. I only share photos that they allowed me to share….and you know what I have experienced in the past years: Happy Clients Bring in More Clients!

“A Girl Should be 2 Things: Classy & Fabulous!” - Coco Chanel -

“A Girl Should be 2 Things: Classy & Fabulous!”
– Coco Chanel –

The above photo is of a stunning bride with a heart of gold. She’s from Pakistani origin but brought up in Britain, and got married in Dubai. She kindly allowed me to share her photos on my blog & Facebook. I was honored to document her colorful henna party, wedding day, and share the joyous moments with her wonderful family and can’t wait to share more photos from her wedding.

As far as business growth goes, I’m happy with what I offer my clients [even if it promising their confidentiality] and my heart feels fabulous & satisfied that I keep my promises. I’m marketing just fine and my wedding photography business is doing great [Alhamdullilah] even if the marketing tactics are completely opposite of what I learned in business school.

Sorry Professor So&So – People come first on my list. Money follows 🙂

Stay Classy & Fabulous,
– Rima

Missouri Part 3 – Botanical Garden

‘April showers bring May flowers’ but you’ll find mother nature awfully kind to Missouri’s Botanical Garden because I found gorgeous flowers there even in the beginning of April. It was my first time visiting a botanical garden, everrrrrr, which made it a lot more fun to go around, witness, smell, & photograph the beauty of nature in the form of beautiful, unique, (and weird) flowers/plants. Even the leaf-less tress were so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist capturing their photos.  This is my last post of Missouri because I will be visiting & photographing New York City tomorrow but I just had to share some of the photos from the trip.

 

Be like a flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it – Imam Ali

 

I’ll write/share photos of NYC but until then, keep spreading the colors of love!

Friday Randomness

“Tell me something RANDOM.” You can find myself asking this from my husband & friends. Born a chatterbox, I throughly enjoyed random topics, never-ending conversations, and stories within stories 😉

To honor the ‘randomness’ which probably saved us all from boredom at some point of our lives, I’d love to share a few things I found on the web that provide food for thought & also helped cheer me up. Let’s call it the very first post/episode of Friday Randomness…..

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Create your own Happiness!
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Happy Friday everyone!

Care to Dare

Ever wonder what life would be like without risks? Would achieving your goals be as fulfilling & satisfying without hurtles? Would success taste so sweet if it was presented to us ready-made on a platter? Ummm…..May be. But it wouldn’t be thrilling!   

I still remember how terrifying it was to:    

Start up a business    
Choosing dreams over practicality
Investing all my savings into building dreams
Putting huge portion of my time & life into it
Not knowing the results
Reaching out for help
Losing a client but learning what works
Watching people criticize
Pushing my own boundries
Saving up to buy the gear
Finding no visits/comments on the blog
Deciding to keep on writing
Looking back to find how far I’ve come
Loving every moment of the process
Getting addicted to the thrill
Willing to do it over & over again!

I learned that if you go up on the ladder of success, stay humble & remember the people who helped you and were with you throughout the process. If you go otherwise, become even more humble & keep on dreaming & daring.

After all, life without audaciously bold risks would be boring.     

Dare to Dream

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly” – John F. Kennedy

Dare to dream.
Dare to take risks.
Dare to fail.
But more importantly, dare to do it all gracefully with your head high!

Have an adventurous week!