FlashBack Friday – FlipBook

I have always been a big fan of flipbooks.
I’m no Picasso [not even close] but I sure am a strong believer of ‘nothing-is-impossible’ especially in the world of technology. So I thought, if not exactly a drawing flipbook, I can at least have something close to it. And I couldn’t think of a better wedding to share with you than a New Jersey wedding of a couple very close to my heart: Rida & Asghar!

May be one day, I will share an actual drawing flipbook.
And make Picasso proud! 🙂

Have a great weekend ❤

What Goes Around, Comes Around!

I have looooooove/hate feelings for travels. I absolutely love exploring new destinations but hate packing. Don’t mind long flights but hate jet-legs. Always return back home with fresh mind and ready to conquer the world but also suffer with post-travel depression. Especially when it involves meeting family during the travels.

As I returned back to Dubai from USA two days ago (and still trying to fix my sleeping schedule), I have been dearly missing my family, friends, and mostly my nieces & nephews aka Monsters, Inc. Long night conversations with my sisters, mom’s delicious food, hugging little nieces & telling them stories, laughing with best friends on old jokes, hustle-bustle of NYC…

This trip made me realize (yet again!) how strong of a support-system and backbone my family & friends have been in making me who I am today. They always support me to turn my can’ts into cans and my dreams into plans. They still forgive my mistakes, give best advices, push me to go farther, dream bigger, help me be a better person – both personally & professionally – and give me the light of hope in the darkest of nights. They are my dream anchor.

Weddings_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_photographer

As I sat in front of my laptop trying to make a schedule for edits, album deliveries, scheduling meetings with prospective clients, and replying back to emails & inquiries, I am extremely glad that I made the trip. Because at the end of the day, I can always come back on schedule, the edits, emails, meetings will always be there but the chance of meeting the family on the other side of the world might not be.

If you are a work-a-holic like myself, take time out today and call your family/friend or a loved one. You never know how much it might mean to someone. Surround yourself with positive people who will make you better and try to be someone else’s dream anchor….

Remember – what goes around, comes around!

Dua – The Answer to our Prayers

Meet Dua! The Life of my Life!

Dua

Dua is my 6 (turned 7 today) years old niece with a mind of a 12 years old & is absolutely lovable. You know the type of personality that can light up the whole room? Yup! She’d be the one. Hands Down. No, Seriously! I’m not saying that because she’s my niece and I adoreeeeeeee her to pieces. Well, that too. But I’m saying that because she truly is a extremely smart for her age, is a character & has a personality with a spark.

Since the day she was born, I made it my mission to document her entire life. With cell-phone camera, to point&shoot, to my 5D Mark III, she never fails to pose with her endless expressions – spontaneous smile, broken teeth, questioning eyes, turning the computer with her toe, Lady Gaga style – she’s certainly my favorite model & it has always been a trip chasing her with my camera. I can never get enough of her photos & she knows it very well. It’s like I want to capture and save her smiles, evil smirks, bewitching laughter, sparkly eyes – her entire childhood. Part of it is also because I hardly have any of my own childhood photos.

So before you scroll down, let me WARN you. Do NOT be deceived by that innocent smile. She’s a little fire-cracker who adds flare, colors, festivity, and magic to our lives…

dua-baby

Dua-baby2 baby-Dua

4

6 peek-a-boo

dua-fashionista window
Dua is answer to our prayers,
smiles to our blues,
spark to our eyes,
life of my life,
… & of my photos as well ❤

Dua

~*~ Happy Birthday Dua ~*~

Love,
~Rima Khala

21 Rules to My Life

Some might wish to receive a magical packet with a list of rules or even a blueprint of how to live a perfect life. But me being me, always the most rebellious chic in the family, it has always been difficult for me to live by rules that someone else imposed on me. Today, I’m jotting down my list of Twenty-One Rules to Living a Wonderful Life (according to me). Some are my very own, some are borrowed/learned from people I admire.  

  1. Party hard. Work harder!
  2. Talk to the people sitting alone.
  3. Admit your mistakes.
  4. Be the bravest in the room. It is perfectly fine to ask stupid questions.
  5. Keep promises.
  6. Give credit/appreciation to the deserving one.
  7. Travel at least twice a year.
  8. Friendship is impossible with a liar.
  9. Be kind to one another.
  10. Don’t give bad news via text message.
  11. Smile often but be a tough cookie upon need.
  12. Say hi to strangers.
  13. Give presents without occasions.
  14. Dream big.
  15. Stay humble.
  16. Always make time for friends & family.
  17. Do good for people without expecting anything in return.
  18. Focus on the little things.
  19. Pray / meditate regularly.
  20. Be the best version of yourself.
  21. Live out loud!
Life_Rules_Rima_Hassan_photographer_Dubai_UAE

Photos make blog posts pretty so here is a refreshing one.

Have a great week!

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!

Missouri Part 2 – The Cave State

Missouri is also known as the Cave State.  Always inspired by nature, I knew I had to go visit the caves.  Beneath the fertile rolling hills of the Meramec Valley, lies a complex of mineral formations and color as rare and unique as they are beautiful, Missouri’s buried treasure. These jewels of nature which took thousands of years to grow, are preserved in the spectacular sights of Meramec Caverns. It was fun to learn how the ancient limestone “Wine Table” and an entire 7-story mansion were built….all underground. We witnessed both the rarest and largest cave formations in the world. 

I will see you with another colorful blog post soon.

Have a great weekend!

– Rima

Missouri Part 1 – The Gateway Arch

This is my third trip to Missouri, the Cave State. I flew alone when I visited my in-laws last two times. This trip is special because my husband came to USA for the first time. I’m enjoying looking at things through his eyes. Also, I got to see/do a lot more fun things such as visit the Arch, Bison Park, Duck Park, Creve Coeur Lake, Botanical Garden, Meramec Caverns, and the highlight of the entire trip as of yet is {family bbq} Zip-Lining.

Although Missouri’s weather changes even faster than New Jersey, the day we visited the arch was cloudy but gorgeousssss! With Mississippi river flowing on one side, the arch will leave you in awe. Following are some of the photos of the massive 630 feet high beautiful structure made of steel and concrete, costing $13,420,168.

More adventures from our Missouri trip will be up on the blog soon. Until then keep exploring!

– Rima

Dubai World Trade Center Wedding: Amal & Mahmood

What an awesomely busy week!
Met with lots of old and new faces at The Perfect Wedding Show in Sharjah, photographed a wedding, spent some quality time with {new} friends & {old} family 😉 .  I thoroughly loved & enjoyed all of it.

The highlight of this weekend was the beautiful wedding of Amal & Mahmood. I had the honor of meeting Amal, who was nothing short of stunning, through a prior client Manal who herself is gorgeous with a heart of gold and has became one of my best friends ever since we met.

Here are a few photos from the wedding of Amal & Mahmood which took place in Dubai’s World Trade Center. The kosha (wedding stage) and centerpieces were beautifully decorated by the very talented team of Ariel Designs, Dubai.

Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography2 Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography3 Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography4 Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography5 Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography7 Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography6 Dubai-wedding-kosha_photography8
I wish both Amal & Mahmood a colorful start of their happily married life together.

Cheers to a new beginning & a New Week!    

Remember where you came from…

I still remember the 1 hour 20 minutes train ride to university.    
I used to study for exams, read books, listen to my iPod, and watch other passengers get on & off the train trying to figure out where they might be coming from, where they are heading to, and how their day is going.    

Switching two trains and then walking to Rutgers Business School was a 5 day routine for me.  It was scary at first, but then became second nature. I still remember the smell of the waiting area, the timetable of my trains and which train will leave from other platforms (thanks to my friends who accompanied me while we ran after classes to catch our trains).

Newark_penn_station Newark_penn_station Newark-Light-Rail-Station

The entire take-the-train-then-switch-to-another-one taught me a lesson:  Always Remember Who You are and Where You Came From. Also that You Are Meant for Great Purposes. If you can’t remember where you came from, you can’t figure out where you are heading! The truth will set you Free!
            

When People Have More Faith in You than Yourself

It is in human nature to question ourselves. We question our abilities to advance and move forward in the direction of our dreams. When people ask themselves ‘Why Me?‘ it is usually because they are in denial of unexpected consequences that take place around us and shake our lives. It breaks my heart to admit it but I was also the one asking the same question. Why Me? The only difference is that I was asking it at unusual times.

For example, when I walked into our brand new semi furnished apartment in Dubai for the first time and thanked God out loud but secretly asked my heart if I’m worthy of getting more than I deserve.

Maheen-wedding-nikkah-nj-jerseyOr when I was new in the business and this beautiful bride called me and asked me if I will shoot her wedding day? I thanked her for getting in touch with me, said yes, put the phone down and panicked for having her put so much trust in the newbie like myself.

Also, when one of the ever-so-talented-twins from Haseen by MJ called me and told me that she can’t even imagine of anyone else to do her wedding photography than me. My heart melted and I questioned myself if I’m worthy of her trust.

When on one of those long nights when I couldn’t sleep and had a long late night conversation with my niece and she convinced me to start writing again in Urdu. I doubted my ability to write again  and feared the possibility of putting myself out there.

Another time, when an older sister like family friend called me to ask for her family photo-shoot. I felt overly humbled that she chose me as her photographer & to spend some time with her beautiful family.

I constantly questioned myself if I was worthy of things/trust/faith that I was receiving. Things changed & I realized instead of asking ‘Why Me?’  I needed to change the way I was looking at things. Instead of holding back and trying to prove myself to doubters and nay-sayers, I started working on putting my heart & soul in proving those right who actually had more faith in me and my abilities than my own myself.

‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’

Yes, I have started an Urdu blog, covered countless weddings of all cultures, and overcame my own fears. As soon as I finish this post, I will get my gear ready for tonight’s event. [exciting, I know ;)] Before I close, I want to thank all of those for putting their trust in me. If it wasn’t for you, I would never have trust in myself and would not be where I am today.

Have a great weekend everyone!