i first met bismah back in early summer 2010, when her older sister mahvish got in touch with me about doing family portraits. they are two of six children in one of the most beautiful families i’ve ever met, and thankfully they liked my portraits enough that they also brought me along for mahvish’s wedding a couple of months later. so i was super excited to learn that bismah – who, along with her sister sehrish, make up a pair of jaw-droppingly gorgeous (and once you get to know them, utterly adorable) identical twins – was also engaged and planning on getting married in july 2011.
i’m proud to say that through all these shoots, i can finally tell them apart from each other :) i have been truly blessed in all of my clients, but the way the ameens have made me feel like a part of their family is something special – being able to witness, capture and experience their kindness, good nature, happiness and above all their love for each other has been absolutely one of the best parts of my (it’s hard to think of it as a) job.
love these girls so much, and i’m so happy to see you happy, bismah!
bismah wears hijab, but kept her hijab on for the course of the wedding so i’m sharing a bunch of these images – but keeping out images of other women at the wedding, including many family members, out of respect for their wishes of privacy. the wedding was held at martin’s west in baltimore. also, some of the images shown below were shot by my second shooter, the ever-amazing jessica shepard – thank you once again for all your help!!
so excited to share a few images from the third and final event of osman and lubna’s epic wedding saga! their walima – or groom’s side reception – was held at the national building museum in washington, d.c., a truly majestic venue in itself but quite jaw-dropping when designed and decorated by design artist taimur baig, who will soon be launching his own event website, and planner/decorator prabha bhambri. nothing, of course, looked more amazing than lubna herself… but the night was truly made memorable by the hilarious and moving speeches of the couples’ family and friends, and the warm welcome osman’s family gave to his bride and her family.
i had again the indispensible help of virginia photographer amber wilkie, who captured some of the stunning venue shots shown below and the awesome dance images later on, aside from helping me throughout the night; i also had the pleasure of working for the second time this summer with videographer natasha from dolce studio films.
osman and lubna, again, i can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of this journey with you both! may your marriage always be as blessed as it clearly has begun :)
it’s ramadan now – the holy month of fasting, the most blessed month of the year – so i’m thinking a lot these days of my blessings. and one of the greatest, without a doubt, is to have a job for which i spend months actually looking forward to the most difficult part: shooting a wedding. osman and lubna’s shaadi (wedding ceremony and reception) answered every moment of my anticipation… so i hope you’ll forgive the excessively long blog post below! there were so many moments i wanted to share – so many lovely details and memories, from the gorgeously lit and ornamented stage to the traditional kashmiri rituals throughout the event, to lubna’s own classic and stunning beauty.
the event took place the night after their mehndi, at the san ramon marriott, nestled amid the high, rolling golden hills and mountains just east of the bay area. lubna’s makeup was done by the talented san francisco-based artist farhana baig. the couple followed the tradition of actually making their vows and signing the marriage contract in separate rooms, and lubna gave a family member permission to speak her consent to the groom. after the traditional “rukhsathi”, or bride’s leavetaking (in this case, in a car), the newlyweds came right back to the hotel for a rousing, song-filled welcome by the groom’s family, before finally saying good night.
once again, i had the indispensable help of photographer faraz shah, who helped me be in two places at once! please stay tuned for the third event – osman and lubna’s walima in washington, d.c.
it’s hard to even know where to begin… osman and lubna’s wedding has been sort of the epic adventure of my summer 2011 season. i first heard from osman (who shares the same name as my own husband, and we think that might be one reason why my little boy took to him so easily :) ) some time after i shot the wedding of his friend hiba back in october 2010. can’t say i wasn’t beyond excited to hear that the bride’s side’s events – the mehndi and shaadi – would be held in the san francisco bay area! but this is all to say – not so much that flying out to california to shoot a wedding was an amazing opportunity, but that it was such an honor that osman and lubna trusted me enough to bring me across the country to be their photographer. i have no words for how blessed that makes me feel…
so i had met osman briefly before, because he lives here in maryland, but i finally got to meet lubna this night – the night of their mehndi, which was held at chandni banquet hall in fremont, ca. lubna’s family welcomed me with open arms and lubna was one of the sweetest brides i’ve ever encountered. i think i might have enjoyed the event itself as much as any of the guests – especially the groom-harassing rituals: see below, for the shoe-stealing and the arm-holding. it got pretty intense in there :) but the dances were fantastic, the kids were adorable, the love was everywhere. osman and lubna (and your family and friends), i hope this selection of the pictures brings back some great memories from that night! stay tuned for images from the shaadi…
one final note: i would never have been able to do this by myself – i had the generous and invaluable assistance of photographer faraz shah from santa clara for both california events of this wedding. faraz, i’m eternally grateful for all the glasses of water, your being where i couldn’t be, and most of all your amazing pictures! thank you!