shooting another photographer’s wedding is always a mix of excitement and pressure. the pressure, clearly, because your client actually knows what you’re doing; the excitement, though, because your client tends to know what works and makes it so much easier :) taha and i met years ago when i was just about to start my business, connecting through flickr and then a local photography group. so it was wonderful to hear from him about his wedding last summer and to meet his beautiful bride sameea, and more than the excitement or the pressure, it was truly an honor that he reached out to me to be the photographer for his walima. taha’s family chose one of the loveliest locations in howard county, belmont manor, and we had plenty of time in the late afternoon to traverse its sun-drenched grounds for portrait spots. afterwards, their reception was held in a tent outside the manor house.
thank you again, taha and sameea, for allowing me to be part of your day!
the final day of anjum and amaan’s wedding festivities came about two and a half months after the wedding day itself; their grand, gorgeous walima was held at the sheraton baltimore north hotel just before thanksgiving 2013. it was pretty cold, but anjum kindly endured the icy air on the walkway to the harbor for a few minutes so we could get some outdoor shots! amaan and his friends put on a fantastic dance performance during the reception, and there were some beautiful words and hilarious sketches shared by friends and family as well. it was a beautiful evening to cap what was hashtagged everywhere as “jumaanji2013” – the year that anjum and amaan began their new life together amid the blessing and joy of so many people. thanks again, both of you and your wonderful families, for having me be a part of all of it! and many thanks, as well, to my good friend and talented photographer angel kidwell for helping me out at the walima!
so my last wedding shoot of the year was a bit of a full circle for me, in many ways. for one, i was coming home to raleigh, and photographing among my childhood friends and their parents who have known me since childhood is always fun for me. for another, this was the walima (groom’s side reception) of my dear friends sheeza and nadia’s little brother, waqaar. since i moved away from raleigh almost 14 years ago, my memories of waqaar – even though i’ve seen him every now and then since – are still of the gangly young preteen/teenager who was nearly a decade younger than my friends, his sisters. in fact, on this visit home, my dad pulled out my own wedding ceremony video and i saw him there, the way i used to know him so long ago.
seeing him now – a grown man who reminds me of my own brother in many ways (i think it’s the beard cut? :) ) – accomplished, happy, mature, and oh em gee MARRIED to a pretty amazing lady, mashallah – was truly such a pleasure. all i can say for both of you guys, waqaar and najia, is alhamdulillah – all praise is to God – you are both obviously, truly blessed in each other, and in your families as well, and i’m so glad i got to not only be there but be a part of your walima.
the circle closest to my heart, though, had to do with my memories of taking photos at waqaar’s sisters’ weddings long ago, long before i ever considered a business doing this. i can still dig up a few memories of sheeza’s – i think i had 36 rolls of film to work with? or something? and i knew how to bounce flash, but i was really into the “yellow” color of available incandescent light too. nadia’s wedding was shot by prashant, the photographer/videographer who also did video at waqaar’s walima and who helped introduce me to the business. sheeza’s consummate planning skills at her younger sister’s wedding were echoed so beautifully at waqaar’s event; i had so many memories of the previous weddings, while shooting this one, and best of all was being able to celebrate with both my friends – especially nadia, whom i hadn’t seen in so many years i hadn’t even met her children yet.
much more i could say that probably goes without saying – so i’ll just add, all my love, sheeza, nadia, waqaar, auntie salma and uncle khawar, and also shaan, sarah, aidan, deen and summer. and even though you’ve already been there for a bit, welcome – officially – to raleigh, najia!! i look forward to seeing more of you, inshallah :)
a note on the event itself – najia and waqaar’s walima was the final of three events in their wedding; the first two, the mehndi and shaadi (wedding) were held in miami a week earlier, and you can see photos of those events taken by the super-talented s2sphotography here!