north end

Tia and Paul's North End Boston Engagement photography

Here is another fantastic couple from the North End I had the opportunity to make some images with.  Tia was such a trooper for braving a fairly cold day in Boston, but not terrible for January.  Here are a few sneak peeks from their shoot and a little about their story from the couple.  Enjoy! 

How did you two meet?

Paul and I have known each other our entire lives. Both growing up in the North End, it's hard not to know everyone. First, we became good friends in middle school. We started dating early in high school and have been together ever since!

Tell us the proposal story~

After almost a decade of dating Paul planned a surprise proposal on a beach after work one Tuesday but, I accidentally parked in a street cleaning zone and my car was towed that day. I had managed to unknowingly interfere with all Paul's plans for the day/night but, he played it cool. Once we got to the tow lot Paul got down on one knee with one of my best friends there to capture the moment. I couldn't figure out why he chose such a romantic spot like the tow lot but, he had planned a surprise engagement party for when we got back to my house with all our family and friends where they were all waiting! It was the perfect ending to a VERY hectic day!

What details are you most excited about for your wedding? EX. cake, vendors, location, etc.

Honeymoon! We're also very exited to share this day with some many good friends and family.

Where are you getting married?  St. Leonard's church Boston, MA

Where is the reception?  Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, MA

What look were you going for in your engagement session?
We wanted to take pictures that were able to show important spots to us like where we grew up and also captured us looking natural with some beautiful scenes around us!

Do you have any tips or advice for couples getting ready for their session?

Just laugh! Taking photos can sometimes feel unnatural. Having a great photographer that helps you relax, feel comfortable and laugh can make everything go smoother!

How was your overall session experience?

Amazing! We can't thank you enough for being so patient with us and so talented too!

Sunrise in the North End with Zahra and Ahmed

We passed by each other in a hallway at Harvard Medical School. Sounds romantic, right? Depends on who you ask - we first passed by each other, and I smiled at him. Ahmed likes to say, "I just thought to myself - ok, I still got it." As luck would have it, I passed by him again in a different spot a few hours later that afternoon - but this time I didn't smile. I like to think it was a subtle punishment. But we quickly figured out that we had 'known of' each other, and actually had exchanged emails over work-related things months before. We had our first coffee together a few days later, and it's been 2+ years of a wonderful roller coaster since. The first words I ever said out loud to him were, "I expected you to have more of an accent." 

It already sounds like a setting from a romcom doesn't it?!?!?  Normally I start our blog posts with talking about how great the couple is, how perfect the setting and how great they look on camera....but starting out with how Zahra and Ahmed met in their words seemed so much better!!!  And if you think how they met was movie magic, wait until you hear the proposal story.....  Wait...on another note, am I the only one that creates movies in my head?!?!?!?!  Everyone does that, right???  Either way, on to the next part of our love story...

Now that we're in the generation of algorithm advertising, I have to give Ahmed the benefit of the doubt on this one. He proposed in August, but I sort of had known it was coming for the last several months. We would be watching a funny YouTube video and 4 small advertisements for rings would pop up every time. I pretended not to see, but I think he knew that I knew. I also knew when a notification popped up on his calendar, "MB" - my mother's initials - and he became really vague and suspicious about a 'work meeting' he had on a Saturday morning. Turns out he was working with my mother for months to settle on buying an engagement ring from her home city of Karachi in Pakistan, and he wanted to make sure she liked it too. Apparently the two of them snuck around multiple times without me knowing, going ring shopping and looking at designs. Well done, guys. It meant the world to me that he took the time to involve my mother in the process, and get the ring from our city back home in Pakistan.

But back to the proposal. I love the Olympics, and one evening after work Ahmed told me to come to Harvard Medical School since he was watching the sprint relays (my favorite event) with some former colleagues. I got into the building and was about to enter the hallway (the same hallway where we passed by each other for the first time) - and he was standing there, smiling. I immediately knew what was going on when he started talking but I got so nervous and shy that I knocked down a frame that was hanging on the wall! We definitely want to take a look at those security tapes. But that night was perfect - no fanfare or pictures or grand gestures - just us.

One of the best parts of our jobs is getting a glimpse into other cultures and traditions and how they celebrate the love and joining of two people in marriage.  When we asked Zahra and Ahmed about what they are most excited about for their wedding, they told us about how they plan to celebrate....

The best part of the wedding has already started to happen - and it's the mixing of our Pakistani/Indian and Palestinian families and cultures. At the traditional engagement ceremony a few weeks after he proposed, our communtiies came together for the first time and there was just a beautiful appreciation everyone had for the other's traditions and rituals. This is something we are also planning to do for the wedding - incorporate cultural colors and decorations from both countries, and really try to create a sense of coming together and celebration of not only us, but even more importantly the places we come from. We are also just so excited to have our families spend more time together. Being across the world from each other is not always easy, but we Skyped Ahmed's family into the engagement ceremony and started a new trend! They will be here for the wedding, and we are beyond excited.

In our cultures, there's no such thing as a one-day wedding (for better or for worse!) We are doing a 'Henna Night' of color and dancing in Boxborough on Friday, followed by the Ceremony and Reception on the water at the Danversport Yacht Club on Saturday.

Now tell us about your session!!!  What were you envisioning, how was your experience, tell us everything!!!!!!

We were going for the classic fall coat in the fall chill in the fall streets look, inspired by Ahmed's favorite Bob Dylan album cover. Some elements of fashion splashed with some elements of fun.

We are both naturally a bit awkward in posed photos - but Christian did a fantastic job trying to get a balance of artistic shots and natural interactions - so just have fun with it. Be natural in the settings he creates, and they will come out beautiful! And definitely try to choose a location that means something to you in some way.

We both love walking around the North End in the mornings, so Christian's suggestion of a sunrise shoot was perfect! There were only a few cars in the streets here and there, so we got to walk around and interact with one of the most beautiful parts of Boston with a lot of freedom. I loved the variety Christian envisioned for each shot, and his improvisation kept us laughing the entire time. I think I 'almost' fell in love with Ahmed all over again.

Thank you both for spending the morning and starting your day with a camera and a bossy photographer!  :)  We love the finished product and hope you do as well!  Can't wait for part two in the Spring!  Enjoy!