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!

Engagement photography walk in Back Bay with Mandy and Jag

It was an early morning for all of us the day I shot with Mandy and Jag.  We started soon after the sun came up in Boston for their engagement photography.  I love the way the city looks, feels, sounds and dare I say, even smells early in the morning.  So I had no problem meeting Mandy and Jag after they flew in from Vancouver, BC.  Mandy, having lived here for college wanted her engagement photography session in her adopted city of Boston, where Jag had also proposed.  I had a blast shooting with these guys and I think we made some fun images.  Here are a few sneak peeks and a little bit of their story, in their own words.

How did you two meet?
Jag and I met in high school! Jag and I met in Grade 10 and became good friends. Although we didn't officially date in high school there was definitely a connection and Jag asked me to go to prom with him. We remained great friends and decided to make it official during our first year of University. It's been 10 years of dating!

Tell us the proposal story~

Jag and I were discussing how it was time to get in shape and start going to the gym. About two weeks before my dental school graduation, Jag had convinced me he was making progress towards the goal of getting in shape and going for walks every day before work back in Vancouver. When he came to Boston for my dental school graduation he suggested we keep up the trend and make sure we continued with his morning walks. I was thoroughly impressed and up for it but not entirely convinced he would follow through (especially since it was vacation for him). Jag flew in for my graduation on May 10th. Come the morning of May 11th, Jag woke up at the crack of dawn and was ready for his walk. This was not the 'norm' for Jag and after many attempts to get him to sleep I mustered the energy for this walk, since I had previously agreed. I put on my sweat pants and two sweaters and ditched any makeup because it was just so early. We walked through the Public Garden and down Commonwealth in the quiet and quaint city. We finally reached the Charles River and decided to rest and enjoy the river on a park bench. Still completely oblivious I finally realized it was happening when Jag started to reminisce about my first year in Boston when we were on the River and how he knew back then he wanted to marry me. There on the Charles River (all before 9:00 am) he proposed!

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

Location. We chose to do an outdoor reception on a Cherry farm. Since my family farms (raspberries and blueberries), farming is a big part of my life and childhood. I love the outdoors and therefore wanted to choose a location that reflected that.

Where are you getting married?

Sikh Temple in Kelowna, British Columbia

Where is the reception?

Hillcrest Farm Market in Kelowna, British Columbia

What look were you going for in your engagement session?

Since Boston played a big part of our lives and the proposal happened on the Charles I really wanted to showcase Boston in our pictures somehow. I really like the city shots and showcasing the background in the photos.

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

Get rest, don't carry too much with you (poor Christian had to hold my purse!), and have fun!

Stephanie & Brent couple shoot

So after working through more than 600 frames I was able to narrow down to a mere 100 or so, wow!  I had such a fantastic time shooting Stephanie and Brent over the weekend, we just kept going and going.  These guys were a blast.  With the rain and crazy humidity, everyone kept really great spirits. 

Even though this was a couple shoot and not engagement it's pretty clear to see that these two are crazy about each other!  

Providence, RI was absolutely beautiful as well.  It was my first time there and I have to say it's a great city to make pictures.  The State Building is incredible.  We were able to get a few nice shots there in addition to walking all around the waterways downtown.  I cant wait to go back!

Thanks again Stephanie & Brent.  Here are a few of my favorites!



Ari & Erin Engagement Session

About a month ago I had the opportunity to meet Ari and Erin.  Ari is an extremely talented local artist who I met at his show "Above the Standard" at his studio in South Boston.  We shot all around their neighborhood and I tried to capture both their love and the love they have for Boston.  What a great and fun couple.  I'm looking forward to working with them again!