Ryan & Andrea - Destination Vow Renewal

This was the most challenging shoot I've ever done. It started as a leap of faith, connecting people from several parts of the world to meet in one place, to create an event for love. I arrived to Amman, Jordan, and a couple of weeks later, I travelled by bus for four hours to Petra. On the way my stomach was turning, I felt anxious because it was something I've never done. Little did I know that I was about to meet two beautiful souls, who love each other beyond anything I can imagine. I met Steph who coordinated the event who had a beautiful story of her own. 
I left the next day after hiking for a few hours up the mountains of Petra and I felt absolutely alive. I promised myself that I'd take more leaps of faith from now on, that I'd put myself in places like the Treasury in the middle of the night where its pitch black, with absolutely no natural light to work with. That the only way to truly grow is to find yourself in the most unpredictable situations. 

Thank you Lisa and Alex for connecting us all together, thank you Steph for making all this magic happen, and thank you Ryan and Andrea for trusting us, loving each other and doing things few people dare to do. 

Tania & Faseeh

The two that can always laugh together, will manage to get through anything. I've met quite a few couples now and whenever I see two who can just let go and laugh, are able to get over stress or any negativity and just love each other when they have to. Tania and Faseeh were just that. Faseeh lives in the US while he finishes med school and his residency, while Tania lives here so they had to do long distance for a long time. Whenever they are together, it's like distance doesn't exist. Their wedding is next year and I'm so excited to be documenting their beautiful relationship.

Zara & Hassam

Zara & Hassam are by far the couple I've spent the most time with as clients. We had two engagement shoots, click through if you haven't seen them! Then spent three beautiful days of celebrations. When I sent them the photos of the last day, it was a bittersweet feeling. The fact that we got along so well, made all those days that much sweeter. I am honestly so fortunate to have clients I can call friends. These two, I love them and wish the absolute best for them. 
Their days were quite hectic and fast paced but whenever they had some time alone were my favorite moments because you could see the high and love flowing between them. I was contemplating how I'd blog it all together. So I kind of mixed it up a bit, it's not chronological but I hope it works. I hope you enjoy! 

A day before & a day after.

Yomna & Moe

This day had a calmness to it, a calmness I had to wrap my head around because I'm too used to weddings that consist of a lot of running around. Yomna & Moe are such wonderful, kind people and they absolutely made the most out of their day. Their day went on unhinged and it was such a blast photographing this day. I left the day with a smile on my face. I hope you enjoy this story!

Zara & Hassam

When I first met Zara, I was visiting family back home and we decided to do a Skype session. I always love meeting in person, you get a better sense of who they are and how compatible you are to work together better. Regardless, because of time difference, it was late where I was and she was exhausted from work, but we managed to hit it off and had a meeting that lasted over 3 hours. Fast forward a few months later, we met to discuss engagement shoot ideas, after blabbering for an hour about what makes a meaningful shoot, Hassam speaks up and tells me about a few special places he shares with Zara. Right away, I was hooked and couldn't wait for the shoot. 
I mean it when I say, that these two are so beautiful together. They're as real as real gets. They embrace who they are and are not naive about what loving someone means. They laugh together, they laugh at each other, they struggle together and they stick together. I was privileged enough to shoot twice with them. The second shoot was maybe one of my favorite shoots ever, every photo I love and hold dear to my heart! I truly hope you enjoy this one! 

Yomna & Moe

When Yomna got in touch with me, it was easy going from the get go. These two are really sweet and down to earth. After discussing their engagement shoot, they decided they wanted something relaxed but with a bit of vintage/pinup theme going on. I basically spent my time editing their photos on this song because Yomna nailed the look and Kensington Market made for a great back drop in the beginning. I can't wait to get to know these two more and share more of their story on their wedding day! 

Hope you enjoy!

2015 Highlights

I was reading my 2014 highlights on my old blog that doesn't exist online anymore and it hit me quite hard how much has changed in the past year for me. I've had such a beautiful year, with honestly *the best* clients. If you go through every blog post I wrote out, every single couple I photographed have trusted me completely, and welcomed me in like family on their days, and when I say "family" I literally mean "family". Mother of the brides hugged me and kissed me like one of their daughters, the brides sat down with me and told me all about their fears and excitement, the grooms chose to be vulnerable and loving in front of what people would consider a stranger, and they all treated what I do with utter respect, love and appreciation. I'll forever have a special connection with each and every one of them. I'm also forever grateful and humbled that they chose me to photograph such a special day in their lives. 

*click on the image if you want to see full blog post of any of the following weddings/shoots*

I only pray that my next year is as good as last year, if not better and that I meet more couples that open their hearts and homes to a photographer who just wants to document love in all shapes and forms. SO, here are a few thoughts I would like to leave behind in the new year. 

1. I love what I do, but I only truly feel the passion and love for it when I see people breaking down their walls and being completely vulnerable to themselves, each other and the world. It's kind of why I fell in love with shooting weddings. They're one of the few time people open up their hearts to what they truly feel, and they usually do not hold back knowing that these photographs will be seen by strangers, family and closest friends.

2. Just like in any relationship, it takes both my clients and I to open up about parts of us that not everyone hears about. My will to open up about my life is quite a straining part of my job. While I love maintaining a professional relationship because it's easier, it doesn't give me the same satisfaction of when I truly learn precious aspects of being a human being. I've learned the hard way that people will not welcome you into their hearts, unless you are willing to welcome them into yours.  

3. I have a long way to go. I won't sit here and tell you that I'm an expert at what I do. If I were, this would be quite boring to me. The vision I have of myself is quite far ahead, I don't know when I'll reach it, or how I'll get there. However, there is so much I want out of photography, so many ideas and possibilities. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed just from how much I want to do. Only time and hard work will bring these goals closer but I don't think I can ever stop until I do.

4. This is much harder than it looks. I have come to find that being a photographer has been one of the most straining tasks I've ever took on. Both mentally and physically. It's easy to get wrapped up with the business side of things, so I find myself a lot of times, pulling myself back and distinguishing my goals again and again. Aside from the emotional investment into your own business, there are meetings, countless emails that may or may not get you anywhere, finances, deadlines, days of editing, and so much more. A lot of times, I just wanted to give up, get a stable desk job, but I didn't because this is the only thing I know I want to do. I get back up, and I try again.

5. Being an entrepreneur comes with a specific life style, this year has been a year of me accepting that life style and planning my future having that in mind. My job in a lot of ways will define me, it will be my medium to connect and meet people, but it will also be my source of income, my career that I build up on my own terms. So I have to  tread carefully in the decisions I make, the ways I shoot, the clients I take in, and whatever falls under "decision making."

I wish everyone a happy new year, with many new experiences and beautiful memories! Thank you for any support you've given me and I hope I see you around in the new year!

Nagham & Ahmed - A Day at Home

After getting out of summer and the wedding frenzy I was in, I realized, I wanted to take 10 steps back and just focus on one thing: connection. I've had this idea for a while, it's not ground breaking or anything. My point was that I wanted to really know how a couple are really like together, alone, when no one is watching. While photographing a couple in their best outfits, made up professionally, being posed in a certain way that conveys happiness is rewarding, its not necessarily always honest. So, I posted about looking for a couple who would be up for me just stalking them for a day, Nagham and Ahmed gladly volunteered. I went into their welcoming home, asked them a bunch of nosy and personal questions and just watched from a distance, but watched closely. 

Best part for me was watching how personalities that were once independent have merged together and made a home. Nagham is quirky and has such a big heart. Ahmed is quieter, and values family and through that, loves Nagham in his own way. Their usual weekend is having a semi-slow morning then having the afternoon and evening for friends and family. At this point, I'll let the pictures do the rest. I hope you enjoy! This was definitely amazing to do, and hope I can do more of those in the future.

Salma & Fady

As a photographer, I find myself really pouring my heart out in the times I'm shooting. I try my best to connect to the people I photograph because without connection, I'm just an outsider snapping pictures of people I probably won't see again. But, Salma and Fady, the day we met, they both were so laid back and down to earth. I felt like I was sitting with old friends. When their wedding day came, Salma's mom welcomed me with open arms and the whole family just trusted me without question.  Fady's dad couldn't make it to Toronto from Egypt for the wedding, and his family have gone through a lot of hardship, they surprised his dad by live streaming the whole wedding online for him, and its as if he was there. When Fady saw his dad, no one had a dry eye around him. These two are incredibly loved by so many and for a good reason. 

Thank you guys for letting me part of your stunning day. You were a beautiful end to a beautiful wedding season, I wish you both from the bottom of my heart a life full of happiness. 

Please press play and hope you connect to these photos as much as I did. 

Layan & Mohamed

I'm not sure where to start when I want to describe Layan and Mohamed as a couple. These two are so special and so loved by everyone around them. Their wedding moved everyone from tears to extreme joy. This was one of the most demanding weddings I've ever shot, I was photographing for 11 hours straight and yet I felt like it was impossible to put my camera down. I was full of tears during the speeches and laughing along with the jokes, not to mention, both families welcomed me in with open arms. I feel so, incredibly fortunate to have witnessed how Layan's face lights up the second Mohamed is around, and how Mohamed cares for Layan with such compassion, kindness and ease. 

Thank you guys so much for letting me be part of your day. I will always hold these photos dear to my heart. I wish you all the very best. 
Please press play to this really wonderful song that I felt fit Layan and Mohamed so wonderfully and hope you enjoy!