last year, i took some time off—early in the career, i know—since my sister was having a baby. personally, i was gonna be damned if i would miss a second of it. she’s just about 7 months old now and she is my favorite person in the world. meet marziah aka bebe grem.
with one solo wedding under my belt, one very encouraging friend posted my information in reply to an acquaintance looking for a photographer for a walima, or a Islamic wedding reception. unlike most receptions, a walima takes place generally a few days, weeks or months after the actual wedding ceremony. zain and faeza were to have their nikah, or Islamic wedding ceremony, along with a grand walima in the ATL but also wanted to host a smaller one on the west coast, which i was more than happy to photograph. out of respect for the bride’s wishes, her face is not visible in any of the photos shared here. but lemme tell you, she was beautiful, masha’Allah.
towards the end of my first season shooting weddings, a co-worker and friend asked me if i would be interested in second shooting a wedding with him. always eager for more opportunities to hone my craft, i agreed and embarked on my first second-shooting experience. needless to say, i learned a lot—from styles of posing, off-camera flash and positioning. grateful to amanda and theodore for letting me be a part of their special day, as well as to deepak for asking me to help out. check out the rest of the wedding at his website: ehmphoto.com
continuing with the trend i had been setting of never doing the same thing twice, another co-worker reached out asking if i would be willing to take on a small family event out in sonoma. excuse to go to sonoma? i’m in. it was only when kelly reached out that i learned that the small event would be an intimate wedding set in the rolling hills of wine country. i was happy to oblige the request, gaining a sense of kindred spirits in kelly and ian who opted for a small, family-focused wedding, forgoing the pomp of a formal ceremony and the logistics of a reception—and all of the stress that comes with it. it was exactly the kind of wedding i would want, so of course, i was in.
finally, in the summer of 2017 i scored my first wedding! since deciding i would take on photography professionally, i had been taking head shots for some co-workers when one colleague asked me if i would be willing to take some engagement portraits of her friends who were about to get married. eager to build my portfolio, i accepted and we decided to have the shoot at the palace of the fine arts in the presidio—original, i know. long story short, katherine and danny reached out to me after receiving the portraits asking if i would be willing to shoot their wedding. both thrilled and flattered, i accept and there it was: my first solo wedding.
when my sister’s wedding rolled around, it seemed only natural to step in for all photography related needs aside from the day-of. DISCLAIMER: some of these photos were taken by my niece, Shreya, who is just the best. having her follow me around all evening begging to take photos took me back to my own childhood when i did the same thing to my dad. passing down traditions, and so it goes.
right before i moved across the country, i bore witness to the marriage of my two good friends in brooklyn. the following is an incomplete record of the moments before that ceremony and the debauchery that followed. these aren't the greatest of photos--i was not their photographer--but this was this day when i decided to commit myself to becoming a photographer.