"Which class do you study in?".
"Yes, in school?".
As if my question had nearly taken the life out of her- barely breathing she whispered :
"There are no schools here".
A cobalt blue canvas stetched over the splendorous white canopies, making everyone gasp as soon as they entered.
"I love the way you shoot details ", she said at the meet up. Shazia then went on to explain that she was an interior designer, I knew then that it would be a visual treat to shoot her wedding.
Everything was so beautifully arranged-planned to perfection.
Sunset by the lake side with hills in the backdrop,Grecian flower pots and roman pillars; what more could one ask for?
Dancing lights celebrating life...
Gestures, little moments like these make me fall in love with photojournalism all over...
Swooning flowers beneath the cobalt canvas of sky...
The first step towards the rest of their lives...
Every detail highlighted.
Guests at the wedding...
Under the Holy Quran, & enveloped in a mothers prayers- the most beautiful send off.
They say something’s always stay with you, however this combined experience of collaborative effort by Pakistan Relief and LandsAid is something I’d like to never forget. From being an observer, to a participant, I had the unique opportunity of witnessing the program from a bird’s eye view and then up close on the ground. There are rare glimpses of humanity which make me stand taller and prouder as we live in a country wrapped in a sea of turmoil and death tolls. Seeing a group of young motivated professionals volunteering their time & effort was inspiring. People hailing from every part of Pakistan; the remote valley of Guraiz, Chitral to Peshawar and from all walks of life was stirring. Everyone gathered for one purpose; to arm one’s self with knowledge. Knowledge is power & this couldn't be truer especially for information and training to be better equipped with disaster management. From the horrific earthquakes in ’05 to the recurring floods, it is of vital importance that we become self-reliant.so we respond immediately, rather than waiting for International Responders.
While theory was important it was unanimously felt that practically learning was an amazing experience. There were 3 days of simulation; where the group was split into two teams and given disaster situations to which they had to respond. We had to divide our team according to abilities and careers, such as pharmacists, doctors, to those who could perform First aid, while the Project Coordinator and I the media personnel multi-tasked from crowd control to triage. The project co-coordinator and I had the hardest jobs as while the others got to at least sit during their jobs, we didn’t for even one minute!
After the first five minutes, we all forgot that we were in a simulation, the influx of patients who had to see the doctor, from scratches, to changing “aches” by the patients minute to minute and curious bystanders who wandered in at a moment and even successfully robbed stethoscopes and even the radio communication system at one point. Worth mentioning is that while we acted, the LandsAid trainers expressed their grief so brilliantly that it made me momentarily speechless, rather than respond instinctively, as if the horrors they’d seen were alive right before their eyes. Interrupting myself from responding to deal with triage was distressing because on the one hand I had a lady telling me about the loss of everything from children, husband to home, and on the other hand trauma patients, needing immediate attention.
The highlights were when the Governor (Dick) from LandsAid trainer wore a clack shalwar kameez with an imperial air that all such officials usually have, wanting protocol , to bypass security and demanding tea as if he was bestowing favors on the International Aid workers who were there volunteering to serve his people. Also worth mentioning was the feudal lord, who kept ranting about not taking ‘permission’ to set up the mobile clinic on his flood-devastated land. To which our project coordinator aptly responded, ‘We’re here to help your people and your land isn’t running anywhere, it’ll be here even after we do our job”.
The cherry on top was when we as an international team almost fell into the trap of hijackers, because we assumed the call was from the Headquarters without demanding the call sign, but some quick thinking by Sana saved the entire team.
From anti-government demonstrations which compromised our neutrality because of inviting the governor into our clinic rather than holding the meeting at a different place, to realizing that Dick actually wanted tea, when I handed him an empty cup he exclaimed, “I want Tea! I think I’m a very good actor -but I wanted tea. In, reality”.
As a multiplier I definitely wish to see this effort spread to high schools and universities because as we saw in ’05 it was the youth that were first responders and their spirit and dedication that carried them through three consecutive day and nights of rescue & relief work. Arming them with knowledge would be the best form of mobilization.
Remember the Persian Princess in Purple ? (Here). Well, why be a princess when you can be a Queen?
And the befitting Taj for the Queen.
Making moments into memories.
Bring on the Bling!
Saadia wore a lovely crimson jora and her statement Kundan cocktail ring holds it's own amongst the splendorous sparkles.
And during the Sehra ceremony the adorable little shahbala refused to let anyone keep his money.
And the Prince rides his chariot to meet his princess.
Because it was like a fairy tale...
And his groomsmen rode alongside him.
And the bridesmaids ready for their arrival.
And a gorgeous canopy of tulle for the prince and princess.
The groom arrives to the doorstep of the castle- but wait, don't all princes have to slay some dragons?
Here he has to slay no dragons, but Pay Day for the Bridesmaids. Their smiles tell it all.
And the haggling , bargaining & negotiating ....all those years of shopping coming in use to defeat grooms every time :)
Oblivious to the whispering and negotiating around him, Yousaf smiles as he looks at his bride..
Yousaf Finally with his beautiful bride Saadia.
Woh Chali Woh Chali .....one the saddest moments at weddings.
All is well that ends well.
The Lovely Reception at Blue Lagoon .
Editorial Wedding Photojournalism-making images like these is why I keep loving what I do.
And the regalness with which she walked...and sat on stage.
And the contemporary whisper green outfit paired with traditional kaam.
Overlooking her kingdom.
Because who can live without sunshine?.
I loved these various family shoots, I mean come on, a Six Month Old standing on his father's palms?!!! I nearly fell I was laughing so much.
Capturing the essence of each little being was an amazing experience, sometimes parents are focused on what their kids will be tomorrow so they may forget that they are a person today. They are individuals no matter what their age .However , most of all they are beaming rays of sunshine .
Food for Thought.
Because Fabulous is Fun at Alizeh Photography .
Editorial Photojournalism- I love the ethereal look of the soft pink pastel tulle dress, and the complementing jewelry.
I want to know what she is thinking- for this Image takes my breath away.Often children can't wait to grow up. Sometimes we don't want them too.
I simplified and gave you the structure for easy editorial lighting of an Image in part one. However this goes into the meat of it. Yup the true desi can't live without their meat and neither can the photographer. It's the same reason Ceaser Salad has chicken strips in all the restaurants in Pakistan. I remember offfering to a friend (yes you Yellu) and the prompt reply was "I'm sorry, mujhe yeh ghaas nahi khaya jata". Yes, the grilled chicken strips weren't sufficient.Anyways back to the Lighting.
This Teach Tumbler includes:
A)Posing the shoes. This is how I posed them. Yeah crazy right? Much like I would direct my subject I posed the shoes the way I wanted to see them. Notice the details are enhanced.
From the diamontes to the texture of the frill- you can almost feel the velvety texture of the soft frills. Also enhancing the image is detail of the silver insole which has jagged edges.
This is a great segway into Positioning. As I wanted to position my self in such a way that the insole right beneath the titled frill (shoe on it's side ) was hidden. However realizing that it would've made it look unnatural as the design continued on the entire insole I left it as it was.
Positioning my self : Now the shoes were backlight as discussed in the previous Lighting Teach Tumbler. Usually when flat lighting the photographer is on the same side as the reflector.
However I was shooting to the left of the shoes. So the shoes are backlit, and the reflector bounces back the light while I shoot from the side. ( Interesting fact : the reflector rested against my knee, in this Behind The Scenes photo I placed another cushion behind it.)
So I'm a writer & a photographer- but I cant draw:p
As a wedding photographer who shoots editorially I'm thinking previsualization to post process. Even Uncle Bob with his camera would know that in weddings moments pass quicker than you can say 'Bob'. All the steps I just broke down for you has to be second nature because there is no luxury of getting hours to shoot details- it's not a product shoot where you ample time for perfecting each shot.. Have a look through the Details Album.
This is why you hire a pro. And when they tell you each image has value of their time and skill, it's not rhetoric. There is too much in every "digital image' for it to be free .
After the positive feedback on my First Teach Tumbler about how to incorporate your passion & experience into your photography to take it the next level of Editorial Images I thought it was time to do another. This time I focus on something all photographers face daily, from beginners to pros :LIGHTING.
Deciding Ambient Light or strobes.
Deciding the artistic vision.
Finding the Light.
Choosing the settings.
Enhancing the Light.
A : Deciding the light.
I decided I wanted to shoot it ambient light. What is ambient light? It is natural sources of light available in the place you're shooting. It could be the sun, the moon or the overhead lights in your room.
B. (Yup. Step one is that easy, decide the light and move on.) Deciding the artistic vision.Sounds hard right? All it means is pre-visualising how you want the image to look.
Are you going for a clean, light editorial image? Almost flat lighting it? Flat lighting is when something is lit directly and the light is diffused.
Or is it going to be a photo that is moody ? Something which is 3 dimensional is usually created by contrast and shadows.
C) Finding the Light.
Where is the light best according to the mood of the photo you've decided. I decided I liked the back lighting shot. What is that? It's as easy as it sounds. Backlighting is when the lightsource is behind the subject. For which in this case I had to just position my self so the shoes were backlight. (More in Part II).
D) Choosing the settings.
This depends on if it's a Human Subject or not and the basic settings. Also includes deciding the white balance. And for you guys I actually went through alot of them from Auto White Balance- Daylight- Shade-Cloudy.
E) Enhancing the light easily. So no fancy shamncy gear could be used keeping in mind the tutorial was to make it easy. So I trudged the couple of feet to my drawing room, grabbed the cushion with the lightest colour, a warm creamish tone. I Used the cushion as a reflector, to bounce back light which was falling off from the subject.
And that's how we got the Editorial Image .