waqaar & najia: raleigh walima
so my last wedding shoot of the year was a bit of a full circle for me, in many ways. for one, i was coming home to raleigh, and photographing among my childhood friends and their parents who have known me since childhood is always fun for me. for another, this was the walima (groom's side reception) of my dear friends sheeza and nadia's little brother, waqaar. since i moved away from raleigh almost 14 years ago, my memories of waqaar - even though i've seen him every now and then since - are still of the gangly young preteen/teenager who was nearly a decade younger than my friends, his sisters. in fact, on this visit home, my dad pulled out my own wedding ceremony video and i saw him there, the way i used to know him so long ago.seeing him now - a grown man who reminds me of my own brother in many ways (i think it's the beard cut? :) ) - accomplished, happy, mature, and oh em gee MARRIED to a pretty amazing lady, mashallah - was truly such a pleasure. all i can say for both of you guys, waqaar and najia, is alhamdulillah - all praise is to God - you are both obviously, truly blessed in each other, and in your families as well, and i'm so glad i got to not only be there but be a part of your walima. the circle closest to my heart, though, had to do with my memories of taking photos at waqaar's sisters' weddings long ago, long before i ever considered a business doing this. i can still dig up a few memories of sheeza's - i think i had 36 rolls of film to work with? or something? and i knew how to bounce flash, but i was really into the "yellow" color of available incandescent light too. nadia's wedding was shot by prashant, the photographer/videographer who also did video at waqaar's walima and who helped introduce me to the business. sheeza's consummate planning skills at her younger sister's wedding were echoed so beautifully at waqaar's event; i had so many memories of the previous weddings, while shooting this one, and best of all was being able to celebrate with both my friends - especially nadia, whom i hadn't seen in so many years i hadn't even met her children yet. much more i could say that probably goes without saying - so i'll just add, all my love, sheeza, nadia, waqaar, auntie salma and uncle khawar, and also shaan, sarah, aidan, deen and summer. and even though you've already been there for a bit, welcome - officially - to raleigh, najia!! i look forward to seeing more of you, inshallah :) a note on the event itself - najia and waqaar's walima was the final of three events in their wedding; the first two, the mehndi and shaadi (wedding) were held in miami a week earlier, and you can see photos of those events taken by the super-talented s2sphotography here!