The one thing I love about being a travel photographer is all of the different cultural ceremonies and traditions I get to experience. When I am able to experience something new here at home, it makes my life away from travel all the more enjoyable!
Shelly and Asim asked me to photograph their wedding when I got back from my last expedition. I was very excited when they had asked me for two reasons. First, Asim is one of my greatest friends as I have known him for over 15 years. The second reason is that I have never photographed an Islamic ceremony inside of a Mosque.
Shelly and Asim are of Pakistani descent and they have a very unique culture. Pakistan was originally on my list of countries to visit on my last expedition, however because of obvious safety concerns, I had removed it from my itinerary at the last minute. I consider myself worldly, and to be present for this ceremony was an honour, not only because of my relationship with the groom, but also for the impact on my knowledge of culture and the world around me.
This first event on July 22 was the first of two giant celebrations to wed the happy couple. This is the religious and legal ceremony where the couple were married. The second celebration is coming up in November and that is the main reception. People will be flying in from all across the globe to help Shelly and Asim celebrate their marriage on that day!
Secretly, Asim had arranged for a massive fireworks display to be set off right after the ceremony. When I looked outside as the final prayers were happening, the rain was coming down like there was a hurricane on the way. Mysteriously, when I had set up to take some photos outside, the rain had stopped long enough for the entire fireworks display to be ignited! My “no rain” streak strikes again! I got some fantastic shots of some of the children running and playing on the reflective wet pavement as the massive light show went off behind them.
The reception was a great opportunity to get some fantastic photos of the family celebrating the nuptials of the happy couple. Because of the very traditional beliefs of the families, I did not get many shots of the couple alone, but rest assured, come November, I have some amazing shots planned for them! Enjoy the photos and congratulations Shelly and Asim!