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So far mostafa has created 6 blog entries.

Bianca and Daniel’s Engagement!

The Birds!

Toronto Centre Island has to be the equally perfect place for picnics and proposals! What happens if we combine both initiatives? Awesomeness ensues with a bit of surprising interventionism from: BIRDS!

As the lovely couple laid out their beautiful Mexican picnic ground table, seagulls swooped down in hope of easy prey: grapes, cheeses, cakes, sandwiches and strawberries. So I’d say their aspirations were deeply grounded! It was a challenge to shoot while the BIRDS had established their foothold in the battlefield. Only for the next opponent to perambulate: a single-handed cute duck which put everyone (including myself!) to shame for its utter persistence and total lack of understanding human commands!

Love is in the air…

Daniel proposed to Bianca the love of his life of close to 8 years and put a gorgeous ring on her finger.

As the hours rolled in, the sun went down raining a golden glow on the Toronto cityscape on the horizon. What would that mean? Time for the bubbly! Despite my premonition, Daniel clearly underestimated the power of that enigmatic pop. Hence the expression on his face ūüėÄ

¬†FelicitńÉri Bianca! Mazel tov Daniel!

My name is Mostafa and I Shoot People (for a small fee)!

Rebecca & Mat’s Jewish Wedding

Mazel tov!

Mat married the love of his life, Rebecca, in a traditional Jewish wedding in Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Congregation, the biggest in the entire North America. Immediate families were present while Rebecca’s brother was on FaceTime from England! Technology works in mysterious ways!

The wedding consisted of 2 parts both of which took place at the Rabbi’s study. In the first section, the wedding documents (ketubah) got signed at the presence of the Rabbi and the two mothers as the rest of the family watched enthusiastically!

After this, the couple proceeded to the bridal canopy, known as huppah, which symbolizes a fresh start and a new home for them in their marital life together! The bride has a white veil on her face while the prayers are chanted by the Rabbi which provided a great photographic opportunity for a classic black/white!

An interesting tradition that follows the placement of the ring on the bride‚Äôs finger is popping a lightbulb in which the groom crushes a lightbulb with his right foot while the guests cheer up with ‚ÄúMazel tov!‚ÄĚ (Congratulations!).

And here are some after ceremony photos with thew newlyweds for whom I wish all the best!

Chris’s Surprise Proposal to Farah

The Preparation!

Chris found my ad on Kijiji and thought out of all the advertisers there, the one with the¬†motto: “I Shoot People (for a small fee)” is worth talking to! We spoke on the phone to start scheming how the proposal was going to unravel, where, when etc. Chris had painted a big heart¬†with “Chris & Farah” written in it on a tree near the water and that was the place he’d want to propose to Farah. That selfie was my cue! Chris was ready to propose!

Couples that have the experience of shooting with me know that I rarely give directions, except for mischief ūüėČ for photographic purposes! I believe the natural chemistry between a couple is so strong and given the right vibe, it blooms organically to create natural poses that truly show what each individual is made of and how they complete¬†each other as a whole! Compare that to sticking to the old school ‘posing’ techniques that, in my opinion, make the couple feel awkward and robotic if not downright uncomfortable!

How complete would a surprise proposal be without a bubbly? Very far I like to suggest! But Chris had that worked out prior!

DENOUEMENT!

And here’s our¬†gorgeous and happy bride-to-be Farah! Congratulations to her and Chris on their beautiful journey together!

ANDREA AND HOAN’S WEDDING IN MISSISSAUGA: SOME HIGHLIGHTS!

THE BEGINNINGS!

On a beautiful day in Mississauga, I was on the job to shoot Andrea and Hoan’s Vietnamese inspired wedding reception. The guests were filtering in rapidly and like any other wedding day, we were pressed for time. I had done a short pre-scout of the location and spotted a few beautiful angles we could use that were within walking distance of the the premise of the Blue Lagoon Seafood Master!

In total, we spent around 15¬†minutes before rushing back into the reception hall where 200 guests were getting seated. The bride and the groom had already set up a backdrop with their initials on them. Cute idea! The guests would then take their photos with the newly weds and proceed to their table where drinks were being served! Notice Hoan’s cool expression in this photo!

I love the moment when the couple perambulate into the ballroom for the first time. It’s royal and impressive! Andrea and Hoan then proceeded to sit at their designated table next to their bridesmaids and groomsmen.

From my experience, music is an indispensable part of the Vietnamese culture. No surprises for having karaoke and dance throughout the night with both Vietnamese and English songs!

AND THEN THERE WAS THE FIRST DANCE!

WHAT MAKES A PORTRAIT GREAT

GREAT PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Portrait photography is quite intriguing.¬†I always try to connect to people on a personal level instantly. If I’m shooting a headshot of say 10 people in a row, I go to them introduce myself and ask for their name. I remember names easily! That’s an asset because you impart to your subject that they matter individually, that you are happy to spend time (however little) with them, that you’re there to make that moment worthwhile.¬†I often get asked: Why is it that a portrait I take is comfortably relatable?¬†After all, hundreds of my headshots have been used on social media, websites, LinkedIn etc. over the past 5 years. I have a little theory of my own!

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW HOW THEY ACTUALLY LOOK!

I suppose most people do not actually know how they look. They may look at themselves in the mirror everyday but not quite see who they are, what emotions they communicate facially or through body language. As a photographer on a portrait shoot, I am always so energetic. You can’t believe how that supercharge of spirit literally lifts up the whole experience to an unforgettable level. Of course, I have 2¬†secret weapons of choice!

For one, most people do not suspect that I, an innocent looking photographer, might be able to speak their language to varying degrees from fluency to the basics: Chinese, Malay, Tamil, Portuguese, French, Swedish Russian, Dutch, the list goes on! Second, my most effective trick is a bit or a lot of totally inappropriate verbal mischief in jest! Due to its complete unexpectedness, it quickly breaks the bold barrier hanging between my subjects and me. They crack a smile or just burst to laughter and I get my image: it’s that simple!

“Wow, I like that picture!” That’s when you know you have a hit and I have been there countless times. To view some of my work, click here!

My name is Mostafa and I Shoot People (for a small fee)!

Portrait Photography
Portrait Photography
Portrait Photography

DOES EQUIPMENT MATTER?

DOES CAMERA EQUIPMENT MATTER?

Camera equipment! That elusive subject!

“Oh that’s such a nice photo. I bet your camera is great!”

I hear this occasionally (not much but still!) and I wonder how much people are ready to discount the person behind the practice. I have much conviction to my craft when it comes to its working and to hear such a statement can be a bit hard. I laugh it out and hand them my camera for them to try the¬†shot they praised the camera for. In one wedding, a suspecting¬†guest tried 13 consecutive shots in burst mode and NOT EVEN ONE was in focus! When he was trawling through the images, desperately for one image he could salvage, to his utter disappointment, his face turned red and he looked at his wife, “Nah, it’s actually much harder than what you might imagine. And the weight of this thing is huge!” Mind you, what he had at his disposal was my mighty Canon 1DX and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM.

SO, WHAT’S THE VERDICT ON CAMERA EQUIPMENT?

Now, while I stress the fact that the eye must be there for a beautiful image to be created in the mind, to be able to show it to you, I pride myself in using the best in class cameras and lenses to make sure that I can realize my vision of a photo in the best way possible. Like any other professional service, photography benefits from¬†the best equipment available so as to make the enticing results customers are looking for! I would, therefore, say a photographer’s expertise and prowess should go hand-in-hand with the respective camera gear.

My name is Mostafa and I Shoot People (for a small fee)

camera equipment
camera equipment
camera equipment
camera equipment
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