November 9, 2015 - sg-admin - Weddings
Wow, what a year it has been! I have seen many beautiful times with my Wedding Photography and I really wanted to share this with you. The love and emotion that I have experienced and the difference that aren’t really that different afterall.
I can now say that I specialise in Asian (Indian / Muslim / Hindu / Pakistani..call it what you will ) photography and this is what I want to talk about. I wanted to talk about the question that I have been asked by many different people this year “Do you like doing Asian Weddings?”.
I think that coming from a small town in the back-end of Cumbria, there are many people that have had little experience of the Asian community and for some, all they see are Facebook posts distributed by the ignorant and disruptive force that is Britains First. There are some that know very little about other cultures and are reluctant to change. Some are so hardened to this way of thinking that refuse to be told differently and will continue to believe that what they hear and see from racists and ignorant bigots, is the truth. Racism is commonplace in places like this and I grew up calling the local Chinese Take-Away the “chinkies”, unbeknown that it is derogatory and racist.
Recently, I spoke to someone that had joined the UKIP party and on initial discussions, they said it had nothing to do with racism. After several minutes, they opened up and told me it was all about other cultures, mainly Asian (Muslim) and their own fears and ignorance was pretty much laid bare. Of course, with what’s been happening recently with ISIS and the news forever showing Muslim extremists, it is only natural for someone that knows very little about other cultures to be fearful and in some cases, terrified of what must seem like a massive movement and expansion of something that threatens their own way of life and safety. Recently, even the local newspaper, The Times & Star reported that the local council’s website was shut down by a Jhadist extremist hacker! (Times & Star Newspaper Report) . Really. This way of thinking isn’t acceptable or fine and can’t be excused by being cultural. I find it pretty upsetting and disturbing. I want to share my own (white and English) experiences with some of these people.
Despite what some people may think about the showing of affection and emotion within the Muslim community, I want to show you that this isn’t true at all. Yes, it is common for the bride and groom to not show an intimacy in front of their families and in public before they are married, but is a respect to their faith and belief and to others that are present. What I see at the weddings and homes of the families that I photograph is an abundance of love and affection and the need to embrace, touch and bestow feelings of compassion and well wishes to each other. This ranges from the parents kissing and cuddling their children, the elderly grandparents cuddling and touching the bride and groom and blessing the couple with their love and experience, families embracing and accepting their new members and outwardly enjoying the feeling of hope and unity that this is bringing. There is respect, emotion, caring and love being shared and embraced at each and every single Asian wedding that I have seen. This isn’t really an enormous breakthrough and all sounds a bit familiar?
I have been made to feel welcome and part of the family at the weddings that I have photographed this year. I put effort into trying to make this happen. I smile, try to say the right things and am outwardly friendly and
approachable to all of my clients and their families. This is a fact and is part of what a professional does when working with their customer. This isn’t a chore or a difficulty, we do it because it is what we enjoy. The thing is, the
customers and families do this too. The family shake and embrace my hand, they offer me food, drink, comforts and ensure that I am being looked after. They thank me after the wedding and tell me that they were happy with my photography and make me feel that I have been very much part of their celebration and experience.
While processing the wedding photos, I am constantly smiling and laughing as I go through the memories of the bride and groom. I even get teary-eyed when going through the Rukhsati ( this is where the bride says goodbye to her family to join her new family (the grooms)). What a beautiful moment and this is easily my favourite part of a wedding.
What I have seen this year is amazing and I only wish that other communities could see and feel this too. I can only hope that one day, there is a greater understanding amongst each culture and the barriers are lowered as we all realise that “they” aren’t as different to what we have been led to believe. In fact, we’re all pretty similar. We all love our children, our familes and our friends. We all strive for peace and want a safe and beautiful life for each other.
This year has been very busy and has been a real eye-opener when it comes to managing workload, working from home and fulfilling customer expectations. Above all, it has been a year where I have made many new friends, had the privilege of being part of beautiful unions and been embraced in the euphoric feeling of love at my Weddings.
I think this is my end of year reflection, seasonal speech or even a desire to share my experiences of seeing a huge part of Asian life within the U.K. Yes, I like Asian Weddings, I like English Weddings and I like any wedding where there is an abundance of love and emotion shared among everyone involved. Because to be honest, they are all pretty similar in that respect.
I want to look towards 2016 with experienced and enlightened eyes and really hope that you will do the same.
Beautiful words, Simon x
Well said. Love your work. All who have seen our wedding pictures have completed your work.
Imran and Zakiyya October 2013
beautiful images and beautiful words
Beautiful words and comments a truly inspirational gentleman I hope I will get tomeet you one day and you can work your magic on my daughters weddings