Over the years of photographing weddings, I’ve certainly seen (and shot) my fair share of speeches. And although you’d think I’d get bored of them, I honestly never do!

Somehow, they never seem get old. And I think it’s because they’re always so personal to the couple getting wed.

Yes, some things are always the same: the best man always tries to get the biggest laughs, the father of the bride tries to contain his pride and the groom tries to find the right words on behalf of himself and his bride to show his gratitude to all the family and friends who have made it all possible.

But it’s never boring to see a couple in love (who you’ve also got to know quite well) surrounded and supported by all their family and friends.  

Thinking about this made me realise that with my rebrand and a new chapter for my bridal photography business, it’s my turn to say a few “thank yous” to the people who have supported me along my journey and have helped me get where I am today.

So here it goes…

To my husband - for always supporting me and encouraging me to pursue my dream - despite the long and (very strange) hours, I am so grateful. Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father.   

To my family and my husband’s family - I’m not sure I can say thank you enough for your amazing support, looking after my babies and helping to make being a working mum all the more manageable - I feel very lucky.

To my dear friend and ‘strategy manager’, Rawnak Jassim - Thank you for the midnight pizza, the PowerPoint presentations, for the research, strategy and inspiration, your dear friendship. But mostly, for pushing me when I needed it.

To three of my closest friends and the three women who have settled me into Northern life, supported me when it’s been rough and pulled me back up and made me happier and stronger: Rima DarwashShakira Umar and Roah Darwash.Thank you for talking me into re-branding, for your eternal support, friendship, encouragement, sisterhood and endless phone conversations, I cannot express my thanks enough for all you have done for me.

To my brand stylist, Angela over at Saffron Avenue - whose creativity is simply mind-blowing, and Jihan Cerda for your kindness and support.

And to other peers in the industry for their support (sometimes without realising it):

Tariq Iftikhar - I owe you a few Harry Ramsden's for all your help the last few months!

Shahed Hussain - your work is phenomenal, and you’re a true inspiration.

Aisha Yaseen and Slawa Walczak - thank you for your incredible support when I've most needed it.

Zohaib Ali - what can I say? You totally rock! You are definitely going places.

Jay Dhillon - I’ve learnt so much from and with you. You’re a great guy and your work is out of this world!

David Pullum -  for changing my perspective.

Milad Hussain- for your inspiration and good nature.

Bhavna Barratt - for your wisdom and times spent reminiscing over good East African food!

Soniya Zeb - for your ever wise words.

Bandele Zuberi - one of the most incredible photographers and one of my greatest inspirations.

Jerry Ghionis - a truly amazing photographer who I feel privileged to have learnt from.

And finally, to all those brides and grooms who let me be a part of their day; who welcome me into their homes, treat me as a family member and entrust me to capture the moments that in the excitement of their big day would otherwise be forgotten.

I love my job and a huge part of that is down to all the fabulous couples I get to work with - Thank You.