Beauty

It may very well be because I am a mother of a little-girl-turning-tween that the concept of beauty has been on my mind lately. Artists are naturally attracted to beauty, even though their interpretation of it is ever-evolving. In high school, I went my entire junior year without wearing a stitch of make-up. In fine art school my value of beauty was confronted when my delicately crafted, hand-colored Polaroid transfer of an orange lily was shrugged off by my professor as “just a flower” – words that to this day challenge me to interpret and not simply photocopy my world with photography. Eventually trained as a purist photojournalist, I looked for unaltered beauty to unveil itself in the stories I covered. At weddings, the excitement and joy of the momentous occasion paint such beauty on people’s faces and movements.
So what if people are removed from the events and emotions that inevitably make them gleam? My new challenge is to explore that. I would call it “beauty photography” but since I will employ techniques such as before-and-afters (what carries through between the untouched and the made-up?), simple lines, even lighting and modern posing, it actually falls into the genre of contemporary glamour. As you observe, I invite you to ask yourself, what makes an image beautiful? And I will continue to explore and capture it, despite Rumi’s claim that “the best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.”  Touché.

 

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Sholeh - How fun! Can’t wait to see more.

Stefanie Parnell - Oh, Negeen! How I love the big hair on this beautiful woman! I think human beauty is not so much in the “eye of the beholder” but in the mind of the person being viewed. My mother LOVES blue eye shadow and I’m sure she still uses the same eye shadow brush she used in the early 80s when that color was “posh” on her eye lids. I hate it on her and she doesn’t feel beautiful without it. The fashionable way for women to wear their hair today is flat, straight and more flat. Buying a quality flat iron will send you to the bank for a loan! But me, mo matter the current trends, do not fell “beautiful” unless my hair is hot rolled and teased and B-I-G! I know that is a style that has long passed but that is what makes ME feel pretty. I think that as women, we function better when we actually FEEL beautiful. I try to throw on a clean shirt and lipstick and a squirt of perfume when Scott calls to tell me he is on his way home. Just doing that makes me feel beautiful for him to see when he walks in the door. I can’t wait to see what you capture as “beautiful”. I will be waiting here by the computer with my bright red lipstick and big hair!

Tillie - The last photo is absolutely stunning.

CK - Oh, I love that last one! :)

Pamn - Stunning! The lighting is exquisite!

Chari Curtis - She looks so beautiful. Your work is amazing, and you have a gift of not just the camera, but also the pen. So inspiring.

Anthony Sobie - Your pictures are excellent, you did such a great job with this – well done!! From your lighting to posing, the attitude is perfect.

Mary Anne Morgan - Absolutely stunning. Love your words. Sue Bryce would be proud!

Shirin and Reed [San Francisco wedding photography]

It all started when he surprised her one day at her San Francisco doorstep with a box of of gourmet chocolate-covered pretzels that he delivered to her from New York and it culminated with each of their wedding guests holding their own jar of candy as a reminder of the beautiful union they’d just witnessed. Her name is Shirin which literally means “sweet.” It didn’t take long for me to see the shirin-ness about her:  that adoration for delectable treats (the wedding guests matched those candy jars to the corresponding candy-themed dinner tables), her cheerful demeanor, sparkly eyes and a smile that you want to scrunch up and put in your pocket for a rainy day. This adorable bride and her groom Reed, whose heart is so tender and kind I think he stole it from a panda bear, create a love that is beyond sweet. It’s rich and deep and touches you way at the bottom of your soul. An unmistakable love that, coupled with their dedicated aspirations to serve their community, you just know will make their corner of the world a, well, sweeter place to be. Congratulations ShiReed!!

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Katharine - Wow. Negeen Sobhani you have done it again! Love. Love. Love. Every post makes me wish I could go back in time and have you do our day…

Stacy Squires Photography - magical photos

the 100th monthly portrait

When my daughter Aliyah turned one month old on June 13, 2004, I, like every doting parent, took a photo of her. When she turned two months old on July 13, I took another photo. On August 13, I took another; on September 13, another; and kept going, month after month, taking her portrait on the 13th of every month. For 100 months.
Before  automatic reminders, there was the 11pm realization that I’d forgotten it was the 13th resulting in a half-asleep prop-up in the crib (Nov 13, 05). There was time I was in Paris to shoot a wedding and photographed Aliyah through Skype on my laptop (Feb 13, 09).  Twice  we were apart with no way of “seeing” each other and either Grandma or Papá took care of the portrait. With the exception of those two portraits on Oct 13, 09 (I was queuing for a concert) and Apr 13, 10 (she and Papá were visiting Italy) I’ve managed to stop on the 13th of every month and capture a glimpse into Aliyah’s development, personality and environment.
I know. As she grows, life will often bump in the way of us being together. At the very least, the 13th can be our reoccurring date to connect. And with smart phones and good aim, we’ll manage to carry on our little project wherever we may be. For now, off to #101.

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Katharine - Stop, stop, stop. I can’t take anymore of this fabulousness! Aliyah will cherish this gift to her for years to come…

Michelle - Allah’u’Abha! I was on Facebook and found a photo of how to melt crayons in a mold and create cards for Ayyam I ha . So I pressed the link and stumbled upon your most beautiful and treasured photos! My older son and I enjoyed seeing your radiant daughter blossom. Thank you for sharing those most precious moments! ~<3~

Ashley & Kilian [destination wedding photography]

It had all the elements of a traditional wedding in El Vendrell, a Catalonian town south of Barcelona. The colors, the flora, the austere civil ceremony hall, the town baker’s cake and the neighborhood florist’s bouquet. And then it had what El Vendrell had never seen: a wedding at the Museu Deu and a Baha’i marriage ceremony, both a first for the town. El Vendrell had also probably never seen a bride and groom stroll through the city center market to the florist to get their flowers and then stop at the jeweler around the corner to pick up and exchange their rings on the way to their civil ceremony.
Like a perfectly set mosaic, Ashley and Kilian’s wedding combined the traditional and the unique into wedding art. Music performed by friends and family, prayers and scriptures of love and counsel, and the Sardana (Catalonian folk dance) followed by some ’70s feel-good music and grandfather’s poetry. Every bit an expression of who they are and the love that their families create. Felicitats, Ashley i Kilian!

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Mojan - Negeen, oh my gosh. These are all brilliant. No collection of wedding photos have ever given me goosebumps like these have.

Absolute favorites: With coffee cups in window; serious in front of flags; sweeping dress and blue wall; painted musicians playing for bride.

GOOSEBUMPS.

N - Every time I look at your wedding photos I want to get married all over again so that you can picture our special moment!

negeen - @Mojan, the gorgeous wedding invitations that you designed set the visual concept of the wedding and I just carried it through with the images. Thank *you* for the inspiration. That’s two for two. (:

Michelle Gentry - Ashley,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a beautiful wedding! The pictures made me tear up – SO FABULOUS! And what a perfect venue! Your vail is positively gorgeous! Good luck to the both of you…Cheers!

Sahar - Negeen, these pictures are absolutely flawless! Amazing job, as always!

shadi Safajou - Did I say how amazingly talented you are! ? You are amazing! How lucky are they to have you capture their special day…God bless you my dearest!

Katharine - What color. This is a really gorgeous shoot. And Mojan did the invitations…they look really, really good…