Mj’s Wonder Women Series Feature #2: Linda Ghaderi

Following a passion can be many things. For me it meant – stepping out of my comfort zone, trying something completely new, something I had little to no knowledge of, learn, explore a new culture, network, confront my fears, conquer it and keeping pushing forward. This process is constantly impacting me in numerous ways. One majorly being – healing!

I picked up my camera three months after my brother tragically passed. It was a period of deep pain, despair too intense to even describe. In fact, although time passes, the pain remains just the same. I had two choices in my hand – sulk in misery or sail over it. I chose the latter. Continue reading “Mj’s Wonder Women Series Feature #2: Linda Ghaderi”

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Mj’s Wonder Women Series Feature #1: Gisele Almeida

I grew up in a little town within a gated community. We had no television at home. Not that we did not afford one, but just that my parents felt that it would be an unnecessary distraction for us kids. My brother and I rode to school in our bicycles. In fact the entire campus did. There were no malls or cinemas. Life was super simple and my dream… Well, I did not even know I could dream of a future. I had no clue about the outside world. Forget media and journalism. No one told me that I could pursue my passion. So like 70% of my peers, I landed in an Engineering college! The rest is a story for another day!

At 33 I discovered a passion in me, I pursued it, it freed me, empowered me, defined my identity and the journey since has been an exciting one!

That being my experience and as one who loves documenting stories, I wanted to put together a series titled ‘Wonder Women’ – photographs + real life stories of successful women who have chosen to pursue their passion. I hope these short stories will inspire girls, wives and moms, irrespective of age, background or education to DREAM and chase that dream!

Here, I am debuting my series with Gisele Almeida – a travel blogger and influencer! I photographed these pictures at the very scenic Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde in Stockholm, Sweden!

Read on! Dream on! Continue reading “Mj’s Wonder Women Series Feature #1: Gisele Almeida”

Ursula Family Snow Session

At each photo session, my goal is not just to take good pictures. My goal is to give my clients an experience – an experience that they can get lost in, love, laugh, cherish and be themselves. And to capture those moments so pure becomes my goal! Continue reading “Ursula Family Snow Session”

Michelle + Axel Pre-wedding Session

Who can relate to the first time you felt infatuated? Remember, the time you fell in love? Your heart longing to spend time with him/her? That excitement when you see your lover after a period of time? I am sure it is a feeling that cannot be described in words!

Looking back, that stage when I was 17 to 25 was a very exciting one. The whole idea of falling in love and finding ‘the person’ seemed like the only task in hand. Each time one of my friends were proposed to or mutually fell in love, we used to gather around them in our hostel rooms to listen to their story with wide eyes. Most times our conversations would run way past mid night. We bombarded them with questions like,

How does it feel to be love?

Did your heart really skip a beat?

Did you kiss?

What was it like?

We used to nag our friends until we were convinced they have shared every ounce of their story!

And then we used to watch romantic comedy movies for hours on end. Serendipity, Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, Sweet Home Alabama and Sleepless in Seattle were some of our super favourites! Those good looking actors, the romantic dialogues, the music and the cinematography would leave us all lovestruck sending each of us into dreamlands.

The reason I was flooded with these bygone memories is because a couple of weeks ago I got to photograph this very adorable couple who are engaged to be married this summer. It was the first Saturday of 2018. It was a super cold morning with the real feel around -8°C. Except for a few joggers, the vast gorgeous landscape of Hagaparken was at its picturesque best. The golden sun was peering through the ginormous bare trees. The glistening water, the meadow and the woods appeared like a painting. Michelle and Axel walked right into that painting!

Watching them both felt like one of my favourite romantic movies being playing out live in front of me. They were head over heels in love. You can just tell they were smitten with each other. To add to their chemistry there was this certain sweetness, innocence and simplicity in both that made photographing them a pure delight!

Here are some of my favourite moments from their pre-wedding session. Do not miss the video right at the very end!

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When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the
yearning to be close to the other. The presence that is felt
through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen.

Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand
the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to
be with one another. – Lang Leav

My best wishes to Michelle and Axel as they plan their dream wedding and a very very happy ever after!

The Daniel Family Christmas Reunion

The Queen delivered one of her best Christmas speeches last month. Clad in an ivory white dress, looking graceful and poised, she said,

“We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love; of shared stories and memories, which is perhaps why at this time of year so many return to where they grew up. There is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home. For many, the idea of “home” reaches beyond a physical building – to a home town or city.”

I got to wrap up 2017 photographing Daniel and his family’s Christmas reunion. Each family had flown in from different parts of the world to spend the holidays together in Stockholm, Sweden – their home!

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The reunion was a very special one for them because it was first time all members of the family were present. For me this shoot was special because it was the first time I was photographing three generations together.

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Just as the Queen had put it, I could feel the timeless simplicity of the warmth and love shared between the grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and grandkids.

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These were truly timeless moments because the distance and the time that had separated each other, vanished that moment. I am sure time stood still those few days as they created memories together.

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“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”

In this fast paced world, such reunions become vital because that’s where love and the sense of belonging is brewed and strengthened!

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This beautiful home perched right on top of that little hill amidst the rocks and the evergreens holds memories that have now travelled far and wide but would last a lifetime!

Daniel, thank you for letting me capture these timeless moments for you!

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“From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.” – Emily Matthews

Gisele + Nicole: Mommy-Daughter Session

A few days ago I posted this picture on my social media and I requested suitable captions or quotes. The replies I received, were sweet, creative and touching! I simply couldn’t choose one. So featuring all of them!

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“Peekaboo!” – Roshini, Jerusha

“If Love is as sweet as spring, then my mother is the sweet spring of Love!” – Rosy Grace

“Hidden Beauty!” – Helan

“I leaf you too, Mommy!” – Sumi

“Behind the leaves!” – Vimi

“Beauty behind the leaves!” – Sophia

“Peek-a-leaf!” – Hanna

“Hiding in plain sight!” – Esther

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The following quote written by Meenakshi in Tamil, may appear short for those who do not know Tamil. However, those who can read Tamil will be able to feel the emotion and the sentiment that are bigger than those words.

உதிர்ந்தாலும் இந்த இலை அழகு!
முதிர்ந்தாலும் என் தாய் அழகு! – Meenakshi

The English translation may not do justice to the beauty these words have in Tamil. But this is what it means,

“Although this leaf has withered, it is beautiful! My mom will remain the most beautiful no matter how old she gets!”

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Photographing this mom and daughter was truly a delight. There is something very pure and heartwarming about the love shared between a mother and her child!

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It is a love that transcends the love shared in every other relationship. It’s utmost selfless, unconditional and sacrificial form of love. So much so it’s often compared to the love of our Creator!

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When Manushi Chhillar, moments before being crowned the sixth Indian winner of the long-running contest Miss. World, was asked ‘Which is the profession that deserves the highest salary?’ she replied, “It’s that of the mother!”

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“A man’s work is from sun to sun. A mother’s work is never done!” – Anonymous 

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I knew the value of my mother only the day I became one. Up until that moment, I had no clue what it took to be a mother. From the moment my girls were born, through each stage of their life, the responsibilities I bear, the sacrifices I need to make, the strength I need to go about multi-tasking, the courage I need to be their role-model, keeps mounting as the days go by. As it does, every time I feel daunted by the challenges of motherhood, I remember my mother! I remember her with a grateful heart!

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I dedicate this post to every mother out there – the confident, the brave, the bold, the beautiful, the multi-taskers, the ambitious, the dreamers, the sleep-deprived, the frustrated, the overwhelmed, the struggling, the tired, the worn-out, the old, the wise… YOU WILL ALWAYS REMAIN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL!

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Enjoy these moments of pure affection shared between this beautiful mother Gisele and her adorable little princess, Nicole!

Mira + Mathias Wedding

“Be true to what matters most to your heart.” – Cheryl Richardson

Over the last year in my photography journey, each individual, couple and family I was privileged to photograph have taught me something. Meeting Mira, getting to know her and photographing her wedding was an experience I will cherish for a long time!

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Mira is beautiful, intelligent and confident. A few weeks prior to the wedding, we met for fika (a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”) to discuss the wedding. As she briefed me about the sequence of events lined up on her wedding day, one thing was clear – this bride-to-be knew exactly what mattered the most to her and her fiancé!

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Right from their costumes, the ceremony to the sermon, everything was kept pure, simple and to the point. There was no distractions. Nothing unnecessary or fancy. All you could see and think of was the couple in love and two lives coming together as one.

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The emotions in Sundbybergkyrkan that warm summer afternoon was intense. From the start to the finish, love was in the air. There was laughter, smiles and tears of joy.

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Mira and Mathias had chosen just their very close family and friends to be a part of their wedding day. They were the ones who had witnessed the various milestones of their life and love. To begin this new chapter in their life in the company of such loved ones was truly a treasured moment!

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“What matters is how you live your life and not what you show for it!” – Jenny Sanford

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Today, weddings have become a commercial affair. It’s all about the glit, the glam, the ridiculously expensive price tags and everything one can imagine to show off. The heavy-duty price tag is always accompanied with heavy-duty stress!

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Most brides are so preoccupied and stressed out for months ahead of their wedding, they end up emotionally drained on their big day and miss out on the only thing that really mattered – to cherish that special moment of their love’s culmination!

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Some wise person rightly said, “All you need is love . . . and wine . . . and maybe some chocolate . . . and a nap. But mostly the love!”

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For Mira and Mathias, it was love, wine, chocolate and pizza with loads of laughter and hugs with their near and dear!

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Dear Bride-to-be, at the end of the day all that matters is the one you love, the ones who love you and all the little moments that are going to make your day the best day ever!

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Dear Mira and Mathias, wish you both a very happy ever-after filled with love, laughter and success in all that matters to your heart!

Watch and enjoy the candid moments from this beautiful wedding!

“We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf