‘Farsdag’ Special Feature: Rajesh + Sudha Family Session

“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.” ― Antoine François Prévost d’Exiles, Manon Lescaut

Just like mothers, fathers are irreplaceable and they are the ones who build the very foundations of a family. His role stretches far beyond than being the provider of the family. Every move, word, action, smile, decisions he makes keeps stirring and shaping the lives he begot. Unfortunately, many fathers are either unaware or they underestimate the power and influence they have on their children.

While dads are often referred to as ‘Superheroes’ and ‘Superdads’, it subtly sets an expectation for men to attempt the impossible or the unattainable to get the approval and admiration of their wives and children. Contrarily, the fact of the matter is, what makes them ‘SUPER’ are the little things that they invest their love and time into!

With ‘Farsdag’ (Father’s Day in Swedish) around the corner, I wanted to share five seemingly insignificant attributes that sets apart SUPER-DADS!

A Super-Dad Values his Wife

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Henry Ward Beecher

The way a man values, honours and treats his wife with dignity will teach his son to respect and honour the women in the family and community. For a daughter who sees her dad valuing her mother, instills value and worth in herself. A super-dad will never ever consider his wife as a subordinate, but as his equal – his best half!

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A Super-Dad Sees a Super Hero in his Child

A super dad doesn’t merely raise a good child, but a child who makes a good difference. Every parent strives to impart good moral values to their children, but the time has come for us to raise children who are taught to think beyond themselves – kids who can be considerate about the people and the need around them. A super-dad not only teaches his child to identify the needs, but shows how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can make a massive difference! Thereby, nurturing the superheroes of tomorrow!

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A Super-Dad is Human

“Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers – and fathering is a very important stage in their development.” ~  David M. Gottesman

A super-dad sets ‘excellence’ his goal and not perfection. A very crucial criteria required for excellence is to remain down-to-earth, owning mistakes and taking responsibility. For a father to accept his imperfection or mistakes and being open to feedback in front of his family will teach the kids that it is okay to stumble but it’s important to get back on the feet again. The emotional vulnerability a super-dad expresses shapes children who are more open and willing to learn and adapt!

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A Super-Dad is Present

With the advancement of technology, most dads bring home their work and are inseparable with their gadgets. A super-dad knows when its time to keep the gadgets aside and enjoy the moment with his family. He is present when his child wants him to listen, converse or play. He is present not just physically, but invests all of himself in spending quality time.

“If we miss the moment, we miss the clues. In the present, when we allow ourselves to fully live there, we are restored, made wiser, made deeper and happier.” –Marianne Williamson

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A Super-Dad Lives by Example

Today, parents set such surreal expectations for their children while their own actions are from the set expectations. That’s where a super-dad differs. He doesn’t just preach. He practices. It’s no longer his words that set the goals, but his very life becomes a testament to what he desires for his family.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Dads, reflect on these. These little things are what makes you a SUPER-DAD! Moms, sit with your kids and make a list of things that make your man a SUPER-DAD! He wouldn’t know it until you tell it! Make this Farsdag a very special and memorable one!

Enjoy this special feature of Rajesh and Sudha’s Fall Family Session! If you would like  one such session to celebrate this Father’s Day, CLICK HERE!

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Rachel + David Fall Family Session

Two years ago, when I had just started out with my photography, I used to look at fall photographs of some American photographers in complete awe and amazement. Coming from a country where it is summer all year around and nature pretty much appears the same throughout the year, I was completely fascinated with the idea of leaves changing colours and thereby transforming landscapes with gorgeous tones of orange and yellow!

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Last year, I witnessed my first fall season. It felt surreal. This is the second time I am experiencing this season and I must say, it still feels surreal! The way nature transforms itself so subtly into something so different and breathtaking is nothing but a miracle!

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Obviously, it was one of my dreams to do a photoshoot in fall. And to my very pleasant surprise I inaugurated my first photoshoot in Sweden with a Fall Session in Hagaparken last October!

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It’s been a year since. This fall I was privileged to photograph fourteen families in two days at the very same Hagaparken amidst this picturesque backdrop!

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This year as I stood in Hagaparken with my camera, there was something more that overwhelmed me than the scenic colours of fall that surrounded me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for an amazing journey in photography over the last year. I have met people and been to places which I never dreamt or thought was possible. I feel greatly blessed to just do what I love. The freedom and satisfaction I find in photography is something I cannot put in words. To capture love, laughter, joy, romance, milestones, life and to know it is going to be treasured for a lifetime and beyond is more than a privilege!

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2017 fall has almost passed. There are more leaves on the ground than on the trees. The first snow has fallen in Stockholm. Days are getting shorter. Winter is coming. The next change. The next season. I cannot wait to see what it holds! I believe greater days are ahead!

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Photographing Rachel, David and their handsome little camera-ready one year old was an absolute delight! Here are glimpses from their Fall Session!

As each one of you transition from one season of life to another, this is what I wish for you,

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Veronique Family Fall Session

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ― W.T. Purkiser

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Blessings… We all long for them. We desire one blessing after another from time to time. Often, unknowingly we get caught up in the race of chasing blessings, while all along our biggest blessings have been right beside us!

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On my journey as a photographer, I feel I have travelled from a place where I wanted to take ‘perfect pictures’ to a place where I want to capture ‘pure moments’! And to be able to do so, I ought to be a person who lives in the moment, in the now, being consciously aware of life that is happening around me!

I have found that it is not as easy as it sounds. It’s not easy to keep our gadgets aside. Virtual worlds are constantly beckoning us from reality. But that moment when we take that bold step to not check on our mobiles for the ‘n’th time, we start living!

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And in living, loving and belonging we discover our blessings!

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This being the season of thanksgiving, I would like my Fall Sessions to reflect that. I would like each picture to reflect what you are thankful for – milestones, marriage, motherhood, fatherhood, childhood, family, smiles, snuggles, laughter, joy, love, life, blessings and you!

Veronique’s was the first family I photographed in my ‘Fall Super Mini Session’ at the picturesque Hagaparken. Veronique and her husband hand in hand, her three year old son climbing on his daddy’s shoulders and her almost one year old who was in absolute wonder of the golden, crisp fall leaves was a picture perfect blessing right there!

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Sit back and enjoy all the lovely moments from their session!

Life is a series of thousand tiny miracles… Notice them!

Julia & Philip Family – Stockholm City Session

The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way.

I have learnt that no matter when you are from, when you begin to live in a certain place for a period of time, that place becomes a special part of you. The sights, the sounds, the people, all become an unspoken part of your life. In simpler terms, the place we live becomes the backdrop of our lives which we paint over day after day!

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Julia and Philip are childhood sweethearts who fell in love, married and today they have two amazing kids. Years ago, they moved from Poland and today Stockholm is their home.

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Julia shared with me that she wanted some family pictures in some of Stockholm’s prominent landmarks since this city is special for their family. It inspired me to come up with the ‘Stockholm City Session’!

One lovely Sunday afternoon, I requested the family to come to Kungsträdgården!

Kungsträdgården in Swedish means ‘King’s Garden’. It is the heart of Stockholm, bustling with life, culture, cafes and concerts. That’s where we started our photo walk!

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Casper, Julia’s son, is a football player just like his dad. I was told the father and son spend most evenings playing football together. I realised that’s the bond I wanted to capture for the family. So I let them play, sat back and captured these moments!

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We then crossed over the Strömborn bridge. Riksdagshuset, Sweden’s Parliament house was a perfect backdrop!

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Riksdagshuset in the background

Just a little further was the Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace!

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The Kungliga slottet, evening sunshine and Riksdagshuset all composed themselves so perfectly in this picture!

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Kungliga slottet and Riksdagshuset in the background

As the family marched on the bridge, the National museum was hard to miss!

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National Museum

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Skeppsbron was our next stop!

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The yachts, ferries and the glistening water ways are what makes Stockholm ‘the Venice of the North’!

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As Julia and Philip stood there looking into each other’s eyes, totally rapt in the moment… It felt as if time stood still!

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Stortorget, Swedish for the ‘Big Square’, is the oldest square in Stockholm. It’s well known for its Christmas market and the prominent buildings number 14-22, which you will find on postcards and fridge magnets. That’s where we went next.

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Stortorget

We finally made it to the medieval alleyways and cobbled streets of Gamla Stan!

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Gamla Stan

The archaic north german architecture invariably takes one back in time!

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This old town of Stockholm dates back to the 13th century. With the medieval and Renaissance architecture, Gamla Stan has been charming tourists for more than a century!

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Photographing this wonderful family in this spot that has so much history and feel to it, was incredible!

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The Viking caps placed outside the souvenir shops caught my eye. It occurred to me that it would sum up our afternoon in Stockholm and their time in Sweden so well!

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We were almost done and we were walking on the Norrbro bridge that connects the Gamla Stan and the little island that houses the Riksdagshuset. Julia had mentioned that the Stockholms stadshus, aka Stockholm City Hall, is an important place for her since that’s where she wrote her nursing exam. From where we were, the City Hall fit the frame perfectly and made for a perfect picture!

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Years from now, I do not know which part of the globe this family would be. But I believe these pictures would bring them back to this moment in time when they called Stockholm their home and revive their memories of this facinating city!

As a photographer, believe as important it is to capture the people we love and moments we cherish, it is important to capture the place, the city where our lives and moments happen!

I hope my ‘Stockholm City Session’ will be a perfect combination of the people you love + memories + places you have seen along your way in Stockholm!

Laura & Jon Family Session

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner

I have come to experience this quote for real now that we are living so far away from our immediate family. A world does lives within us. A world around which our hearts and minds constantly revolve. A world far too precious!

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Laura and Jon’s family session was one of the sessions I had the most fun.

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Their two little girls were super friendly and adorable bundles of joy.

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Just when I thought I should try out the games I had in mind for their session, these two came up with their own little games. It was absolute fun!

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A child’s play is not simply a reproduction of what he has experienced, but a creative reworking of the impressions he has acquired. — Lev Vygotsky

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I have come to realise that sometimes life’s best moments and lessons happen when we keep aside our grown up selves and listen and watch the little ones. They often can be quite profound teachers!

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As these little ones took charge of the session with their games, I got to capture some very candid moments. The kind of moments which one cannot fabricate. Authentic and pure moments. Moments that defined them as individuals and as one family!

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Laura and Jon waited for this particular day to have the photo session because Jon’s parents were visiting them from across the miles.

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The presence of the grandparents made the family unit complete and whole!

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The grand-daughters were evidently their delight, pride and sunshine!

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This session was my first family session with grandparents. Each of them meant a world to the other in the family. The contentment and satisfaction that comes from photographing this flawless love is something that transcends words!

Ons Hm in Stockholm

 “And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” – Mark Anthony

While I was on my mommy-break at Krakow, Poland, I received a message from Ons Hm. Ons Hm had mentioned that she read about me on the Local and asked me if we could collaborate on her visit to Stockholm. I was curious to know more about her. And boy, I was blown away when I got to know who she is!

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Growing up, Ons Hm was always passionate about fashion and make-up. It was after the Tunisian Revolution, when the citizens of Tunisia were granted the freedom of expression, Ons Hm was urged to share her passion with the world through Youtube. She did and there she was – THE FIRST FEMALE HIJABI YOUTUBER OF TUNISIA!

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Her subscribers multiplied. Before long, her channel crossed a hundred thousand subscribers! With the growing number of followers and young girls who looked up to her, Ons Hm realised here was her chance to inspire, encourage and motivate these precious girls to pursue their dreams.

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Ons wanted to bring together her passion, influence and the need for education of rural Tunisian girls that was pressing her heart. And thus this young entrepreneur launched ‘the O Box’!

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The O Box is a beauty box that consists of six beauty products for hands and face meticulously put together by talented Ons! You can watch her introduce the O Box here 🙂

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Being successful is one thing. Being significant is another. One’s success is of greater significance when it makes a difference in other’s lives. And that’s the reason this O Box is significant – not just for its first class quality beauty products, but with each purchase of the O Box, a portion of its profit goes towards educating young girls in rural Tunisia!

Having fun while supporting a good cause is the greatest gift you can offer yourself!  So gift yourself the limited edition O Box today! Click here for purchase!

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Meeting Ons El-Hammami and photographing her was personally a very inspiring experience for me. She has taught me to think beyond me, beyond my passions, to take off the limits, to look further, dream bigger and make a difference!

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You can follow Ons Hm on her Youtube Channel, Facebook Page and Instagram!

Amosa Family Session

A recipe for love: A spoonful of smiles,
A jar of joy, A cup of kisses and a handful of hugs!

If we could sum up our days, months, years, our experiences and relationships, it is the smiles, joy, kisses and hugs that add value to our life and all that we have earned! We are most blessed when we have people who add to our joys and smiles!

Photographing Amosa’s precious family was a delightful experience. She and her husband were warm and affectionate. The kind of couple who make you feel like you have been friends for a long time. Their little daughters where just adorable. I let the family play with each other and enjoy the little moments at the park. The joy and the laughter from that afternoon are what makes these images special!

Amosa, you are indeed blessed with the recipe for true love!

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