Maryam and Ashkan


When I get a call from a couple that planning to get married in Fairmont I am all ears. When I hear it will be a Persian wedding, I am intrigued. When bride mentions two separate sets of friends whose weddings I’ve photographed before, I get excited. And when that bride tells me that they already decided on their photographer… well… I am not sure I have the right words for this feeling. They booked me without looking at anyone else.

I am well aware that I am surrounded by good photographers so very few couples would give up their right to shop around. But that is exactly what Maryam and Ashkan did not do. When something like this happens I get nervous: what if my style is not exactly what they want? What if they are putting too much trust in me without doing their homework? These and other questions came to mind. I can’t believe I still get nerviness after 15 years of photographing weddings.

Most of my couples run a pretty serious research when hiring a wedding photographer. I had couples told me more than once that they have met with at least 5-6 photographers, I once heard nine meetings. And these are just meetings. Imagine all the online research that goes into it. So when bride that met five other photographers hires me, I am pretty calm: I know that they are familiar with my style. I might have other concerns but mainly related to logistics.

I covered Persian weddings before. And let me tell you: you should have Persian friends and get yourself invited into one of these. There wasn’t a single moment when the dance floor wasn’t packed. And I’ve seen Russian, Indian and Jewish weddings so I can compare. Persian weddings are crazy! And dance floor packed by all generations and for all night!

To me it’s like a photographer’s paradise: wherever you point your camera, there is something to capture! And it’s not just action but family love! Someone hugs or kisses someone, people look at each other like they have known each other their entire life. And in the middle of all this the Bride and the Groom. And me….

They first met in 2007 when they were both freshly single and neither was ready for a relationship. She and Ashkan have a bunch of fun just going about their everyday life. On their sort-of first date which was on her birthday, Ashkan left his car lights on so they returned to his car which, by then, had a dead battery. Maryam had to shuttle him back and forth to get his battery jumped. Pretty good excuse to see her again…

Ashkan planned a proposal with a limousine to take them to a cute boutique restaurant in San Francisco. Maryam, however, was nervous (Yeah… aren’t you supposed to keep limos out of proposals, Ashkan?). Well, as soon as their salad was served she said, “Give it to me already!”…

A destination wedding was their first thought but it wasn’t long until they realized that the complexity and the many unpredictable elements made it too stressful. Since they had met and dated in San Francisco, they decided to marry in their favorite city. Nine months of stressful wedding planning led up to their beautiful wedding at the Fairmont in the City. They were surrounded by the love of family and friends.