Destination Wedding- Cyprus

This summer I had the absolute pleasure of being asked by Nicole and Sam to shoot their wedding in Cyprus.

The entire weekend in Larnaca was a blast, since it included the 3 things I completely love: traveling, shooting weddings and happy people. It really was one of the chillest weddings I’ve documented, since everyone attending was super relaxed, cheerful and fun!

What I love about destination weddings in general is the fact that as a photographer, I get to be involved in the entire wedding process even a day before it actually happens, and interact with the couple and their guests beforehand, making the photographing process even smoother.

In the end, one of my favorite memories of the weekend in Cyprus was actually after the wedding day and reception were over, and most of the guests changed into their swimsuits and jumped into the pitch black sea for a midnight swim. It certainly was a fun ending to a great day!

Well, without any more chitchat, here are some of the pics from the weekend away:

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To see more of my work you can visit:
My website here
My facebook here

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What Makes You Happy

For the past four years or so I’ve been focused on working towards making photography my full-time career. In that time I followed a lot of photographers, read a lot of business books related to the field, and even did my Masters in Photography. During this time of learning, I understood that in order to be successful in the photography business you had to be good at a specific thing and have a unique sense of style. Sure, you could do portrait, animal and landscape photography,  but having all of them on your website would probably confuse potential clients and cause more harm than good for your business. Having learned this, and knowing that my main passion was photographing people, I created my website and showcased only that.

I know you can sense a “but” coming, but it’s not to say that what I just described was total nonsense and that I wish I hadn’t done it. Quite the contrary, it was very sound business advice and I’d still stick to it… BUT what I realized was that I was filtering all my interests by this rule and was refraining from shooting or posting other things that I was interested in because I thought it would conflict with my “BetKet Photography” image. Then it hit me: people can have more than one passion, more than one interest. Just because I was a portrait photographer didn’t mean I didn’t also enjoy shooting other subjects. This didn’t necessarily mean that I wanted to make a business out of photographing these other things- it just meant that I didn’t have to restrain myself. Sure, my website could stay focused on people, but did I really have to do the same with my Instagram and Blog? The obvious answer is no.

As this post’s title clearly states, the cliche statement remains true – “do what makes you happy”. At least that’s what I hope to do more of from now on in regards to what I shoot and publish online here. I realize my blog is actually also full of travel posts and other things, but these recent thoughts were the reason I hadn’t posted much of anything lately.  And so to be equal parts talk and action, I wanted to also show something I had shot a few months ago during a trip to the Kew Botanical Gardens in London that is quite different than my usual work.

As for the business aspect of my photography, I wanted to say that I have (finally, like we never thought this day would come) made a Facebook page for BetKet Photography and would love it if you guys would like it. Link here

I’ll leave you with this: Is there anything you guys are passionate about that you’d like to share with the world that you haven’t yet? I’d love to know what they are 🙂

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Pubs in England

It’s no secret that the Brits love their drinks and their pubs- that much I knew even before moving to London. What surprised me though was their choice of pub names, and their love of putting two completely irrelevant words together on a sign and calling it a day. After noticing a certain pattern early on,  I decided to photograph as many of these pubs as I could during my time here. These were done along the course of a year in England and were purely based on happenstance- I never intentionally searched or sought them out.
With my time in London almost nearing its end, I thought this blog post could be sort of a tribute to the country that welcomed me for a year and to the countless pints I had in countless pubs, and in particular to the Elephant and Castle which was our regular after-class pub for the year. To say the obvious thing, I will definitely miss this city!

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Analog in Cambridge

It has been around 7 years since the last time I used a film camera. Well, that is up till last week when I rented out one from the university (thinking I should probably enjoy all the free facilities the uni has to offer before my year here is over) and went out to take some pictures.

Asides from the idea of making use of the university’s resources, the reason why I wanted to shoot with film was because I wanted to slow down the making of an image, and that didn’t only mean thinking longer before clicking the shutter. Rather, I wanted to enjoy the entire process of creating an image, which also included developing the negatives and using the darkroom to print pictures.

I didn’t really have anything specific in mind that I wanted to capture, but my friend assured me saying that anything I shot with film would automatically look good, and yeah… he wasn’t wrong. As it happened, I went to Cambridge over the weekend and couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful city for taking pictures!

In the end, I wound up using the darkroom to print a couple of images, but I also scanned all the negatives to the computer and found that I love the graininess of film and its overall coloring over the smoothness of digital pictures.

Here’s a few of the (unedited) images from the roll of film. Needless to say, I’ll be doing more Analog photography from now on.

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Old warehouse wedding

Last summer I was approached by a couple who wanted me to be their wedding photographer for their 2014  summer nuptials. At the time I had already figured out that I was leaving to London for the year to do my Masters degree so I was pretty hesitant in meeting with them, knowing that I would probably not be able to manage both my studies and the travel to Lebanon for the wedding. Having all that in mind, I still met up with them and soon was swept away by their excitement for their big day. They explained to me the theme of the wedding, all the cute little details they were incorporating, and most importantly all the cliche things they had firmly decided to boycott and I realized that despite the fact that I would be on a different continent, I really wanted to be the one shooting their wedding.
Having said all that, things worked out perfectly and I was able to make it back home to shoot the wedding.

Of the things that I liked about the couple (besides the bride’s awesome tattoo) was that they were really fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously. They were even cool enough to find a great location for the pre-wedding photoshoot- a warehouse that used to be an old printing press.

All in all the day went by smoothly and great memories were made and captured!

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Scotland Part 3

To finish off my posts about Scotland, I want to show you a few more places I visited in Edinburgh, and one that I particularly liked.

HOLYROOD PALACE:
Where Mary, Queen of Scots used to reside in the 16th century and where the current Queen of England stays when visiting Scotland.

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GREYFRIARS KIRKYARD:
A graveyard where J.K Rowling used to go to to get inspired to write the Harry Potter books, and where she got some of the characters’ names from – like McGonnagall and Tom Riddle (Voldemort). This place is also known to be the most haunted place in Edinburgh. Some of the Tombs are locked to keep people from going into them. This is the city council’s way of ensuring people’s safety from the alleged paranormal activities.

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EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE:

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STOCKBRIDGE:
The place I particularly liked in Edinburgh was Stockbridge and I guess this was because I didn’t expect to see it. What I mean to say is that I hadn’t come across this place on any of the travel blogs I had checked before going to Scotland, and the friends I had made the first night there said they wanted to show me around. It was the first time I was seeing Edinburgh through the eyes of the locals and not from a tourist’s perspective, and I loved it!

The Water of Leith is a river that flows through Edinburgh, and we walked by its bank in Stockbridge and were so immersed in the beauty that it felt like we were in a different place or time. All in all a great experience!

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Scotland Part 2

So let me continue gushing over Edinburgh in a second post.

Actually before gushing over the city’s beauty, I just have to state that I did a lot.. and I mean a LOT of walking during my 5 days there. What with the massive camera in my backpack and 8 to 9 hours of walking per day, you could say I was pretty beat. On top of all the physical exhaustion, I decided to climb up Arthur’s Seat.

The fact that Arthur’s seat is a dormant volcano didn’t really stop me (or the hundreds of other tourists) from hiking up its slopes. During my ascent- through bouts of fatigue and hyperventilation- I was regretting never working out my decision to climb up this mountain, but an hour into it and by reaching the highest point, I knew I had made the right decision. The 360 degree view was breathtaking and really worth the effort. Believe me when I say words- and pictures!- can’t do it justice.

Another place I really enjoyed going to was Portobello beach. The weather had gotten from sunny to really windy and cloudy but the experience was still quite nice. The stroll down the bay was really relaxing and I even got a pleasant surprise at the very end! (see last pic for that)

Part 3 of Scotland will be up soon!

ARTHUR’S SEAT

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PORTOBELLO BEACH

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