Desert Rose | Maternity Session

Love is like a dune: it starts with just a grain of sand… or with an obstruction like a small rock or blade of grass which allows the sand to collate around and eventually build up into a dune, with the help from wind which propagates more sand to be deposited over and over again. But that doesn’t sound as romantic... Karen and Alan were such a great pair and you could tell just by the way that they looked at each other that their love for one another was stronger than ever. I hope that they can look back when their little one is not so little anymore and be reminded of all the magical moments they shared along the way in Dubai!

 
 
 

Heart of Muharraq

A maze of winding streets takes you through the bustling souq, bursting with life and colour, around the quieter, crumbling old buildings and on towards the immaculate alleys full of stories from long ago. I ventured off-the-beaten-track into the heart of Muharraq finding the most amazing locations for photographs! 

Guide_to_Muharraq_Bahrain

Muharraq is one of Bahrain's oldest and most important areas. It can be traced all the way back to the ancient era of Tylos and Dilmun civilisations, but is mostly known for it's 19th Century Pearling and Fishing Industry. I have been using Muharraq's well-groomed pearling-trail (a beautiful area which was recently restored for tourism and education) as a photoshoot location for several months but had always wanted to explore the other side of Muharraq. Essentially, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and go off the beaten track. It was also a bonus that my cousin traveled to Bahrain for the first time which was a great excuse to go on a fabulous tour with Sophie from Sophie's Secret, who knows more about Muharraq's hidden gems than maybe even some of the locals!  

Start the day off right (with liver...)

We started off the morning for a traditional Bahraini breakfast at Saffrons (the chicken liver is a must) before starting our walk around the warehousing district. As the city of Muharraq was once bordered by the sea, it was the center of trade during the beginning of the 20th Century, it harbored almost 300 boats and was surrounded by many warehouses. Since then, due to the reclamation of land, Muharraq now lies miles away from the ocean in the middle of Bahrain! Most of the warehouses have now been abandoned (there is no sea now after all) but many families have transformed these rooms into shops, carpenters and even cafes. 

Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain
Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain
Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain

Home Sweet Home

Sophie led us through more residential areas, with buildings that have been standing for years, and even allowed us to view a couple of traditional Bahraini homes. Most houses will come with a courtyard in the middle, surrounded by rooms in a square. This not only makes it look beautiful, but also helps keep the house cool during the summer heat. Upstairs, wooden blinds allow the air to pass through acting as natural versions of ACs which have been used for years. My favourite part of Muharraq was the contrast between the cream buildings and the bright blue doors dotted around. Made of amazing photos! 

Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain
Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain
Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain

Muharraq is your oyster

We then ended up in the recently renovated Pearl Trail, a self-guided UNESCO World Heritage Site, which allows you to explore some historically and culturally important buildings of Bahrain. Muharraq used used by pearl divers and merchants during the 1930s, until the introduction of cultured pearls in Japan. We could easily spend several hours wandering in and out of the different buildings! Some of the key ones are Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for CUlture, the traditional architecture at Bin Matar House and learning about gold threat at Kurar House. There are roughly 20 or so houses, stores and warehouses along the route which take you on a cultural journey through Bahrain's past. It is a little trick to navigate (there are not many signs or maps) but Sophie knew excatly where to take us. We also got to see some beautiful mosques and visited Shaikh Isa bin Ali House (which is more like a palace) with its grand courtyard, beautiful carvings and traditional wind tower (natural AC again!).  

Guide_To_Muharraq_Bahrain

There is still so much to see in Muharraq and I cannot wait for the cooler months to go explore again. I really want to do a more comprehensive post and vlog, especially on the Pearl Trail because it can be difficult and a little bit daunting if you've never been before. Check out this video that I created with my cousin, showing of the best bits from our tour!

Let me know in the comment section if you have been the Muharraq and if you recommend any other buildings to go see!

 
 
 

GIGGLES IN THE GARDEN | Documentary Session 

I had such a hoot during this lovely documentary session! I arrived early in the morning and was greeted with storybooks, giggles and fabulous pink nail-polish. Amelia is such a sweet, crazy girl (sort of a kindred spirit) and we got on like a house on fire! We made our way outside into the winter sun and Amelia quickly made sure to show me all of her favourite activities in the garden. We played in the wendy-house, made a mess in the sand pit and even got Dad into the little car! The highlight of the session was watching the family interact, you see how much they all love each other... and tickles! We eventually made our way to the swings, trying to see who would swing the highest! 

Sessions like these always remind me of how precious family time is. I was so glad I was able to capture their obvious love for each other, fun moments and infectious giggles!

 
 

Golden Time | Documentary Session

A few weeks ago, I was able to visit Tess and her family at her lovely home in Dubai. We had met a couple of years ago at a wedding and got of like a house on fire! Since the wedding, their son has grown up into a boy with a face that will break more than a few hearts when he is older and they have had another boy who is the spitting image of a curly-haired, blue-eyed cherub! I don't know about you, but I would love to get some of their genes! 

Though I don't want to admit it, this was my first official family documentary session where I go into the home and snap away while the family do what they normally do, and on this golden Friday afternoon playing, dancing and having a (much-needed) drink in the garden was on the agenda! As Daan said, "It won't be real unless we have our drinks in our hands". Coincidentally, this session coincided with the 10 year anniversary of when Tess and Daan met, and you can truly see the love they still have for each other after all these years. 

I hope I was able to capture the cosy, magical sense of home this family have created in the years that have been living in Dubai and these photos will transport them right back to these happy moments in their lives. 

 

 

 
 

Baby Rockstar | First Newborn Photoshoot

I was able to photograph this little rockstar for my first baby photoshoot ever! Even though I spent most of the time trying to figure out the best camera settings, balancing on the edge of the bed and working up a sweat, I think I came out with some good photos.

I want to give a very big thank you to the parents who let me take these photos and for all their help in changing, positioning and feeding this little rockstar! 

Baby Feet | First Newborn Photoshoot