D.C. Cherry Blossom Engagement Photos by Eleven Hearts Studios.

Washington, D.C. is famous for the cherry blossoms that bloom once a year and turn the city into a fairy tale. Spring is making a very slow entrance this year and we know that we were still too early to have an engagement session when Justin and Alissa asked for an engagement session at the Tidal Basin! We had enough blossoms for perfect romantic session we made the best of it though. 

cherry blossom in washington dc

Don't forget to read David Coleman's article for more tips and trick to take better pictures at Cherry Blossom in D.C.

Iranian weddings: Honor and Love

Marriage is a symbol of connecting two souls and to make them live together for a lifetime. The ways of getting married differs from one religion to another. Sometimes, it also varies in a same religion due to the contradictions of some rituals. The case is same with the religion of Islam, in which the rituals of weddings differ from one country to another. In this article, we would like to discuss something about the Iranian wedding with you. Most of the people in Iran are Muslims while others are Persian.

The customs and traditions of an Iranian wedding are not in a very detailed form. A Muslim wedding is based on Nikah, which is a major wedding event. In Nikah, both bride and groom embrace the beginning of their relationship three times in front of everyone. 

The stages of Iranian wedding

This type of wedding actually based on two simple stages. The first stage is known as ‘Aghd’. It is basically a contract of marriage signed by the guardians of bride and groom. This contract confirms the beginning of the relationship between the couple. The next stage is known as ‘Jashn-e-Aroosi’. It is based on three to seven day celebrations in which several get together events are organized for the guests. A highly decorated large room with the beautiful flowers is used to organize the whole event. All the guests greet the bride and groom by giving them gifts and prayers during the wedding reception. 

Do you know Sofreh-ye-Aghd?

Sofreh-ye-Aghd is a mirror that is used to place in front of the bride and groom’s seats. It is a customary due to which a reflection of light comes from the mirror would make their faces more glowing.

Candelabras and Mirror use in wedding ceremonies by showing the symbol of fire and light. An important ritual is to cover the face of a bride before entering the room. She removes the veil after sitting with her man. The bridegroom then sees the face of his girl in the mirror.Quran (holy book of Muslims) is placed on the central area of a spread with the prayer kit and rug. 

How the Iranian wedding keeps evil away?

At the Iranian wedding, you would see another interesting thing which is a tray of spices and herbs. These herbs are Frankincense, Black tea, Nigella seeds, Salt, Angelica, Wild Rice and Poppy Seeds.

These are used with the belief of keeping all the evils away from the newlywed couple.Various sweets and coins are necessary to share among guests before the main feast. The feast of the wedding is based on most of the meaty items including mutton, beef and lamb.

Zoroastrianism the ancient tradition

Most of the Muslim Iranian weddings still follow some rituals of Zoroastrianism because of the ancient customs by their forefathers. A ritual of the mirror has been taken from the Zoroastrian culture which is not in Muslim’s religion.

 An Iranian wedding is undoubtedly a decent kind of ceremony that shows simple traditions. A white-colored theme gives stunning look to the whole event of an Iranian wedding. This color is a symbol of peace and everything looks more attractive with it.

Indian wedding: A perfect blend of rituals and traditions for a lifetime bonding

Have you ever seen a wedding in India? If no then we would tell you something interesting about it. Most of the people consider Indian wedding a ceremony of Hindu marriage, which is also called VivahaAlthough, India is a secular state where you would find millions of people who belongs to several other religions, but an Indian wedding reminds of a Hindu marriage. Everyone thinks that the vibrant and opulent look are the two most important things in an Indian wedding.

Some people think that gloss and glamour is sufficient to organize a perfect Indian wedding that is definitely not true. Hinduism is a religion that is quite strict about its sayings regarding a marriage. You would find it a ritualistic and serious affair as compared to the marriages performed by many other religions. 

Unique traditions of Indian weddings

You would find a western wedding fully opposite to the Indian-style marriage ceremonies. They are more colorful and vibrant than the western weddings. It is not about tying the knot between two people but also a legal and social affair. It is a combination of celebrations, values and traditions. Indian people consider it a soulful affair that builds a strong relationship between two families. It also varies according to the traditions and community rituals despite the same religion of Hinduism. But you would find four similar things at all Indian weddings that are emotion, commitment, love and concern. You would need to begin preparations several days before the wedding date as it is about multi-day affairs. 

Procedure of Indian wedding

An Indian wedding is not possible without performing some compulsory rituals. It is basically divided into three main parts including pre-marriage, main and post-marriage ceremony. The presence of a ‘Pandit’ is very important during the wedding for tying the knot between the couple. The groom’s scarf is tied with the bride’s sari which is a sign of building a soulful relationship. Mangala Sutra is a necklace that is used to tie on the bride’s neck for the confirmation of the wedding. Mangal pheras is a compulsory activity in which a couple walks four times around the sacred fire. Sanskrit (holy language of Hindus) is used to conduct the entire wedding event.

After an end of all the important rituals, the bride leaves for the home of her husband. The family of a groom welcomes a bride by placing a vessel filled with rice at the home entrance. Before entering inside the home, a bride uses her right foot to spill the rice from the vessel. All of these rituals are interesting to watch and everyone likes them a lot for the first time.Some common rituals are Saptapadi, Panigrahana and Kanyadaan. An Indian wedding is a blend of all these rituals that are full of colors and life. 

India: the land of different wedding styles

In India, you would see eight different types of marriages, including Paishacha marriage, Rakshaa marriage, Asura marriage, Gandhaarva marriage, Prajapatya marriage, Aarsha marriage, Daiva marriage and Brahma marriage. Brahma marriage is considered as one of the appropriate ways of a Hindu wedding. All of the affluent Indian, Hindu families prefer Brahma marriages.

Mother’s Dress on Her Daughter’s Wedding.

The day of the wedding is doubtfully a huge day for brides. After the bride, the second most important person is the mother of the bride. Although it’s a very special day for her daughter, but she is the one who will get the attention as well. That’s why Mothers also seek to look beautiful and get busy in searching for a dress which makes them feel young and beautiful which they really deserve.


It’s a mind-boggling job though, but nevertheless, a dress should be something which keeps you confident and beautiful from inside, so that you can stay confident, prominent and shine, because it’s a very important day for mothers too after her own wedding, it’s one more once in a lifetime event that she wants to get everything right. So many questions come to the mind about choosing the right dress for the daughter’s wedding day. What should be the color, length of a dress, and the kind of a dress is commonly discussed question. We have some tips for you which will help you choose a right and timely dress for the bride’s mother:

• Fit with her personality: This is the most important thing one should consider while choosing a dress for bride’s Mother for her daughter’s wedding day. There are many colors, styles, fashion trends, brands, etc., which will confuse you going for a dress which suits her most. Let’s sort it out, look at her personality, her style, and what she likes to wear and then decide about her dress. Traditional dress styles like formal jacket and a hat would be more suitable if she is traditional or conservative kind of person.For up-to-the-minute dresser, she would be fond of dress with extra glamour.

• Fit with wedding theme: there is not one factor which needs to be careful about. Wedding theme is among the important ones as it tells the story about the party and the life in it. When choosing a dress for bride’s Mother, never ignore the wedding theme standing. Otherwise the results can go the other way around, instead of looking lively at the function; it can be otherwise as well. Don’t mess everything to go against the wedding theme. Like it would be a wrong choice if wedding theme is traditional and Moms dress is trendy. 

• Mother and daughter match: Be careful, Mother is supposed to wear something different from her daughter on the wedding day. Colors should be well discussed, and brides can help her mother better because first she will focus on her dress then, it comes to Mom. So keep the daughter part of her mother’s choice.

• Mother should be comfortable: On a daughter’s wedding day, bride’s Mother should be comfortable enough with her look and the way she dressed. Because she will confront number of people, let her do it with confidence. 

After all, it is advised that the mother should end up choosing the best outfit for her in what she will feel comfortable with. As a result, she will be confident and will confront guests and her old friends, which will increase the charm of the function.

Wedding Day Decoration

The wedding is always an unforgettable day, mostly for everyone in it, it’s a natural phenomenon. Many reasons make it unforgettable. That special day come and go, it is remembered by many. But if you ask someone who attended a marriage ceremony that what you remember very well about the marriage that was about 4 or 5 years ago, he/she will tell you many things but, there must be the theme of the wedding day. That long lasts in peoples' mind.

Decor for wedding is important as same as a color for a car or for a dress. Just imagine, a dress or a car without any color or theme? Won’t you prefer to add some color in it? Yes, surely you will, because colorful theme makes you attract more towards it. So as the case with weddings, if you want to add a good flavor in it, you should focus on its theme, because it gives makes you feel and look out of the ordinary in there and it established the mood of the ceremony. In other words, you should be extra careful about marriage decor.

Don’t worry about having a good wedding decoration. First of all watch yourself out, what suits you the most? And what represents you and your partner in a good way? Think, discuss, and dig that out. It could have common interests, preferable season, and favorite location and most important, the color theme. Mostly, brides keep the wedding decor color theme based upon their favorite color. Good color combination is the first step to make an impression of the function, whether you want boldness in the party, modest and sophisticated or passive one. The color will tell you the story. So you choose it with care because it will influence the rest of your festivities. 

Apart from that, it can include:

• Flowers are the most extensively used for decoration. 

• Covers on chair and table.

• Any type of lighting such as light bulbs which are colored, lanterns, candles etc.

• Bells made from tissue paper hanged on a wall.

• Colorful ribbons to make bows from and place it on chairs and other places.

• Giving the touch of some personalized stuff, such as if you are a sportsman, you would like to give some sort of sporty touch to the theme.

It needs an extra care to make everything coherent. Like wedding dresses and color of flowers should match. It’s like you have everything in your hand, knowing where to place it to make it look meaningful. Choosing color combination is something sensitive, you should choose colors carefully because it kinda represents your wedding ceremony. You can use the combination of different colors like bright and light-colored combination, such as counter height to cores by blossoming branches of cherry, which subsist innately brown and pink. You can wow your wedding without bursting your complete budget buy wedding flowers. Particularly garden-fresh flowers can play the center of attention role in decoration which is available fitting to the season. Everything should be looking familiar with the other one, like dress should be according to the wedding color them decoration or vice versa. Combination of every bit of decoration makes its own flavor. When you think you done, just take a deep look, and imagine it, be sure it makes you feel good. Because you are going to remember this day forever, years after years, you will see these things again and again in photos. So don’t miss anything now. 

3 most important tips for mom at pregnancy shoots.

Annie Leibovitz photographed pregnant Demi Moore for the front cover of Vanity Fair then Voila!  A pregnancy photography session is a stunning way to capture a woman’s body but documenting her during pregnancy can be really challenging . Here are some quick tips for your pregnancy photographs to be more sensual, graceful and intimate. For bookings please contact with Simone at info@elevenhearts.com

See you at the studio!!!


1. Practice and talk more about poses with your photographer prior tho the session to explain and define your style. Decide how much nudity you are going to comfortable with and don't forget to bring some loose colorful fabrics to cover your body during the photo session. 

2. Pregnancy is such a special time in your life. In just a few short months a tiny new person will be joining your family. Posing is very important without getting you really tired during the session. Try to take short breaks as much as you needed. You shouldn't be all over the place working really hard to pose. Your photographer should be the one who makes all the moves. Try to pose your arms around your belly most of the time that will emphasize the baby while flattering the rest of your body shape. Always try to look down or directly into the camera.

3. And finally getting daddy to the scene is very important. You’ve probably never looked more vibrant, radiant in your life but getting daddy into the scene makes the images more about love, relationship and emotion than they are about Mom’s body. 


How To Thank Your Parents.

Role of parents in one’s life is very huge to be thanked enough. From your childhood to your present, you won’t be able to find a single day without their contribution. The same will be on your wedding day. They play a big role in making the day spectacular for everyone including you. It’s a day for you with extensive importance, but you can’t ignore their role when you were stressed in making decisions, and even funding your affairs for the wedding by giving their time, support, and money. Parents deserve a huge acknowledgement.

Here we go with some of our favorite ideas of how to express your gratitude to your parents making them feel momentous particularly on your wedding day.

1. Praise them in the ceremony: They deserve to be praised and recognized. The wedding day is always a very busy day, you should place sometime in the wedding day plans in order to have a speech in between a function to show your appreciation towards your parents. It would be a very sound and fascinating idea for them. They will love it.

2. Write some note: It’s always very touching and persistent way to express your gratitude to your parents. After a busy and tiring day they would look for something relaxing, take advantage of it. Write a note to both of them to voice your thankfulness to them. It will surely make them feel relaxed and loved.

3. Use Jewelry: There are different ways you can adopt to make them feel blessed having you. Jewelry can be used to write names on along with some words of thankfulness. It can be a great idea; parents will love to watch that.

4. Donations on behalf of them: some parents are always passionate about donation, especially for charity or to the church. You can avail this opportunity for thankfulness by donating to the cause which is their favorite one.

5. A Song of their wedding: Paying tribute with something they are emotional about. You can do this by playing their wedding song on your wedding day for the first dance.

6. Give them their favorite gift: Gifts are special when it is associated with someone special. You are special to them. Think about them, what can be more valued to them as a gift. Give that as a gift to them. You can do it by giving them jewelry, cufflinks or necklace etc.

7. Handkerchief giving: It can be a lovely idea to write something on handkerchief for them. It would be considered cute by them and can bring smiles on their faces with fondness.

8. The dedication of your wedding to them: The power of dedication can’t be ignored, especially if that is for you. Your wedding was surely much awaited event for them too. You can dedicate it to them, which will surely be mesmerized for them.

Moreover, it’s all about love. Show your love and care for them. They won’t forget your love. The way you express will make it more memorable. Do it!

Eleven Hearts Studios Modern Düğün Fotoğrafçılığı Workshopları- 17 Mayıs 2014

Bahar geldi, bir düğün mevsimi daha başlıyor. Amerika’da yaşayan ve uluslararası ödüllü  fotoğrafçı Gigi Göknur Olguner’in rehberliğinde; düğün fotoğrafçılığın ilginç, sanatsal ve maddi olanaklarla dolu dünyasında bir yolculuğa katılmak ister misiniz? Muammer Yanmaz, Amerika’da düğün fotoğrafçılığının önde gelen isimlerinden Gigi Göknur Olguner’i, sizlere güncel ipuçları ve pratik öneriler verebilmesi için Mağara’da gerçekleşecek çok kapsamlı bir workshop'a davet ediyor.


Bu workshop’ta düğün fotoğrafçılığının anavatanı Amerika’dan güncel trendlerin yanısıra teknik, ışık, kamera ayarları, konu, poz verdirme, ayrıntıları yakalamak, müşteri ilişkileri, pazarlama, ve daha birçok konuda bilgiler paylaşılacak.

Gigi katılımcılar için; doğru ekipmanları seçme süreci gibi zorlu görünen konuları; deneyimleri ve bilgisi ile sadeleştirecek. Birlikte zayıf aydınlatılmış veya sıradan görünümlü düğün ortamlarını etkili ve canlı fotoğraflara dönüştürmenin yollarını keşfedeceksiniz. Ayrıca dinamik fotoğraflar için kompozisyon ilkelerinden ve iş akışı yöntemlerinden söz edilecek ve beklenmeyen anlar için somut çözüm bulma stratejileri keşfedeceksiniz.

Fotoğrafçılar daima ‘o an’ın yakalamanın peşindedirler. Maalesef ‘o annadiren ideal fotoğraf koşullarında karşımıza çıkar. Bu derste en yaygın kötü ışık durumlarının hızlı ve etkili bir şekilde üstesinden gelmeyi öğreneceksiniz. Bu basit teknikler ve minimal donanımlar ile herhangi bir ortamdan güzel görseller çıkarmayı başaracaksınız.

Bu kurs sonunda,  sağlıklı müşteri ilişkilerinden; pratik Photoshop ve Lightroom tekniklerine, düğünün her aşamasını fotoğraflarken özen göstereceğiniz detaylardan; daha hızlı düşünmenizi ve tepki vermenizi sağlayacak düşünsel araçlara sahip olabileceğiniz her konuyu öğreneceksiniz.

Katılımcılar dilerlerse yanlarında hakkında konuşmak istedikleri bir fotoğraflarını da getirebilirler.

Gigi Göknur Olguner hakkında daha fazla bilgi almak için www.elevenhearts.com adresini ziyaret edebilirsiniz.



Genel tanıtım ve fotoğraf tanışması: Düğün fotografçıları neler kullanırlar? Kamera, objektif, ayarlar, flash, softwares ve diğer ipuçları.


Bir düğün gününün aşamaları: Müşteri ile tanışma ve sağlıklı müşteri ilişlileri, Nişan çekimleri. Düğün öncesi yapılması gereken hazırlıklar. Düğün günü hikayesini anlatabilmek. Lokasyon detayları ve dikkat edilmesi gereken şeyler, Gelin ve damatın hazırlanması, nikah öncesi ve editoryal çekimler. Aile ve arkadaş fotograflar resmi çekimler. Resepsiyon ve zor ışıkla başedilmesi. Dans ve eğlence anları nasıl yakalanır. Pasta kesimi. Düğünün bitişi.


Dügün sonrası: İş akışı, arşivleme, yedekleme, slideshow, fotoğraf baskı, album teslimleri. Düğün fotoğrafçılığı ve dünya trendleri nelerdir, kimlik yaratılması, promosyon ve pazarlama.


Kapanış ve toplu fotoğraf çekimi.

*Katılımcılara Eleven Hearts Studyoları 2014 Amerika Workshoplarına katılım belgesi verilecektir.

Waiting for the Rainy Wedding Day.

Hey, it could be a damp and dreary day, but don't let that rain on your parade be decisive: Do not agonize over what you’re going to do about, or how you’re going to cope with, the rain. Decide early on what you want to do if it’s raining and stick to it.

Eleven Hearts Studios.

Trust your vendors: You hired professionals who are familiar with your venue, their craft, and the local weather. Trust them to do what they’re good at.

Be prepared: We all know you’ve been looking at the forecast. Go buy matching umbrellas for your wedding party and some cute wellies like, NOW.

Embrace it: Hey! It’s raining on your wedding day! You’re gunna get wet! Have fun with it!

Appreciate it: Some seriously beautiful things happen when it rains on your wedding day…

Thanks to Luckiest Girl Ever

My Clients are the Best!

My clients really are the best! It is so wonderful to get letters and notes like the below. Thank you for making me smile today! Hi Goknur!

This is Sarah Abbott, you shot my husband, Bryce, and my wedding almost 8 years ago on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

We still cherish the photos and were so happy to have you as our photographer.

For our anniversary this year I was thinking of putting together a pictorial story book featuring shots of me in my wedding dress. We are living in CA and I thought that w/ the new studio in Santa Monica I might be able to book you.

Please let me know if you are interested and have room in your schedule before our anniversary .

Congratulations on all of your recent success!

Sarah Abbott

Nothing like Parisian Elopement!

If you're looking for romance, look no farther than Paris, France, the perfect destination for an unforgettable weddings. This city has something of interest for everyone! Nothing is more romantic than saying your “I dos” under a cherry tree in front of Notre Dame. Paris, offers incredible historical background for a photographer to capture the magical moments as well. If you are inspired by this Paris wedding, check out the post on 5 tips for eloping in Paris. 

Well as famous rat said one day "You're in Paris now, baby. My town"-Ratatouille

How to keep your Bridesmaids Happy.

It doesn’t matter whether your Bridesmaids are covered in tattoos or have two left feet. Just make sure they are happy!

10 Rules to Keep Your Bridesmaids Happy!

Rule #1: Keep costs down.

A bride can be a total bummer when she picks out an incredibly unrealistic dress for her bridesmaids to wear. No matter what the lady at the dress salon may tell you, chances are this dress may never be worn again. Keep your bridesmaids happy (and their pocketbooks in check) with a beautiful – albeit realistically-priced – dress selection.

Rule #2: Pick out a flattering dress.

Every bridesmaid’s body shape is different, so the same dress style won’t flatter each girl the same. Instead, consider selecting an alternative dress – like a convertible dress – that can be worn multiple ways in the same shade. Believe me… they’ll be so happy you did. And, convertible dresses are DEFINITELY re-wearable!

Rule #3: Communicate (with Specificity).

If you expect your bridesmaids to tackle certain tasks, be specific. Communicate your wishes in advance and explain what you’d like them to do. For example, you might ask Stephanie and Monica to hand out programs at the ceremony, while Melissa places the aisle runner before the ceremony. Keep the tasks light and simple. Also, print out any info on a 3×5″ card for each bridesmaid just in case.

Rule #4: Select a neutral-toned shoe.

Do you know what color shoes your bridesmaids want to wear? The color shoes she already has. In her closet. Let your bridesmaids use their best judgment with a shoe that’s comfortable for them (and probably is already a favorite pair in their closet). For example, every girl has a pair of black heels (or flats). Keep it simple and tell ‘em to wear any shoe in a color that works with the dress. They’ll be so happy you did.

Rule #5: Nix any wedding talk on girls’ night.

You may have cake tiers and wedding hairstyles on your mind 24/7, but your bridesmaids are likely not obsessing over your big day. So, keep the wedding chatter to a minimum whenever possible – and, nix any and all wedding talk on girls’ night (unless they ask first). It’ll keep you focused on having fun (and keep you sane, too).

Rule #6: Give her a gift she’ll love to use / wear.

A bridesmaid gift is a token of your appreciation and a way to say thank you for being there for you. Giving a gift is a customary way to say thanks and means most when the gift has meaning or is custom-suited to her individual style. As my sister’s Maid of Honor, she gifted me with a pair of gorgeous silver and pearl earrings for special occasions, along with a cute top (suited to my style!) to wear with my favorite pair of jeans. I treasure the earrings and wear them at any chance I get, while my cute top is on constant rotation and became an instant favorite. Case in point: give a gift that she’ll actually use… and give a gift specially selected with her individual style in mind.

Rule #7: Have food available on the day of the wedding.

Some weddings begin at the crack of dawn with mimosas and hair appointments and last well into the night. Keep your bridesmaids happy by keeping them energized with food and drink available throughout the day. My sister – best MOH ever – brought Jimmy John’s sandwiches to the Church for us to snack on before getting ready. Best idea ever!

Rule #8: Give her a wedding-day itinerary ahead of time.

For the wedding festivities, have a plan in writing to keep the timeline organized. Let bridesmaids know where the rehearsal will be held, when, and what is planned afterward (such as dinner or brunch), along with the wedding time and location, a map, and cell phone numbers in case she needs to get in touch with you or a vendor.

Rule #9: Say thank you. Many, many times.

Simple as that.

Rule #10: Never, ever, ever be a bridezilla…

… because lunatic isn’t a shade that looks good on anyone. Also, being happy is contagious and a happy bride equals happy bridesmaids.

 *rules listed by emmalinebride.com