I have learned over the years that true hospitality doesn't stop at making guests feel comfortable. It's about making everyone around you feel at ease, cared for, even loved! A little while back I was contacted by the folks at Panino Giusto, inquiring about my photography services. I got a sense of how kind they were in our brief correspondence, but I didn't understand the magnitude of warmth until I visited the site in person. I was greeted with warm smiles, handshakes, cookies and coffee (with a firm insistence that I actually eat the cookies and drink their coffee). Even though they had hired me, it was very clear I was their "guest" for the day. The kindness was extended to each other, their hard working staff in the BOH (back of house), and of course to every single customer. If you like great wine, paninis, a gorgeous and comfortable atmosphere, and to be treated like family (in a good way), then treat yourself to Panino Giusto... oh yeah, and tell them I sent you! 19469 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
Jasmine asked if I had ever photographed a Persian wedding. "Hmm, not yet, but I would LOVE to!" was my answer. As soon as we hung up the phone, I started my research on a few of the key details she discussed. A few days later, I met Jasmine to discuss the details of her wedding at Blue Bottle Coffee in Mint Plaza. I couldn't tell if it was the coffee or her wedding overview, but I started to get really excited and inspired as Jasmine discussed how she and Ahmed wanted to adapt some (but not all) of the customs. I got goosebumps when she explained the Aayeneh-ye-Bakht (Mirror of Fate) she and Ahmed would look into during the ceremony. It symbolizes their bright future together, but more than that they view themselves together as others see them <3 We also discussed their Sofreyen Aghd (Table of Wedding). A table set in front of the seated bride and groom adorned and covered with fruits, nuts, cookies, a bowl of honey, crystalized sugar, candelabras, herbs and spices, eggs, and flowers all with beautiful purpose and meaning behind them. My favorite might be the colorful thread and needle (to figuratively sew up the mother-in-law's lips from speaking unpleasant words to the bride!).
Something that moved me beyond the physical beauty and meaning of the wedding details was how loving, humorous, and warm both families and friends were. By the end of the day (and night), I drove home with the same energy that I had after our first meeting at Blue Bottle Coffee.... so maybe it wasn't the coffee at all :-)
A big thank you to Jasmine and Ahmed, for inviting me to play a part in such a beautiful part of their lives! I won't forget it.
I am all for Natural Light Business Portraits taking the place of generic Corporate Headshots. "Headshots" have been the golden standard, but they are SO impersonal. I mean, in a time where we estimate that the average customer spends a minute looking over a website to decide whether to use your services or not , why not give them the REAL you? When my client (and friend) Cindy Storman contacted me to help her represent her new business venture I was all in! I've photographed Cindy in the past, and she is always so warm and confident in front of the camera. It makes total sense to me that she is devoting her natural ease and warmth to her new business Modern Way Mystic with her fellow guru Hillary Skibell. I hope these images help convey their ability to guide others in their own mystical modern way ;-P