Short Story: The Truth About Wedding Photographer in Lebanon

There was a time when wedding photography of Lebanon was not famous. In fact, in the early 90’s, editorial, fashion and commercial photography were popular and wedding photography was considered at the bottom of the photography chain. However, in the last one decade, wedding photography has picked up tremendously and is now the most profitable and successful of all different kinds of photography. Today wedding photographers have gained so much respect and an elevated status by their clients. At a wedding, they are treated as celebrities and as extremely important people.

All budget weddings have a photographer. This has made sure that even an emerging wedding photographer in Lebanon gets an opportunity to work and gain experience. People have started realizing the importance of capturing and saving the memories of their special day. By seeing the photos of your wedding, you can re-live that day and only a wedding photographer can help you with that. This is why the demand for wedding photographers has increased tremendously.

Extraordinary Skill Set of Wedding Photographers

Unlike all other photographers, a wedding photographer in Lebanon has the combination of good technical, communication, client management, and artistic skills.

Technical Skills – A photographer gets better with experience. This doesn’t mean that a naïve photographer is not good. These days, wedding photographers with the help of their technical knowledge and expertise impress the clients by using photographs to prepare a beautiful album with different kind of effects. By using various technical skills, a good wedding photographer makes all the photos look so much fancier, brighter and livelier. A successful photographer has good knowledge of camera, lighting, composition, exposure control, and lens. These skills help him to take excellent photos.

Communication  A wedding photographer is a very important member of any wedding, and actually becomes like family as he needs to interact with all guests and get their cooperation to pose and get photos clicked. If a client is happy with the communication skills and sense of humor of the photographer, then it’s very likely that the photographer will get that job. Especially if a client is spending a hefty amount on wedding photography, then he would want a presentable and entertaining person at his/her wedding. So, in many cases, a photographer charms his client only by his soft skills.

Client Management – Client management is a key to building a relationship. Being able to convince the client to discuss their interests, expectations, desires, and anything that is not photography is also very important. A photographer is always smiling, genuine, and interested in whatever the client says. It’s the ability to use positive, firm and reinforcing words along with good solutions to your client’s random requests. A wedding photographer’s motto is to always keep the client impressed, especially the bride and groom.

Artistic  A successful photographer has new and creative ideas for the couple. These days it’s all about something different. If a wedding photographer has anything different to offer, then he wins all the cookie points.

A wedding photographer has become a must in every wedding these days. You should carefully select one for yourself as there are abundant photographers available in Lebanon these days. It is sometimes hard to differentiate between them and finalize the best one for your wedding.

What Should Know About Local Photographer in Beirut

Every photographer has his way and style and it might or might not suit you. You should know your local photographer thoroughly before you actually finalize him. You have to do a proper research and have to be very particular and choosy when it comes to his artistic skills, professionalism, and personality. Here are a few points you should keep in mind before you hire a local photographer in Beirut

  • Style of photography –You should know the style of photography at which he/she is an expert, experienced and highly comfortable in. There are different kinds of photography styles like candid, portraiture, fine art, edgy or bold. There are a few photographers who can combine two styles of photography and give you a combination of them. There are some photographers in Beirut who could mix black and white with colored pictures and create a unique album for you. There are some who can only do candid whereas some who could only do a portrait. Hence, every photographer has his own expertise.
  • Experience –You should know for how many years he has been doing photography and how many events he has actually shot. There is an old saying “Experience makes a man perfect” and it is true in this case too. A more experienced photographer means he will be able to click better photos. It is also important to know what kind of events he has participated in Beirut. If you have a big gathering then you should find out if he has ever shot in a larger gathering or if your party is outdoors during daytime then it is important for you to know if the photographer has an experience in clicking photos in full light. These all are small points but important.
  • Photographer’s personality –It is extremely important to have a photographer with good a personality and talking skills. In Beirut, the guests feel very offended if not spoken well with. Example – if at the time when the formal picture is clicked and your photographer misses out or speaks in a not acceptable manner with any guest, then that could be a problem. A photographer should be assertive but at the same time, he should be calm to get all the guests in control by a positive force.
  • Actual photography prices – You should know what the right amount a photographer quote is. In Beirut, a few photographers ask for very high prices which are not justified. You can easily get cheated. So, be smart and before any negotiations are aware of what does the photography packages cost.
  • Your rights on the pictures –Most contracts state that the photographers own all rights to your pictures. As per the terms of this policy you cannot share your photos without the photographer’s watermark. If you are not comfortable with these terms then you can negotiate with the photographer else you shouldn’t go with this photographer.

There is a long list of local photographers available in Beirut. They could be found on the internet or from recommendations. With the help of the points mentioned above, you could find the best one in town.

10 Essential Tips for Wedding Photography Lebanon

Wedding photography is an art and not everyone can do it. You need to know all the tricks of it to be a good wedding photographer. If you are a starter in this profession then by following the tips mentioned below, you can become an expert very soon –

  1. You should plan a meeting with the bride and groom before the big day – Before the big day, you should sit with the couple and discuss with them the most important poses they really want to get clicked and prepare a list of it.
  2. Get the names of important people – Make a note the names of the people they want to be in their big family picture. Not even one member should be missed.
  3. Know about all the bride’s maid and best man – Bridesmaid and the best man are very important people to know on this day. These are the people who know about all the guests at the party, their names and where they can be found. So, at the time of the big photo, they can be very helpful in gathering all the people who are needed in the picture.
  4. Know the locations where they definitely want their pictures – You should meet the couple at the venue before the big day so that you can show all the places where you think they should get photos clicked and also get to know the places where they would want to. Also, you can discuss with them the benefits of getting pictures clicked at certain locations due to good light and effect.
  5. You should wear comfy shoes –You should wear your most comfy shoes at the venue. You will have a lot of walking around to do on that day.
  6. Carry Extra battery for your Camera –Even if you are sure that your camera battery would not drain out, you should carry extra batteries to be on the safer side. It is not worth the risk.
  7. Get a second Shooter –If it is a big party, venue size is huge and a long list of guest have to be covered then it is advised to have a second shooter. Yes, it is one add-on cost but if you want to make sure that all guests and moments are covered then it is important. This will make sure that there are no chances to miss a shot.
  8. Don’t run out of memory –When you click high-resolution pictures then you don’t even realize when you use up all your memory space. So, you should make sure that you carry extra memory cards and not run out of memory.
  9. Know the whole schedule –You should know the entire schedule and plan of the wedding party. You should be aware of the exact cake cutting, ring exchange ceremony, first dance time and so on. These are some important moments you cannot miss clicking.
  10. Stay out of way –You should make photography a fun part in the party and be invisible wherever possible. You should prefer taking candid pictures in place of disturbing the couple to pose for the camera.

There are much more tips on how you can work on your wedding photography but the above-mentioned ones are the most important. By following just the above ones, you can become the best wedding photographer in Lebanon.

What are Lebanese Wedding Traditions?

It doesn’t matter what culture you come from, every single culture from across the globe has it’s own set of traditions for marriage and for weddings said by the Beirut local photographer who doing wedding photography in Lebanon. While some cultures may have similar traditions, others have many different traditions that sanctify the unity of a marriage way before an eventual celebration even occurs.

For many cultures, marriage is when a husband and wife stand before a crowd of people in front of a judge, priest or a group of witnesses pronouncing their love to one another while in other cultures, marriage has very little to do with a wedding but everything to do with the unification of two families. In Lebanese Wedding traditions, things are actually much different.

In fact, when discussing the wedding traditions of Lebanese you will be surprised to find that their wedding traditions start days before the actual marriage take place.

One of the fascinating things about Lebanese weddings is that just four days before the wedding, the bride has a primary responsibility to go on a stroll through the village showing her entire trousseau. After she has done this it is her duty to begin preparing for the next day which is considered the bride’s evening. It is during this time that the bride endures a body hair removal process which includes a wax of melted sugar and lemon. This is said to be a tradition that occurs in order to prepare the bride’s body for her groom. Once the wife has completed her evening of having her entire body waxed it is now time for the groom to have his evening which surprisingly is a bit different from the bride’s evening.

On the brink of the groom’s evening which is primarily held 2 days before the wedding, the groom is invited to sit on a throne. It is during this time that the groom is presented with lots of money and gifts from attendees. These are gifts that are used to not only commemorate but celebrate the upcoming nuptial of the new couple.

As festive as the days prior to the wedding have been, there are even more festivities and rituals that take place on the wedding day of the bride and groom. Prior to the wedding, the bride and her friends are expected to visit the village people while a cafe is prepared for the groom. If you are unfamiliar with a cafe, it is a celebration and escort of singing and dancing from the groom’s family and friends and it is said to be how guests bring the groom to his wife. Once the groom arrives at the bride’s house traditional vows are exchanged and then the bride and groom are escorted by the party back to the groom’s house with both families. Once inside, the bride is tasked with the responsibility to put a paste mixture over their door and the guests then put decorations and coins on the paste. Once the celebrating is over, guests are asked to wait outside until they receive proof that the union has been consummated.

Top 10 Outdoor Wedding Venues in Beirut

Wedding bells are ringing throughout the land and if you whether you are a beaming bride or a groom seeking to make sure your wife to be is not disappointed wedding day, then selecting Beirut as a wedding venue will not disappoint. Surrounded by a wealth of historic features, Beirut has continued to be a premiere destination for Bride’s across the globe looking to take their special day to a destination she perhaps has never traveled to before. So if you’re preparing for your wedding day and have no idea to begin, this list will help guide you as you seek to discover the top 10 wedding venues in Beirut recommended by a Beirut local photographer.

Chateau Rweiss

While no bride wants to even consider the potential for rain, anything is possible and you want to choose a wedding venue that accommodates both the beautiful sunshine and even the rain. This beautiful indoor and outdoor venue is picture perfect and is surrounded by the green mountains and beautiful architecture.

Domaine De Zekrit

Zekrit offers not only a beautiful location but it is specifically amazing because it is 350m above sea level. This point is important because the area in which this venue is located has extremely hot temperatures at the time and the location above sea level makes this location a perfect temperature for your Beirut wedding.

Four Seasons Hotel

While the Four Seasons is known popularly throughout the world and just not Beirut, it is still a premiere location for Beirut weddings. Don’t worry, at the Four Seasons you are not only given the option of having an indoor wedding within the hotel, you can also take your party outside while also assuring that your guests don’t have to travel far if they have partied a little too hard during the wedding festivities.

Hilton Hotel

Again, while not just a Beirut specialty, this Hilton hotel offers a beautiful garden party for guests looking to spruce up their wedding day with something outside of a typical wedding day.

Byblos Sur Mer

This captivating outdoor venue seats a marveling number of people, 700 to be exact and if you’re wedding guest list is shockingly that huge then perhaps this is the destination you have dreamed of. As an added bonus this location is actually the site of the romantic story of Adonis and Aphrodite.

Le Royal Hotel

This 5-star hotel is a wedding venue in Beirut and there’s no guessing why. This beautiful hotel offers ballrooms and outdoor settings that are designed to awe any bride or groom to be. It even offers an international buffet so if you’re traveling outside of the country you can truly get the taste of Beirut’s food.

La Vie en Rose Garden

Looking for a location that’s a bit more quaint and private. If you love pine trees and other greeneries this is the dream location for you. Don’t worry if you have a huge crowd coming with you but still want the “small wedding” feel, this location can actually hold up to 1,000 people.

Robert Mouawad Private Museum

If you are looking to celebrate your wedding in one of Beirut’s most famous museums, this location is to die for. Don’t worry about knocking over artifacts during your wedding, this venue actually accommodates wedding outside and the glowing light surrounding the venue is sure to add the touch of love and romance you are looking to capture your wedding day.

Edde Sands

Have you always dreamed of having a wedding in the sand? The Edde Sands was created just for you. It can accommodate more than 500 people and can offer you everything you need in a wedding day including beautiful scenery.

Swanlike

While often compared to La Vie en Rose, this location is actually located a few minutes from Beirut; however, it’s outdoor venue surrounded by greenery especially during sunset is a magical place in which you and your beau to be could tie your nuptials.

Top 10 Natural Scenery in Beirut for Photography

With the increase in social media usage around the world, the scenery has become more important than ever before. Photographers across the world have now made it their overall objectives to travel to various locations just to find the best scenery to photographs. While in many ways Beirut is still a hidden travel gem, many local photographers have begun to flock to Beirut in hopes of capturing creative photography.

If you are a photographer who will soon be traveling to Beirut here are the top 10 natural sceneries in Beirut for photography:

The Corniche

If you have never traveled to Beirut before there will be no surprise that many citizens of the city will almost always send you straight for the Corniche. The Corniche is a view like no other and has been said to be the premiere location for everything Beirut. Here you will find fishermen, coffee sellers and more. This beautiful landmark is guaranteed to help you as a photographer capture genuine moments of fellow tourists as well as life in Beirut.

National Museum of Beirut

As with most places that are tourist attractions, Beirut’s museums are another landmark that every photographer must seek out to visit. This national museum provides visitors with in-depth photos, artifacts and more of the history of Beirut. This historical museum will provide photographers with everything they need to capture the historic portion of Beirut’s destruction and also gradual rise to the top.

Martyr’s Square Downtown

If you want to truly experience Beirut at it’s finest and purest you will want to visit the Martyr’s Square in Downtown. Here you will find beautiful hotels that will have you staring in awe. Straight out of a textbook the Martyr’s Square Downtown offers stellar and classical scenery that photographers will love. The beauty that can be captured in Martyr’s Square is so captivating you won’t have to edit one photo of the scenic destination.

Pigeon Rocks

Pigeon Rock is a beautiful natural offshore rock located in Beirut. In fact, it is not only the most famous scenic piece of Beirut but it is actually said to be one of the only natural features of Beirut remaining.This beautiful attraction could very well be the highlight of your trip.

Beirut Souks

While Beirut Souks may be the dream location for those who are looking to shop until they drop, many photographers have found sanctuary in Beirut Souks. This beautiful location was restored after the destruction the occurred after the Civil War and captures the true fashion hub that Beirut has become. Beirut Souks has something to offer everyone and is a great destination for photographers to capture the spirit of those embracing the Beirut culture.

B108

B108 is legendary club located within Beirut and while this premiere party destination is sure to bring out the party animal in anyone, this is not what makes the club unique. The most unique and scenic aspect of this club is that it actually used to be a former detention center. In fact, it was specifically a camp for thousands of refugees that were later massacred by the Phalangist militia. To no surprise, this club is still the place of much controversy; however, if you are looking to capture the revitalization of once historic landmarks, B108 is a great place to start.

Roman Temple at Baalbek

This monumental Roman temple was at one point in history one of the most celebrated sanctuaries ever and is to do this day one of the most popular tourism locations and once you visit it you’ll see just why. The columns of this building soar high and is a true sight to behold. Each portion of this monumental temple has a story of its own that can easily be captured in the lens of any great photographer.

University of Beirut

You can’t truly capture Beirut without capturing the educational aspect of the country. Take a stroll and a few photos through the University of Beirut and capture higher education at it’s finest. As you walk through the grounds of the campus you will get a sense of Beirut life before the civil war.

Château Ksara

Chateau Ksara is a beautiful winery that is nestled away in Bekka Valley and is a great location if you are looking to take a few photos and sip at the same time. The site is marveling and houses over 90,000 bottles of finest wines. Guided tours are available so if you’re in need of some photography storytelling there’s someone available to give you insight on everything you see.

Telepherique

Want to add some excitement to your trip? Consider taking a nine-minute ride on the technique cable car. You will give an amazing view as you take this dramatic cable ride. You may want to leave your camera behind for this one. You can take great pictures after it’s over.

Where to Find Local Photographer in Beirut

If you are new to Beirut it may be challenging to find the service providers you need whether for a special occasion, personal vacation or even perhaps a business trip. What can be even harder is identifying a local photographer in Beirut? While a photographer does not necessarily have to be local in order to take great pictures of the area, it’s always a better experience if you have a local photographer when traveling in Beirut on hand to assist you because he or she will know where the best photography locations are. Below is a quick list of where you can find local photographers in Beirut.

Facebook

While Facebook has often taken pride in referring to itself as a place for people, it really is true. If you’re not a local to Beirut finding a photographer can be extremely difficult and even more frustrating. To help take away the frustration and make your search for a photographer that much easier, Facebook has created an option that will let you find photographers based on location. It’s actually quite simple, all you have to do is type in Beirut Photographers and instantly you will be given a list of photographers in Beirut and if you’re lucky you’ll stumble across a few with reviews that can help you before you purchase their services.

Zafzaf

If you’re looking for amazing photographers in Beirut for your wedding day then Zafzaf is the premier location for you online to find the best wedding photographers that Beirut has to offer. In addition, you will find everything you need to make sure that your wedding in Beirut is the wedding that you always dreamed of and also the wedding that you will never forget. As an added bonus many photographers on this site are kind enough to provide you with sample photos of the work they’ve done in the past.

Online Search

Again, one of the best ways to find the photographers you are looking for quickly, do an online search of the area and you are guaranteed to receive a host of photographers in Beirut. Online searches are best simply because if you’re lucky you’ll be able to find reviews and also previous photos of the photographers so you don’t have to worry about photographers who lie about their work.

Word Of Mouth

Sometimes when you’re in a crunch and need to find a photographer quickly you may not have time to do an in-depth search for a photographer that’s why there is nothing like word of mouth. If you’re looking for a photographer take a stroll through downtown or even through the American University of Beirut and simply ask around if anyone knows any photographers. In many cases, one of the best ways to fully engulf yourself in the culture of any place is to simply make friends and acquaintances along the way so if you’re crunched for time this may be the best and perhaps the riskiest approach when trying to find a Beirut photographer.

Top 10 Popular Festivals in Beirut

beirut festivalsWhile everyone may not be party animals every single day of their lives, lots of people simply enjoy a great time every once and awhile right? Traveling to Beirut is no different. In recent years Beirut has become the home to some of the top festivals in the world and it brings in thousands of visitors each and every year. These festivals range from a variety of cultures and each one offers something different for its audience. Below are just a few of the top festivals held in Beirut.

Art in Office

The American University of Beirut is known for playing a pivotal role in Beirut’s promotion of contemporary art. Generally held in the summer time, art in office is an art festival that showcases the art collection that is found throughout the campus of AUB. It includes exhibits of all types.

Afkart

Each year Afkart is held and is designed to give the artist the opportunity to showcase their work to a sophisticated and larger audience. The first inception of this annual event was in 2002 and has since seen a steady increase in attendees. The event now boasts of attendance levels of over 10,000 visitors.

Fete de La Musique

If you are looking for an opportunity to see great French artists live in concert this is the festival for you. It is sponsored by the French Institute from Beirut and best of all it has a free access policy so all are welcome to attend.

Beiteddine Festival

Known as one of the greatest festivals in the Middle East, this music festival garners an attendance of over 50,000 spectators.

Byblos International Festival

This festival is by far considered to be one of the biggest festivals in Lebanon. This festival is said to be organized in the first Phoenician city which makes this concert somewhat part of history not only for its huge attendees and line ups but because of its locations.

Ehdeniyat International Festival

This first festival first took place in 2004 and has now been pegged as the ‘experience that never ends’. One of the things that continue to lure many into this beautiful festival is its unique location.

Troubled Symphonies

If you are a film junkie you will be excited to attend this unique festival which offers a series of four movies every month. This event is perfect if you are looking to enjoy an outdoor movie night during the Lebanese summer.

Baalbek International Festival

Often referred to as the ‘oldest cultural event in the Middle East’ this event stretches back to more than half a century. This event brings several world-renowned artist to one location for a cultural experience you are guaranteed to never forget.

Tyre Festival

The Tyre international festival actually occurs right outside of Beirut; however, it takes pride in offering the best of local and international art culture. It also takes pride in the positive role the festival plays throughout the community.

Other Local Festivals

From year to year, Beirut continues to bring in some of the best festivals from across the globe and if you are planning to visit soon check the Beirut calendar, who knows what festival may come to town next.

The Average Cost of Weddings in Beirut

wedding costBelieve it or not, wedding prices included photography pricing are continuing to rise higher and higher as each year goes by despite the culture in which you live in. While many wedding planners have often sympathized with brides and grooms and acknowledge they understand just how expensive weddings are it has not caused any wedding planner to lower their costs. In fact, as wedding venue prices have increased so have the cost for a wedding planner. Despite this increase in prices, brides and grooms are not slowing down their marriage rates and are absolutely not slowing down their spending on their wedding days. In fact, many couples have taken out huge loans just to host huge wedding festivities that perhaps they cannot even afford but feel they need.

Throughout the world, the wedding industry is one of the most lucrative service providers. The profits are extremely high and in the last 5 years, over 20 wedding planning companies have been formed in Beirut.

During a recent survey that was conducted by Information International, it was estimated that weddings in Beirut cost approximately $15,000 United States dollars for the average couple. If you’re not from Lebanon you may want to be careful before beginning to plan your wedding in this area because it is not your average place to simply say your I Dos. In fact, celebrating a wedding in Beirut is a 4-5 day festivity that involves parties. Like many Lebanese weddings, a wife’s body being waxed and it also includes a group of people waiting outside your room to receive proof that you and your mate have consummated your union.

While your wedding day should be a day you never forget and full of love and celebration it’s also important to know that it is not a requirement to spend a ton of money on a wedding. Having a wedding planner does help eliminate stress but you don’t have to hire a wedding planner. In fact, you don’t even have to have your wedding at an expensive venue. Ultimately how much money you spend on your wedding solely lies in your hand. While the average couple does spend over 15,000.00 on weddings in Beirut don’t let that number corner you into a wedding you cannot afford.

Whether you recognize it or not, there are always cheaper options when getting married and many things that brides and grooms hire others to do can easily be done themselves. As oppose to ditching out tons of money to a local photographer, consider asking a friend. Need flowers? Get a group of your friend’s together and take a trip to a flower garden and pick your own. When planning a wedding specifically a wedding on a strict budget, get creative and all your resources together. No couple should ever have to incur huge amounts of debts simply to get married in front of friends and families.

Beirut weddings can be expensive, if you’re not interested in a wedding on a budget, consider saving years in advance. You’ll be so glad you did.

Top 10 Amazing Places Must Visit in Beirut

In it’s earliest days, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon was once one of the top tourist attractions in the region. For many individuals who aspired to travel to Beirut, it was often known as the Paris of the East. Some of the region’s finest and site residents could often be found traveling to the area just to have the opportunity to embrace such a beautiful country.

It does not matter what you’re looking for in a tourism location, Beirut literally has something to offer everyone who visits from the youngest to the oldest. Below are 10 of the most amazing places to visit in Beirut.

Corniche

Anyone you ever meet on a visit to Beirut will tell you that you must go on a stroll along the Corniche. This beautiful landmark by the sea is a place that many people visit in order to get a true glimpse of Beirut life. There you are destined to meet fishermen and coffee sellers.

Dar Bistro & Books

Are you in the mood for Lebanon food? When in Beirut, you have no choice but to indulge in food at one of Beirut’s most amazing Lebanese restaurants. Dar Bistro & Books is a classic and is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.

Beirut Old City Walk

If you’re interested in being able to embrace the city of Beirut through the eyes of one of Beirut’s locals then perhaps you should consider a guided tour on the Beirut Old City Walk. There are so many hidden stories lurking in the walks of this landmark that is sure to take your trip through Beirut to another level.

B108

When traveling everyone loves a good party. It can’t be explained but there is definitely something exhilarating about partying in a foreign country. B108 is a legendary club in Beirut that is home to the “underground” club. The party literally begins with a DJ running his set early in the morning and when night time arrives the roof of the club opens up to reveal the stars and city lights.
Baalbeck International Festival

If you are traveling to Beirut in the Summer time then you are going to want to check out the Baalbecek International Festival. This exciting festival brings monuments to life with a variety of plays and concerts.

Beirut Souks

Despite the somewhat struggling economy of Beirut, there are still amazing options for shopping in Beirut. Hermès, Louboutin, and Vuitton are just a few of the shopping options available when you go visit the Beirut Souks.

American University of Beirut

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a tour on one of the most pristine college campuses in Beirut. This well-renowned institute will give you a front row seat into what the city of Beirut was like prior to the Civil War.

Tourist Landmark of the Resistance

Located on the scenic route of Mleeta, the Tourist Landmark of the Resistance. It has often been referred to as the Hezbollah’s Disneyland. It is definitely a major attraction for those looking to explore a museum.

Achrafieh

Beirut has been knowing of its thriving art scene. If you’re looking to catch a quick art house flick, Achrafieh will not disappoint. During any given time you can walk into Achrafieh and catch a screening or an extraordinary cinematic film.

The Sporting Club

If you have more of a high-class taste, perhaps a visit to the Sporting Club may be of benefit to you on your vacation to Beirut. It is a place that has been known to promise Skiing in the morning and sunbathing in the afternoon.