Sehar Shafqat: Blog en-us (C) Sehar Shafqat (Sehar Shafqat) Sat, 15 Aug 2020 11:25:00 GMT Sat, 15 Aug 2020 11:25:00 GMT Sehar Shafqat: Blog 80 120 Guest Blog Post -- Planning a Wedding During the Pandemic We are in interesting and uncertain times aren't we?



Many people have experienced and are experiencing the repercussions and effects of COVID-19 and happily engaged couples are no exception. Since mid-to-late-March and early-April thousands of engaged couples have been faced with the unbelievable and emotional task of drastically modifying their wedding plans or postponing their wedding celebration until things are more stable in and around our country and world.




While the journey to "I do" may look (a lot) differently than what you and your fiancee and loved ones had originally envisioned and planned, all is not lost. There are still many things you can do to have the day you have dreamed of and deserve.

  • Take a breather - allow yourself, your fiancee, and loved ones to be upset. That is completely your right and understandable. Wedding planning is an exciting and meaningful adventure and when that is disrupted, there should be a grieving process.
  • Decide what is most important now - once time has been given to cry and yell, you and your fiance should decide what is most important to you given the current events. Do you still want to have the wedding you have been planning all along in its entirety (knowing you may have to wait several months up to a year to do this), do you want to do a hybrid of this wedding and have an intimate and Zoom-friendly ceremony now and then wait to celebrate with loved ones later when social distancing phases and guidelines have loosened, or do you still want to get married and have a beautiful reception now?



  • Lean on an expert - if you already have a wedding planner, LEAN ON THEM. This is exactly why you hired a wedding planner to begin with, to help you with the tough decisions and tasks and to think of things you wouldn't necessarily think to do or think of. Ask them all the questions. If vendor contracts need to be canceled or postponed, ask for the planner's help. If you need some innovative and adaptive ideas on how to get married safely and legally now, ask your wedding planner. And if you don't have a wedding planner, reach out to one. There are so many wedding planners that want to be of service to couples, especially in this chaotic, anxiety-driven, and emotional time. (We happen to know a great one. ;-))
  • Have you considered the Micro Wedding - Micro Weddings are the rage now and why not? It still allows couples to get married around or even on the original date they had planned. A micro wedding is a smaller-scale celebration that typically has a guest count of 20 or less, and has a shorter and much more simplistic timeline. Most often, micro weddings will have a quick ceremony and a more casual and relaxed reception. A typical micro wedding package offers a bundle of services (planning and coordination, venue, cutting cake, some florals, and photography to name a few) for a set and affordable price. While a couple may have to trim the guest list and make other adjustments, this still allows them to get married in front of loved ones, in-person and virtually, as originally desired. If you or anyone you know is curious to learn more about micro wedding packages being offered, check out Honey & Lavender's Micro Wedding package at Tudor Place in Washington, D.C.!




(Sehar Shafqat) Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:25:43 GMT
How to Prepare for Your Wedding Day Photography A common mistake many brides make (I was one of them!!) is not being prepared for their wedding day photography. Your wedding day photography (and videography) is a HUGE deal, brides! You don't want to go through your final photos and wish you would have discussed about any poses or details that may have been missed.

Photography experts are there to capture one of the happiest days of your life! So make sure to get to know your photographer and hopefully the one you choose will help you prepare months before your wedding on what to expect.


One good way to get a feel of the photography experience is to book an engagement session with the same photographer. A lot of wedding photographers include a complimentary engagement session with their best packages so consider booking one. You may also find some photographers including engagement sessions with all their packages --I offer one with all my packages because I believe every couple deserves one! Right?!

Booking Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know your photographer and it gives you an idea of what to expect on your wedding day. On your engagement session you'll get a feel for how to pose in front of the camera and you'll get so much practice! I'll be honest, you will probably have an awkward first 10 minutes on your engagement session, after that you'll be a PRO!!




Once you receive all your photos from your engagement session, you'll know just what to expect as far as couple poses on your wedding day. However, there are many other details to cover on a wedding day and your wedding photographer will probably have a list of their own to work off of. That checklist will definitely cover Pre-Wedding, Ceremony, Post Ceremony, and Reception photos. For my clients, I like to share a few months before their wedding all that I will be covering, but there are a few special photos that can easily be ignored if you are not prepared. Check out this FREE download to make sure you know exactly what photos you DON'T WANT TO MISS!!




Many wedding photographers have the option of choosing a second photographer. These are usually included in the full day packages for most photographers or you may be given this option even if you're booking wedding photography for less than 8 hours. The advantage of requesting a second photographer is that the photographers get to shoot from different angles especially for ceremony photos. You want to make sure to get your beautiful dress captured (front and back) as you walk in and down the aisle. One photographer does not have to move back and forth to capture all angles. Having a second photographer allows for capturing ceremony photos a lot more smoothly than what it would be with just one photographer!



Ready for a BONUS TIP?!

It is SO important that you make it a priority getting in touch with your photographer and wedding planner to discuss the events of the wedding day a few days before the wedding. I like to send out a reminder email to my couples several days before the wedding to discuss all these details. Doing this keeps everyone on the same page and it makes it easier for everyone to stay on time. Be sure to also share the names and contact info of your maid of honor or best man with your photographer. It just helps when getting people together for portraits. 

I hope this was helpful to you as you plan one of the most important celebrations of your life! Remember, all the preparations don't have to be stressful if you do and check things off your wedding to-do list on time! Cheers and Happy Wedding Planning! <3 





(Sehar Shafqat) Best Photographers DC Best Photographers in Northern Virginia Brides to be Couples Photography Engagement PhotoSessions Getting Married Light and Airy Wedding Photographer Miss to Mrs Northern Virginia Photographers Northern Virginia Wedding Photographers Wedding Day Timelines Wedding Photographers in Northern VA Wedding Photography Tips Wedding Planning Tips Wedding Preps Thu, 07 May 2020 14:25:16 GMT
A Friendsgiving Feast I have so many things to be thankful for this year, and one of them is how God led me to make some great connections in the wedding industry. One of my goals this year was to be a part of an amazing Styled Shoot and I love how that came about in October. Maya Mahoney, the lovely Event Planner of Honey & Lavender Events, and I got connected on Instagram over the summer and we started talking about coming up with a creative shoot. Of course, the talented and creative "Maya Bee" came up with a Friendsgiving Feast idea. Friendsgiving Feasts are becoming so popular these days and if you're a Bride-to-be looking forward to a fall wedding, THIS is the theme want to consider! A Wedding Celebration and a Friendsgiving Feast are such a beautiful and heart warming combination!

I cannot thank all the vendors and our beautiful models enough, who so willingly and quickly made things work out! A huge shout out to Kelly of Modern Trousseau DC and Amy Owen of Tudor Place for their support through it all. Everyone who was on board for this shoot was creative, talented, and a delight to work with! I sure hope we get to work more together in the future. 

Brides to be, here's the list of vendors you want to reach out to if you're planning your wedding around the DC area:

Planning: Honey and Lavender Events

Venue: Tudor Place

Dress: Modern Trousseau

MUA & Hairstylist: Priscilla Beauty 

Florist: Black Calla Events 

Cake and Catering: Sugar Collaborations 

Calligrapher and Stationer: Simply Jessica Marie and Jen Simpson Design

Models: Jame and Emma


As much as I love orange pumpkins, a Friendsgiving Wedding had to have more of my favorite white pumpkins, candles, and beautiful florals. Our idea was to stick to white and peach instead of the traditional deep colors of fall. Fall, for me,  is just "a second spring, where every leaf is a flower" and we wanted our theme to have a fresh new perspective!

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 I love how Jessica of Simply Jessica Marie created this DC map for us to use for our feast in the heart of Georgetown, DC. What a great idea to include a little map of your city as part of your invitation suite!

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I am SO in love with the idea of including a crest for wedding invitations and menu cards!

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Stunning hair and makeup on our beautiful model by the team at Priscilla Beauty! I am all about simplicity and elegance and love how they did exactly what I had envisioned!


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 Let's talk about these gorgeous florals by Black Calla Events! Diane is a pro with flowers!                                                                                                                                               

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Not to forget the stunning wedding gowns Modern Trousseau has to offer! Love their handmade wedding gowns made only in the USA. This one is their famous Nola gown. 


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Loved the portico at Tudor Place and all their gardens! If you're looking for a classy, romantic, & historic venue in DC, Tudor Place is the one!!!

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(Sehar Shafqat) and Bride Couple DC Details Fall Feast Friendsgiving Georgetown Groom Inspiration Inspirations Northern Photographer Photography Sessions Shoot Tablescapes Thanksgiving Virginia Wedding Weddings Tue, 26 Nov 2019 16:24:57 GMT
Eden Resort & Suites Wedding Photography I was thrilled to receive my first wedding inquiry for a wedding that was going to be celebrated at the Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster, PA. This was the same venue where my wedding reception was held when I was married! It is a beautiful & luxurious venue with some of the best wedding planners working there to help you plan for your BIG DAY!

Laura Feliciano, from Lancaster (and also a very good friend of my sister) reached out to me in 2017 as she was planning her February 2018 wedding. It was truly an honor to work with her and capture one of the happiest moments of her life ~ get married to the man of her dreams, her love, Yusuke Fukushima. Laura and Yusuke have a sweet story of how they met and I want to share her own words, right here on my blog! They were married at United Pentecostal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 


"The story of how we met is rather complex but I will do my best to summarize everything. One Sunday morning I woke up and prayed as usual and began to get dressed for church. I remember as I was doing my hair the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said I was going to meet "someone" that day. I remember thinking, "I wonder what that means." So I went to church as usual and there was a visitor --a Japanese man. I was shy at the time so I usually left church right after the service but that day my pastor compelled me to stay. After eating lunch with everyone I was going to go home but my youth pastor at the time called me over. He wanted to introduce me to the visitor everyone seemed to be going crazy about. You see, half of my church is Ghanaian and the other half is Filipino. When my husband came that day he was communicating with everyone in their languages. Apparently he lived in Ghana for 2 years and could speak some dialects from there. When my youth pastor introduced us to each other the first thing my husband said to me was, "tu hablas en espanol?" To which I was shocked and replied back, "wait, you speak Spanish too?" Apparently he had traveled and lived in South America, where he learned Spanish and he had even gone to Puerto Rico as well! That day we exchanged facebook information and began communicating almost everyday. We fell for each other faster than expected and soon we were dating. After a few years of dating he asked me to marry him, but to be honest, he spoke of marriage from the beginning."


I am always amazed at how God has His ways of bringing people together! Everything about her wedding day was wonderful and I loved seeing what a closely knit community of family and friends she belongs to. One of my favorite parts about it all was her wedding dress! The details on her dress were simply gorgeous and Laura also shared the boutique she bought the dress from. She was so grateful to Milena of Milena's Bridal in Texas who helped her with the dress and shipped it directly to her apartment in Japan! 


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(Sehar Shafqat) Airy and Blogs Bridal D.C. DC Dresses Eden Engagements Lancaster Light Maryland Northern Pennsylvania Photographer Resort Suites Virginia Washington Wedding Weddings Mon, 04 Nov 2019 16:26:00 GMT
Mommas-to-Be: 7 Tips for Preparing for a Maternity Shoot When I first became pregnant, I wanted to go all out on pictures! And why not, right?! It is such an exciting time in a woman's life! Every mommy-to-be should have someone preserve these memories that will last a lifetime. 

Meet Kiari, one sweet mommy-to-be I met for a mini-session. She was one strong momma to come out in heels for this maternity shoot we had at  Amos Herr Foundation in Lancaster, PA. I had so much fun capturing these for her and just look at that glow on her face!


As I display some sneaks from this session, I want to share a few tips for having a great maternity shoot: 

  • Rest and Relax.  We all know how easily a woman gets tired during pregnancy. A day before the shoot, be sure to get lots of rest and stay hydrated.

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  • Wear a dress that YOU are most comfortable in. It is super trendy these days to wear something long, flowy, and dreamy --and I'm ALL for it! But it's important to realize that not every momma out there may be comfortable in that style. What matters most is that you wear something that is special and at the same time COMFORTABLE!. After all, this session is all about you. 

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  • Search your favorite poses and ideas. Use your favorite search engine --PINTEREST! Don't we all just love pinning and saving inspiration on Pinterest?! I love it so much! Just remember not to get too carried away, trying to duplicate something that's already been done. Make it a unique experience to treasure for a lifetime and to share with family and friends!


  • Wear comfortable shoes. You'll be on your feet and posing for an hour so it's best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes. If you have a special pair that you'd like to show off in a few pics, bring it along and change. I was stunned to see Kiari pull out her beautiful floral heels for a few pics-- and then, of course she changed to another more comfortable pair of shoes. 

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  • Have your hair and makeup done.  Okay, this does not mean that everyone needs to spend big bucks at a salon. Having a professional do it is great but it can get expensive. Always a good idea to save when possible and DIY, right?! For hair, I always love loose hair with big curls--that way your hair aren't too straight and have a bounce to them! For makeup, get your favorite BB Cream, cream blush, eye-liner, mascara, & highlighter. You can never go wrong when you have the mascara and highlighter to finish it all off!  BONUS TIP: Lashes always look great in pictures. You can either DIY your lashes or just have a lash expert make them all fancy for you!

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  • Bring any newborn baby props along. Props like newborn baby shoes, a sign board with something special on it, ultrasound baby pics, baby clothes, are a few baby props that you can consider bringing along to your maternity session. 

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  • Be comfortable and trust your photographer. You want to look your best, so take a deep breath and be ready pose with your baby bump! Relax and trust your photographer to guide you throughout the shoot.

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Lastly, don't forget to carry a bottle of water and crackers with you. Always need an expecting mommy to feel her best and stay hydrated.  Is there anything else we could add to the list? Share it with me in the comments below. 

If you're a new mommy-to-be and need someone to document this precious season of your life, I'd love to help you out! Contact me HERE, I'd love to create some dreamy images for you!







(Sehar Shafqat) family blogger family photographer in northern virginia Family photographers in DC area maternity sessions mini sessions mommy and me photos northern virginia photographer Mon, 15 Jul 2019 17:52:19 GMT
Mother's Day Mini Session at Manassas Battlefield National Park What an honor it was to photograph my sweet friend Nadine's family this month at Manassas Battlefield National Park! I loved photographing her wedding and now this fun little session. 

Now let me tell you --it wasn't easy. Her adorable two year old son, Noah, was loving the open fields and really tested my photography skills (I actually enjoyed it). As soon as the family stepped out of their vehicle and walked into the park, sweet little Noah saw freedom all around him and wanted to run anywhere and everywhere. His parents and I all took turns chasing him and trying to attract him for taking pictures with his wonderful parents. 

I did, however, keep clicking during the whole time, whenever I felt I could. There were times when Noah rolled on the grass, picked flowers for his mommy, and gave her lots of hugs and kisses! He also kept fixing his mommy's floral crown and called it a 'hat'. So really, there was not a one perfectly posed picture, but all perfect and natural moments were captured. That is what I loved about this session and I want to capture all my clients like that --naturally! Photo sessions can seem a little intimidating at first (especially with little ones), but it's so important to relax and let everything flow naturally. 

So here's a little take away for all families with energetic toddlers and all the family photographers out there. For sessions like these, remember that toddlers are the ones to run the show. There is no need for anyone to be upset or frustrated because kids are going to be kids. Just be patient. 

Some things you CAN do to maybe calm down or distract the littles are: 

1. Bring their favorite toys (hey, toys make great props!) or their favorite snack along to the session. 

2. Play fun games during the session!

3. Keep interacting! 

Interacting with your family, while sitting close together (or standing) make some great natural poses and there's no need to feel stressed out. I like to keep guiding the parents if something about the pose isn't flattering. It's not like you will not have any guidance --I will be guiding all throughout the session!

Now it's time for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy these sweet moments I captured for this beautiful family! <3 


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Thinking about booking a family portrait session? Contact me HERE and I'd love to help you out! Let's do this!




(Sehar Shafqat) family blogger family photographer in northern virginia Family photographers in DC area mini sessions mommy and me photos mother's day sessions northern virginia photographer Nothern Virginia Photography photographers in Manassas Portrait and Wedding Photographers in Northern Virginia Virginia Thu, 30 May 2019 15:04:51 GMT
Moon Dancer Winery Valentine's Session, Wrightsville, PA
Krissy and Marty were the winners of my Valentine's Giveaway Session offered in February. These two were the sweetest and most flexible couple to work with! It was a frigid day and we also got some snow after the session so they really braved the cold weather for their photos.

We chose the Moon Dancer Winery in Wrightsville, PA for the location and I must say, I was pleased with the care and love we were shown by the employees there. We got a room to ourselves to prep and get ready! I would love to do a shoot their again, particularly in the harvest season, when everything is beautiful and blooming at its peak!

In this post, I want to share the 5 Must-Do-Poses for any Couple/Engagement/Anniversary Session. Now, before I begin let me make you aware of the fact that unless you have been in front of the camera a lot, posing can be a stressful task. It's hard to just come up with all the poses at the time of the shoot, and I like to make sure I let my clients search for poses they like and mentally prepare themselves, maybe practice their favorite poses ahead of time. 

And let me also tell you that no matter how comfortable you are with posing, it takes about 15 minutes to warm up and get comfortable in front of the camera, as your photographer helps you decide what is suiting you most and what background is looking best. Once that first 15-minute warm up part is over, you get the best smiles, the best poses and it makes posing and picture-taking so much fun!

Now, let's get to the poses! 

1. The Gaze -- I start out by having the couple look into each other's eyes. This helps them to get more comfortable instead of having to look at the  camera first.              

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  Once the couple gets warmed up for posing and I see some natural smiles, I tell them, "now look at me!" And CLICK!

2. Back Hug -- Some people call it a bear hug and I love the way Krissy looked back at Marty in this one. 

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3. Rest on Shoulder -- Resting the head on the shoulder is one of the most romantic poses, and these two did it so naturally!



4. Heads Together -- In this pose, you can start out by holding your hands and rest your heads together and transition easily to a look back pose and even do a kiss! 


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5. Candid -- Candid ones are my favorite. It's so much fun to capture a couple walking, talking, & laughing together. Not every picture needs to be posed, right?! 




We took so many more but I just wanted to briefly go over these. Sometimes we all need some quick and simple poses to remember so go ahead and save this post as one of your pins in Pinterest! Which one of these is YOUR favorite? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! If you are looking to book an engagement/anniversary session, feel free to contact me HERE. I'd love to help you out! 







(Sehar Shafqat) anniversary photos blogger engagement photos northern virginia photography photographer wedding photography Fri, 12 Apr 2019 13:00:00 GMT
God Has A Plan. Trust It. Live It. Enjoy It.                                               _MG_8231-Edit_MG_8231-Edit

Hi I’m Sehar—A momma of two heaven-sent babies and a wife to an amazing and loving husband. 

I was born in Pakistan and raised in the beautiful farmlands of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Growing up, I have attended a Muslim school (K-2nd grade), an American Public School (almost two years), and also an Eastern Mennonite Christian School (5th -10th grades). Life was not a very smooth ride for me growing up. Being exposed to different environments and adapting to different lifestyles was difficult and at times stressful. 

But now when I look back, I realize all those changes and experiences made me into the person I am today. Life never always turns out as we plan or want it to be, but God has been faithful. I have learned that His plans for my life are much greater than mine could ever be.

I totally skipped a normal American High School and went straight to college. I majored in Biology as an undergrad and obtained my Master’s Degree in Biotechnology from Georgetown University. I started working in DC, got married, and then BOOM --Babies! 

Now how did I ever get into photography, you may be asking…

Can any other mom out there relate with me how we magically become more creative after having kids? I have always been a creative person, but after becoming a stay-at-home mom, I had this strong desire to do something creative. 

I love spending time with my family and using my skills/creativity to enrich their lives.  On most days, you’ll find me cooking, baking, decorating my home, including doing something I do every single day — PHOTOGRAPHY.  

Thanks to my thoughtful and wonderful hubby who purchased a Nikon D7000  that I started out with. I knew I could take great pictures with it —BUT, on auto mode. I knew that I wanted to do better than that and learn more about my camera.  I read day-in and day-out about my camera settings and started practicing on Manual Mode. Being with my kids  just made me want to keep my camera handy so I could capture them whenever the time and the light was perfect! 

As I read more about photography, I came across numerous stories of photog mommas who left their corporate jobs, started full-time photography businesses, and set their own schedules to do what they love! 

Not saying, I’m never going to work again, but this gave me courage. I took baby steps to start out. I am still taking it slowly — AND I am LOVING it! 

You know the quote that goes like “fill your cup so you can overflow into the lives of others”…? Well, photography is one of those things that fills my cup. I love this side hustle because I can use my creativity to touch lives, make new connections, and take on new adventures!

So here’s my encouragement to all the moms and anyone out there who needs this. Stop waiting for the RIGHT time to do something for yourself. If you have a passion and want to pursue it, do it now. Take baby steps but keep going. Trust God through the process and I promise, He’ll keep giving direction and fulfillment throughout your journey. You got this, friend!


(Sehar Shafqat) Blogger Northern Virginia Photography Photographer Thu, 28 Feb 2019 14:00:00 GMT