Dad, you’re sitting on the oven,” two yr old Tayla kept saying as her father sat on a beach log at Golden Gardens Park.  Tayla and her 4-yr old sister, Ashlan, were baking ‘cakes’ on the beach while mom and dad enjoyed views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. The girls delicately piled sand [cake] onto the log [oven] and decorated it with candles [twigs]. Ashlan and Tayla’s spirits are uninhibited, full of creativity and free-flowing imagination!

Girls playing with sand

Family Portrait

Girls playing on log
The family’s energy and happiness was contagious. Photographing their interactions left me feeling joyful and inspired, especially when hearing the girls’ spontaneous laughter. Whether dad was doing cartwheels with Ashlan on the beach, or mom was pushing Tayla on the swing, they encouraged the girls to be imaginative and take pleasure in their surroundings.

Family on the beach

Family Portrait

 

Family Portrait

 

Tayla running on beach

 

Playing in the sand

 

Girls holding flowers

A huge congratulations to the family as Kelly is currently expecting their 3rd child. The girls will show so much love to their wonderful new [brother? sister?]. Incredibly happy for this fantastic family!

Standing in tree grove

Playing around in the grass

Sisters hugging at the park

Family Portrait

Girls sitting on log

 

Thank you so much for giving me the joy of photographing your beautiful family.

 

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Jasmine and Paul’s traditional Sikh Wedding (Anand Karaj) took place at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Kent, WA. It was a ceremony of Sikh traditions and readings from the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book).

The wedding day began with Jasmine getting her hair styled by the brilliant and talented stylist, Eve Whittington. Eve is based out of NYC and has an amazing portfolio. Make-up artistry was done by the creative Svetlana, based out of WA. They both did an excellent job, and were very fun to work with during the day!

Sikh Bride's Red Lehenga

 

At every Indian wedding, whether Sikh or Hindu, I always look forward to seeing the bride’s Mehndi (Henna). It takes a true artist with a steady hand to apply the paste, which results in a beautiful design. Henna has been used to celebrate auspicious occasions in India and the Middle East for hundreds of years. In fact, there are some accounts of henna being used prior to the 12th century. Traditionally in Sikh and Hindu weddings, the mehndi is applied to the hands and feet of the bride. Not only does it create intricate and beautiful make-up, it also symbolizes the love between bride and groom (husband and wife).  **I’m working on an upcoming blog post dedicated to mehndi (henna) – stay tuned.

Jasmine’s mehndi was done by Natasha. I’ve worked with Natasha for a few weddings, and she is an artistic professional with a warm personality. She always does a great job!

Sikh Bride Mehndi

Sikh Bride Hand Mehndi

 

Red Lengha and Hand Mehndi

 

The Anand Karaj, or Sikh wedding ceremony, took place at the Gurdwara. The following pictures show the bride and groom sitting in front of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book) as well as traditional musicians playing classical hymns taken from the Granth Sahib.  The Granth Sahib is written entirely in poetic prose, and each section is a unique raag (rhythm).

 

Anand Karaj and Kirtan

Ardas during Sikh Wedding

 

Some Sikh families follow the tradition of a Dholi, where the bride leaves her parent’s house to go live with the groom’s family. Although nowadays, the bride may not actually live with the groom’s family, the tradition is practiced on the wedding day.  The groom arrives at the bride’s home where he is greeted by her sister and family members.  The bride is inside the house, but before the groom can see her, he must give a gift to the sister.  This is a fun time, where everyone jokes around and the sister usually tries to get the best possible gift. Nothing is actually taken seriously, and it is more of a fun tradition, than anything.  Upon receiving her gift, sister feeds the groom something sweet (traditionally an Indian dessert), whereupon the groom enters the house.    When leaving the house, the bride sits in the car and her family members take turns saying goodbye.  This can be an emotional time for the family and bride. The brothers, uncles, and father help push the car as it leaves the house.

Wedding Dholi

After the wedding Dholi, we drove to the incredible Seattle waterfront, where we took some fun photos of the bride and groom. The following photos show the bride and groom wearing their traditional Indian (Sikh) wedding clothing at the beach.  Although traditionally, Indian wedding Lehenga’s are red, we’re seeing many more colors. Regardless, Indian weddings are definitely bright and colorful, which only adds to the festive feelings and emotion throughout the day.

Indian bride and groom holding hands

 

Portrait of Seattle Sikh wedding bride and groom standing on beach

 

Seattle Indian wedding photograph

Photograph of Indian bride and groom standing on the beach on their wedding day

Indian bride wearing red Lehenga sitting in car

The wedding reception took place at the Seattle Exhibition Center, next to the Space Needle in downtown Seattle. It was a grand reception with a delicious spread of cupcakes, food, and drinks. Guests danced to bhangra songs late into the night as they celebrated this special wedding day!

Sikh-Wedding-Reception-1 Sikh-Wedding-Reception-2 Sikh-Wedding-Reception-3 Sikh-Wedding-Reception-4

 

Thank you, Jasmine and Paul, for allowing me to photograph your beautiful Indian wedding in Seattle. Sikh wedding’s have so much energy and I love being able to photograph the special moments and traditions.

I’d love to connect with you on Google+ and Instagram (@MandevSidhu)
You can also find me on Facebook here. <– ‘like’ my page to follow more photos

 

 

Is it possible for people to overflow with joy? If you’re Sharan and Sunny, then the answer is yes! Sharan looked stunning in her red and white rose sari, and Sunny was so smitten with love that it radiated from his face the entire day.

It’s not often that you meet someone for the first time, but yet, it feels like you’ve known them for years. Everything felt so comfortable with these two. We shared stories about growing up, and told jokes the entire time. Their happiness was so contagious and inspiring that I talked about it with Jasmine the entire drive home. At one point, I asked Sharan, “Okay, let’s try for a serious look.” She tried not to smile, in fact she was soooooo close, and then- BAM! SMILE! 🙂  That’s when she looked at me and said, “I can’t not smile!”

Awesome! LOVE IT!

There are certain personalities that inspire you and fill you with joy, you know, the warm-bubbly-type-of-joy, and these two have it. They are meant for each other. You can actually feel it when you’re with them- the feeling that God couldn’t have arranged it any other way. I’m so happy for Sunny, and for Sharan, because they have something special. Their light-hearted approach to life will help them grow together, while their delight encourages those around them.

We explored a beautiful part of Washington State, one that I had never experienced. Sunny grew up in Snoqualmie and took us to the most breathtaking and magnificent places. The mountains created a picturesque background so beautiful that it felt like we were standing in a Bob Ross painting. The Snoqualmie River was powerful and humbling as we walked along the bank, and I couldn’t help but think (and probably said it a million times) “This is perfect.”

 

Thank you both for such a wonderful time, and I hope these pictures bring you memories for years to come!

Beautiful Engagment Photo in Snoqualmie WA

Engagement Portraits with Cascade Mountains

Couple hugging in Snoqualmie

Beautiful Engagement Photo in Snoqualmie Washington

Enagagement Photo unique perspective

Engagment Photos Happy couple laughing

Engagement Photo Happy couple

Engagement Photo Snoqualmie

Engagement Photograph with mountain background

Engagement Portrait Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie Engagement Photos

 

I loved the interaction between Sharan and Sunny. They didn’t just say they were in love, they showed it…. in the way they held hands, the way Sunny helped her walk through rough terrain. You could feel their connection when they looked at each other, and when they spoke to each other. You could see Sunny’s affection for Sharan when he was teaching her how to skip a rock.  The way Sharan looks at Sunny is priceless, her expressions are 10,000 words!  Their love was so natural as it flowed effortlessly between them.

Snoqualmie Engagement Picture

Indian Engagement Portrait Snoqualmie

Indian Engagement Photo Snoqualmie

Engagement photos in the trees

 

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Say hello to Annie and Niel, the proud parents of the handsome and adorable Raymond! We took these pictures in their former neighborhood of Ravenswood, Chicago, on a beautiful Midwest day.

It’s always a pleasure spending time with Niel and Annie as the conversation so often takes unexpected and interesting turns. One night, we sat around for hours talking about all the nostalgic things we enjoyed as children.  It’s in those moments that I truly appreciate how grounded  they are as couple.  They have such a strong sense of the direction they want their life together to take.

We were introduced to each other a few months ago, and since then, have done everything from BBQ’s on the beach to playing intense Scrabble games at the Iguana Café.  I’m sad they’re moving away from Chicago, but they’re following their hearts, heading back to rolling hills and simple life of the Midwest they love so dearly.

The simplicity of living, which they mindfully and actively work to maintain, is inspirational.  These are two mature and responsible parents whose parenting exemplifies heart and soul.  How lucky little Raymond is to be surrounded by such solid values emphasizing quality over quantity.  These are values which will serve him throughout his life.

As a family, they are this wonderful blend of humility, sincerity, and generosity sprinkled with the most delicious dose of humor.  So congratulations to the budding young family!  Here’s to the start of a beautiful future!

 

Toddler Photos and Family Pictures Chicago

Toddler Photography and Family Pictures Chicago

Toddler Photos and Family Pictures Chicago

Toddler Photos and Family Pictures Chicago

Toddler Photos and Family Pictures Chicago

 

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