Lanya and Farhad – Sunset Beach Club, Benalmadena

Sunset Beach Club, Benalmadena

A post wedding shoot with a difference….

Sunset Beach Club in Benalmadena was the chosen venue by Lanya and Farhad for their very private and intimate celebration of their wedding. They were joined only by their two close friends and had asked me to capture a couple of photo’s of all of them, although they were not sure where or what they would be doing. At the time I had presumed that they were looking for a simple private portrait shoot so I was a little surprised when on the morning of the booking I received a call from Lorraine of Princess Bride who is a make-up artist that I had previously recommended, saying that the client is not just having a simple make over but the full works and is now asking if I knew of anywhere to obtain fresh flowers from. I made a call and am proud to say that I managed to arrange the impossible by having 2 beautiful bouquets and 2 button holes of fresh white, cream and peach flowers prepared beautifully by Zoe of Flowers inc, ready and waiting for me to grab as I passed Marbella on the way to Benalmadena.

Below are just a few of my personal favourite images and the story of their day…

Lanya and Farhad’s day
Post Wedding Shoot
The beautiful Lanya explained that she had spent a long time studying wedding images in my website galleries and wanted the same… slightly baffled as to how this could be achieved in what was starting out as a 1 hour session without guests or a minister or a ceremony or … ok, I think you know where I am going with this…
Undeterred as always I offered to see what I could do and I asked Lanya a couple of simple questions to determine what exactly she expected, this would normally be done at least 2 months before during a preliminary consultation but with only minutes before I was to start shooting we needed to come up with something pretty quick. My biggest concern was that both Lanya and her husband Farhad were Egyptian and did not believe in a typical catholic or English ceremony of course, but never the less I had a vision that I wanted to document and suggested that the tradition of a Bride being handed to her awaiting Groom is global and is just simply far too important for a Bride to never experience and it could possibly be attempted on the grounds of the hotel.
I rushed to another room on the other side of the hotel where Farhad and his best friend (or best man in our terminology) were eagerly waiting to find out what Lanya’s wishes were. I explained that Lanya wanted the fairytale wedding and even though we have no venue, minister, aisle, guests, sun (it was starting to rain) or anything, that myself and my assistant were going to pull off something and that he would have to trust us. He seemed so relieved firstly that we were English and secondly that we were straight up and honest with him (which he was too) that he obliged and so my assistant and I went to the car park to plan the impossible, not forgetting that it would need to be ready in 10 minutes max.
So, we needed a suitable location or aisle for Lanya and Farhad to meet this was for sure and we also needed an interesting background as there were to be no guests as such and it was also still spitting with rain so we needed to find both an indoor and outdoor concept in case the weather got even worse. We spoke to the staff at the pool bar as we walked around the resort looking for an attractive area to perform a private unofficial ceremony, then headed back happy that we had seen everything and that we had a vision in mind that if performed correctly could look very nice. We explained the process they would all need to follow for this idea to be a success and so Farhad and his best man headed to the pool bridge where we agreed would make the most photogenic aisle under the circumstances.
Although this was to be a staged blessing, the Groom still however looked deep in thought at times while waiting for the stunning Lanya and although strictly religious he was thankfully more than happy to follow along with this mock fairytale ceremony idea that would keep his bride happy.
I went back up to Lanya’s room for some shots of the final touches and we headed through the dull corridor to the landing in search of an empty lift. Whilst waiting for it I turned and saw that the bright light from the window was catching her dress in a way that I knew I could artistically capture and I love this image even more so because of the fact it was merely a dull hotel and nobody had any idea what I had caught. Lanya looked amazing as she approached the aisle and I really felt there was an honest affection between them as they met.
To my surprise they kissed 3 times on the cheek but I guessed this was due to their religion maybe, defining that there shouldn’t be any public displays of affection between them, never the less I knew that I would have to do something about this if we were to create some magic.
As the shoot digressed, they all started to relax a little more as I suggested a romantic walk along the promenade and a portrait shoot on the rocks at the end. This looked just lovely but I knew that we would have to get a move on before the rain would inevitably return so I had a last minute idea in that I was curious believe it or not as to whether Lanya liked butterflies. Luckily she loved them and so we jumped in the car to visit the nearby indoor butterfly park for some rich green surroundings to capture the honest and hidden romance between them and complete this mini reportage of their day.
Well, we are pleased to say that Lanya and Farhad have sent us a lovely thank you letter since as they seemed surprised what we managed to achieve on a freezing cold and grey day, with it spitting with rain on and off and with no venue etc.
Under the circumstances we think this was certainly a lovely photo session and it was great to see that even with all the obstacles that were put in front of us, that it was still a great success. I do love to help whenI can and definitely like a challenge, but please take these strange circumstances into account whilst looking through these images.
Best of luck to Lanya and Farhad and I wish them every happyness in their future together.


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