What my clients say:
Photography was always a top priority for us when planning our wedding. Yes, there are the flowers and the cake and the million other details you worry about – but as a bride 4 month after her wedding, I can absolutely assure you that I treasure my photos from Gulnara the most. As in, if there were ever a fire in my building, I am taking my husband and my photos from Gulnara on my way out. And that’s because:
1. Gulnara’s photos DOCUMENT. With a Pulitzer nomination under her belt, she’s arguably the best documentary photographer around. In a sea of activities, among hundreds of people, Gulnara never missed a beat. Looking at the pictures, she must have been able to sense important moments before they actually happened. At the same time, I never once noticed her presence during the ceremony or the reception. She was invisible, yet incredibly focused. And she documented much more than just the events of the day. She documented also the subtlety in the stolen glances my husband and I exchanged amidst the crowd, the quiet tears of joy on our parents’ eyes, a couple in the guests squeezing each other’s hands during our ceremony, my grandmother with her usual happy smirk, my bridesmaids trying to touch up my makeup. And when I look at my pictures now, I am reminded not only of one of the most significant events of my life, but also of all the overwhelming emotions I felt that day, and the unmistakable joy and affection shone in my husband’s eyes.
2. Gulnara’s photos TRANSFORM. Face it, not every aspect of your wedding is going to look picture-perfect, no matter how hard you plan. My hundreds of cupcakes, for instance, were lovingly made by many of my friends, none of which were professional baker. They will always be the best cupcakes I have ever had, because of the memories I shared with my friends. But they all had different color, different sizes, and slightly different frosting :-). I didn’t expect them to actually look good. Gulnara’s photos of my cupcakes look better than professional bakery websites. And that’s not the only example. Everything at my wedding looked better through her lenses. That’s the power of photography – in Gulnara’s experienced hands, it selects, and transforms.
3. Gulnara’s photos are BEAUTIFUL. If I wanted photos that looked like they were shot in Auto-Mode all the time, I would have just handed a friend a digital camera. Gulnara’s photos, however, showed an in-depth understanding of light, composition, color, etc. I have regularly read her blog for years, mesmerized by her photos of complete strangers. I look at her website for the same reason I go to Gallery and Exhibit – the experience of human emotions expressed in an art form. And to have her work now, of my wedding, is something I would always treasure.
4. Gulnara’s photos are CREATIVE. Like all other brides obsessed with photography, I have spent countless days, months, years, looking at wedding photos on blogs, websites, magazines, etc. Because of that, very little surprises me anymore – I have most likely seen a similar shot elsewhere. But one of the things I respect most about Gulnara as an artist is that she continually experiments and she continually changes and she continually creates. You might have thought you saw her entire port-folio (which I probably did :-)), and yet when you receive your photos, you will still squeal with delight at something you hadn’t expected.
I could talk forever about her photos, but there are photographers far more qualified than me who have discussed her work in details. What I will say is that she has given me and my husband a memory we will forever cherish, and a treasure we now share with our family and friends.
And as awesome of a photographer as Gulnara is, she’s an even better person. She’s as kind and beautiful as anybody you will ever meet. It is an honor to have been photographed by her. It’s an even greater pleasure to have gotten to know her.
-Marie and Nate
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I cannot say enough good things about Gulnara. As an amateur photographer myself, photography was my top priority among all the details of putting our wedding together. I wanted, more than anything, that day captured for the rest of our lives. And no one can do it like Gulnara. Coming from a career in photojournalism (and with a Pulitzer nomination!), it is no surprise that Gulnara tells a story with her photographs. She gave us the most incredible gift not just by documented what “happened” on that day, but what it was truly about. Its as if she bottled up all of the overwhelming emotion on that day and handed it to us to hold onto forever. Of course she catches every major event and every minute detail on camera and makes it look beautiful, but she also catches the subtler moments that tell the true story with an honesty that I have not seen accomplished anywhere else: the glances, the body language, the facial expressions of your family and guests. Gulnara’s story is about love, its about relationships, its about all of the heightened emotions of that incredible day. I could not say enough that she was the most important person that I hired that day!
I must also mention the behind-the-scenes. I had a very large wedding of 450 people. Gulnara made it through the crowds to catch every moment as it happened. She didn’t miss a beat! Its as if she feels the moments before they happen so that she is in exactly the right spot at the right time. While she manages to get through the crowds to where she needs to be, she remains invisible the whole time. She works so quietly, and while her job is to get the perfect shot, her true priority remains to respect the day for what it is, and she kindly remains in the backdrop the entire day.
Personality is more important than I realized in hiring a wedding photographer. I have never been comfortable in front of the camera. Gulnara makes sure you have an opportunity to get comfortable with her first, before the wedding, so that no one is nervous and you have magical shots of you two on that day. She has a gift for not only making you comfortable, but directing in a way that you forget she’s there, have a ton of fun, and then – poof – you end up with beautiful, meaningful shots. Working with her is fantastic, because she is such a genuine pleasure to be around. But have no fear – when it comes time to be serious and getting things done, oh they do!
I cannot recommend Gulnara more highly. Of all the details I toiled over in preparation for that day, there are only two that matter to me in retrospect: the marriage ceremony itself, and the photographer. I am so grateful I hired Gulnara, and I can promise you will be too!
Adena and Yedidiah
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We looked around a lot for a photographer and found that many of the ones we wanted were already booked. Then we met Gulnara and started thanking our lucky stars that we hadn’t wound up with any of the ones we had thought we wanted. I concur with what has been said in all of the previous glowing reviews, but would like to add the following:
1. She obviously likes her job. More than any other photographer we interviewed. I think she was almost as excited as we were on the day of our wedding, and her enthusiasm and interest (in who we are, in the specifics of our wedding, in finding those perfect shots) is evident in the photos. You can’t fake that.
2. She’s open-minded and up for adventure. It freaked some other photographers out that we wanted to take the subway along with all of our wedding guests from the ceremony and reception. But she was undaunted and as a result we have some incredible photos from that part of the day.
3. She has a rock solid grasp of her craft. She worked masterfully with natural light and flash in a challenging space so our wedding pictures look how our wedding felt. And she got crisply focused pictures of us despite having to take them while walking backwards.
Spencer and Shane
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What drew us to hire Gulnara for our wedding in October 2010 was definitely her muliticultural portfolio. Of course her creativity, professionalism, and quality of images were all up there, but the fact that she was able to capture many stories from different cultures truly showed how diverse and spontaneous her creative eye can be. She has a unique sense of locating special moments, bringing out the abstract to life and highlighting the emotions that surround the married couple. This grabbed my attention coming from a large family with many backgrounds. We also wanted storytelling images that would evoke the same feelings years from that special day. The result? We were so right with our choice. Our pictures had grown men tearing up with happiness, women embracing love, kids laughing at themselves and us speechless with all sorts of emotions – that is impactful!
Nadeige and Ricky
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Dear Gulnara, I have been waiting with baited breathe for Emily and Jeremy’s slide show. I so enjoy viewing each of your postings, but the slide shows are particularly special. Your choice of music is always impeccable- original, and evocative. Combined with your choice of the perfect photos, they set a mood that captures the event better than any video could. Well, you have outdone yourself with this one! I don’t know how you managed to cull 1,000 amazing photos down to a select few, pair them with this unbelievable song (my now favorite song in the world!) and make me feel like I am back at that beautiful weekend. Thank you! Thank you! How lucky Emily and Jeremy were to have you document their wedding! To quote a friend, ” How did they manage to find the best photographer in the world?”
With great appreciation,
– Rhonda (M.O.B)
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Gulnara, The pictures are FANTASTIC! I can’t wait to see more; I’m just dying to see the pics of my sisters and family. I had a friend who saw them and said they were the best wedding pictures he had ever seen, and I was talking with my mom when she first saw them, and she started crying. I was struck by what one of your other clients said on the blog, that you had given them a lifetime of happy memories. That is so true, thank you so much. We are so happy to have gotten a photographer with such talent. Not to mention that your manner during the ceremony and reception was superlative – I barely noticed you were there, and yet every moment is captured. Thank you, thank you – I can’t wait to see the rest.
– Brianne and Tom.
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Gulnara, Thanks for the preview of the slideshow. The photos look great! It seems you’ve done a great job of creating the theme that we were looking for – a creative wedding portrait, capturing all the detail of the wedding that is easily forgotten. We’re looking forward to seeing the rest!
Also, after coming back from our honeymoon yesterday we’ve learnt that you guys were a real hit down here. All the family think you did a really great job and were very professional. So we hope you liked Trinidad because we suspect ours won’t be the last wedding you’re asked to photograph in the coming years!
– Stacy and Ashely
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Gulnara!!!! You have left us both breathless!!! amaaaaaaaazing!! i kiss your eyes for seeing what they have seen. woooowowow ))))))))) the music is perfect!! i was sooo secretly hoping for something with a spanish/gypsy flair…you are a magician and a mind reader ))). We are both so happy that we found you. You are going to go far and we are so glad that we have been a part of your journey. now i’m gonna go and watch the slide show for the nth time with a big smile on my face )!!!
– Mana and Mohammad.
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Dear Gulnara, You brought joy to our day, warmth to our lives, and happiness to our hearts by taking such wonderful photographs. We could only dream of a photographer that would capture the sentiments and special moments of the wedding as naturally as you do. You are a magician with a camera, turning snapshots lively. I didn’t think photographs could express inner happiness, joy and so much love that one feels at the moment. The guests at the wedding were amazed by your professionalism and kept telling me how you would literally lay on the dance floor to capture the fun pictures. I still can not believe how lucky we got to have found the perfect photographer for our wedding day and future celebrations.
– Natalie and Zurab.
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Gulnara, From the moment I saw your website I knew I wanted you to photograph our wedding. I wanted all those little details captured. For some reason, I was amazed to see my own dress and shoes look so magical in the pictures! How could those be mine? You managed to capture the expressions and emotions that made up that day for Luke and me. Looking at the pictures is just eery because seeing them makes the wedding come alive. Thank you for helping us remember the fun of that day and showing us the things that we didn’t see!
– Ronnie and Luke
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There are no words! Dave and I just watched the slide show you made. Thank you! It is incredible. Amazing music – wonderful choice, you have totally hit our personalities! And the pictures…wow! The second time through we paused constantly and just looked as one amazing picture appeared after another. I don’t know how we got so lucky to have you with us at our wedding, but we are grateful. You have captured our day! I couldn’t possibly begin to tell you which pictures are my favorite – it would be impossible!
Also, on another note, I was out with some of our guests from our wedding tonight, and we were reminiscing about the wedding. They mentioned specifically about how unobtrusive you and Maria were. We are lucky. Our sincerest thanks to you and Maria, both!
Beth and Dave.
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Gulnara, What can we say…Wow…We love the pictures. I keep on playing the show again and again, which I should probably stop doing since I am at work It is a great documentary of the wedding. You picked a perfect song too – it is one of our favorites and goes so well with the vintage look. Thank you!
– Katya and Oleg.
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Dear Gulnara, Thank you for the amazing job you did capturing our wedding. Both Quinn and I have families and friends scattered around the world, and it’s rare to have them together. We knew from the outset that we wanted to record what the day was actually like, and not just the usual formal group shots and posed smiles. What you achieved was far beyond our expectations. Looking though the images, we see and recall the energy of the day and the personalities of the people we love shining though at us. You captured perfect moments and expressions, as well as unusual details and angles — it seems you were everywhere, and yet completely unobtrusive. You have a great eye for moments that are true to the experience of being there, as well as artful. The images you put online are *amazing*! People are saying they are easily the best wedding images they’ve ever seen — and Quinn and I feel the same. Thank you!
Best wishes, Betsy & Quinn.
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Gulnara, At first I was hesitant about hiring a wedding photographer- I didn’t want the traditional posed, frozen pictures. Turns out that wedding photographs don’t all have to look the same! Our photographs couldn’t be more beautiful. Everyone I have shown them to agrees, and then some. The only problem we have now is choosing which ones to print. Zack and I have even joked that we want our entire apartment plastered with the wedding images, so we could just look at them all the time. Seriously, though, having such gorgeous, thoughtful images have made such a happy day even happier. Thank you so much for your beautiful work! We will definitely recommend you to anyone and everyone who needs a photographer.
– Anna and Zack.
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Gulnara – you are brilliant! We saw how hard you worked at our wedding to capture all the moments to be able to tell our wedding story in photos and, needless to say, we are so grateful and SO HAPPY we chose you as our wedding photographer!!
– Laura and Darren
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Hey Gulnara (YOU SUPER BRILLIANT NO! MOST BRILLIANT EVER PHOTOGRAPHER!!!!!!) I’ve said and bragged to Andy and everyone I’ve met that I found the “BESTEST” EVER PHOTOGRAPHER and we are totally TOTALLY IN-LOVE with you and your photos!!! We just finished looking and my GOD they are wayyy beyond better than we expected and we are ALREADY BLOWN AWAY!!!!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH GULNARA!!!!!!!!
– Wendy and Andy
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Dear Gulnara,you make us want to fall in love again!! You captured the sentiments of joy, tenderness and profound love shared by my daughter and her husband. Your photography is an art that captures the most intimate and profound feelings I thought only possible to feel. You have made it possible to see our souls. Thank you so much for for all the beauty you captured and the memories that we now may keep for a lifetime. You are magnificent!
Mindy (Denise’s mother)
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My experience with Gulnara was fantastic from day one. This was so important because I was planning my wedding, which was located in New York, all the way from California. My best friend, who is a wedding photographer as well referred me to Gulnara and I am so thrilled that she did! She is extremely professional and made the entire process so smooth. She also has a really amazing billing process that made it so easy to make payments online, something my husband and I truly appreciated. She also has a great way of sharing images in a very user friendly online gallery. I was able to order prints from her very easily and the quality was outstanding. The day of the wedding, Gulnara was also already familiar with the venue and strived to get us both the best setting for our personal and family photos. She really went above and beyond…and this included assisting me in making sure my bra was clipped into my dress and I know this is not that important to some ladies out there, but if she hadn’t picked up on it, my cleavage wouldn’t have looked as VAVOOM that day! ;) Thank you Gulnara. I plan on hiring you again and again!
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