Fusing traditional photos with a regal twist, this Mellon Institute & North Side engagement session is giving us the best of both worlds! Texas natives Sehrish and Zahid turned to the Steel City to take advantage of all the unique architecture and blend the visions of their photo styles. They brought the romance at the Mellon Institute columns in Oakland, snapping shots in more formal attire before changing into their laid-back outfits with a more playful and neutral aesthetic on the North Side. Photo after photo, their smiles are authentically contagious and showcase their 13 YEARS of unconditional love. Yes folks, 13 years! Enjoy the natural beauty of these photos of the day captured by Shayla Hoff Photography!
About the Couple
In the fall of 2006, the panic of bird flu was high, Pluto became declassified as a planet, and Zahid and I had just started high school. Despite the world falling apart, social anxiety of high school, and our faces filling up with acne, we found each other in unlikely circumstances. We didn’t attend the same high school, but we were introduced to one another by a mutual friend at our Saturday school. Back then, social media was nonexistent and there were limits to how many texts you could send, so it was difficult to stalk one another. Therefore, like any reasonable person, Zahid asked our mutual friend for my AIM screen name, and it was there where we would spend countless hours every night messaging each other. Within a couple of days, Zahid was addicted like Squidward when he had his first Krabby Patty. He tried to play it cool when we saw each other, but when we weren’t together he was a mess. He knew he had to ask me to be his girlfriend the next time we saw each other. So that following Saturday when he finally saw my face after a week of anticipation, he did what any 14-year old boy awestruck by a beautiful girl would do – he chickened out. But don’t worry, he got up the nerve to ask her to be his girlfriend on AIM later that night. Little did we know that this high school puppy love would transform to a powerful, overcoming, fun, and unconditional love.
One of my favorite movies is Tangled. In an effort to recreate the scene when Rapunzel and Flynn are sitting in the boat as the lanterns are released, Zahid found a lantern festival, right about the time of our 10th anniversary. He reached out to the organizers and asked if they could play one of my favorite songs as the lanterns were released and they did! So in a crowd of 5,000 people with lanterns filling up the sky and our song playing, with a secret photographer capturing the moment, Zahid asked me to go on a brand new adventure with him, and holding back all my tears of joy, I said yes.
About the Session
Our goal for the engagement session was to take advantage of the amazing architecture and parks in Pittsburgh that they do not have back in Texas. Shay gave us a ton of options since we are new to the area. The more that we discussed it, we realized that we had two different visions, and to start good marriage habits, we compromised. Zahid wanted regal and different than anything he had seen; I wanted natural and traditional. So we did both! With the Mellon Institute, we wanted to have bright colors, to have them stand out against the neutral architecture. For the park near the Mexican War Streets, we wanted the colors around us to stand out and went with more neutral colors for apparel. We wanted these pictures to look very organic, unrefined, and natural. Ironically, we got even more natural than we had planned with it raining at the end of our session – and we completely embraced every second of it. The most unique thing about our session was the fact that we never once forced a smile, never faked our love, and were truly having a blast the entire time.