The 5 love languages

Quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts. I was fascinated when I heard about these 5 categories for love language and quickly rushed into taking the quiz to figure out what was I. Apparently the top three for me change in order but stay strongly the same and at this moment in life my top language is quality time.

And only now I realized how couples sessions embody all 5 languages at some point in time:

Quality time - They definitely spent a full day of quality time since we spent most of the day together and pushing them to an experience that they hadn't lived together yet. It's me, an assistant and my makeup artist following them two around and playing with poses, scenarios, interactions, light, and lots of fun.

Acts of service - usually it is one person wanting this experience of capturing images of them together, and the other one is definitely complying out of love because they wouldn't otherwise have done it at all. They see the value and how worth it is after the fact, but at the moment they are just graciously going along.

Words of affirmation- it is inevitable to hear them out during the session since both of them look their best and it gives the other person a chance to see them shine under different light. I always observe how they both have a sparkle in their eyes for one another. The sweetest moments and loving words are what fuel my art.

Physical touch - it's incredible but I can physically see the moment when a couple finds their groove and energy in tune and they blossom. I've encountered it time and time again, the radiance that she displays with his arms around her, and the comfort he finds with her fingers in his hands. It's truly magical.

Receiving gifts - this usually are the prints or wall art they order for one another. They either display it proudly large in their home or print them as a series to frame. Some people like to print an album and place it in their coffee table or take individual wallet prints with them wherever they may go. I find these prints the most romantic expression of their love, but then again I'm truly drawn to visuals in my life.

How about you? Have you ever had a couple session with your spouse or significant other? Why or why not?

#findinglove #alifelongadventure #studiomiya #cairoportraits #cairophotography #photographeregypt #photographercairo #5lovelanguages

Recruit your friends in your love-quest

The dating scene is nothing short of scary nowadays.  Everybody seems to be searching for love and feeling the abyss of daunting expectations, the uncertainty, the lack of available options,  the pressure of people around you keeps sneering on.   I get it,  I've experienced been single in my twenties and thirties and mainly in America. However now that I've moved across the world to Egypt I keep on hearing the same issues from my single friends. So the reality is: IT'S HARD. I do believe women have an added layer of pressure however that doesn't exclude guys from also feeling overwhelmed and frustrated in trying to find a compatible spouse.

Online dating feels completely foreign to me, I tried it and failed miserably! However that's not to say that it never works, since there are some successful stories out there. But its brutal, I've seen it done by both guys and girls... swipe left, swipe left, swipe left, hmmm swipe right.  And what does the 'swipe right' candidate had that the other ones didn't? Usually a good picture. Honestly, the person won't even go into looking for more of their personal details unless they find a good picture of the candidate in question.  And this goes not just for apps, but also for more inclusive dating sites and matrimonial services.   Yes, it sounds shallow but lets be honest, unless there's something physical that calls your attention you most likely won't give the person a chance.  And I'm not talking about let's all go for Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie's looks but there has to be something unique in the person that sparks your attention.

You're not into the whole online matchmaking services to enroll your picture in the selection of candidates? Fine! Don't do it... I strongly recommend you follow your instinct and if the thought of opening a profile in a matrimonial service makes you want to vomit, please don't.  However, as I mentioned in my previous post, even your social media profile could serve as your indirect source to finding love.  Or at minimum, have some good pictures of yourself so that your friends and family can show you off to those who they might think could be compatible with you!

I've seen soo many bad pictures of people's profiles that one really wonders what in the world are they thinking?! Girls would put the trendy duck-face selfie, a bathroom mirror image of their outfit for the day, a resting b---- face or on the opposite spectrum, a picture of kittens and rainbows.  The guys are not any better, they would post the most obnoxious poses of themselves trying to show either their muscles, their cool cars or motorcycles (and they are always always wearing either a helmet or super dark sunglasses), some sort of picture with them and their pet in a action pose therefore is blurry and completely unflattering, or also an obscure abstract image of  some hero, or some artsy dark manly drawing or something from a comic strip.  And if you happen to be the friend that is trying to show them off to somebody that you think might work out for them, you end up sounding super patronizing and going on and on about their wonderful personality and attributes meanwhile the person in front is just blankly staring at a blurry picture of your friend in a group picture where his or her face only shows in 10% of the area.  My point is there's not a good picture of them at all!!!  You either are trying too hard or not trying at all.

What would an ideal picture look like? In the case of dating, I believe it has to be an open honest picture of yourself.  No, I don't mean show yourself in your pajamas and eating cold pizza out in the porch of your house type of honest.  You still have to present a good version of yourself, but it has to be well lit, in a natural and comfortable body language, honest and friendly face expression and some personality in the mix.   Yeah, easier said than done, especially if you're trying to take the picture yourself.  Usually it's best if someone else takes it, either a friend while a group is hanging out, or your sibling while you're being chill and feel super awesome on that day, or hire a photographer and make it a lifestyle session!  You don't have to wait to get married or have a baby for your to hire a professional to do your portraits.


#findinglove #alifelongadventure #studiomiya #cairoportraits #cairophotography #photographeregypt #photographercairo

The portrait that brought love to my life

Life has a way of showing you so many pieces of your puzzle come together in the most mysterious ways.  If I were to track back how each piece got formed and put together it would take a couple of hours to explain, but this one is the most obvious one, THIS PORTRAIT.   

You see, when people often ask me how did I meet my husband I have two versions to choose from: the shocking one (I met him on Facebook!) and the more traditional one (We had common friends). Both versions are true, however when I think about it, a crucial part of this story starts with my picture.  I had a professional portrait session where me and another photographer friend of mine wanted to practice some of the newest material we had both been learning for contemporary photography back early 2015.  So we got together in her studio, had an amazing makeup artist there to polish our look and got to play for the next couple of hours with our outfits, and poses and light while the music was blasting in the background.  We laughed, we played and learned so much that day it was glorious.  I remember coming out of there exhausted and exhilarated.  This was my favorite image of me and I put it up all over my social media, it felt comfortable and friendly and truly me!   

Well, a couple of months later this guy messages me out of the blue on Facebook messenger while I was actually doing a photosession for a highschool senior.  So he goes introducing himself as someone that knows a friend of mine, to make sure I know we had people in common.  I honestly was just being polite and answered his questions as he was making conversation but after I finally finished the session I looked at my phone and wondered who was this guy that was soo persistent into talking to  me.  I mean, most guys disappear after a couple of lines and they run out of things to say!  So I go and click into his profile since at this point I was only talking to a tiny dot in my screen and hadn't seen what he looked like.  OMG HE'S SOOO HOTTTTT!!!! (I actually said that out loud LOL!) 

Anyhow, of course looks are not the only thing that matter but they are an important part of the whole package when choosing the person you fall in love with.  So this is my story, later on I'll give the continuation of my story in upcoming posts, but for now let's just say that it really changed my life.   

What about you? if you're single, do you have a good portrait of you to put out to the world? #findinglove #alifelongadventure #studiomiya #cairophotographer #cairoportraits #cairophotography 

The portrait that changed my life ...

The portrait that changed my life ...

Should I wear my label?

2016 has taken the world by a storm - literally and figuratively; from the collective social issues we are encountering, to the personal and very private labels we face everyday, this year could be called as anything BUT simple.  

The Skinless Project organization ( decided to launch a campaign to tackle some of these issues and turn the narrative into a positive empowering one.  As women we get to navigate our days wearing multiple hats, and in this case, t-shirts. Either as student, mother, single, married, muslim, african-american, latina, entrepreneur, exercise junkie, health conscious individual, just to name a few ... everything and anything at the same time.  

Our existence and journey is challenging from our own standards and perspectives to the pressures we feel our surroundings to impose on us. We can't avoid them, we just need to face them and own them.  Make the most of them and figure out how to build a strong positive sense of self and community around us: day by day.  Wearing a t-shirt with a message might not seem like a big deal, but it could be a reminder to us and those around us of the choices we embody and are striving to maintain. 

This campaign was a collaboration of several talented individuals:

  • Photographer - Ingrid Ascencio,  Studio MIYA Photography
  • Fashion Stylist - Jillian McCann, (
  • Videographer - Sheheryar Ahsan 
  • HMUA - Niccole Mitch and Faatimat Rufai
  • Models: Samantha, Meleah, Maiyasa, Amira, Joy, Griselda, Lana, Heather
  • Assistants: Yevgen Solodkyy, Anwar Eaton

Especial thanks to: Elmhurst Public Library, Patriot Boxing Gym and The Brewpoint Coffee ( 


Come and join our campaign to empower women around the world by honoring the women we know, the women we were and the women we wish to be. Visit us at #ownyourlabels