When I accepted to document Lara's baptism a few years ago, little did I know about the Armenian Orthodox Church in Alexandria. I was awestruck by the beauty of the church and the richness of the baptism rituals. The shrine is magnificent and it is where most of the ceremonial prayers will take place. The baptism with water is performed in an adjacent room in front of all the guests. As I'm writing this blog and trying to depict the rites and rituals around Lara's christening, I am reminded that when all is said and done, the heavens rejoiced as Lara was reunited with our Lord and Savior. I'm thankful to have been called to do this and be a small part in the single most important event in her life.
The Monastery and Cathedral of Saint Mina is one of the most famous monasteries in Egypt and is dedicated to Menas of Egypt, one of the most well-known Coptic saints in the East and the West, due to the many miracles that are attributed to his intercession and prayers. It is a very sought out blessing for many to celebrate the baptism of their child at the Cathedral. It was with much anticipation and excitement that I accepted the invitation of Dina and Karim to document the baptism of their precious Alexandrine at the monastery's cathedral. Out of the special bond that united mommy and daddy, one could feel an outpour of unconditional love and tenderness for baby Alexandrine. On this day, Alexandrine received a precious and eternal gift, and I was blessed to be able to tell this part of her story.
The Jesuits Cultural center in Alexandria has been a welcoming home for me when I landed in Egypt 10 years ago. It is there that I made the acquaintance of so many of my Egyptian friends and it is also the place where I received the most relevant and soul piercing spiritual advice that would completely change my life. So I was over the moon when my dear friends Karine and Bassem invited me to the christening of their son Daniel at the Jesuits. The baptism was performed according to the Catholic rite, in the presence of close friends and family. Bassem is a musician and I was touched when he picked his guitar and joined mommy, little Daniel and the small choir of friends gathered for the baptism for a few hymns. I’m so thankful for this day full of serenity and wish this beautiful family, my dear friends, a blessed life. Below you will find just a few of my favorite moments of the ceremony. Cheers everyone!
The Jesuits Cultural center has a very diverse and open cultural presence in Alexandria. If you are visiting Alexandria, you should definitely check their calendar of events to see what they’re up to and find a reason to visit them. You can find them online here https://www.facebook.com/JCCAlex
Witnessing the baptism of your child is quite an experience. But seeing the photos of the ritual is simply mesmerizing and surreal! I am grateful to have been the storyteller of many baptisms where I was called to photograph and film a large variety of such ceremonies, according to a plethora of rites and rituals, all to fulfill one of the Holy sacraments of the Christian faith, to be united with Christ and the Church.
Baptisms are performed using water, from a little over the head to complete immersion, offering beautiful photo opportunities and memories to cherish for a lifetime.
I love so many things about the baptism ceremony: the priestly garments, prayers over the water, incense filled room, the sacred oil(s), the beauty and power of watching a baby going under water and coming out as a child of God. I am devoted to giving to the family a unique perspective of an event which will forever change the life of their little one.
I can help in documenting this life-altering milestone in the life of your family. Here are a few of my favorite moments. Enjoy!
The Stanley bridge is one of Alexandria's landmarks. Anyone who visits the city needs to have more than a few photos taken with the bridge. I was no different. As a hobbyist photographer a few years back, it was on my bucket list of stuff to try my lens at in Alexandria. My friends from work, Jo, Mo and myself would set out over the weekend to get "the" shot. Although we were pretty happy with the photos in general, when I look back at these days, what stands out is the quality time around shisha and 'chai zerda' (mint tea) talking camera gear and settings at the end of the day. This week-end was slightly different: I was about to get paid for something we used to do just for fun!
Armed with his professional camera, his 12 lenses (from which he will only use one!), tripod and 17.5 pockets trousers, THIS dude was commissioned by an engineering consultancy multinational to photograph the bridge for promotional purposes (read this sentence with a gradually decreasing echo for dramatic effect!). But seriously, there are many photos of the Stanley bridge available digitally over the internet. However, the company (which reviewed the design and supervised the construction) wanted a 21st century look at a bridge which was constructed in the late 1990s. My focus was to get the usual photos of the bridge, as well as some creative new perspectives. I shot at dusk to enjoy the best light, and at night because the night seems to bring the bridge to life. Overall I was pleased with the results, as was the engineering firm. Here are a few from my favorites.