THE MAGIC OF AN ANCIENT LAND
The Great Pyramids of Giza
I am sure that it is not new to you that Menkaure, Khafre and Khufu, also known as The Great Pyramids of Giza, are one of the marvelous Wonders of The World. The stories of how they were built, for what purpose and how old they really are, are various but the reality is that they are all theories and all of it still an unknown mystery.
I grew up reading and learning about the Ancient Egypt as it was my father’s obsession so it became mine too, and even though I had the pleasure to visit Egypt years ago as a tourist, I have never had the opportunity to go back as a photographer until this past April ’19 when Mariam and Marko got engaged and I had the honor to photograph their engagement in such a magical place. It was a dream come true!
<< How was it you might ask… how you made it happen you might continuous…>>
Let me tell you that it wasn’t easy AT ALL!
After posting a preview on my social media, I have received multiples messages about how did I do this and how they can do it as well so I am going to tell you a little bit about the story.
We woke up to a beauty session with Heba Fouda from Cosmo Hair Studio well.. not me, the bride! Lol! and right after we headed to the Pyramids; about 20 mins from central Cairo but of course that is without traffic and in Cairo the traffic is absolutely insane! New York City traffic is a joke compared to Cairo’s so it took us about two hours to get there and to be able to enter in the tourist area of the complex. Once inside with the production team, guide, hair and make up, dresses, flowers, bags with equipment, light stands and all the rest, they let us know that we are NOT allow to enter in the pyramids under any circumstances… You can imagine the couple’s faces and my face…
After a little tantrum and several “Just breath Mariah, just breath” the production team came up with a solution. We all got together in a quick standing meeting and agreed that we will go around the pyramids where nobody could see us and that we will cross several miles across the desert with all our belongings until we get as close as possible to the pyramids; “Whatever it takes”– we said! After all I came from New York to make this happen for Mariam and Marko and we couldn’t let them down.
The Journey to the location
Finding our way to the back of the pyramids was challenging to say the least. We called Uber and we ride along the road wondering for an entrance somewhere that somehow take us some place with a “Yellow Brick Road” such us The Wizard of Oz but of course, this is not a Story Book so we had to hustle until we found a tinny village about 7 miles far away where it was a ranch and we found someone that could help us get deep into the desert. After a lot of negotiation and back and forth in a poor Arabic & English, they agreed.
At that point I had to be realistic and accept that all the things I had carry with me from NY to take fabulous pictures, have to stay in the car and that I will have to pick 1 lens and 1 camera and shoot natural light, so I took my Mark IV and my 50 mm f1.2 and hope for the best. I didn’t know what time we will get to the desirable location and where the sun will be at that time so everything was outside my control.
We ride and walk across the desert for about 1 hour until we were tired, thirsty and hungry and we couldn’t make it anymore because the further we walk, the longer will be the way back to the ranch. The sun was moving to a point where getting the couple properly light and having the pyramids as a background at the same time will be impossible and we also couldn’t wait until the sunset in the middle of the desert; it is very dangerous being there without any kind of protection so we stoped in somebody’s tent and offer them some money to be able to rest and get some very expensive water.
We wish we could have get closer and we wish that everything could have been a little bit easier but Hey! We were there and we make it work.
As a photographer I have done crazy things for the right shot; climb mountains, get in the water fully dressed, go up in unstable furniture to have the perfect click but I understand that clients are not always up of anything so my respects to this awesome couple that were there for the “ride or die” and had the energy to have fun, laugh and follow my directions and craziness while shooting.
“Egypt, we will meet again!
Until that day I leave you with this images, this amazing couple and this magic background.”