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Meet Aamir Khan of Aiya Photography in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aamir Khan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It began with a family wedding in 2008. My wife and I were both amateur enthusiasts so we took pictures as our contribution to the festivities. It was a lot of fun and the photos were really well received. Some friends asked us how much we would charge to do their wedding. We had no idea, “does $250 sound reasonable?”. It snowballed from there by word of mouth. A couple of years later we had our first child and took the leap to start our own company. Our daughter Aiya and Aiya Photography were both born at the same time.

Many people ask about the meaning behind the name Aiya. It is quite simply proof of a miracle. Photography is an incredibly human experience in which we are able to capture the miracles that are people and their relationships.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s a big leap from doing something as a hobby to making it your profession. We had to master what I like to call the “four intelligence factors”. There’s the artistic intelligence piece of it that starts everything. Technical intelligence is needed because there is a lot modern DSLR’s can do if you have them setup the right way. Business intelligence is also needed to offer our clients an excellent customer experience. Most importantly there’s emotional intelligence. We are dealing with people at the end of the day, often on the most important day of their lives and they may or may not be completely stressed out. Throughout this, we ask them to be completely intimate, open and honest with us so that we can capture authentic moments, all while usually only having met them recently.

Aside from that, there were a few of other challenges. Leaving a job in banking to follow a passion was scary. It took time for people around us to see me as a professional photographer and not a finance guy. At times it even felt like they looked down it. Sometimes you have to follow your heart and in the end, it was all worth it.

Having the best equipment wasn’t possible in the beginning, as we didn’t have thousands of dollars to invest in the dream setup. It took time to slowly upgrade a lens here, a camera body there. During that time, we had to work extra hard to turn the pictures in our mind into reality.

Then there is working with your spouse. We don’t always agree on everything. Atafa is very chill and I am often a stickler for the little things, which sometimes causes disagreements. But something happens when we are at a shoot; especially the couples shoot at a wedding. Atafa puts her camera down and sees the moment artistically and holistically. I focus on the technical aspects of contrast, composition, lighting, framing etc. In that moment we don’t usually speak but are totally in sync and understand each other completely, moving and thinking as one. It’s a very intimate moment for both the couple and us.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Aiya Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We specialize in wedding photography but are also known to do portraits, business and lifestyle shoots. Our philosophy is that it’s not just the end product that’s important; the experience is just as vital. Great pictures are not necessarily about the way a person looks, it’s about the way a person feels. We put a lot of energy into making the shoot fun because the secret to making people relax and be themselves is to help them laugh.

What sets us apart is something that most photographers would call a cardinal sin. I suppose a textbook photographer is meant to observe and document, separating his or her self from the scene. We like to get involved. Wedding photography, especially, is a time of happiness and celebration and what makes us a different is that we are not always just observing someone’s most joyful moments, we are a part of them.

Moments like these fill me with pride . We have been wedding photographers for 3 of the couples in this picture. Over the years there has been a deep bond built with this family. We’ve watched people fall in love, get married, have children and have been lucky enough to be there alongside them through their journeys.

We really do love our clients.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Hands down, I love the people. San Diegans are awesome! Down to earth, friendly and easy to talk to. But I must admit that while driving to school one day and looking out the window, our daughter Aiya said it best “I love this street (Carlsbad Blvd) because everyone looks so happy”.

The only thing I have found to dislike so far about our fine city is that the Chargers left. Boo.

Contact Info: San Francisco City Hall

Clise Mansion (Marymoor Park) Redmond WA

Image Credit:
Aiya Photography

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