Weddings Magazine – Get to Know Your WM Pro: Heba Salama Photography
If you were to read the diary of award-winning photographer Heba Salama as a young schoolgirl, you’d find that even then, she knew she was going to be…a wedding photographer. Born and raised right here in Chapel Hill, Heba not only shoots weddings but becomes part of them as she strives to capture the emotions of the day – this “visual legacy” is priceless to the couples that have formed friendships with this remarkably talented professional and is what takes her talent as a photographer to a completely new level.
WM: Where are you from and what do you love most about shooting in NC?
HS: I am a born and raised a Chapel Hill Native! I love that you can shoot year round, even though it’s hot in the summer, we have the most magical light!
WM: How long have you been a photographer?
HS: I started in darkroom in high school, and never stopped. However, my business was officially born in 2010. I feel so grateful to be able to do what I love and make a living at the same time.
WM: What made you want to become a photographer and what do you love about photographing weddings?
HS: I have journals from back in middle school, and in them I wrote how badly I wanted to become a wedding photographer. I was fascinated with my mother’s film camera back then, and shot hundreds of rolls of film! I guess I always have “been” a photographer, because it’s just who I am. So when I started my business, I just knew I was doing the right thing. I love being in the moment with the bride and groom that they will relive for all time – my goal each time is to make sure I’m giving them the perfect memories of that special day.
WM: What are some of your specialties when it comes to wedding photography?
HS: I think what I’m best at is putting couples at ease during their time in front of my camera. I can laugh at myself, and that helps, because then they don’t feel intimidated. I’ve always been inspired by people, their stories and their relationships, which is what I strive to show when I “create” photographs. It’s so important to me that these photographs become a visual legacy of the story I am telling. I focus much less on the landscape and environment, and much more on the face and expression – seeing the love is my goal.
WM: What advice do you have for brides and grooms when shooting?
HS: I don’t pose my brides and grooms in a formal way – I do more of what I call “coaching”. I want them to know that we are just going to hang out and take some photos. It’s so helpful to them to be relaxed when we are together to make them feel like I’m an old friend and for many of the couples I work with, I am still friends with them!
WM: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
HS: When couples tell me I was like a family member by then end of the wedding day, it feels great! I do my very best to gauge how they are feeling, so that the day never feels stressful for them.
WM: What is one of your most memorable wedding photography moments?
HS: I photographed a surprise wedding! It was full of emotion, and I was so nervous I was going to spoil the reveal! But it was one of the coolest weddings I have ever photographed.