BiaSHEara: Vendor Spotlight: M & Z Event Management!


Hello everyone! Today's blog post is exciting as I get to feature two amazing Event Planners! Maryam and Zuhur of M & Z Event Management. I am featuring them as part of the BiaSHEara series which focuses on highlighting the work of women who are of East African heritage and who are entrepreneurs serving the Greater Toronto Area. However please note that the BiaSHEara blog series also features "womenpreneurs" from all different backgrounds as well (as you will have noticed if you have read past blog posts).

I first heard of the M & Z Event Management team when they contacted me about shooting a wedding for one of their clients at the beginning of this year (See that wedding HERE!). They showed up to my client meeting along with the bride and asked all the right questions about the way I shoot weddings. This was key as it ensured that we were all on the same page. On the wedding day they were very professional and took their jobs seriously. Amongst the many services they provided, I was most impressed with the fact that they made sure to take the time to communicate the agenda to the photographer during the course of events (I know it sounds like that should be a given, but I have seen my fair share of "planners" and "coordinators" who just don't think this is important for some reason) this included making sure the bride's entrance was smooth which allowed me to do the videography and photography at the same time all by myself (something I rarely ever do due to the logistics of it all).

M and Z Event Management also assisted me in planning and successfully executing a "Styled Wedding Shoot" earlier this year. With their help we were able to put together a great styled shoot with one of the most dedicated teams. Stay tuned for some exciting news on that styled shoot!

If you are looking for planners for your event, bridal shower or wedding then get in touch with them at the following e-mail: or you can also visit their instagram page HERE.

Above: Zuhur of M & Z Event Management.

Above: Maryam of M & Z Event Management


Bia-SHE-ara: Anique Jordan

Hello! Today I am sharing another instalment of the Bia-SHE-ara portrait series. Today's feature is on Anique Jordan who is a Toronto based artist. Anique's work has been featured on many platforms including the Art Gallery of Ontario. These portraits of Anique were taken back in the summer hence the sunny skies (much different from the cold windy weather we are having here in Toronto at the moment).

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am an artist that is still trying to understand what it means to be an artist. I am a community organizer. I am a daughter, sister and niece.

How did you become an entrepreneur?

I was always an entrepreneur by nature but entrepreneurship is what brought me to art because of an obsession in understanding how we survive and all the different ways we can survive. 

What are your ultimate career aspirations or dream project?

I want to work with little black girls in Scarborough to create a massive intervention into the city scape.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the little people inside of us because I think they remind us of our humanity and why survival is important.

Tell us about the work  that you are currently doing and the work that you had going on at the Art Gallery Of Ontario in the summer?

Currently I am the director of the Whippersnapper Gallery. It is a gallery for emerging artists. It provides them with resources and development opportunities to create public programming that starts conversations.

Over the summer I was invited by the Art Gallery of Ontario to take part in an exhibition about one of the Group of Seven members; The Canadian painter Lawren Harris. While Lawren Harris was famous for his paintings of snow capped mountains and blue skies I chose to explore his paintings of a once complex and culturally diverse neighbourhood called The Ward. My contribution to the exhibition consisted of two photo based pieces and one live performance. 

What are some of the challenges that you have faced as an entrepreneur and artist?

The hustle is real! I never lose the hustle but it is definitely a real thing!

How have you dealt with those challenges?

I find my Island. As the RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) would say I find my island and sometimes a little isolation can jumpstart and give you the space to think it through and reaffirm your direction and purpose.

If you can leave the readers of this blog with one inspirational message what would you say?

There is a drum shop in Kensington Market run by Saikou Saho and he once said these very compelling words; " Step in the Shadow of those who came before you. They will help to shield the sun


l would like to thank Anique for making the time to be a part of this blog series and I hope you will check out and support her work at

BiaSHEara is a group founded by Christina Muia and Karimah Gheddai that works on promoting women in Business.

Beautiful Halima Jama!

Hey Beautiful people! Happy Friday! Welcome to another entry on my blog!  Today I am sharing images from a portrait session I did with a fellow photographer! I really could not wait to post this one!

Halima Jama is a well known wedding photographer in Toronto, Canada who has also worked nationally and Internationally! I was so delighted when she contacted me to take some images of her to celebrate her reaching the milestone of having over 25,000 followers on Instagram! How amazing is that! It is nice to see another Black, Muslimah and East African Canadian Photographer excel in her craft and she truly is an inspiration MashAllah.

It was freezing on this day and I can't for the life of me remember why I suggested Scarborough Bluffs as a location for the shoot fully knowing we would be by the lake and it would probably be windy and crazy cold! Which it most definitely was! Oh wait....... I remember now! It is because it is my absolute favourite place in the Greater Toronto Area! 

Bilqees of Zuhoor Designs who created the beautiful floral crown that Halima wore joined us for the shoot and I can't say enough great things about her! She made sure the crown stayed in place during the shoot and accompanied us on our crazy trek through the woods, trying to get to the other side of the bluffs including stepping over rocks to pass through a stream. Actually she almost ended up in the stream herself when she stepped on a patch of snow that was just hiding a hole close to the stream. Pretty dangerous stuff. 

I have to say however that even in the winter this location did not disappoint! I wish you could have seen the hues of the sky when we were by the water. It's too bad it was just too cold to stay by the water long enough to get some decent photos that would do it justice but alas check out the image of Halima jumping by the water in one of the shots below. Absolutely fantastic!

All in all even though it was crazy cold and I definitely started to feel like I was catching something when I got home (shoutout to Ginger tea though for rarely letting me down when it comes to zapping that just getting sick feeling hehe) I really enjoyed this portrait session and I am going to suggest that everyone wear a floral crown at least once in their lives! Then call me to take a photo of you wearing it! Go Ahead! You deserve it! :P

Enjoy the blog post!

Floral Crown designed and created by Zuhoor Designs

Halima's Hijab (Head Covering/ Scarf) is by

If you would like to book me for a portrait session then get in touch HERE!

And now for some Behind The Scenes Images.......

Here is Bilqees of Zuhoor Designs Fixing Halima's Floral Crown

I just love these two very talented ladies MashAllah!

Bia-SHE-ara: Shanna Kay (life coach)

Hi Everyone! It's been a while but its also been busy busy busy. I am back with another installment of my photography profile series on rising entrepreneurs in the City of Toronto! Formerly known as "The Ascending" I am now changing the name of this series to "bia-SHE-ara". The word "biashara" in the Swahili language means business and so the spin here is the switching to bia-SHE-ara to emphasize women in business. This is also the name of the documentary I am currently working on that is following the stories of East African Women in the G.T.A that are business owners. The bia-SHE-ara series on my blog however will focus on women entrepreneurs in the G.T.A of various backgrounds. I have to give full credit of this name to my friend and co-documentary producer Christina Muia who came up with this brilliant title during a documentary brainstorming session.

So here goes the profile:

Portrait Location: High Park, Toronto Canada

Shanna is an aspiring life coach who is based in the G.T.A. I met Shanna during a networking event last year. Speaking with Shanna during our portrait session it was evident that she was passionate about bringing out the best in others and encouraging them to be their best selves. I am sure she is going to be a great life coach!

If you would like to have me take your portraits Get in touch HERE!

DEAL ALERT!!!: For the month of June I am currently offering mini portrait sessions for only $130 (that is quite a steal!) *Please note this offer is only for the month of June and terms and conditions apply*

What you Get: 45 minute portrait session at a location in Toronto, 20 fully edited images delivered to you digitally via dropbox (additional images (or USB) will incur an additional fee based on number of images desired by client), Up to two outfit changes permitted. 

BiaSHEara is a group founded by Christina Muia and Karimah Gheddai that works on promoting women in Business.