a one year anniversary - HERE'S TO LONGING | 53

so here's my longing piece, number 53. that means i've been doing this for over a year now; i started on april 19, 2011. my friend rebecca pointed that out to me a couple of weeks ago - and it hit me. wow. a freakin' year!?!!? who knew that time went by so quickly or that i could create this many original pieces that directly soothe my pangs of overwhelming longing. it's funny: time. somedays i will look back on the last year and think of all the things that have totally changed, the things i've been challenged with, or the things i've achieved. and then other days, i look back at things like my manifesto for HTL [here's to longing] and i know that i could have written that same exact post today; it feels fresh, new, exciting, challenging, painful and appropriate. i suppose if i were to think about it, it is a good thing that my manifesto still applies to me today. my love for patrick sure hasn't gone anywhere, i feel even closer to him now; my love & understanding for photography has only increased, and i sure as hell hope that my understanding of longing has only increased. now, when i feel this overwhelming longing come up, i know it. like, i really know it - inside and out. sometimes i still don't know exactly where it's coming from, what it's rooted in, but now, when i feel it well up inside - i take a moment, stop what i'm doing and allow myself to feel it, like really FEEL it. let it overtake me, whisk me off to wherever it is, experience the place/time/smell/memory/feeling/place i've never been yet, and i honor it. and i honor that process. and then i come back, having honored myself and i acknowledge the longing and celebrate it.

in thinking about this past year, and the things that have happened, changed, grown, receded, progressed, died, given birth - i'm overwhelmed by the amazing people that i've had the bounty of connecting with on an extremely deep and elemental level, people who were strangers to me before, but that through this project, in some small or very large ways, they have been able to dig deeper within themselves and ask the big Questions, and face Themselves and challenge their beliefs, their pains and sadnesses, the victories and defeats; they have been able to share with me things that have struck me so profoundly, thereby affecting and changing me. if there is one thing i've learned through this process, its that on a very base level, we're the same. we have the same feelings, concerns, worries, joys and defeats. that is what has been so amazing for me - my work is that something that i feel is so subjective, so personal, but then someone else can take it for what it means to them, and how it speaks to their hearts.

for those of you that have been following along with me this past year on my longing journey - and your own - thank you, it means the world to me that this has moved in you in some very small or very large ways. i urge you to continue pushing yourselves, and to continue to challenge those around you and yourself to live the richest, fullest, most passionate life you possibly can. i would really like to hear from you [i know you're there] and hear what you're thinking about, what you've learned in your last year, what you would feel comfortable to share with others.

i will end with one of my favorite quotes of all time, by the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, Shoghi Effendi:

"Life is a constant struggle, not only against forces around us, but above all against our own ‘ego‘. We can never afford to rest on our oars, for if we do, we soon see ourselves carried down stream again."

and this one:

"The more we search for ourselves, the less likely we are to find ourselves; and the more we search for God, and to serve our fellow-men, the more profoundly will we become acquainted with ourselves, and the more inwardly assured. This is one of the great spiritual laws of life."

 if any of you have any thoughts, comments, reactions, etc. please feel free to email me at : laylisamimi [at] gmail.com - i would truly love to hear from you. 

| 53 |
photography by layli samimi and quotes by her & her loved ones; 
new piece up every friday, read my manifesto for this project heresee all of them here


a family portrait | ray, gus + wolfgang

i wanted to share with you these beautiful photographs from a shoot i did with my dear friends, ray & gus and their amazing little son, wolfgang. ray & gus & i have been dearest of friends since our undergraduate years at the evergreen state college in olympia, washington. ray was one of my "bridesmaids" at our wedding and they have recently welcomed the most precious, wolfgang in to their beautiful family.

i hadn't seen ray & gus since my wedding - pushing 2.5 years [!!!] - nor had the privilege of squeezing wolf. well, this past trip to NYC i was able to be reunited and introduced to wolfgang [which consisted of basically smothering him with kisses, allowing him to drool and tug at my hair and face and smile]. when they arrived at a party in the park that we were attending, i dropped my cameras, and ran straight in the direction of my loved friends. as soon as i saw ray and his son, tears came streaming; it was so amazing to see my dear friend now be carrying a child in his arms - a beautiful child. it was pretty hilarious - when i went to embrace goose - er, gus - before hello she just said, "come on, are you crying, lay?!?!". i wouldn't expect anything less from my honest, hilarious goosey.

to be able to spend such quality time with my old friends and fall in love with their son [and there is proof that he also fell in love with me, just look at all these photographs...], was such a blessing. when you have friends that you've had for so long, friends you've gone through so many things with, when they have a child, it is like your own family. he really feels like my nephew and i will forever look out for him & love him like an auntie. i know you know the feeling of how special it is to have dear friends in your lives, friends you've had forever, and to experience new beautiful things with them [above all, marriages and births]... it is SUCH A FUN RIDE.

so without further ado, here is the HEARTBREAKINGLY gorgeous, blissful, radiant wolfgang and his handsomeashell parents:
have you seen a happier family? nope.

photo by ry slash

handsome son of a gun
my sister and wolfgang

i adore this photo of beautiful gus.
you are killing us, wolf!!

three ladies and a baby

father & son 
one of my fave pola shots of all time. 
// all photographs taken with my fuji instax & my beloved 35mm camera.


Rox + Ry Wedding Shots || 35mm style

i of course brought my 35mm camera to shoot at their wedding. and i just got the film back yesterday and i was so excited to share them with all of you. i'll let the photos speak for themselves:

even the building was happy for ry and rox.
sweet ladan

when ryan forgot his vows ;) - best photo
putting on her ring!!

the married couple!

oh don't you stick your tongue out at me.
the siblings!
the lovely lashes!
one of my fave shots of ryan ever.
hey cutie!
sneaking a shot
one of my most favorite shots.
gaahhhh- adoreeee

like a painting

after the reception
heading home from wedding.
p.s. >> hey, dear readers, i know you've been following my blog for a while now, and i would love for you to also follow my photography facebook page - layli samimi photography. if you haven't already "liked" the page, please do so and pass on to your friends & family! also - keep an eye out - the amazingly talented negeen sobhani was the official photog and i am sure her photos will be amazing.


nerd alert

ahem. okay, i have something to admit. i'm a total geek. when i saw this cuppow sippy lid for mason jars i kinda lost my mind. i HATE drinking out of anything that is plastic or aluminum, and i've always loved lugging around jars for my drinks BUT the HUGE lids always posed as a problem, but there truly is nothing like drinking out of glass. well, some geniuses decided to come up with an idea of manufacturing little pieces of BPA free plastic for us to put on our mason jars as we sip. pretty darn sweet if you ask me.

get yours here.


rox + ry's wedding portraits || polaroid style - part I

hey ya'll. so this past week i was in brooklyn to take part in the amazing wedding celebration of ryan & roxanne. ryan has been one of my best friends for almost a decade now and roxanne and i became friends about 2 years ago, separate from ryan. so when ryan and rox skyped me to tell me that they were getting married, i was beyond excited for this union!! when ryan and i are together we basically just do a five day photoshoot marathon, which i am sure a lot of you are privy to, as you are readers of my blog.

so obviously ryan and rox had mega photoshoots during their wedding weekend. and i got to shoot with my two most treasured loves, my instant camera and my 35mm. i took 70 35mm shots & like one billion polaroids [aka instax] shots at their amazing brooklyn wedding weekend. i have started scanning them in and i am more than happy with how they look! since there are so many, and scanning takes forever [!!!], bare with me, as i blog these photos in parts.

without further ado, part I [note: you can click on all images to see them larger]:

entering the ceremony

i adore this portrait diptych of the both of them!

the family!

rox and ry didn't get the memo about us wearing red.

lovely roja, anyssa & martha


mother & sister of groom

the lovely women behind the rice krispie cake!!

beautiful diane & elizabeth

sofa sesh.

i actually don't know anything that the amazing beka lash can't do. #madskillz

me and slasher at the bowling alley reception.
the day after the wedding - picnic in the park!

brother ryan & sister beka flying kites. [a dream]

yay!!! the married hai - lashes!!!
congrats to the damn handsome bride & groom!! i love you both so much!!

p.s. >> hey, dear readers, i know you've been following my blog for a while now, and i would love for you to also follow my photography facebook page - layli samimi photography. if you haven't already "liked" the page, please do so and pass on to your friends & family!