I will share with you the touching love story of Zayn and John whom I had the pleasure of working with for their prenup photoshoot in Istanbul. After corresponding with Pakistani Zayn on WhatsApp who informed me that he would be coming to Istanbul from Afghanistan, it became apparent that the couple had not seen each other for a long time. “Hopefully I will come to Istanbul from Afghanistan on Saturday. John will be there tomorrow too. We went through a lot of difficulties to be physically reunited. I hope the universe will be kind to us. We look forward to seeing you,” she wrote. You can read more about their story in the article “Istanbul Prenup Photoshoot” below the photos.
Naturally I was curious to know more about their story, such as how long they had been apart and why. John, an American musician and Zayn a designer, met in New York in 2012. Then they fell in love at first sight. However when Zayn returned to Pakistan, she was arrested for some artistic work she had done in America. She was banned from leaving the country and has been dealing with the courts for years. Due to the travel ban the couple couldn’t meet for several years. Overall the Pakistani religious leaders eventually forgave Zayn and the travel ban was lifted a month ago. They decided to get married in Turkey. In addition, after obtaining the necessary permissions, they plan to start their new life together in America.
A Rainy Day in Istanbul
I had the privilege of photographing this wonderful couple before their wedding day which hapened to be a rainy and chilly day in Istanbul. John dressed in his coat and carrying his guitar. And Zayn wearing her vintage wedding dress looked remarkable. We walked around the city and discovered new places together including the Grand Bazaar where we stayed a little longer when it started to rain heavily. Later that evening we captured numerus photos on Eminönü seafront while John played his guitar creating a lovely atmosphere. After the shoot we went to the cafes in Karaköy where we chated and took more pictures.
Finally I left the couple at The Parma Hotel & Spa where they were staying. They stayed in Istanbul for a while to complete their wedding preparations and obtain permissions before Zayn finally received her visa and they set off to start their new life together in America. During our time together we had an enjoyable experience with these two wonderfully humble artists. I hope they will live a happy and peaceful life together without ever having to be separated from each other again.
Istanbul Prenup Photoshoot by Ufuk Sarisen