Welcome to the Alefiya's blog!

Alefiya Akbarally is an award-winning Sri Lankan born photographer living in Houston, Texas.

With a passion for Fashion and Editorial photography, she has now combined both areas to influence her Wedding photography portfolio.

She would love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her at info@alefiya.com.

Archive for 'Houston'

It’s been a long time since my last post, but there’s a good reason for that.  I gave birth to a precious baby girl Iman 3 months back.  We feel truly blessed.

After about a 6 month break from work, it was really lovely to photograph Nishy & David’s wedding last weekend.   This is a sneak peak of their Sangeet and their wedding pictures will soon follow.  Nishy and David are one of the sweetest couples I have had the pleasure of working with.  I got to know Nishy and her parents well throughout the last year, and they truly made me feel like a part of the family and not their wedding photographer.  This is priceless.  Her father would check up on whether I had a chance to eat at every event, which was just so sweet!
I was excited when I found out that David had a Lankan connection,  in fact his mother was born down the road from my home in Colombo.  His cousin and I went to the same school in Sri Lanka.  Wow, small world heh?
David is a perfect gentleman, kind and laid back.  Nishy, well where do I begin.  Effortlessly beautiful, is one way to describe her.  She lights any room, with her perfect smile and pure happy energy.  I told my husband, that you just cant help but feel happy when you are around her.  What a gift!  Needless to say, David and Nishy are in for a fabulous life together, filled with lots of love, happiness and adventure.  Thank you for including me on your special day and I wish you both a terrific life ahead.

I had the great pleasure of photographing Rusty Arena of Arena Design this year as he celebrates 25 years in textile design.  A true artist and a wonderful soul.  Always love working with him and his team.  Not forgetting his four-legged companions Coyote and Rufus who keep me company!

Rusty has been featured this year in PaperCity, Houston Magazine and Texas Interiors.  To learn more about Rusty and see more images click on the links below –

PaperCity (March 2013)

Houston Magazine (October 2013) Page 57

Texas Interiors (October 2013)

8Z5A4364finalUntitledPhotographed for Houston Magazine in March 2013, Loya and Taghdisi at Loya’s Stablewood manse.


My gorgeous couple were featured in the Houston Wedding Blog by Weddings in Houston Magazine.  Read more about the wedding and the fabulous vendors at http://houstonweddingblog.com/2013/10/modern-silver-and-fuchsia-persian-lebanese-american-wedding-from-weddings-by-alefiya/.



Check out the full article on Miro’s blog –  http://miranthidole.blogspot.com/2013/02/exotic-bloom.html

Exclusively shot for Hi Magazine, many thanks to Editor Shyamalee Tudawe and Miranthi Dole.

Photography – Alefiya Akbarally www.alefiya.com  |  Text – Miranthi Dole  |  Statement Jewelry – Ezza Exclusive www.ezzaexclusive.com  |  Hair and Make up – Hues by Heather  |   Nails – Vicki Adams  |  Models – Nida Khurshid and Victoria Herrera  |  Assistant Stylist – Ali Levine  |  Swimwear – Moonshadow, one piece by Elease Donovan Swimwear  |  Location – Flamingo Gardens, Houston, Texas.

So excited to share one of several images which are featured in this month’s Hi Magazine Fashion Spread. Grab your copy now!

Exclusively shot for Hi Magazine, many thanks to Editor Shyamalee Tudawe and Miranthi Dole.

Photography – Alefiya Akbarally www.alefiya.com  |  Text – Miranthi Dole  |  Statement Jewelry – Ezza Exclusive www.ezzaexclusive.com  |  Hair and Make up – Hues by Heather  |   Nails – Vicki Adams  |  Models – Nida Khurshid and Victoria Herrera  |  Assistant Stylist – Ali Levine  |  Swimwear – Moonshadow, one piece by Elease Donovan Swimwear  |  Location – Flamingo Gardens, Houston, Texas.

Also a very special thank you to Iyendra Ratnanather for the fabulous NEW Alefiya Studios LLC LOGO design.  If you need to rebrand and redesign your company brand he is definitely the man for you!

This post is long over due.   I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Sheena’s mum first, Vijay.  She knew that we would be a good fit for her daughter and son-in-law Jon.  Shortly, after I met with Sheena, as she lives out of state.  We got along instantly.  We both share a love for old Bollywood hits.  Sheena especially loves Helen.  Over the course of two fun-filled weekends in November we captured some amazing memories celebrating Sheena and Jon’s new life together as Mr. & Mrs. Fitzsimmons.

Yesterday I was thoroughly touched when Sheena wrote this on my FaceBook wall “I just want to thank you Alefiya Akbarally for taking such magnificient shots and being so professional and friendly.  It really made my wedding celebration easier knowing you were behind the camera!” It’s times like this when you really do know that you have made the right choice in career.  

I also had the honor of working with some of Houston’s best wedding professionals, including the dynamic Therese Cole-Hubbs of Electric Karma.

Assisted by the beautiful Leslie Cervantez.

Planning & Wedding Coordinator – Electric Karma International/ Therese Cole -Hubbs |  Venue – Omni Westside | Decor – Decor One  | DJ – Indo Raja | Make up – Shilpa Koshy |  Videography – Tall Productions  | Catering – Bombay Brasserie |  Cake – Make Yummy



Been dying to share my recent shoot for Best of Houston 2012 with designer Jonathan Blake.  We photographed his jaw dropping red gown with 700 handmade roses at Chateau Cocomar for the January Issue of Houston Magazine.  For more on Jonathan Blake and the Best of Houston 2012, pick up the January issue of Houston Magazine.


“MFAH Mixed Media Designed by IKEA transforms the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, into a multi-sensory experience.”

I was invited to capture the behind the scenes of “Wig Art” where local salons styled over-the-top wigs to be revealed in a unique presentation by Lenny Matuszewski and Tamara Klosz Bonar with models from Neal Hamil Agency. Wardrobe courtesy of Dillards.

The Salons included Houston’s best –

Azur + Azur West
Bella Rinova Spa & Salon
Ceron Salon
Cut Loose
HUES by Heather
K Renee Salon
Kharisma Hair Salon & Studio
The Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue
SHȲN Salon
Tre Spa

Come see us on Sunday 1-5 pm!  Very excited to be a part of this years Weddings in Houston “I Do Soiree” at the Hotel Zaza.  Love, love shooting at this venue.  Please get in touch with Weddings in Houston  if you would like to attend.


Something for Cora.  Auntie Alefiya.

Had a bit of an Elliot Erwitt moment with their cutie Phillis.

I was introduced to Jennifer and Rishi, through Pam Sparks at En vogue Events.  We literally “clicked” from the first meeting. Jennifer a classic southern beauty (my Nephew Imran insisted she looked liked Taylor Swift) and Rishi a charming Scotch connoisseur with his off beat humor.  I mentioned to Jennifer that its ALWAYS helps to have a great location for a photo shoot.  I believe it takes the images to another level – artistically and emotionally.  Needless to say, Jennifer and Rishi aced the requested with the help of Pam, who had recently toured the newly refurbished Julia Ideson Library in Downtown, Houston.  It was a photographers dream.  Beautiful wooden details, breathtaking colors, wide open spaces,  gorgeous defused natural light and of course a stunning couple.  This is the first part of a three perhaps four 🙂 part Engagement Session.

Xiomarra and Mike got married at The Gardens Houston on the 16th of June 2012.  Loved the thought they had put into all the detail.   Really enjoyed photographing the children, who just loved to be in front of the camera.  The music by DJ’s Unlimited was phenomenal, it reminded me of my time in Colombo. Thank you to Laurel Hanz for joining me on the day.

When I met Xiomarra for the first time, I knew she would be a gem to photograph.  Gorgeous flowing hair, striking eyes, and a soft and luring smile.  She told me that she would love to do a Boudoir type engagement session coupled with a few nice outdoorsy shots.  So on a relaxed Sunday afternoon, soaking in Houston’s  hot summer, we enjoyed a few hours of photographing in her home town in Manvel and then headed to the Historic old town of League City.  Looking forward to shooting her wedding next week. Congratulations Xiomarra & Mike!

When you combine stunning interior design, great music, a talented mixologist and a scrumptious gourmet snack menu, you have a sweet cocktail for success.  Most of you who know me, know that I seldom step into a bar.  But this was so so different.  The Eighteenth Bar located at 2511 Bissonnet, is just an experience for the senses.  I was working, sure, but I had such a great time.  Amir Ansari one of the owners’ was supremely hospitable, chatted to Omar for the whole duration of the shoot.  The place had hints of the Hotel Zaza‘s Conspiracy Room and a Restoration Hardware winter catalog.  Needless to say I loved it.  I wish Amir and Erick every success. For more see this month’s Houston Magazine.

Emmie won the Engagement & Bridal package at the Houston Brides “Evening of Modern Luxury Show”.  She is getting married this weekend in Napa Valley and wanted to take some pictures of her and Elliot before they officially tie-the-knot.  She wanted a mix of Bridal & Engagement pictures done.  So we roamed the streets of Riveroaks, dropped in at the fabulous Epicure Cafe and finished up for the iconic Houston views from Sabine Street.  I wish them the very best for this weekend.

Come visit Weddings by Alefiya | Photography at the Omni Hotel on Thursday, the 22nd of March at 6:30pm.

I am quite new to Infant and Baby Portraits, but I could not resist after speaking with Mercedes Perez, the grandma of these gorgeous twins!  Looking forward to seeing them in their next trip to Houston, I am sure they will be all grown up.  Assisted by the one and only Nyah McConnell of Photobutterfly.

For the “Best of the City” 2012 feature, I had the privilege of shooting U of H star quarterback Case Keenum, 23.    Despite missing the Heisman Trophy there was no doubt that his performance lead to one of the most celebrated years in the history of the Cougars.  We wish him all the best, no doubt the NFL has lots in store for him.

Read the full article here.

I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing Kent Dorn at his studio in Houston.  He was preparing for his exhibition sampling his most recent work “Dweller” at the Bryan Miller Gallery.  He had an uncanny resemblance to Leonardo Dicaprio.  Although a little camera shy, he was so incredibly accommodating until we got THE shot we needed.

If you like to soak in some art please visit his wonderful exhibition at the Bryan Miller Gallery on view till February 18, 2012.

Read the full article here.

A stunning wedding with an awesome family who welcomed me as one of their own.  Thanks to Shawn Rushing of En Vogue Events, Memorable Events, Hotel Zaza and of course the beautiful couple Shuchi & Ari for making our evening so much work!

Denise & Kenneth, Hotel Zaza, Houston, Texas.

Just joined Getmarried.com have a look and please pass it on!


It was my second shoot with Crystal & Carlos before there wedding. Had a fun filled day first at the Cockrell Butterfly Center and then at one of the few remaining drive-in Cinema’s in Texas.

A historical Sixth Ward home hosts “Women’s Voices: Honoring Alice Valdez and Sheema Kermani”.
For more see – http://www.vbbarts.org/calendar.shtml

The Mitchell Center, in partnership with artist-in-residence Marc Bamuthi Joseph, the Living Word Project and Youth Speaks, Inc., hosted Life Is Living Houston, a hip-hop-based environmental justice festival. Focused primarily on Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood, the festival further connects University of Houston with its surrounding community and celebrates the extraordinary people who sustain the cultural life in and around the Third Ward.

t-b (1) Emancipation Park; Houston. (2) Aquaponics display by Keba Armand Konte (3) Live graffiti display on 20 car-hoods

Dig deeper – http://www.lifeisliving.org/

t-b – Logan, (centre) Jason. Inflatable pumpkin/ghost chocolate dispenser.

A photo of a portrait at Graceland.

Watch Oprah’s interview with Lisa Marie –
1/3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LngoYj4ML4&feature=related
2/3 -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diA9ochtq6I&feature=related
3/3 -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2C5nPLc6_I&feature=related
Please Visit – www.WeddingsbyAlefiya.com

POKE! explores the inter-personal intentions of social media technology and the nature of modern internet-mediated relationships with work that references and uses source material from popular online social media websites such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Craigslist, and YouTube.

Penelope Umbrico, Suns from Flickr, 2006-2007

Christopher Baker (Minneapolis, MN) compiles a wall full of personal, diarist messages by teenage users of YouTube and Facebook. The wall-sized video installation is a cacophonous monument to the individual’s voice and the confessional nature of self-made video.

Penelope Umbrico (New York, NY) obsessively appropriates images from Craigslist, where merchants selling second-hand televisions make unwitting self portraits of themselves. These images of TVs, branded with their owners faces, are reproduced life-sized and sold for the same price as their real-life counterparts, questioning the worth of the consumable (the TV) and the original (the photograph).