Wednesday, November 23, 2011

William Bichara Photographs Actor JR Martinez

William Bichara, the renowned Dallas fashion and celebrity photographer has a distinctive talent at delving into the depths of his subjects and bringing to life their innermost self. On top of being distinctive and captivating, his end photographs are tasteful and true to character. Every personality, artist or otherwise, who has been photographed by William Bichara was nothing less than overly pleased by the experience of working with William the person, and enjoying the product of William the photographer. The lasting working relationships and often personal friendships that are forged by fashion and celebrity photographer William Bichara with every new shooting experience, make him one of the most unique and sought after photographers in Dallas.

In a recent event for Smiles Charity in McKinney, TX, William had a brief yet valuable one-on-one photo session with a very unique personality who has been described by executive producer of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning daytime drama, ‘All My Children’, as representing the “best of the human spirit”. JR Martinez, a celebrated actor on the show and also a soldier and a motivational speaker is an inspiration to anyone who crosses paths with him. Having been injured and experienced severe burns to over 40 percent of his body while serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq, JR has found an exceptional power to turn his tragedy into hope. During his time in recovery, JR had the opportunity to discover the positive impact he had on his fellow patients and decided to use his experience to help others. Since then, JR Martinez has travelled the country, sharing his experience and spreading the message of resilience and hope, thereby becoming one of the highly sought after motivational speakers in the country.

More recently, Martinez’s life journey took him in a new direction as he joined the cast of “All My Children” where he brilliantly plays the character Brot Monroe, a US army soldier injured in combat and battling the implied fate of his love. Since then, he’s been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, PEOPLE magazine, the New York Times, and New York Daily News, has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, The View, CNN, Inside Edition, FOX News, Good Morning America, Univision, along with other major national news outlets.

Touched by JR’s journey, and inspired by his charm and zeal for life, William Bichara quickly saw beyond the wounds and let his camera do the work of capturing JR’s wonderful spirit. In a series of images very telling of what JR Martinez stands for, William Bichara yet again came through as a photographer with the very unique talent of connecting with his photographed characters on a very deep level and translating his treasured discoveries into images that tell a captivating yet very true version of the character’s story – in this case the inspiring story of the brilliant JR Martinez.

Recently, JR joined Season 13’s contestants on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Shining brighter than ever, JR performed brilliantly throughout the season and was able to dance his way to the Mirror Ball alongside his partner Karina Smirnoff. Congratulations JR! We are very proud of you.

William Bichara Photographs Singer and Actress Hiba Tawaji

Dallas Portrait and Celebrity Photographer, William Bichara’s recent trip to Lebanon, his home country, was a typical family trip home. The only different thing about it this time around was that he took along his cameras, and he took them with a mission - to make the best of his time there. To William, making the best of anything almost always involves a subject and a lens. Fortunately, Lebanon possess a wealth of wonderful subjects for an eager photographer’s lens, most fascinating of which are its people, and particularly, its artists.

William is fortunate to have made lasting friendships with a number of very dear buddies back home, few of whom are, to William’s great pride, prominent and deeply talented artists. To anyone who knows him well, William’s most treasured photography experiences start with friendships and personal connections.

Introduced by a very close friend and eventually turning into a dear friend herself, Lebanese Star, Hiba Tawaji, was one of the astonishing artists William has had the joy of photographing in his latest visit home. A singer, actress and director, Hiba is currently one of Lebanon’s biggest talents. Hiba’s golden voice, a background in audio-visual and cinematographic studies, vocal lessons with Emmy Award winner Gwen Conley in New York where she also attended Stella Adler Studio of Acting for a period of intensive training, have all prepared her for the great success she’s now enjoying. But the biggest catalyst to Hiba’s stardom was her professional union with Lebanese producer and composer Oussama Rahbani – a match made in music-making heaven. Oussama and Hiba’s latest album La-Bidayi Wala Nihayi was a chart buster – the perfect manifestation of Oussama’s Brilliance and Hiba’s talent brought together.

William’s photo session with Hiba in a charming neighborhood at the heart of Down Town Beirut was a pleasant experience. Hiba’s allure and beauty were a joy to capture on camera. When it comes to genuineness of expression, effortless movement in front of the lens, Hiba is a natural and she exudes talent. Most memorable, is Hiba’s friendliness and unpretentious persona, which make her rightfully one of the most adored young artists in the Lebanese music scene today.

William Bichara Photographs Singer Wadih Abi Raad

With a friendship that goes back more than a decade, William Bichara’s brief one on one photo session with Wadih Abi Raad during William’s latest visit to Lebanon worked out like magic. Swift and unplanned, the shoot was powered by ease and familiarity between the two along with Wadih’s charisma and sharpness of style.

Wadih is a renowned figure in the Lebanese music scene. Mostly known for his role as a rehearsal coach on the Lebanese hit realty show, Star Academy, Wadih is a holder of several opera degrees in Bulgaria and Italy. He held numerous concerts in Bulgaria, Italy, France, Dubai and Beirut with performances for Haydn and Mozart in his repertoire. Wadih is also a winner of the special encouragement prize awarded by Raina Kabaivanska Foundation in Bulgaria. Recently, Wadih added to his repertoire a partnership with singer and actress Hiba Tawaji in a concert by Oussama Rahbani featuring the two artists and covering a range of songs from Oussama’s discography. The concert was a big success creating a lot of buzz around the much needed return to quality in music and performance demonstrated by this Lebanese dream team.

William Bichara Photographs Actress Nada Abou Farhat

An old and charming Beirut apartment, washed out warm-pink-painted walls, frayed and worn out vintage furniture, the muted afternoon sun sneaking through the window, and a bigger than life character, genuine and uninhibited, all came together to create the perfect setting for a photo session that emanated a magic blend of nostalgia and authentic Lebanese beauty. That was the photo session of Portrait and Celebrity Photographer William Bichara with one of Lebanon’s most beloved actresses Nada Abou Farhat with the collaboration of La Maizonette Production House stylist Eva Zayat.

One of the most deeply talented Lebanese actresses of her generation, does not shy away from taking on complex and audacious roles, Nada has slowly but surely made a name for herself on Lebanon's small and big screens. She created and stayed true to her brand of authenticity and confidence. Most endearing, though, is her down-to-earth and occasionally reserved demeanor away from the screen. Going through the pictures from their photo shoot, you'll notice a range of genuine emotion captured by William, but three elements never seize to take over the images - Nada's warmth, intensity and her signature smile, one that seems to always grace her face even in the most somber moments.

William Bichara's photo shoot with actress Nada Farhat was no more than a two-hour friendly visit on a sunny September afternoon in a cozy Beirut setting, but the outcome was a photo album that spoke volumes about Nada's spirit and captivating character.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

William Bichara Photographs Michael Rapaport and Niraj Bhatia of 'A Tribe Called Quest' Documentary

Dallas Portrait and Celebrity Photographer William Bichara has recently taken his lens delving into the world of Hip Hop and music documentaries. A big music enthusiast himself, William was thrilled with his recent project to photograph the two forces behind the hit documentary “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest” – it’s director, Michael Rapaport and executive producer Niraj Bhatia. William photographed Rapaport and Bhatia during the premier of the film in Dallas.

The documentary depicts the drama surrounding the break-up of A Tribe Called Quest, the hip hop legend that was torn apart by tensions and irreconcilable differences between its band members. Rapaport, a big fan of the band and their music, was keen on documenting their story and succeeded beyond his expectations as his directorial debut was an instant hit, featured at the Sundance, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals receiving rave reviews and premiering in 10 cities including Dallas.

Another key player in this masterpiece was Dallas native Niraj Bhatia, the film’s executive producer. Niraj, a filmmaker and venture capitalist and a lover of hip hop music himself found “personal and commercial” appeal to the film and was quickly sold on the project. Now Niraj is thrilled by the attention the documentary has garnered and is proudly embracing the success of his project.

William’s sessions with both filmmakers was as inspiring and lively as the excitement both gentlemen were exuding in the days and hours leading up to the premier in Dallas. As usual, William documented the emotion strikingly. Looking at the pictures, the thrill of achievement in their eyes is unavoidably contagious.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Song In My Heart

"A dance of beauty, sensuality and elegance choreographed by the brilliant "Beauty Architect" Christian Iles as The Art Director and Hair Stylist / Paige Anderson as makeup artist/ Special Thanks to Terrel Owens for the use of his beautiful home / Nhã Khanh and Nini Nguyen and Elizabeth Anyaa for the use of their fashion designs."
Text by Lina Bichara

"A Song In My Heart" by William Bichara and Christian Iles
A Song In My Heart album from Christian Iles "To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten." Photo shoot with American Opera Tenor James Valenti and Korean Pop Vocalist Mina Chang Directed by Christian Iles and shot by acclaimed photographer William Bichara for The Azure with Elizabeth Anyaa designs HMUA Paige Anderson Hair Christian Iles Set/ lighting/ Candy Eye and Alexandre Mace Set/ Sony Chang Thanks Nha Khanh, Nini Nguyen, Kimberley Martinez, Terrell Owens Location The Azure, The Winspear Opera, Rolls Royce courtesy of Brandon Lopez Wardrobe: Elizabeth Anya, Carolina Hererra, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana Shoes on Mina: Alexander McQueen, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo"
Text By: Mina Chang

Bichara Photographs Award Winning Tenor James Valenti

One of the latest photo sessions that produced a distinctive illustration of William’s unique brand of photography was with the celebrated American tenor, James Valenti. Naturally graceful and charming, the award winning tenor was photographed by William bichara in a friendly one-on-one session with the riveting Dallas Opera House as a backdrop. The result was a series of images portraying a perfect balance between the modesty of a gracious down-to-earth gentleman with boyish charm and the grandeur of a tenor with leading roles in majestic classics like La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto and La Traviata in his repertoire. Rising without fail to international stardom, James Valenti is the winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award – 2010. He was also named the Dallas Opera’s Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year in 2009.

As with most of his photography projects, William’s encounter with James Velenti yielded an enjoyable experience for both on the personal and professional levels, and more importantly, was the seed of a promising friendship and mutual appreciation between the two.

William Bichara and James Valenti have more recently worked on another photography project in Dallas with singer and model Mina Chang and a team of Dallas’s top stylists. Tune in for more.

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Dallas, Texas, United States