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It’s a quirky photo, but it’s catapulted one little-known wedding photographer to instant stardom.
When Raheel Gauba spoke to Sydney’s Indian Link Radio on the morning of Friday 13 June, via phone from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, a team from Ellen DeGeneres’ show were waiting to interview him.
“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing,” an excited Raheel told Indian Link presenter Kashif Harrison. “I’ve already been on Buzzfeed, E!Online, Fox News, Good Morning America….”
The excitement began when Raheel released a simple photo he took of a young couple, which was photobombed by Hollywood celebrity Bill Murray. The photo went viral.
Raheel, a Karachi boy who now lives and works in the US, called a halt to the queue of media outlets waiting to speak to him, so he could talk live on air to old friend Kashif, also of Karachi.
“Maine socha ek Pakisatni dost ke liye favour kar doon!” (Thought I’d do a favour for an old mate from Pakistan).
Raheel recounted, perhaps for the umpteenth time, the incident where he found his clients somewhat distracted as he tried to frame their shot. Turned out a middle-aged passer-by was trying to make the couple laugh, by pulling his shirt up and patting his tummy noisily. It was Bill Murray, who has gained a reputation for barging in unannounced at various places, much to people’s surprise, and no doubt, pleasure.
“Of course I asked him to join the couple in the shot,” Raheel revealed. “It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and all finished in a matter of a minute!”
It’s not even an artistic kind of shot, he revealed later, and one that he had kept aside since the shoot nearly a month ago. But he had no idea of the kind of interest it would generate when released.
The young couple Ashley Donald and Erik Rogers are very happy, but a bit taken aback as the whole world has seen their engagement photo, or at least, one of them.
“Ashley said to me, I feel naked! Can you please make this stop?” Raheel said to Kashif. “I replied, the train’s left the station, there’s no stopping it now!”
After the interview, there was an influx of facebook messages from Karachi, from old friends of both Raheel and Kashif who had heard the interview live on air.
Raheel is no stranger to shooting celebs with his camera, having only just recent hobnobbed with Bollywood celebs at the IIFA awards in the US for which he was official photographer, along with Taha Ghaznavi (Dastaan Studio).
But he hasn’t yet had a celeb photobomb one of his shoots. Yet, it’s got him his fifteen minutes (and more!) of fame.
Keep up the good work, Raheel.
And to finish off the interview Raheel dedicated a beautiful song from Vicky Donor to his wife Maryum Ghaznavi (who is his partner in crime at Fia Forever Wedding Photography).
And the question that Kashif asked his listeners after the interview: Which Bollywood celebrity do you think would do a Bill?
Share your answer on Facebook page and like it to stay up to date with his show!