Determined to Take Better Photos? This One’s for You

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Photo: Courtesy of Clarisse Meyer

If you’re anticipating (or dreading) a weekend ahead of mindless binge-eating and binge-watching, there’s hope. Starting tomorrow, the city will host another edition of the immensely popular GPP Photo Week, courtesy of photography hub Gulf Photo Plus at Alserkal Avenue. On the agenda are six days crammed with seminars, workshops, exhibitions, activations, film screenings, photo walks, panel discussions, and plenty more – phew.

Pressed for time? We help you navigate the minefield of a program with suggestions on what to attend based on your background, skill level, interests, and even personality type. Go forth and photograph.

1

Finding a Niche in a Crowded Market - A Personal Story

If You're Fashion-Forward

If you’re intrigued by the highly glamorous – and ruthlessly competitive – world of fashion photography, then attending award-winning photographer Toufic Araman’s session during SONY PhotoFriday is a must. Besides sharing the trials and tribulations that he has faced in the industry, he will also reveal how he manages to reinvent himself while staying true to his signature aesthetic.

For more details or to book, click here.

2

In Conversation | Osborne Macharia

If You're a Proud Feminist

Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia works in “Afrofuturism”, a genre that has transitioned from focusing on space travel and mysticism to reimagining a present with equal opportunity for all. He will be in conversation with GPP curator Miranda McKee to discuss his works, many of which feature striking portraits of elderly women portrayed in a powerful light, thereby urging viewers to reconsider the symbolism of power.

While you’re there, be sure to view his Black to the Future | Reimagining Now exhibition. You’ll see three imagined women who are former female circumcisers building a fashion empire in the series Magadi, and three theoretical powerhouse leaders who have held positions of political and economic influence in the series Nyanye.

For more details, click here.

Osborne Macharia photography
Photo: Courtesy of Behance
3

Beyond Here is Nothing

If You're a TCK

Freelance news photographer Laura El-Tantawy was born in England to Egyptian parents. She lived in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the USA before returning to the UK, where she currently works. If anything about her East-meets-West upbringing resonates with you, you’re bound to appreciate this poignant exhibition, which explores both the beauty and mental burden of never belonging through ambiguous visuals, ominous shadows, and subtle textures.

For more details, click here.

4

Storytelling in Wedding Photography

If You're a Bride-To-Be

Destination-wedding photographer Tasneem Alsultan has captured a diverse array of cultures around the world – and she does so with a personal style that’s truly unique. She’ll use her session to touch on the emotive and artistic foundations of her creative process as well as reveal a few expert tips and tricks. If you’re interested in wedding photography that brings with it an element of storytelling and socio-cultural commentary, this one’s for you.

For more details or to book, click here.

5

Politics of Place & Rabbit Holes | Practices in Visual Storytelling

If You’re a News Junkie 

Providing a fresh perspective on issues such as the Syrian-refugee diaspora is Tanya Habjouqa, who will share her previously unseen works during her session at GPP Photo Week alongside the key strategies and tools that she employed. The photographer-journalist will explore how she attempts to dig deeper into the politics of a place as she blends competing narratives – overturning and playing with them – through the use of a metaphorical approach.

For more details or to book, click here.

Tanya Habjouqa photograhy
Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic
6

Street Scenes in Satwa

If You Want to See a New Side of Dubai

Head to the colorful and chaotic streets of Satwa with UK-based photographer Kevin Mullins, a handful of fellow photography enthusiasts, and your camera in tow for a photo walk during which you’ll shoot a side of Dubai that you may surprise you. Afterwards, you’ll head to the iconic Ravi Restaurant and critique the photos you’ve taken, discuss what you’ve learned, and find ways to improve your photography skills.

For more details or to book, click here.

7

Person and Persona: The Creative Side of the Self-Portrait

If You’re Selfie-Obsessed

You’ve taken selfies in the bathroom, behind the steering wheel, beside prominent landmarks, and with your Starbucks cup in tow. Now take things up a notch with this one-day workday taught by portrait photographer Sara Lando. Covering both technical and storytelling aspects, she’ll have you convinced that self-portraiture is as fun as it is challenging, awkward, and weird – complete with masks to rid you of any inhibitions that may get in your way.

For more details or to book, click here.

selfie milada vigerova unsplash
Photo: Courtesy of Milada Vigerova
8

Portraits of the Famous and Infamous

If You’re a Pop Culture Vulture

Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and even burlesque dancers have all been photographed by celebrity-portrait photographer Brian Smith – and his insider stories are well worth a listen. Head to his session on SONY PhotoFriday, during which he’ll reveal how he connects with his subjects and the lessons he has learnt over three decades of shooting the rich and famous.

For more details or to book, click here.

9

Photography for Beginners

If You’re a Total Newbie

Do you own a camera and essentially know nothing about its modes, lenses, functions, and controls? There’s hope. This one-day workshop by RC Concepcion, taking place twice during GPP Photo Week, will cover all the essentials from taking a great photograph (with a hands-on practice session around Alserkal Avenue) to importing and processing it in Adobe ‘Lightroom’.

For more details or to book, click here.

10

An Introduction to Artist Books

If You're the Nostalgic Type

If you’re downright old-fashioned and exasperated by all things digital, this half-day seminar awaits. Also led by Sara Lando, it will teach you how to create your very own artist books, delving into different formats such as scrolls and examining super simple binding types. Also on the agenda? Discussing mixed-media techniques that will allow you to create original artwork that challenges the idea of a book as we know it. Your photos will thank you for it.

For more details or to book, click here.

artist book collage vintage photos
Photo: Courtesy of GPP
11

Online vs Offline: Let's Talk About Social Media

If You’re a Social Media Addict

The likes of Instagram and Facebook dominate our lives – whether we like it or not – and that’s exactly why this panel discussion is particularly relevant. Bringing together Tasneem Alsultan, Shannon Ghannam, and Kevin Mullins, it will address how social media is affecting the artistic practices of photographers worldwide, the need for detoxing from it in order to boost your creativity, its impact on photojournalism, and more.

For more details or to book, click here.

12

The Visual Voyager - Photography for the Constant Traveller

If You’re an Avid Traveler

A mere 60-minute investment, and you’ll see what you’re doing wrong (and right) with your camera when you head abroad, courtesy of travel photographer Dany Eid. He’ll share his techniques, focusing on how to master the tilt-shift lens, and discuss both landscape and cityscape photography. Even better? The session is free to attend.

For more details or to register, click here.

sincerely jules map car travel IG post
Photo: Courtesy of @SincerelyJules
13

An Intro to Astro: How to Photograph Galaxies Far, Far Away

If You’re an Astrology Buff

Even the most stunning night sky can feel impossible to capture decently, and that’s why this talk by Samy Al Olabi has so many excited. The award-winning photographer is renowned for his astrophotography portfolio and will educate participants on the art of shooting all things celestial. New knowledge aside, you’ll walk away feeling inspired just by the stories behind Al Olabi’s breathtaking photographs. Win-win.

For more details or to register, click here.

14

Souls Against the Concrete

If You're Against Cultural Stereotypes

The hauntingly beautiful work of Khalik Allah has been rightfully described as “street opera” – storefronts, street lights, cars, and flashing ambulances are the only sources of light as he shoots analogue at night. With an emphasis on Harlem, the photographer-filmmaker captures portraits of a marginalized community living on the streets, but in a dignified manner. His new Souls Against the Concrete series portrays individuals from the Arab diaspora living in New York City and aims to highlight their contribution to America as a whole.

For more details, click here.

khalik allah photography man smoking
Photo: Courtesy of Huck
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