UAE Prepares to Welcome 13 International Photographers for the 5th Annual Gulf Photo Plus Extravaganza
Make love to the camera’ you hear them saying to models from their comfort zone behind the lens. Who are they? They’re the world’s photography elite. At Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) 2009, the region’s only hands on dedicated Photography Event you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the best in the business. The 5th annual event, which will be held at Dubai’s Knowledge Village from 30th March to 4th April, has attracted 13 international photographers and image software experts who will present a full programme of workshops for photographers of all levels. In addition, a month-long exhibition featuring selected works from the visiting photographers will be held at the Empty Quarter Gallery, DIFC, Dubai’s first exclusive photography gallery. An invitation-only opening night, will co-incide with the commencement of Gulf Photo Plus for 2009.
According to chief organiser, Mohamed Somji, interest in photography continues to grow, with many participants keen on improving their skills to simply take better photos, while others are polishing their technique, intent on earning an income from their hobby or perhaps harbouring a secret desire to start their own photography business.
“In 2009 we will kick off the event with an exhibition in DIFC at the Empty Quarter Gallery. The Gulf Photo Plus event itself, will feature more than 50 workshops as well as the extremely popular ‘Photo Friday’ event which features lectures, product demonstrations and workshops.” he said.
The event workshop programme offers topics ranging from digital photography for beginners and portraiture through to action and movement, with all classes led by experienced teachers who are experts in their field.
“This year we have five new photographers coming to Dubai for the first time. Between them they will cover subjects including documentary photography, photo-journalism, aerial, photoshop, music and wedding photography.” he added.
The Gulf Photo Plus programme is well rounded offering a topic, level of expertise, day and time to suit everyone, whether a working professional, a stay-at-home mum or dad, or student.
“Our aim as a business, is to promote and nurture photography in the Middle East. We do this not only through our annual event, but also training courses and workshops during the year as well as offering online support.” said Mr Somji
Talking about the annual event which commences on 30th March, he said
“It’s a not to be missed event for enthusiasts and attracts participants from all around the Middle East. We create unique experiences that would normally be quite difficult for individuals to arrange for themselves. In some cases, participants borrow cameras and lenses, which is all part of the experience.”
“We were overwhelmed last year with the number of requests for Bridal and Wedding Photography tuition, so this year we have invited Cliff Mautner, one of the Top 10 wedding photographers in the world to share his knowledge and experience at Gulf Photo Plus 2009”.
Other new names on the Gulf Photo Plus teaching schedule include Asim Rafiqui – a Sweden-based documentary photographer; Vincent Laforet – a Pulitzer prize-winning photo-journalist who is renowned for his aerial and sports photography and his foray into integrating video and stills; Carol Dragon – a photoshop whiz and expert communicator with beginners; and Zack Arias also known as Mr Cool, an Atlanta-based music photographer who has cutting edge style and will teach GPP participants how to get maximum results with minimal gear.
Workshops run for half days to 3 full days but for those who cannot afford the time for these, can come along to the ‘Photo Friday’ event and top up on tips and techniques from a choice of more than 20 different lecture topics, mini-workshops and live demonstrations from instructing photographers and brand experts.
Prices range from US $20* at Photo Friday to US $ 950* for a place in the longer and more intense workshops.