I found a gap during a three-day Ferrari gig to browse the Yas Hotel library. When it comes to hotels, there’s one side of the scale that serves lousy coffee and caters to the masses, determined to pile their buffet plates sky high and wolfing it down accompanied by crap music and useless tabloid media (you can tell I just checked out of one…)
And then there’s the other side, the side where the Yas Viceroy sits. Hovering over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuit, the iconic Yas Viceroy embodies 5 star luxury with class, sophistication and a great selection of books in their Read the full post >>
This post I hope will plant a seed in other businesses in the Middle East and encourage further participation. In July last year, we signed up to 1% for the Planet with the idea of giving some of our revenue back to support causes dedicated to preserving the natural environment. It’s a brilliant initiative and one close to my heart. It’s nature after all, that I rely on for creativity, reflection, calmness and fresh, crisp air. In fact, most of my creative time is spent in the mountains as I’ve blogged about in the past in my posts never enough mountain days and mountains & mindmaps.
For this reason, I’m delighted to announce that our 2012 donation will go towards the Wadi Wurayah National Park on the east coast of the UAE, a unique project managed by Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF).
Wadi Wurayah became the UAE’s first mountain protected area in 2009. Since then, great conservation work has been done in protecting the area’s rich ecosystems. The wadi’s fragile and unique ecosystem is one of the few Read the full post >>
Walking the streets of Old Dubai was my core objective … a few of days of culture, exploration, reflection and probably a bit of soul searching. My outline Foot Journey of old Dubai post explains the full reason behind my decision to take time off in a city I’ve already been living in for eleven years. In a nutshell, I wanted to experience Old Dubai, especially the historical parts, in the same way a five year old kid might do … eyes wide open, eager to absorb the energy of real street life. And so I did, for three magical days.
I booked myself into the Barjeel Guest House in the Shindagha Heritage area, located bang on the creek. It’s a newly built guesthouse that follows the traditional lodging style, and as it turned out a great place with a cool atmosphere and the perfect positioning in the heart of the anticipated action. Breakfast was served on the rooftop overlooking the creek promenade and it was a joy to experience a city come alive in the early morning hours … people from all walks of life taking early Read the full post >>
I hoped to jot down a brief summary of a magical 2012 … what worked, best practices, my highlights etc … Realised that there’s actually quite a lot of scribbling to do. Yet another tremendous year that has flown by like crazy.
I can only start by generously thanking a fantastic and ever-returning client base for keeping us busy. Without your support, this would be a very short post.
A big shout out also to working with some awesome new brands, in particular on the automotive side with McLaren and Bentley. On the sports scene Read the full post >>
I’ve been working closely with Canon for a good few years now yet still, it was an immense privilege to be the first photographer in the Middle East to get to play with the EOS 1Dx, Canon’s new flagship camera. No sooner than the question was raised, I replied in great haste with a resounding ‘YES!’
It arrived brand spanking new, untouched and with zero clicks to its name. Two weeks later, I had managed to click a total of 8,820 frames. Not bad for a fortnights work … and even though it shoots at a speed of twelve frames per second, luckily I managed to play with it for a lot more than the 12 minutes that this could have equated too. Damn, this machine is fast! I was thrilled to see that the speedy clicks go hand in hand with a fast Read the full post >>
Fresh mountain air stimulates creativity … my justification for getting up early and hitting the Hajar Mountains for some much needed vision and reflection. In the perfect world, I would love to do this one day per month but in reality it happens just a few priceless days a year. I tend to hit different valleys and discover new mountain roads so a sign like this one inevitably drew me in.
Roads like these always lead to interesting places. High up in these mountains is a peaceful valley where in the past I’ve done some trail running and adventure racing but that was long before this new road replaced Read the full post >>
To keep life fresh, you have to keep embracing the new and recently I got to do exactly that thanks to a shoot at a ladies beauty salon. Normally such places are strictly off limits to guys making it daunting and unchartered territory for me.
Meetings over five months saw discussions over what and how to shoot. The client wanted their own unique image library that truly reflected their brand, one that reflected their services and conveyed their look and feel yet without Read the full post >>
Amongst the madness before my summer exit, I managed to squeeze in some personal studio work with Graciela. We’ve worked together on various occasions; she brings a lot of energy and variety to the set, which I love.
Thanks to The Studio at the Courtyard for accommodating us and to Mark for the running around. Graciela brought in some of her own ideas to extend her portfolio and I had prepared a moodboard of stuff I wanted to play with. We enjoyed a few hours on the floor together, working the light and letting creativity flow freely. Some might notice a different aspect ratio to the regular 35mm Read the full post >>
Where does one find creativity? How does one burst their own bubble and soak up fresh ideas? Grab your passport and venture to pastures new perhaps? Take a note pad and talk to interesting entrepreneurs? Sit in a room with likeminded people and absor
b the energy? Share cards and best practices?
This is what brought me to Marcom Amsterdam, a two-day platform for marketing communication, inspiration and education. I thoroughly enjoy Read the full post >>
The other day at a Nike gig, I was introduced to a media crowd as an ultra distance runner. Thanks Tom Woolf at PTX … it does feel good that my Gobi March noise had some spin off. Flattery-aside however, it made me wonder how much longer I can mainta
in this running title when my runners are currently collecting dust. I’ve not run for a while. Do I miss it? Hell yeah. So, why don’t I get going?
I can train my butt off, rising at any odd hour of the day to go out for long training sessions and have done so for the 250km Gobi desert run and various other marathons and triathlons. But dedicating myself to Read the full post >>
Last month turned out to be pretty memorable. April, for some odd reason, is a month full of milestones.
April TEN years ago, I arrived in Dubai to join the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel. April NINE years ago, I left
the hotel industry and joined the Land Rover Regional Office marketing team. April FIVE years ago, I set up my own company. April THREE years ago, I got married. April TWO years ago, our first child was born.
ALL IN APRIL – it’s crazy. Amazing how life creates paths for us all.
So a BIG thank you to Dubai. A BIG thank you to all the amazing people I’ve met and who have supported me tremendously along the way. And a BIG kiss to my wife Kiki Read the full post >>
As a photographer, it’s fascinating to observe how two shoots can be so similar, yet at the same time polar opposites. In this case, they were only a week apart, one shooting football stars and the other some guys from the world of advertising
Footballers are of course, well rehearsed in shining on a pitch, entertaining the masses with their skillful ball play Read the full post >>
A highlight of my summer was a Robin Sharma ‘Remarkable Entrepreneur’ conference in Toronto. A truly meaningful seminar, enjoyed by an international like-minded audience, eager for an injection of new energy and ideas, I left inspired, motivated and overloaded with mind-boggling material.
Toronto itself is a winning city. I enjoyed a stunning three-hour run on the banks of Lake Ontario which seemed effortless thanks to the crisp and lush greenery. I discovered Above Ground, a fabulous arts and crafts venue behind the equally worth visiting Art Gallery of Ontario and I plunged into the pages of a fantastic selection of books at Ben McNally’s bookstore. Purchased was Mike Powell’s ‘A Game to Love’, a beautifully thought-out book celebrating his love for tennis.
Read the full post >>