I just had to share the below two ad’s. It certainly isn’t some sort of top two list but something I recently came across in Wallpaper and New York Style mag. What I love about them is the way they share their message. Both hotel brands and both found a unique way of reaching out to their audience.
Hotel brands typically use an image of their grandest room or the buildings exterior. You wonder how that can really resonate or connect with the reader. The have a bed, tick, a side table, tick, a huge bouquet of flowers, tick… they may be perfectly photographed but they also seem so obvious. In my opinion, if you book into a luxury hotel, a giant bed to trampoline on with crisp bed linen and soft, fluffy towels should come as standard so why… Read the full post >>
A new year is just around the corner so let’s think about this for a moment. Whilst some see this time as a chance to party, others see it as an empty sheet of paper… a twelve-month opportunity to create magic, an opportunity to write down the things you’d love to do, a combo of pro-active thinking and trusting that stepping into the unknown will work out in your favor.
The other day I was sitting in the car and it just struck me… if I could just summarise my full list into something short & sweet, what would it be. It’s good to reach for the stars, to constantly create ideas but it’s also about striking a balance between realistic deliverables and… Read the full post >>
I recently found myself immersed with a group of fellow photography enthusiasts, comprising a really nice mix of hobbyists, amateurs, semi pros, full time pros and a few that currently sit on the ‘shall I just take the plunge’ fence as well as some who’ve recently taken the plunge.
They were all invited by Canon Middle East to hear ‘The Path to Art on the Move’ story, my personal journey of what it takes to put on a solo exhibition and at the same time share my experience as a Canon EOS 1D X user. As you might recall, I did a 1DX review about Read the full post >>
For three weeks, I’ve been wondering around with this plastic white teddy bear thinking what on earth to do with it. Now I know!
It’s funny how life sometimes turns out. I found myself with my buddy Chris, wondering around the opening night of the art district at Dubai International Finance Centre. We enjoyed a good vibe, a nice crowd, some awesome galleries and within, some truly stunning art. We popped into XVA Gallery to say hello to Mona, the gallery owner. I purchased a piece from her for our log-cabin studio a few months back and it was good to catch up. Chris also wanted to go to XVA to see the work by Read the full post >>
There’s something seriously magical about being self-employed and working in a region where business dips over the summer. Again this year, we managed to take a well-deserved long break in Europe, a perfect escape from the crazy summer temps. It’s a bit of a bold move to leave town for seven weeks and doesn’t go without a few sharp remarks but it’s so worth it. One of the key drivers for becoming a creative was the lifestyle opportunities that run alongside it. It’s as much about insane hard work as it is the freedom to evaporate every so often!
For me, my annual mini sabbaticals recharge the batteries. They give me time to soak in new ideas, get inspired by new surroundings, get my fix of nature! It’s time to zen-out or zen-in, depending on how your look at it, to sit under a tree and watch the clouds without the worry of pressing deadlines, to find peace in my head and spend quality time with
dear family and friends. Oh and to bombard our two little boys with a Read the full post >>
Last week we launched Art on the Move, a regional premier, kicked off by an amazing photo exhibition to celebrate our brand new webstore, ArtOnTheMove.me. In a nutshell, what makes Art On The Move so unique? Many would say the strong photographic content and yes we agree, that’s a solid start. On top of that, each frame comes with its own individual story. The idea is to turn the print into a conversation piece between me and you, you and the artwork, you and your friends, you and the virtual world … so each purchase is accompanied by my personal photo tales from the field. And did we mention that each print is handcrafted in our studio, produced to order and printed on premium Canson paper using the top notch Canon iPF 8400 large format printer?
It’s been an awesome and eye opening experience to see it all come to life. Of course, we experienced the build up but seeing the actual exhibition in full glory with our very own eyes takes it to a higher dimension and I’m truly proud! It’s good to press pause at Read the full post >>
A week from now it’s all going to happen. Our big launch evening at Gallery Create! in Al Quoz – Dubai. BOOK IT in your dairy … 7PM, Monday 16th September. The exhibition also coincides with the launch of our cool webshop ‘Art on the Move’, with signature photo prints in varied forms and sizes. As always we’re running at full steam to make it look amazing.
Click HERE for exhibition info, a sneak preview, location map and live news feeds as we move forward.
A big thanks for a amazing line up of viagra on line sponsors for making the exhibition happen in full glory. With their support everyone will be well entertained and hosted.
Read the full post >>
I’m so happy to announce that our viagra low price first private label ebook ‘Real Men Don’t Shave’ is now available on iBookstore. After the resounding success of the Footsteps of Thesiger expedition, I’d been wanting to record my own experience about the photography side of the expedition. It’s at times been a bit manic but in between all other ongoing projects and the day-to-day shooting gigs, we’ve found the time to pull it off. Many thanks to Tori Leckie for putting the fab words together … we’ve spent hours talking about the expedition, going back and forth on scripts to really capture the unique encounters of this epic journey.
What prompted me to write an ebook? In short … it was such a fantastic gig to work on. Truly amazing! I’ve been living and working in the Middle East for over a decade but rarely had so many warm and personal encounters with both Omani’s and Emirati’s. Their hospitality was limitless and unconditional which made working on the expedition a truly memorable experience. What’s more, it would have been Read the full post >>
Sometimes you’ve just got to create your own creative heaven. So we did, in a spare 10m2 in our place. Transforming a boring white-walled, beige-tiled, concrete and soulless square into something with a heartbeat … a creative space with the feel of a mountain lodge or a lakeside log cabin. Think lots of real wood, cool artwork and vintage props …
And the best thing is, we built it ourselves. An email went out to a handful of friends with a picture of a stunning cabin in the US and the line “When’s the next time you’ll have the chance to build a mountain lodge?” And it worked. Two Saturdays later and we completed the job by putting the corrugated roofing in. The build was an interesting experience. Ever heard of the phrase, too many chiefs Read the full post >>
A big reason to escape for a long hiatus over the summer is to return a more creative person. At least, that tends to have been a side effect over the years and for sure, the line between what I’d define as work and what as personal, becomes ever more faint.
When I look back at previous summer sabbaticals La Douce France & Journeys of Joy, the main reason why I take them is because I can feel stuck otherwise … constantly drawn into the ongoing demands of running a business. There are other reasons, but that’s definitely the big reason and when I’m ‘out of office’, I have more freedom to Read the full post >>
I set off on my Old Dubai trip for many reasons, which you can read in my Foot journey of Old Dubai post. Much of my journey has also been shared in my Old Dubai Exploration post. One topic I left wide open was the role of photography. I wanted to walk the street with an open agenda, no shooting list attached. As I mentioned before, the exploration would have been successful even had I returned without images. At the same time, it felt really odd to leave a camera behind, both personally and commercially.
So it was yes to a camera and the big question that followed was what to bring? The options available; iPhone, Canon 35mm, gimmicky Polaroid camera, Hasselblad or even something new to me like a digital Leica or Fuji. The iPhone would have been an easy choice. It’s easy to carry but then it holds little commercial value for stock or prints. Canon would bring me back to a normal way of shooting volume, basically rattling through my journey through a viewfinder. Leica and Fuji Read the full post >>
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 >>