This one’s been on the board for a while so I’m excited that we’ve finally signed up. We’re truly blessed to live on an amazingly beautiful planet and through work and play, I’ve been pretty fortunate to see lots of it. So how can we, as a brand, help preserve this beauty for both our children and our children’s children?
Here’s my friend and copy editor Tori. An ultra runner by definition, she’s lightening fast, super fit and clearly loves sport. The great outdoors is her preferred playground
, supplemented with the odd gym session.
To push the odds, I invited Tori to a big white box and flicked on some strobes … a bit of an usual setting for her but she excelled and left with some Read the full post >>
Gulf Photo Plus, as always, proved an enlightening gig. I just love the event energy and the hordes of walking ‘photo sponges’ soaking up all they can absorb. My visit this year was short. I spent two afternoons with David Hobby, the master brain beh
ind Strobist. David actually makes a living out of his Strobist blog. It’s encouraging to hear his stories of how he came to do what he does now and it’s an enviable position to be able to freely pick and choose what photo assignments to work. I’m happy that he’s got his business model to work.
We spent a lot of time talking about social media and the business opportunities in the evolving digital market. One lovely quote he used to describe someone within the industry was, “Oh, he’s waaayy too Read the full post >>
Purchased in Amsterdam last summer, or perhaps the summer before. I can’t quite remember. It’s a unique hardcover book about the workspaces creative people like to work in. Their place, their touch, the colours, the textures, the forms that surround them … and of course, the paraphernalia that caters to us humans and our innate nesting instincts.
Reading a book like this drives me to fantasise about my own ideal space; a place unique with its own story to tell and flavour to impart, a place that inspires thoughts and explodes energy. I think of natural light flooding through huge French windows Read the full post >>
Given its politically unstable climes, a last minute call moved a Bentley gig from Lebanon to here in Dubai. Off we went, with a handful of chosen customers for a wild coast-to-coast drive taking in the mountains, the desert and the open roads.
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With the convoy of seven cars we must have topped 3,500 bhp, the power equivalent of a modern day diesel locomotive, you know the ones you see pulling these long trains. Which one Read the full post >>
s and open to all. A team of PTX instructors add a lot of value to the club, sharing knowledge and guiding the runners where needed.
Starting the 1st September, I’m looking for a strong right hand to join the business, a dynamic character to take the lead in new business and brand communication.
viagra for salechment/2nd-vacancy-add/” rel=”attachment wp-att-975″>We’ve been in the market a little over five years, specialising in producing bold coffee table books and high-end commercial & editorial photo-shoots. Five years were needed to understand what goes Read the full post >>
Over the last few months, our team has been working hard on bringing together a fully-fledged corporate coffee table book for the second biggest oil company in Oman. Towards the end of 2012, they have a celebratory sales conference making it the perf
ect occasion to document what the brand has achieved and their vision for the future. Tim, our copywriter, has been interviewing different members within the organisation, external partners and ministry officials, to capture their personal stories and record what makes the company so unique. Whilst I’ve been travelling to Oman to photograph their oil operation, artists are working on sketches and the design team is putting the initial pages together so it’s been all hands on deck with creativity let loose.
I would love to reflect a bit on my Oman time related to this project. I’ve been travelling around the region for a decade now and every time I am blown away by the joys of working with Omani’s. They really have found their Read the full post >>
I recently had the privilege of shooting one of Tarek Qaddumi’s projects. Tarek is a dynamic architect. Taking a very clean approach to his work, he follows unconventional forms and experiments with different materials. In fact, his style is so simplistic that Dubai Municipality rejected the first drawing of the Al Manara building on Sheikh Zayed Road because it wasn’t fancy enough! Thankfully, Tarek found a way to incorporate his strong lines, eye for detail and natural features whilst still keeping the local government powers that be happy.
What makes this building so unique is his use of materials; the floating copper cladding which will change colour with time giving it even more character in years ahead and the use of Read the full post >>
Desert River is now firmly established as a cool and energetic, funky company that sells & rents European lifestyle products. In 2008, we had a fantastic time shooting with L
ola, their multi-purpose VW hippy van
ola, their multi-purpose VW hippy vanin studio Capital D. This time round, a website refresh demanded new imagery of the crew.
The brief? Individual portraits and a daring groupshot to reflect the Desert River personality and vibe. Fun and engaging. We set up a mini studio in their warehouse with a white seamless backdrop and a few soft boxes to light up the ‘models’. On stage, Read the full post >>
This was an event that redefined insanity. In my eyes, the entire escapade is totally reckless yet at the same time, it’s entertaining and awe-inspiring to watch. I massively enjoyed my time at the Red Bull X Fighters in Dubai Marina recently.
I captured some unbelievable stunt work that more resembled aerobatics than motocross … think back flips, side flip, triple flips. Flipper at its best. Check out my favourites in this speedroll.
On BIG occasions we pack the flagship Hasselblad H4D 50, especially when size matters. Fifty megapixels in each individual frame makes for an insane amount of detail. For this shoot, we were filling up a 64m x 24m billboard so yes producing a substan
tial file was paramount.
We were shooting the new little red Skoda Fabia. I did some extensive location scouting and the rugged mountain backdrop is what matched the brand positioning best. I’m a strong believer in early morning light so subtracting the 1 ½ drive to get Read the full post >>
The Power of Dreaming I spent a great morning with friends seeing Robin Sharma speak at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. I’m a big fan of Robin’s work. In fact, his book, ‘The Monk that sold his Ferrari’ is what gave me the initial impetus to do wha
t I do now. For that alone I am eternally grateful, because nothing beats making a career from what you love to do.
Last summer, I spent a wonderful few days in Toronto attending Sharma’s Entrepreneurial seminar. I did a great scribble post event here http://www.wouterkingmablog.com/?p=1. I guess my excitement proved contagious as this time, with Robin being only an hour or so drive away, we collected a crowd of nine and headed down to Abu Dhabi. A two-hour presentation was without doubt Read the full post >>
Rather than watching CNN news every morning > kick start your day with this inspiring work from LiveUnbound. Trully moving.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it. You’ve gotta find what you love. And most important have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. STAY HUNGRY. STAY FOOLISH” Steve Jobs.
Yes admittedly, my blog posts have been scant of late … but for very good reason! I’m currently existing in survival mode thanks to the marvelous new addition in the Kingma household … baby Chris. A true explorer already, in photography terms little
Chris would be the Canon EF 55mm f/3,6L USM manual focus. Translated? In need of lots of TLC … or in Tim’s words, ‘a great portrait lens as he makes everyone smile.’
I’m delighted to welcome him into the world and am now a very proud dad of two awesome boys … Koen & Chris. I feel curious about how Read the full post >>
Valentines Day! An entire day dedicated to love (just like the other 364 in the year) More by coincidence than prior planning, it also turned out to be the day our new direct mailer campaign was delivered. I hoped Cupid’s arrow would reach far and wi
de, helping to spread our love for what we do.
Possibly far fetched but the idea was to have our artwork, a nice big poster, on the office wall of the key decision makers within the industry. Personally, I think it’s an awesome piece of promo work, perfectly personalised and inviting recipients to respond with a pre-paid reply card. It couldn’t be simpler … Read the full post >>
It was 5am on the second day of an awesome advertising campaign and PR shoot for the McLaren MP2 12C when the pieces finally started to fit together. It’s damn early, still pitch black and shivering cold, as we pitched up at the Bahrain Grand Prix Ci
rcuit. A shooting sequence was planned the night before and the car now awaited its return to the track, polished and gleaming to perfection.
Looking back at Adobe Lightroom (my photo editing software), I took the first picture at 6.10am. The sky was still a little too dark so I brought in some flash making the car pop out nicely. Sixteen minutes later and the magic really happened thanks to a pre-dawn sky that failed to disappoint. The next ten to fifteen minutes involved a hectic Read the full post >>
Next month, Dubai will have been called home for ten years. Wow … how time has flown! At the back end of some recent commercial photography assignments, I’ve managed to capture some stunning aerial cityscape imagery that I would love to share. If yo
u live in the UAE and if you see it as a proud place to live and work, you will know that just ten years ago, little here existed.
I find it fascinating how the more you work with a brand, the more intimate your understanding and appreciation becomes. One brand recently added to my list of favorites is Magnolia; a family run bakery hailing originally from New York.
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They now have a stunning store in Bloomingdales at Dubai Mall. I love how they Read the full post >>
I don't do many book reviews for a number of reasons. I buy more books than I can possibly read, those I start I rarely finish and I'm a damn slow reader. At the end of last year, my friend Don Mann sent me his latest book 'Inside SEAL Team Six'. I've worked with Don and his wife Dawn on a number of occasions shooting their Primal Quest Adventure Race in the US. It’s a thrilling hard-core adventure race, classified as one of the toughest human endurance races in the world. Completing the Gobi March does in a way make me feel part of this unique clan of adventure seekers.
Christmas brings a downtime to the business so I tend to start the season with great intent to finish a (new) book. My choices this past Christmas were Andre Agassi's Open, Steve Jobs Biography, Robin Sharma's signed copy of The Leader who has no Title and Don's aforementioned book. Not an easy pick. Most of them being biographies mean it's
like having a conversation with the author. Whilst flicking through Don's book, I noticed lot's of Read the full post >>
An annual highlight of my year is shooting the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. This past weekend was the third year running. The event has got bigger and bigger, offering distances for all, from those who just want to give it a try to those who love a serious long course. For me, contrary to previous years when I was shooting from a helicopter, it was great to taste the actual atmosphere on the ground. This blog post takes a slightly different take from the norm, recording my day in chronological order.
02.00: The alarm goes off, or rather, I find myself waking one minute before the alarm goes off. With only 2.5 hours of sleep, shall I name the day a graveyard shift or one that follows a red eye flight? A giant yawn and a long shower follow and I’m into gear. Read the full post >>
These are home to eight years of mind maps, meeting notes, funny quotes and anecdotes, web links, contacts, late night thoughts and early morning notes. They are the output of my mind, from my brains left and right … my creative hub, my agendas, my to do lists … all blend together and become one.
We are swamped by today’s digital age, immersed in tapping away on our keyboards and staring at computer screens. I however, remain a firm fan of the written word, recoding things on a tangible object. A notebook is the ideal but anything goes be it store receipts, cinema tickets, parking fines or Read the full post >>
Being the 20-year anniversary of the Dubai Tennis Championship meant that some super cool promotional gig was inevitable. Seven years previous, they had Agassi and Federer playing a match on the rooftop heli pad of the iconic seven star Burj al Arab hotel. The imagery hit the world press with aplomb. Times have moved on now with Novak Djokovic taking pole position in international tennis rankings and a new angle was sought to create some buzz to mark the tournament’s 20th year.
The shoot tied in with VIP interviews on the helipad, followed by Djokovic and Federer spending some quality time together. The million-dollar question had to be what they were talking about. Was Roger sharing his Read the full post >>
My presence at this years Ras Al Khaimah half marathon was not on assignment but rather to support my dear friend Chris. I have no doubt he’d agree that I’m better at taking pictures than keeping his track clear.
Just before the water station at 15 kilometers, I went ahead on the bike to take some action shots of him coming through the checkpoint. Meantime, little did I know that Read the full post >>
Brrrrr. At minus 5c, this must have been the coldest I’ve been for a while. I was in Dubai’s iconic fridge aka Ski Dubai, shooting nine adventure ladies, testing gear for Rip Curl in preparation of an Arctic adventure next month.
Expedition leader Julie Lewis runs Mountain High, a company specialising in unique trips around the world with one single ingredient; the joy of Read the full post >>
I am amazingly proud of the team thanks to a great idea, a client who loves groundbreaking products and a team who more than delivered. What more could you want? What resulted was a Gold Award at the Middle East International Print Awards, a step up from the Silver awarded last year. Entrants came in from the Middle East, India and Levant with masses of great work.
A big thanks to the amazing group of people who made it happen. The benchmark has now been set and the only way is up …
How odd … the moment my camera came out of my bag, the wind kicked in like crazy. There I was with Karin, stunning in her wedding dress on the outskirts of the big dunes. We had only just talked about how nice and peaceful it was, a pristine quietness that starts to feel almost spiritual.
I had in mind three locations to nail this one shot Karin wanted to print in large for her new hubby. All good, we had a plan but as I said, no sooner that I opened my camera bag did the wind make itself known. Ladies in beautiful wedding dresses and expensive photo gear don’t handle sand storms Read the full post >>
The annual Wadi Bih run is a great gig comprising the perfect balance between sport and entertainment, social runners and competitive athletes. The 72km out and back course is generally run as a relay in mixed teams of five; I say generally as there are always a handful of hardy soloists.
Starting in the small Omani coastal town of Dibba, the first few kilometers of tarmac are fast replaced with a track leading into the mountains, followed by a dried wadi canyon with a kick ass hill at the end. An exhausted arrival at the top however, Read the full post >>
Organised by Gulf Photo Plus, the screening of James Nachtwey’s ‘War Photographer’ proved to be an eye-opening evening.
It’s a touching film about the life of a dedicated war photographer. Indeed if ever you find yourself wondering what it takes to deal with the emotional burdens that come hand in hand working in conflict or war-torn territories … if ever you wonder how a war photographer deals with maintaining some sanity amongst such insanity … if ever you want to find some meaning behind the words “take the express elevator to hell” … then this is the film to see. In fact, I recommend it full stop as a reality check to put some perspective into our every day lives.
James’ imagery is truly stunning with strong black and white story telling frames. He’s worked, among other places, in war zones throughout Africa and in areas of great social poverty around Asia. An interesting quote I picked up was Read the full post >>
New Year. Fresh thoughts. We’re very keen to get YOUR opinion on our blog and website. We strive to continually move forward, with giant leaps rather than small steps. Got an interesting subject you’d like us to talk about? We’re ready to take a beating … the crash helmets are on. There’s even a FREE poster up for grabs for the first 25 constructive suggestions so get your thinking caps on …