I’m so happy to say that I’ve made it back to Dubai for my 5th year in a row, to be a part of this year’s Gulf Photo Plus. There’s a lot of great photo conferences out there, but I’ll hands down say that this is my favorite anywhere in the World.

First off, it’s in Dubai (which I’ve loosely referred to as the Vegas of the Middle East). It’s easy to look at all excess that makes up much of the city, but there’s also an incredibly healthy arts and culture community that continues to grow and flourish year after year.

Mohammad Somji and Hala Sali, the organizers of GPP are truly two of my favorite people in the World, and they obviously contribute a huge amount to this community. What they’ve done is created a group of photographers and other visual artists, organize workshops all year-round, and host GPP, the largest annual photo conference of it’s type in the Middle East.

They’ve also consistently brought in a Dream Team of photographers to speak and teach workshops and this year we’re in the company of Greg Heisler, Joe McNally, David Alan Harvey, Zack Arias, and RC Concepcion, to name a few.

Yesterday, I moderated and spoke on a great panel called, ‘Going Pro- What it takes to get started as a photographer’, with the amazing and quirky fine art/fashion shooter Sara Lando, documentary/conflict shooter (and a VII mentor) Laura El-Tantawy, and athletic composite shooter/marketing guru, Joel Grimes.  All coming from obviously very different backgrounds, I think the talk was very well-received and insightful for the crowd (thank you all for coming out!)

 

For those of you in Dubai, be sure to say hi, and for those of you elsewhere, if you’ve ever entertained the idea of making it to Dubai, I give my strongest endorsement possible to this event.  Come here next year, and I promise you won’t regret it.

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If you read my last post, you saw that I recently spent a few weeks in Dubai, and shot a bit of personal work.

Another band I met while there is the incredibly talented, Bull Funk Zoo.  This group of four guys, is a supergroup of sorts, each member having come from well-accomplished bands in their own right, and formed one of the tightest, most polished song catalogs i’ve heard in awhile.

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with them, while recording their new album (soon to be released), and got a few cool snaps while doing so…again, all with the Leica M Monochrome.

There’s been a lot of buzz about these guys, and Rolling Stone Middle East ended up using one of the shots in their new issue..

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