I didn’t Choose Photography, Photography Chose Me. #GPP17

If ever life stops being epic, oh well, that would be boring, wouldn’t it?

The GPP17 photo week is done, and gone, but not forgotten! So many adventures, so many funny stories, and so many inspirational people.

Had a chance to go to Grand Mosque with the master Yoda, mm, I mean Hobby, David Hobby to photograph the blue hour. Doesn’t that just sound like a dream? David Hobby, however, wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t have a plastic Diana lens, which he taped to the converter for the Fuji camera. The lens was faaaaar from being sharp, but he also converted images to black and white, and square format right away. Interesting choice for the blue hour class photography, but why not, honestly? Anything, but ordinary. I only had a chance to take one picture for myself of the magical sunset that was happening that night, but I am happy with what I got. I was there to take pictures of David and the students.


Another awesome moment of that night was when Patrick Hall from Fstoppers team had to come with us to film the class, and he showed up in shorts and had to wear a kandura (the local dress). He honestly looked awesome!

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The next morning I had to teach a class on live performance photography with Sony Middle East. My husband showed up for support and won the heart of my assistant, who later on sent me a bunch of messages emphasizing how much he liked my husband. Okaaaaaay 🙂

Teaching again was fun, I liked the enthusiasm of my students, they asked questions and shared their successes in the short amount of time that we had. I honestly struggled to take images with the Sony because I didn’t know the camera so well and because the light was changing every 5 seconds, as well as the white balance and the direction of the performance. But some people managed to create some awesome photos.

The weather was pretty horrible the whole week – it was dusty, stormy, rainy, cold, and sandy. But we still had fun.

We got a chance to try electrical scooters which were fantastic experiences to ride around. How long do you think it takes to take an image like this? And under the rain?


The next day I went to take pictures of the one and only Sara Lando, the beautiful weirdo, who had a class in a mannequin storage room. All the students had 30 minutes and a topic given to them – to photograph the model in a certain mood with the mannequins. That was mind-blowingly creative. I loved it.

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Went to Davide Moneteleone’s talk that night, which was again sponsored by Sony so had to shoot with Sony….somehow I feel I am gonna end up with that Sony in my pocket one day. All of the odds.

That night we went out for drinks with the crew and the photogs, and I ended up sitting next to Davide. He is Italian but lives in Russia, which I don’t understand. But the guy really has a Russian soul. He even looks Russian now. It was interesting to listen to his stories… but on the other side of me was his sweetheartedness Zack Arias. I love what Zack does. I feel his pain about seamless backgrounds. I wish he drowned me with his medium-format megapixels in the backyard and made us all feel uncomfortable. Next time, ha?

Got to know Rafael Concepcion better and he is a funny man, and that story about massage… khm. One day he employed me into shooting the whole behind-the-scenes story of him using the Microsoft surface pro. He immediately makes everyone around him laugh.

Had a company dinner in an Iranian restaurant which was awesome as I got to know Benjamin Von Wong better as we went hunting for vegetarian food together, and ended up sending selfies to Patrick di Fruscia at the end of the night. I am so grateful for the fact that he ended up on my side of the table because otherwise, I  would never have a chance to take BTS photos in his workshop which was honestly a mindblowing experience. He is a crazy genius.


Spent my Valentine’s Day talking to Ben about environmental issues in Dubai and in planning his next-day shoot. It honestly deserves a separate post that I hope I will be able to produce.

I am so happy to have met my old friends Damien, Tracey, and Altamash, gotten to know my colleagues better and make new friends.

God bless coffee. Thank you GPP for making this all happen.


To Be Continued…


2 thoughts on “I didn’t Choose Photography, Photography Chose Me. #GPP17

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