Images from GPP Photo Week 2019

This was my third time teaching at Gulf Photo Plus and my second Photo Week (since February 2018!). It’s always a whirlwind of a week, teaching five workshops in seven days, but super rewarding. Here are a few images that I took throughout the week. I can’t wait until next time.

Al Madam, Sharjah, UAE

On my last day in Dubai, I made a trip out to Al Madam, a ghost town that has long been overtaken by drifting sand. Though it is a local photographic cliché, it’s one that I was excited to experience. Instead of relying on strobes, which are my go-to, I decided to light everything with reflected sunlight from a piece of broken mirror that I found outside one of the homes (thanks to my assistant Seth for wielding the shard). It made the shoot feel more organic and immersive for me.


I have been teaching at Photo Week in Dubai all week. Yesterday I got a day off and attended a workshop led by Italian portrait photographer Paolo Verzone. It was not only great to see how someone else leads a workshop, I really enjoyed being a student again. Paolo knows his light. My largest takeaway was how he uses mirrors to reflect sunlight. He taught me that you can bounce sunlight a thousand feet and it’s still as bright as a strobe. He was bouncing sunlight through windows and lighting a subject inside a building, often diffusing the light with a crumpled trash bag (talk about Studio Anywhere). If he’s traveling to a shoot in another city, his first stop after leaving the airport is a grocery store to pick up a cheap mirror.

On my next day off from teaching, I went out to shoot with Abby (a model from one of my workshops), with a newly purchase mirror in-tow. I left my lights back at the hotel, opting to hunt for light. Whenever I found a spot that lacked the light I needed, my assistant Seth was there, mirror in hand, to fill it in with sunlight.