Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai’s only dedicated photography centre, announces its comprehensive programming for the 13th edition of GPP Photo Week, the first and longest-running photography festival in the region, which will take place from the 10th – 17th of February, 2017 at Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, Dubai.

Visiting instructor Martin Prihoda leads a group photography workshop during GPP Photo Week 2016. Courtesy of Gulf Photo Plus.

About GPP Photo Week

Organised by Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), GPP Photo Week was launched in 2004 as the region’s first-ever international photography festival. Coming to its 13th edition, GPP Photo Week 2017 will run from February 10 – 17, 2017 and will take place at Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz. The festival is a weeklong event that unites internationally renowned photographers across a range of disciplines with professional and amateur photographers looking to develop their photography knowledge and skills.

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Complementing a full list of photography exhibitions taking place at Alserkal Avenue throughout the eight days, GPP Photo Week’s programme will offer a number of seminars and workshops led by some of the world’s top photographers, free mini workshops, photo walks, a movie screening, the Middle East unveiling of a brand new medium-format camera, a special edition of Slidefest, the legendary GPP Photo Week finale: the ShootOut and much more.

Details on the full programming can be found below.

Special Events

From photographer talks to product launches, Slidefest, a movie screening and more, GPP Photo Week 2017’s special events programming ensures there will be something to see, do, be inspired by all throughout the week.


A Personal Distance

Sunday | February 12, 2017

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

In this special talk, award-winning documentary photographer and Sony Artisan Davide Monteleone will speak about his career in documentary photography, his travels, and what inspires him to take thought-provoking pictures. Davide will discuss the ways in which a passion for photography, telling stories, and working as a visual journalist merge, and where he looks to for inspiration.

Speaking from his personal experience, Davide will provide insight into how documentary photography has evolved from the traditional form of reportage to a more elaborate form of narrative both aesthetically and conceptually.

Attendees to this event will be included in a draw to win a Sony A6300.

Through the Looking Glass

Tuesday | February 14, 2017

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

In this insightful talk, portrait photographer Sara Lando will explore the connection between photography and reality, and the ways in which reality can be manipulated using light, focal length and everyday objects like mirrors. During her talk, Sara will also look at the ways in which a visual narrative can be altered using crop, color, and post production techniques.


Fuji GFX 50 Launch

Wednesday | February 15, 2017

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Zack Arias will unveil the FujiFilm’s much anticipated and talked about medium format camera for the first time in the UAE. He will talk about his initial thoughts on the camera, showcase demo/test images and share his insights on how the GFX can impact studio, landscape and street photography work.

The Fuji GFX 50 will be available for pre-order during GPP Photo Week 2017.


GPP Photo Week 2017 will present a special edition of the GPP bi-annual Slidefest – a night of personal photography projects filled with conversations, storytelling and new work from international, visiting, and locally-based photographers, including Tamara Abdul Hadi, Hala Al Ani, Chebmoha, Hassan Hajjaj and visiting instructor Sara Lando.


Karima: A day in the life of a Henna Girl

Friday | February 10, 2017

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

A special screening of acclaimed contemporary artist Hassan Hajjaj’s first film, Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl will be presented in collaboration with independent cinema platform, Cinema Akil, and Alserkal Avenue. The film will be shown at The Yard in Alserkal Avenue.

The documentary, set in Marrakesh, portrays layered gender roles in contemporary Islam as it follows the life of Karima, who – in addition to being a mother, wife and working henna artist – is a local icon known for speeding through town on her bike with her vibrant veils streaming behind her.

Attendance is free, no reservation required.

Sony Snap Sessions

Seven free, 90-minute, hands-on introductory workshops on photography will be offered across a variety of genres throughout the week, from food photography to elements of a fashion shoot.

On Saturday, 11th February

From 09:00 am to 10:30 am, one of Dubai’s leading photographers, Katarina Premfors, will be giving an introductory session to storytelling through photography titled Telling a Story with Photographs. The session will take place at Mirzam, a local chocolate factory based in Alserkal Avenue. The session will be repeated a second time at the same time and location on Friday 17th February, 2017.

From 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, commercial photographer Anna Shtraus will share insights on the essentials of event photography in her session titled Live Performance Photography, during which she will demonstrate live documentation of artists in action at the local theatre, The Junction, at Alserkal Avenue.

The last Sony Snap Session of the day will be from 01:00 pm to 02:30 pm with Kate Hailey, who will be demonstrating the basics of how to create a great portrait using natural light in a session titled Intro to Natural Light Portrait.

On Tuesday, 14th February

From 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, commercial photographer Anna Shtraus will introduce the basics of behind the scenes photography for events in her session titled Behind the Scenes Photography, during which she will guide a group through the art of behind the scenes documentation of artists and creative teams preparing for a live performance at the local theatre, The Junction, at Alserkal Avenue.

On Friday, 17th February

From 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, international food photographer Neil Corder will lead a session titled Basics of Food Photography during which he will give a live demo at a local eatery.

Concluding the sessions, fashion photographer Ruta Jurkuvenaite will be demonstrating a fashion shoot with a live model and studio lighting gear in a session titled Elements of a Fashion Shoot from 02:00 to 03:30 pm.

Photo Walks

GPP Photo Week 2017 attendees will have an opportunity to explore the hidden corners of Dubai’s industrial zone with free photo walks through Al Quoz led by. There will be two photo walks taking place on Friday, February 17th. Attendees can register on the event website.

The first session, titled  Seeing Beyond the Grey, will take participants on a journey to see beyond the blur of everyday life in Al Quoz to discover a vibrant industrial zone filled with beautiful, easily overlooked tableaus – from humorous signs to fading warehouses and stubbornly defiant trees. The session will run from 08:00 am to 10:00 am and will be led by  Hussain Al Moosawi and Abbi Kemp.

From 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm, Sven Mueller and  Abbi Kemp will be taking participants on a tour to decode architectural patterns and the carefully thought-out design hidden in our often seemingly chaotic surroundings during a photo walk titled  Design Reflections.

Photos for Good

In an initiative that will put the power of photography to practice, GPP Photo Week is collaborating with Mawaheb by Beautiful People, an art studio for young adults with special needs, to introduce the Photos for Good project.

On February 14th, a small team of carefully selected photographers will have the opportunity to go to Mawaheb to produce professional portraits and video interviews of the artists whilst engaging with incredible people, witnessing beautiful art, and applying their own creative skills to benefit fellow artists.

The ShootOut

GPP Photo Week 2017 will culminate with the event’s legendary, fever-pitch finale, the ShootOut. During the ShootOut, three visiting instructors – RC Concepcion, David Hobby, and Ben Von Wong – will be pitted against one another on Friday, 17th February.

Given a top-secret subject, equipped with limited materials and forced to compete in front of a live audience, these photographers will race against the clock and one another as they rush to shoot and process the best possible photograph in only 20 minutes. Audience choice rules the day.

This event is FREE to attend, but registration is required.

Kick-starting GPP Photo Week, as it has done in previous year, will be Sony PhotoFriday, an inspiring day full of all things photography-related, where photographers and photography enthusiasts will be able to choose from 12 unique 90-minute seminars, technical and inspirational talks, and creative panels. A full-day pass is AED 165, and the day will also include free camera cleaning services by the world’s leading photography brands, a showcase of the latest photo gear and exclusive special offers, as well as a special screening of acclaimed contemporary artist Hassan Hajjaj’s first film, Karima: A day in the life of a Henna Girl.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to visit GPP Photo Week’s main exhibition, a group show titled Take the Shot; a celebration of human color by world-renowned  photographer Angélica Dass titled Humanæ; a selection of  of winning, shortlisted and commended images from the Sony World Photography Awards; and a number of photography exhibitions hosted by neighbouring creative spaces.

Every year GPP Photo Week creates an accessible entry point into the world of photography for people from all backgrounds. The event provides attendees with a holistic photography experience, giving professionals, amateurs, and enthusiasts alike an opportunity to engage with photography as an art form while immersing themselves in Dubai’s burgeoning art scene and forging new connections with fellow photographers from around the world.

For more information on GPP Photo Week 2017, or to book, please visit GPP official website on:


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