2012, GPP's Year in Review

Updated on Sunday, December 30 2012

2012 has been an interesting year for us at Gulf Photo Plus and we thought we’d share some highlights of the 12 months gone by.

Our raison d’être at GPP is to help support the local and regional photography community to improve their skills to be able to produce interesting work, be inspired and connect with like-minded photographers. We do this through a range of programming of photography exhibitions, a wide offering of educational programming from beginner to advanced photography workshops and seminars and hosting a plethora of community programs and events from the popular Slidefest to GPP Talks to Movie Nights and more.

It’s easy to forget that we are also a business and that’s why your support in enrolling in our workshops, printing with us, buying photo goodies from our store and more means a great deal to us. It helps us put on many free events that we hope will help the community to hone their skills, learn new things and connect with others from the industry.

GPP Year in Review | 2012


With our move to Alserkal, we’ve been able to hGPP new Spaceost a wider range of programming from Level 1, 2 and 3 beginner workshops to studio lighting, fashion and food photography workshops to post processing workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Our GPP2012 event was bigger and better than before and we welcomed some of the photography greats of our generation from Greg Heisler, David Burnett, Joe McNally, David Hobby and more. Our shoot-out event was especially memorable and it was one of those, “I was  there” evenings that will live on for years. Relive it here.

We also welcomed an entirely new line-up of photographers for our FotoWeekend 2012 event and welcomed for the first time to the UAE, renowned photographers Frank Doorhof, Brooke Shaden, Scott Hargis, Tony Corbell who ran wonderful workshops in different genres in November.



One of the biggest reasons for our move was to have a gallery space where we could exhibit a wide range of photography exhibitions with a view to inform and inspire people from all walks of life.

In 2012, we hosted 6 exhibitions by world class photographers; both international and locally/regionally based.

We kicked off the opening of our space with a group show, Photo ID that featured work by locally and regionally based photographers showcasing a wide range of work from Kurdistan by Philip Cheung to a portrait series by Tamara Abdul Hadi. In January, we hosted a very special show, Inside Sajja together with Adopt-A-Camp that showcased photographs made by abandoned laborers in Sajja who were left high and dry by their employers. The exhibition raised over Dhs 15,000 that was given to them to help rehabilitate themselves and get a fresh start to their lives. See the images here in case you missed the exhibition.

That was followed up with Soul Rebel, a wonderful inside look at Bob Marley’s Exodus tour by legend, David Burnett; the opening night of which was truly special with Abri and Ziryab performing several Bob Marley covers. 

Our summer show featured GPP Limited, a new initiative we launched to make available limited edition, fine art photos by emerging and established photographers from the region and internationally.

In September, we kicked off the art season with A Window Inside by Lana Slezic, a gorgeous body of work that had won numerous awards internationally showcasing Afghani women using a novel approach.

We ended the year with Vivid Dreams & Fragile Machines by Brooke Shaden; a series of images depicting a dark world of mystery inspired by fantasy and dreams. 

In addition to the exhibition, we hosted a number of free-to-attend GPP Talks by internationally renowned photographers such as Joel Grimes, Alexandra Diez de Rivera, Francesca Galliani, Lana Slezic and Heike Buleau.


In February, we were honored to be asked to be the jury partner for the National Geographic Abu Dhabi Photomentaries Middle East and Africa contest which saw 80,000+ entries from the region. We also extended an invitation to you for a free talk with National Geographic photographer, George Steinmetz.

We also extended our printing services and have really enjoyed working with fine art printing. Thanks to Epson Middle East, we’ve been trained extensively on color calibration and management and optimizing our printing process with a variety of media. Artists, photographers and art galleries have been commissioning us to print their projects and we’re looking forward to extending our printing services in 2013.

 We also launched a loan-to-buy camera service with FujiFilm Middle East providing the opportunity to photographers who wanted the opportunity to test the camera before buying it. We continue to offer the service which you can learn more about here.

Finally, we also started offering affordable studio rental and use of Profoto lighting for artists and photographers who want to do personal work, test shoots or improve their lighting skills.

the gpp team.

In 2012, our team grew from 3 to 10 people. GPP TeamWe’re very fortunate to have a team where all of us are passionate about photography and also developing the community of photography around us.

With our move to Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, we’ve been able to expand our activities and the services we offer. We’ve been very conscious to use our growth to be able to further support the photography community in their endeavors.

Taking stock of our key highlights in 2012, we can proudly say that we have achieved that aim of building on our goals of facilitating and providing an ecosystem for photographers to set their sights further.

Can we do better? Sure and we are constantly striving to improve and offer new and exciting initiatives to help you not only to become better photographers but find new ways to help you share your work and help address issues and challenges faced by photographers.

We welcome your feedback of course – good or bad. We can only get better if we hear from you on how we can improve and if you have any suggestions for us, we‘d love to hear it. Email us on info@gulfphotoplus.com anytime.