I’m heading for Saudi Arabia again to be a guest speaker at the Tourism Commission’s four day “Colors of Saudi” national tourism conference in November. It’s the start of a two week assignment which will involve me staging workshops for the country’s emerging photographers over four days before setting off to photograph some of the country’s tourism highlights. And I’m excited – if for no other reason than the fact I’ll be returning to Madain Saleh to capture that “hero shot” that eluded me last time when the car broke down (Refer July Blog entry).
I particularly like the idea that – at a very early stage in the development of tourism in the country – I am being given the opportunity to work with the country’s photographers by sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years as a professional travel and tourism photographer. I’ve often thought what a difference it would have made to me if – at an early stage in my career – someone with the experience I have accumulated, generously shared their knowledge and suggested ways to improve my photography. Emphasis in the workshops will be placed on recognising what the markets are looking for, shooting to your strengths and creating pictures that stand out in a highly competitive marketplace. Initially the Commission and I considered me simply addressing the forum but we have since agreed the best way to ensure the attendees get the most out of my being there is to conduct smaller, more intimate workshops and a field trip. I’m also excited to be one of the judges for the country’s richest national photography competition.