Azza Al Mughairy has been a friend of White Cube’s for a while and asked if we could shoot some portraits of her that reflected her personality. Well, let me tell you a little about Azza. On the outside you see an everyday Emarati woman in her Sheila and Abaya…. But as soon as the conversation starts you begin to realize that she’s not your everyday human being.  Azza is ambitious…. Like… Reeeeaalllly ambitious. However, her ambitions are aren’t considered “normal” in her society/circle so it makes the fight that much harder…. And sweeter… So we set out make worlds collide in this shoot. Emarati woman breaking the norm….

The gear of choice: FujiFilm’s X-T1 and the 56mm f1.2 lens

In order to focus on the subject and the subject alone I decided to go with a technique I learned from a workshop with Christopher Nolan (insane Photographer) when I was in LA last year. He taught me to use natural light for…. Well everything… Even if you want it to look like it was done in a studio. We setup in the conference room at Saadiyat Beach Club. The light came through a beautiful wall to wall, floor to ceiling window. We set up a black backdrop in the shadows, key light from the window and fill light with a small reflector…. ISO 800 (ish) and aperture f5.6 (ish) and off we went.

Ps….Make up by Azza’s sister Hamda. Get at her on Instagram @makeupby_w.h….

Pps…. the music used in the bts video is by Citizen. Get at him here:

Let us know what you think….


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