2020 was the year my family and I said goodbye to Dubai and the UAE. As a photographer the year started well, I had a promising year ahead of me with some really interesting clients lined up. We all know what happens next and it is still affecting freelancers and companies the world over.
The sudden drop in work and the tight restrictions really hit us hard and we took the big decision to move back to the UK. I had been in the UAE almost 9 years and looking back it was a tremendous time especially the last 4 years when I decided to venture out on my own. I focused on school photography as the main source of revenue but also getting involved with the more exciting world of commercial photography. It was with commercial photography I gained a huge amount of experience and worked alongside some incredibly talented photographers, videographers, producers and many more, working for some big brands like ZARA, Porsche, Forever Living to mention just a few. I was also lucky enough to be the official photographer for IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) for 4 years.
There was one company in particular I worked a lot with along with a previous work colleague. First & Ten Productions and James Baker. With them I have worked on some prestigious events such as Pope Francis’ visit to the UAE and the very first Catholic Mass held in a Muslim country. A Guinness world record for the largest firework in Ras Al Khaimah to a DJ set by world renowned Tiesto.
So looking back at my time in the Middle East it was definitely a positive move and one i'll never forget. I mean I did meet my wife there and my two children were born there. I still have contacts in Dubai and hopefully will be back for various events once the world settles into the new normal.
So what now? Now the family and I are settling in Oxford and enjoying the greenery and the long walks and even the cooler weather. The hard task is getting back into work and start rebuilding a network in the Oxford and London area, but with the experience I have had and the support from family I’m sure it's only a matter of time to back into the flow and start the new UK adventure.
If you want to get in touch, you can still reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org