The new face of photography in the age of filters and smartphones – News

Concepts like waitographer, connection with the subject, the perfect portrait, matter more than ever



Published: Thu 28 April 2022, 20:43

We live in a time where we don’t exist unless we capture moments from our days and nights for stories, reels, timelines and beyond. No wonder, capturing every morsel we eat, every step we take and more is the “need of the hour”. We have all become photographers, good or bad; and the world of photography is no longer what it used to be. We carry 12 megapixel+ cameras in our smartphones, the filters on multiple apps allow us to “edit” images in a jiffy, et al. We talk to some experts on the subject and the latest concepts in the field.

Real-time assistance as we aim to create a memory

Whenever we eat a meal or are on vacation, we want to capture it for social activities. Now imagine someone stepping in to embellish those memories and improve our social media presence. Enter Waitographers, an innovative photography training program that helps Hilton servers capture special guest moments on smartphone cameras. A few weeks ago, waiters and waitresses at the Hilton signed up for a one-day workshop with photographer Roger Moukarzel who honed their photography skills and gave them the confidence to interact with guests and take great photos. lit and beautifully composed. Recognized worldwide, Moukarzel has worked in the world of images since the age of 15.

Whether through film, photography or art direction, he is best described as a veteran of visual and multimedia storytelling. His production house, Minime, is one of the most trusted and respected in the Middle East. So what are the main things he kept in mind when training the staff? “First, how to keep waitographers engaged and motivated throughout the course, especially by constantly interacting with each participant. Second, we thought of different ways to make participants think like a photographer,” says Moukarzel. Upon completion of the program, staff (nearly 200 Hilton waitographers have completed the workshop in the UAE) received a certificate and badge so hotel guests can easily spot waitographers when in a Hilton hotel and ask for a helping hand whenever they want to have their picture taken.

You want to take a good photo: connect with your subject

Marta Lamovsek, a Slovenian photographer based in Dubai, explains that when she started photography, she was doing it on film, ie in the pre-digital era. “I was 22 and had an epiphany one day sitting with a friend in a cafe, who had a beautiful framed picture on the wall.” It sparked something, and she instinctively knew it was her calling. Today, his larger-than-life photographs adorn the lobby of the Hyde Hotel Dubai, Business Bay, among others. “During the creative process, I connect deeply with my subjects and use embellishments and embroidered fabrics to empower them,” Marta explains. “By asking questions of my subjects, I capture the archetype that inspires me.”

“Pointing a smartphone at the subject and randomly pressing the camera button rarely results in an amazing photo. What Moukarzel did so brilliantly was provide our team with a simple set of tips and tricks regarding the light, composition, color and how to put the people together in the photo. A few guidelines from an expert like him made a huge difference in the photographs our team took,” adds Emma Banks, VP, F&B Strategy and Development, EMEA, Hilton.

In the age of mobile cameras and IG filters, what is the future of photography? Emma recalls how earlier this year they thought it would be cool if their Hilton team could step in when asked to capture and take a fabulous photo using the guest’s smartphone. “Meeting friends and family for meals or get-togethers is something we all love to do and naturally we want to record those occasions with fantastic photography. But selfies can be rushed, clunky and blurry, and rarely capture the magic of the moment. In March, for International Women’s Day, the 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central offered women the opportunity to have a session with a professional photographer to take their portraits at no cost. The portraits were captured by the famous photographer of the stars, Hyku Desesto, which makes them ideal for online platforms and job applications.

“Headshots can play a vital role in bringing out professional profiles in the crowd,” he says. Desesto offered sessions, ranging from traditional portraits to something a little offbeat, for those with a more creative approach. Hyku D Photography is a respected brand in the UAE, and the team gave each guest a 15-minute session to capture the perfect photo. “We thought that was important and to some extent really support businesswomen by updating their portraits and raising their profiles – which is not always a priority when you are growing your business or you’re striving to achieve career goals,” says Josh Craddock. , Director of Marketing and Communications, 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central.

purva@khaleejtimes.com

Stewart C. Hartline