I always find it fascinating how business ticks along. Well over two years ago now, I received an email from sports marketing client, Professional Sports Group (PSG), asking whether I had any falcon images. I did as it happened and shared them with the group. It then went quiet for a while, as it sometime does, before a call out of the blue with the question, “Are you interested in doing a book about falcons?”.
Now two years on along with 35,000 raw files, 14 days of shooting, hours of research, three edits and 10,000 words, we’ve finally just launched an amazing book, Falcons of Arabia. Call me biased if you will but I’ve received truly humbling feedback from local Emirati’s on reviewing early copies of the book and during my exhibition at Emirates Palace. Their acknowledgment and enthusiasm has filled me with pride and endorses our approach to shooting the subject.
The book was created for investment managers, Columbia Threadneedle, who will be hand delivering copies to their high end clientele. Nothing like this has ever been done before and I’m sure the book will provide them great recognition and curiosity. From the book, we’ve selected twenty prints which will go on an international exhibition tour. The first stop was Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace. London comes next with other cities to follow.
With Jamie Cunningham, CEO of Professional Sports Group.
I’ve uploaded a summary of my favourite images on my website and I’m super happy with the results. Whilst this was a great gig to work on, it was also a hard subject to shoot. Falcons are wild birds so getting them to do what you want is no easy feat. I’ve learned that raw meat is what makes them tick and a caring, professional falconer becomes your treasured partner. It’s been really interesting to see how these birds all differ, not just in looks but by their behaviour. I hope their individual characters have translated back into the images.
One personal highlight occurred when returning to one of the falcon farms, deep in the desert near Sweihan. The intention to shoot was interrupted by an unexpected late lunch invitation. We sat down on the floor for a lovely traditional Arabic lunch which, as an expat, are rare occasions and always much appreciated. At the same time, I felt conscious of the time, nervously looking outside at the great light which would soon fade. Still, I’m a firm believer that you have to live the moment and enjoy the experience… and all worked well in the end as we captured some stunning images just before sunset.
Finally what a great opportunity to share the stories and book to a global audience on CNN with Becky Anderson. Below is a rough screen grab…worth a watch as the spark is at the end!
I’d like to acknowledge the great team on our side who did a grand job on art direction, research, text writing, calligraphy and in designing a truly unique book. My thanks to you all. This can only lead to more new and exciting projects together.