Matteo Manasero & Ralph Lauren Photography in a cloudy capital

Now that the embargo has finally been lifted, I was keen to share this image.  It’s so unusual after all to get soaked through in Abu Dhabi … first clouds and then the rain! Here we are with Abu Dhabi brand ambassador and upcoming golf legend Matteo Manasero, building a commercial portfolio of imagery with a view to portraying the city as a sun seekers idea of complete luxury.

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Luxurious it was, but hardly the norm in this part of the world to see this weather. An extra dose of luxury came from Ralph Lauren as they provided their latest wardrobe for the shoot … a cool mix of casuals and formals.

We had a jam packed itinerary with some stunning locations like the Helipad on the new Capital Hyatt Hotel, Jumeirah’s observation deck, the St Regis resort and golf course, the Abu Dhabi Golf Course and at dusk, the Shangri-La for sundowners. In all honestly, it was a bit too much but with Matteo being in town for only 36 hours we had to work magic to fit it all in and besides, you’ll do anything to accommodate a great client so we drafted a detailed plan and worked it like clockwork.

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I’ve worked with Matteo in the past when he was in action at the Race to Dubai and he’s a great guy; always flexible and helpful in making the shoot work.  We kicked off with a bit of wind shock on the helipad, which meant holding on to everything that could potentially blow off. Balancing on top of a stepladder, gusting winds, a couple of hundred meters drop … what a way to start the day!

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I quite like the above shot … the wind in the hair and dramatic skies bring in a sense of energy and theatre. It could have easily been Brighton beach on a good day or a trip al fresco for some ‘uitwaaien in Scheveningen’ …  so unusual it is to have grey skies replace the normal blue here. The golfing images that followed worked really well. I added a bit of photoshop to pop the colors and further convey Matteo’s lively personality.

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My big thanks to the team at Abu Dhabi, to Matteo for this energy and to the crowd at ITP for their cooperation … we’ve bagged a few awesome shots.

Wk.