Life at its best!

Posted on: February 21st, 2015 by Carolyn No Comments

So we think this article is pretty exciting!  Something completely different and unique compared to what we are used to here on `I am captivated`.  There is nothing more natural and authentic than photojournalistic style photography which is exactly what we are bringing you today from photographer, Stephanie Hamilton.  We have no doubt you are going to love every image captured of this family.  Life at its best…

(Be sure to read a few words from the photographer below.)

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Stephanie Hamilton

Creative Visionary
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A word from the photographer:

The daily rituals that we carry out like clockwork can at times give us a sense of monotony. The coffee grounds at the bottom of a lipstick stained cup, a disheveled toddler’s hair, or the grains of sand that cake the bottoms of our feet on a trip to the beach. I have always had a passion for capturing moments, and in particular telling the stories of those that I love. We have so much to celebrate in this life, and yet we often forget to celebrate the fact that our everyday life is beautiful, no matter how imperfect it may seem!

1.What is it that you do…

Documentary/photojournalistic style photography (with more relaxed portraits in between) is what really makes me come alive and is my main focus!! My style is a mix between deep, soulful moody shots, and very vibrant moments. My biggest focus within my photography business is creating photojournalistic hard cover coffee table books with the images I capture to tell my client’s “Dubai Story”. To capture the intimate everyday moments of families, couples, (even businesses have a story to tell!) and individuals is a gift beyond words.

How does it work? I literally come and hang out with you. Eating breakfast, playing games, making art, baking, doing homework, outings to the beach or park. Whatever it is you want to capture, I’m there with you. It’s really, really important to me that my clients have something in print, but I have a strong affinity for creating the albums. We live in a digital age where our images are kept on phones, hard drives, etc. I make a book for my kids every year with their everyday moments, and this is exactly how my product came into being.

In this featured shoot, Camilla and her lovely family were so amazing to work with. We started really early (kids still in their pj’s!) and got to capture everything from the morning coffee, getting ready, a walk on the beach and surrounding neighbourhood in Umm Suqeim, a play in the garden to wash all that sand off, as well as making (and eating!) french toast, followed by a bit of gardening! I love how they just got on with things and just allowed me to do my job. Some people still find it hard not to stand in front of the camera and pose, but thankfully for those who want a more relaxed style this hopefully gives them that option!

2. Why do you love what you do…

I get such a high from the different stories that I have the privilege to tell with my lens. My brand Nektar is all about connections, and what I love most is capturing the essence of those connections between my clients. We can try and plan and decide what we think will happen before a shoot, but the beauty of these shoots is that you never really quite know what the outcome will be! The light or lack of it moves me and sets the tone. Finding the light in beautiful bursts, or enjoying those quite moments in the shadows helps to shape the story in every way.

3. A shoot you will always remember…

I remember a shoot in particular on the Palm where my client had family visiting from overseas. They were playing on the beach, enjoying a picnic and we decided that we would get a few group shots. As everyone piled in together, out of nowhere came this amazing yellow and purple hot air balloon and positioned itself right over my client’s heads! I certainly could never have planned that, but that’s what I love. Magic is always there waiting to happen, you just have to be ready to capture it!

My job is never boring, and it is filled with a richness that is hard to describe. I created this brand and products out of my own needs of what I wanted and didn’t want in a photo shoot. I have 3 girls, and once I started putting my work out there, I realised there was a strong demand for the unique type of work I do. It’s not always easy, you have to be constantly moving, and making snap decisions as to what you’re going to capture. You have to be aware of giving everyone equal ‘lens love’, and be sensitive to situations that may arise while you’re shooting (ie arguing between siblings, children hurting themselves, people feeling awkward as it’s such a different concept). Compositionally, you have to be good at “seeing” rather than “staging” because as soon as you’ve witnessed a magical moment, it’s nearly too late! Especially with kids, they are constantly on the move but I love it! All of these challenges fuel me to capture the very best in any given situation. When you look for the truth and see the beauty in it, it’s far easier to capture it with your lens to make honest, and connecting images your clients will love forever.

4. Why do you love Dubai…

I love Dubai for it’s incredible diversity and richness of culture. Most people would disagree with me, but I think it’s got so much to offer in terms of nature if you know where to look! The location choices for the outdoor part of my clients shoots are limitless, yet it’s still really important that they maintain a connection to places they actually would visit in their “Dubai lives”. Dubai has given me so much, but really, in the end I always say “It’s the people that make the place”.

5. Your favourite place for a cup of tea…

Probably my favourite place to go and enjoy a lovely cup of tea would be The Arabian Tea House down in the Bastikiya but I rarely ever get down there! In Dubai we are spoiled for choice but it’s still the classic old school hang outs that I love the most! In reality it’s usually Lime Tree to meet a friend for breakfast as it’s close to the girl’s school.

6. Your favourite holiday destination…

I don’t actually have a favourite holiday destination as I just love to soak up the atmosphere of wherever I am lucky enough to go! Anywhere with vibrancy, color, smells, sounds, so anywhere with a lot of life! Thailand and Ethiopia are two places I have fond memories of.



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