For months leading up to my trip to the UAE to photograph two engagement sessions, I was researching possible documentaries I could shoot in my free time. But after talking to my clients, and not being able to find anything too interesting on the internet I decided I would have to go there to find options in person. Once in the country I was blown away by the amount of construction surrounding the expanding city of Abu Dhabi. It's absolutely everywhere you look, buildings being erected, foreign workers being bussed in from camps to construction sites and massive cranes sitting atop of the ever changing skyline. Obviously I would have loved to create a project exploring everything about the construction of the city. I would concentrate more on the condition of the workers who come from poorer countries all over the world, but that requires more planning and a bit more time than I had. I'll have to save that idea for the next time I'm back in the Middle East. After struggling to figure out an alternative my client mentioned taking some of their engagement images at Port Zayed Fishing Market. Immediately I was enthralled by the idea of heading out to this more traditional fishery and seeing what the locals were up to. We went there right around sunset to take a few shots by the boats, of course it was exactly what I was hoping for! There's few people who've been with me while I discover a new location and can attest to just how giddy I can get over the prospect of some awesome photos. I wasn't able to go back to Port Zayed until the last day my trip, but every moment leading up to that day I was thinking about what I would be able to accomplish. Sure enough the last day of the trip finally arrived and I was up before sunrise to head over to the market and capture the liveliness of the boats being unloaded, cleaned, and prepped to head back to sea. All the while there were others buying and selling the stock just yards away.
Before Abu Dhabi became a sprawling urban city, it was a small fishing village. Now Abu Dhabi is a major global city and the UAE is one of the richest countries in the world with massive reserves of oil. Like every thriving city there are still those sticking to their roots, trying to make a living the way their fathers and the generations before them did. The images below are a selection of my favorites from the morning.