Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

Recently  I was asked to style an Arabian Lifestyle stock shoot for Arabian Eye. This involved two very talented photographers, Katarina Premfors and Rich Facun and the equally talented cameramen Nick Davidson and Andrew Clemson both from Alchemy. Now, all stock shoots are pretty hectic as the aim is to get as many quality shots as possible but when you have two photographers and film rolling you have to make sure that scenes work from all angles and everyone has a set-up to shoot!!!

I was responsible for the props, wardrobe and food. Luckily I was given two fabulous assistants, Simona and Sandiya to make this all possible. Here is the thing, you cannot do an Arabian Lifestyle shoot without dates and Arabian coffee served from a dalla (Arabian coffee pot). And to convey the Arab culture of hospitality I usually have to buy quite a lot of dates!

The Date, some facts……..
1. The English name as well as the Latin species name comes from the Greek word, daktulos,  which means finger because of it’s elongated shape.
2. Egypt produces the most dates at 1,350,000 metric tonnes and the UAE are 5th at 795,000 metric tonnes per year.
3. Dates are used in savoury dishes such as the Moroccan tagine, sweets such as Ka’ak, the Arabic cookie and in various date desserts popular in the West.
4. Dates are fed to camels, horses and dogs in the Sahara.
5. Traditionally, it is believed that dates can counteract alcoholic intoxication!!!(mmm, not sure about this one!)
6. Dates are a natural laxative so good for preventing constipation!
Well, as I mentioned earlier I am always left with rather a large amount of dates at the end of one of these shoots so I just choose one of the numorous recipes on the internet or from cookbooks for date cakes, date cookies, date squares etc but here is a tasty one called date drop cookies….
1/2 cup , 4 ounces, of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Date filling:
1 pack, 8 ounces, dates, cut up
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1. Bring dates, sugar and water to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until dates are thickened. About 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Cream butter and sugar, stir in egg, water, flour, vanilla, baking soda and salt.
3. Drop cookie dough by the teaspoonful onto a lightly greased cooking sheet.
4. Place  half a teaspoonful of date mixture on top of the cookie dough.
5. Bake at 350 degrees or 180 degrees for 10 to 15 mins.




Share with friends, family and hardworking Bookers in the office. Enjoy your date!


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Every now and again you get booked on a fabulous shoot. Last week was exactly that, as we shot a five day fashion influenced lifestyle shoot at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s 7 star hotel.  It is my favourite building (from the outside) in Dubai. Not only is it amazing to be able to walk freely around the entire hotel, but to get to see service elevators, kitchens and staff areas is always fascinating to me. There are 1540 staff employed at the Burj and over 300 chefs! They have 6 restaurants and 2 bars. We had to shoot in all of them!

I love shooting at the Burj (we have done several shoots for them ) because, dare I say it we get to enjoy a fantastic lunch! As any good producer knows, lunch is of utmost importance to a crew. And although I am always content with our sandwiches and salads you cannot compare it to a sit down lunch with smiling waiters and chefs. At Bab al Yam, the poolside restaurant where we were invited to eat, the sashimi is on tap and the choice of salads, cakes and cheese just make you feel spoilt. Also unlike some of the hotels we have long shoots in the main course changed daily, that deserves two extra stars any day! Lunch at Bab AL Yam…

The food…..

The team included photographer Martin Beck www.martinbeckphotography.com, our “on it” producer Neha, hair and make-up by Toni and photographer’s assistants Jay and Sharif as well as my lovely assistant Dina. These are a little peep into what we shot…

Of course all this cannot be done with the help of certain people so a huge thanks to Dana at Saks, Burjuman www.burjuman.com,  and Michael Cinco Couture, www.michaelcinco.com who were so helpful. Also to Emma and of course the wonderful Marco, marketing and communications manager at the Burj.

Can’t wait until the next one….

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