Dubai photographer reveals how he got inspired by Sheikh Hamdan – News
As Steve Jobs said, the only way to do a good job is to love what you do. A simple mantra for success – known to many, realized by few. Among the latter is Raihan Hamid, a licensed photographer from Dubai capturing the city through his lenses.
Whether it was a sunset on the beach or a mysteriously alluring view of the fog-covered Sheikh Zayed Road skyscrapers, Raihan captured all the moments that are now gone forever. Born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1997, Raihan and his family moved to Dubai at the age of 3. Growing up in the city, the 24-year-old took up photography as a hobby in school and became a shutterbug.
In 2015, he decided to share his captures on his Instagram page (@raihanhamid_photography), which now has more than 55,000 followers. As an avid photographer, Raihan also edits photos and creates reels – short Instagram videos – some of which even cross a million views.
Raihan always wanted to take pictures of Dubai, the architecture of the city he grew up in and fell in love with. His inspiration? None other than Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. “As soon as I saw his page filled with photographs of Dubai, I felt connected, inspired and motivated at the same time,” Hamid said in a conversation with City Times.
“I would say I’m his biggest fan,” added Raihan, who even has the crown prince as his phone wallpaper and hopes to meet him soon.
Once Raihan finds his inspiration, a normal day for him would look like this: wake up, grab the camera and shoot. But, of course, it was not easy for Raihan to visit the skyscrapers initially. Getting special permissions and paperwork without a professional license is as difficult as convincing your parents for something you know is right, but they can be questionable. Either way, Raihan found his way and before he knew it was leaving his audience amazed by the stunning captures of skyscrapers on the city’s main thoroughfare – Sheikh Zayed Road.
As Raihan started collaborating with influencers for photoshoots, he had his big chance. One beautiful Saturday morning in early 2019, Raihan received a phone call from the manager of Rashed Belhasa urging the photographer to reach Belhasa Farm as quickly as possible. There, he meets Rashed and his father Saif Belhasa. “I was confused with everyone and wondered what was going to happen,” Raihan said. “But I knew famous people often visited this farm.”
Raihan was appointed the Sole Photographer for everything that was supposed to happen on this farm. Shortly after, he received his biggest surprise: the arrival of Lionel Messi on the farm. And, as the Argentine, accompanied by his family, received the grand tour, Raihan’s job was to capture those moments. “I was stunned, shocked beyond belief,” Raihan recalls, adding that it was one of the best times of his life.
His shock doubled when French footballer Paul Pogba also made a big appearance on the farm. Among the guests, the family of Spanish footballer Cesc Fabregas was also present.
After that day, things changed for the better for Raihan, who rose to fame after the Belhasa Farm event. Famous influencers in Dubai like Mo Vlogs, Lana Rose and many more have started reaching out to Raihan for paid collaborations in scenic locations across the city, with many opting for rooftop locations.
RISKS OF PHOTOSHOOT ROOFTOP
Taking photos on the rooftop is never an easy task. Both the photographer and the client have to be extremely careful when shooting at such heights. “Any roof that I shot, there was a security guard present at all times,” Raihan revealed. “Even though it was risky, I enjoyed the thrills. It was more of an adventure for me.
While playing the role of a shutterbug at Belhasa’s farm was certainly an unforgettable moment, Raihan’s best moment in his career as a photographer is one of his inspiration. One fine day, Raihan received a notification: faz3 (Sheikh Hamdan) liked your photo. And that’s when Raihan found himself with a sense of jubilation. “It prompted me to take more photos of Dubai from every angle possible,” Raihan said, adding that he had started investing a lot of time to learn more about photography.
BEST PLACES TO SHOOT
For Raihan, his favorite things to photograph in Dubai are the iconic Burj Khalifa and the fog-laden skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road. “I took pictures of Burj Khalifa from all possible angles except the top view, which I will take soon, as I recently received a drone,” he reveals.
During the pandemic, Raihan’s photography was hung while the entire world was locked down. “I get most requests for photos from tourists, and when travel restrictions occurred, my photography was put on hold,” Raihan said.
However, he started editing photos at home for his clients. “This 4-5 month lockdown has been really tough, but things started to slowly open up and now I’m coming back,” he added.
Raihan intends to start his own production house in the future. For now, he has created a separate Instagram page where he shares photos of his commercial work. The 24-year-old is keen to provide photography services such as wedding shoots, branding shoots and events.
His ultimate goal, however, remains to work for or with Sheikh Hamdan.