“Photography is not just a skill, it’s a passion” said Bader Al Lawati, the first Omani and only food photographer to become Nikon’s instructor in the Middle East and North Africa.
The photographer has been pointed to teach photography classes and workshops in the Middle East and North Africa, where he will share his exceptional knowledge, creativity, and vision.
His debut class that was conducted in Doha offered a variety of valuable tips in both theory and practice for participating students, including the basics of photography, introduction to food photography, and most importantly, tips and tricks on mastering the art of food-shooting.
Being the first Omani food photographer to reach such level served nothing but joy and pride for Bader who has become a role model for young aspiring photographers in town. “I felt extremely proud” he said, adding that “it’s a big thing to be associated with such a big brand, especially with a brand that helped to set me up.”
This wasn’t Bader’s only bond with the brand, he was selected to highlight his work on Nikon’s official Facebook page for a whole week, and is also interviewed and featured on Nikon’s 100 year anniversary celebration video, where viewers will get a glimpse into his life as a food-loving shutterbug.
Bader takes his photography career quite seriously, as to him it is a craft that demands attention, practice, and understanding of culinary arts.
He goes behind the kitchen to observe how the dish is prepared, which helps him understand the food and its beauty. He also ensures that his feelings are reflected on his polished shots, from the styling stage of a photo-shoot to professional light techniques. Sometimes, extreme-yet-interesting techniques are used to get that perfect shot, including hunger.
“I intentionally starve myself before a shoot,” said Bader, adding that the hunger shifts the focus on how he views food; as humans tend to see food differently when hungry.
Bader’s work is inspired by many things, from internationally household names in food photography, to the food itself. He also pays a visit to the restaurant that he’s about to photograph, only to feel the atmosphere and its vibe. “It inspires me to understand the mood and understand flavours,” he explained.
Bader who began his photography journey at the age of 12, is now one of the best food photographers in Oman, with clients ranging from major international hotels, to individual restaurants. He is atop his game and hungrier for what’s yet to come.