Eid Al Adha: Emirati photographers showcase 'The Colors of Eid' with henna

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A shot by Ahmad Al Qahtani
A shot by Ahmad Al Qahtani

Famous artists from the UAE and Saudi team up with henna specialist Maitha Hamdan to illustrate how festival is celebrated

By David Light

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Published: Tue 28 Jul 2020, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jul 2020, 7:58 PM

With Eid Al Adha approaching, famous UAE photographers- Alanood Mubarak, Altamash Javed, Ola Allouz and Ahmad Al Qahtani from Saudi - were asked to showcase the art of henna through the lens of an iPhone. Working with artist Maitha Hamdan who completed the hand designs, this story is called 'The Colors of Eid', and aims to portray how Emiratis and those from the region celebrate the festival with special henna drawings. We spoke with the four to find out more.

Alanood Mubarak
Instagram: @alanood.mubarak
What does Eid mean to you and how have you represented 'The Colors of Eid'? 
Eid for me means festivity, togetherness and sharing. It's all about spending time with family and friends, creating the best memories. The henna, the fashion, the gatherings at every relative's house and the good food with the right people is what makes Eid special. In the 'Colors of Eid campaign', I'm hoping to represent the art of henna and showcase the beautiful artistic modern designs made by creative artists.

Ola Allouz
Instagram: @olaaaly
How does henna art play a part in the festival and what for you makes the best henna design?
The smell of henna is something connected in our minds with celebrations and Eid days. We are used to it since we were kids as our moms make sure to put henna for us one night before Eid. During the years, we have seen different styles of henna. I think henna is just like anything else, everything around us can have an effect on those designs. As we change, the Henna designs change. 

Altamash Javed
Instagram: @aljvd
What tips do you have for taking the perfect family photo on your phone this Eid?  
Get everyone around the couch, set up the iPhone on a tripod, set the timer to 10 seconds and get the family group shot.  I only use natural light so make sure the phone is pointed away from the light source. After that, I'm going to go into portrait mode and take a bunch of shots of the kids - hopefully, they'll do the creative part and I just shoot.  I really enjoy shooting wide-angle portraits!

Ahmad Al Qahtani
Instagram: @ahmadialqahtani
Are people or places more interesting photography subjects?  
Both are interesting to photograph. Saudi Arabia has a very rich culture and heritage. Costumes and traditional attire differs from one region to another. The Kingdom has so many stunning sites places to visit and explore, both natural and archaeological, hugely contrasting landscapes and vastly varying climates in the different parts of the country.

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