Top names will figure in this year’s Xposure International Photography Festival in Sharjah

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Sharjah: Xposure International Photography Festival this year will feature 74 photographers specialising in a range of genres and categories. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from 14 of the world’s best photojournalists, environmentalists and experts in portraiture, to explore the many cultures of different nations around the world, experiencing the stories of their people, captured through the lens of photographers and filmmakers. Visitors will also get a chance to hear directly from these world-renowned visual storytellers about their journeys and how they managed to encapsulate the world through their art.

The festival is a major highlight for the public and with the featured photographers and filmmakers listed below it will be a must-attend event for photojournalists, travel bloggers, creative professionals, media specialists and art collectors, to name a few. Xposure is celebrating its seventh edition this year and will be held between February 9 and 15 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

This year at the Xposure International Photography Festival, visitors can expect the world’s best photographers and visual artists.

Photojournalists: Using the lens to give coverage to those who need it the most

Elisa Iannacone, Giles Clarke, Philip Lee Harvey, Abir Abdullah, and Tommy Trenchard are all photographers or cinematographers who have dedicated their careers to covering important societal issues. Through their work, they have shed light on important social, political, and environmental issues happening around the globe. Each of these photographers has a unique style and approach to their work, but they all share a common goal of using their camera to tell important stories and bring attention to important issues.

In addition to their individual careers, these photographers have also contributed to the larger photojournalism community through their participation in exhibitions and organisations dedicated to this type of storytelling. Whether they are documenting conflict and humanitarian crises, or shining a light on social and environmental issues, the visual storytellers are using their craft to make a difference in the world.

Travel photographers: Documenting the world around us

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Randy Olson, David Learman, Tim Smith and Ahmad Alsaif are all photographers who have dedicated a significant portion of their careers to documenting their environments and the world around them. Through their work, they aim to bring attention to the importance of preserving and protecting our planet. Sutton-Hibbert, in particular, has focused on social and environmental issues in his documentary photography, using his camera to shed light on concerns such as climate change and conservation.

David Learman is a visual storyteller born in Yorkshire, known for his striking and artistic images of people and their surrounding landscapes. David is passionate about telling visual stories and capturing scenes in nature and life that invite the viewer to explore and discover subtle nuances and hidden secrets.

Randy, on the other hand, has travelled to numerous countries around the world as a documentary photographer, capturing the beauty and diversity of our planet. Similarly, Tim Smith is a landscape and travel photographer who has documented stunning natural landscapes and the cultures of various destinations around the world. Ahmad Alsaif is a Saudi Arabian photographer who specialises in capturing the beauty and culture of his home country, with a focus on landscape and traditional architecture. All of them use their talents to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting the environment, and the unique and diverse places that make up our world.

Portraiture: Capturing the human experience

Greg Gorman, Brian Hodges, César Balcázar and Karen Zusman are all photographers who have built their careers around the art of portraiture or capturing the human spirit in their environments, whether in the streets, their homes or in nature. Although they bring their own flare when capturing the human essence in their images, they all share a common goal of using their camera to create striking and memorable portraits.

Gorman is a well-known celebrity photographer who has shot portraits of numerous iconic figures. Hodges, an internationally recognised photographer specialising in portraits and documentary photojournalism who captures personal stories through his striking shots and highlights socio-economic issues in the process.

César’s photography focuses on creating iconic images that convey the movement, emotions and turmoil of a social setting and its connection to his subjects. He incorporates techniques from theatre and talent direction to create a personal atmosphere of exploration with the person being photographed, resulting in co-created stories that often reflect his own emotions.

Zusman is a portrait photographer, known for her ability to capture the personality and emotion of her subjects. Whether they are shooting celebrities or everyday people, these photographers are skilled at using their craft to create powerful and enduring images of the human experience.

Engaging Talks and Seminars: An exchange of stories and journey of discovery

Xposure festival will be hosting seminars and panel discussions featuring renowned photojournalists, who will discuss their experiences covering significant and dangerous stories and shedding light on important issues. These professionals often risk their lives to document important stories, but do not always receive the recognition they deserve. Xposure provides a platform for photojournalists to share their work and receive recognition in a safe, non-partisan environment. One of the highlights of the festival is the “Credible Witness” panel featuring Muhammed Muheisen, Giles Clarke, Jodi Cobb, Tommy Trenchard, and former Sunday Times picture editor Ray Wells.

Additionally, Karen Zusman will be discussing how her unique experiences and activism have influenced her career, including her Leica Award-winning project at “From Poetry To Protests To Super Powered Youth: An Unconventional Journey”.

Tim Smith will be talking about his personal photography focused on capturing the prairies of Manitoba, Canada and the Hutterite culture through long-term projects at “The Gift Of Time In Long Term Documentary Photography”, and Elisa Iannacone will be discussing her evolution from conflict reporting to finding new ways to tell meaningful stories, focusing on the intimacy and connection that drive her process at “Conflict Reporting To Magical Realism”. Engaging talks

Xposure will also be hosting eight seminars that will explore the art of capturing the essence of a person or a place and delivering a moment in time that encapsulates the subject. Greg Gorman, a portrait photographer, will share an inside look at his 50-year long career in Hollywood, including stories and anecdotes about his famous subjects.

Philip Lee Harvey will share his perspective on the craft, including how his approach has evolved, his influences, and how he maintains creativity. Souhayl.A will reveal how street photography serves as a foundation for his long-term, post-documentary projects. Michael Aboya, a Ghana-based fine art and fashion photographer will be discussing how he uses photography to explore and discover deeper, more beautiful and untold stories within people’s roots. Incredibly enlightening, the seminars are sure to provide insights and inspiration to all levels of photographers.

Exhibitions: Be transported through the lens and learn about places and people

The Xposure exhibitions this year will connect the visitors with distant lands and their people, and provide insight into many ways of life, as well as shining light on critical social and political issues facing the world. These displays of work from the world’s best photographers will be an incredible source of inspiration for creatives, journalists and the general public and demonstrate the hard work and vision that goes into bringing images to life.

With portraiture from Greg Gorman, César Balcázar, Brian Hodges and Karen Zusman to eye-opening photojournalism from the likes of Elisa Iannacone, Giles Clarke, Philip Lee Harvey, Abir Abdullah and Tommy Trenchard, and environmental and travel photography from Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Randy Olson, Tim Smith and David Learman Xposure is guaranteed to give visitors a unique perspective on the world and the pieces of the puzzle that constitute it.

As a global attraction for the public and creative professionals, Xposure boasts 74 of the world’s best photographers and filmmakers, displaying their works through 68 solo and group exhibitions, it is so much more than an expansive gallery, it’s a festival of inspiration, education and a gathering of cultural exchange. Through talks, workshops, a book fair and trade show, conservation summit, portfolio reviews, and an extensive awards programme, it’s easy to see why the festival takes place over 7 days and why people return day after day to experience Xposure. Find more details about photographers, talks and exhibitions at www.xposure.ae.