The Azem palace was originally built in 1750 as a residence for the Ottoman governor of Damascus, As'ad Pasha al-‘Azem, and it currently functions as the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions. Here's a shot our cameraman took with a minaret of the Ummayyad Mosque in the background. Who wouldn't want to have the Umayyad Mosque as their local masjid?!
Maktab Anbar has some wonderfully intricate geometric wooden doors, which we love to photograph against. Here's a favorite photo from Ramadan 2007:
Maktab Anbar, built in the mid-19th century, contains a mixture of traditional Islamic design themes, including, of course, the symbolic gardens, as well as European-influenced stonework.
Bayt Nizam, an 18th-century quaint Damascene house, has some wonderful stonework. Maybe this is what is engaging our male models in this photo? Probably not!
This mother-of-pearl engraved door from the Bayt Nizam has some thoughtful religious poetic lines, saying: "That which Allah wills, Is And that which He does not will, is Not" "Whoever trusts in Allah, Allah frees from need (from any besides Him) And whoever depends upon Him, Allah suffices him"
A typical SHUKR photoshoot takes up the whole day, and we have a small team of enthusiastic models, assistants, a director and a cameraman. None of our models are professionals, but rather just naturally talented individuals we bumped into here and there. We normally have 3 female models on site, which gives us an opportunity to create some interesting group shots. Here's a favorite from Ramadan 2007:
Judging by the amount of page views this next image received on our websites, this was our most popular image ever:
The photoshoots normally are an enjoyable experience, and probably the best one was when we rented out the Bait Shami restaurant to do some shots for Ramadan and Eid. This is a traditional Arab house recently converted into a restaurant, the best destination for Arab cuisine in Damascus:
The photoshoots are, however, also a lot of hard work. After a full day on one's feet, rushing around trying to get everything done in time, it's time to take a break!
We'd like to know what you, our customers, think about our pictures. Do you appreciate the traditional architectural backgrounds? What do you think about the style of photography? Is there enough product detail shown? We'd love to hear from you.
~Anas, Managing Partner