George Shahda’s photography has received the attention of worldwide clients for almost a decade. Bold staging and edgy images mark his artistic style. After concentrating on Photographs for eleven years, George Shahda is now also making short films. He is famed for using his skills to promote awareness in many of his self-derived concepts. Shahda is established in the industry with his exceptional use of visual techniques in architecture photography, editorial, commercial imagery, and his pioneering use of ambient light with alternative lighting techniques in portrait and object photography For his graduation project in 2008, Shahda worked with German Professor Oliver Hartung as a full-time assistant, to photograph roads in Syria for a universal travel documentary. At the age of 25, he shot for the Regards Croises art exhibition in Paris, currency images for the Syrian government, and many other big clients ever since. He soon became one of the top young photographers in the Middle East. Shahda was raised in an artistic family, with both his mother and father working as top fine artists. He became interested in photography at the age of sixteen; an interest that transformed into a career. Currently, George Shahda lives in Dubai, UAE, where he is well-known for his architectural, commercial and fashion photography.
Hasselblad Bulletin Article
Considered by many to be one of the rising young stars of photography in the Middle East, George Shahda covers architectural, fashion and commercial photography, and comes from a long line of successful artists. In many ways it was no surprise that George Shahda should take an interest in the creative arts. Born in Damascus into a family full of artists and musicians, George started his journey into the world of photography through watching his father, renowned Syrian artist Edward Shahda, take pictures of his finished artworks. “I absorbed photographic techniques and picked up tips through his guidance,” says George, “and growing up within such an artistic environment sharpened my skills and gave me the confidence to indulge in my passion for photography at an early stage.” His father noted the interest and was keen to encourage him.
While still at school he bought his son a Cybershot digital camera, and once George had finished High School and was setting off to college this was followed by the gift of a Nikon D70 DSLR. “My father was so happy that I had chosen to go and study fine art,” George recalls with a smile. “It was a big deal for him to see his only son pursuing his passion.” More encouragement arrived in the shape of German photographer Oliver Hartung, who happened to be visiting Damascus to work on his book Syria AL Assad in 2008. George had the opportunity to assist Oliver on his project and in the process found a theme for his graduation project, which focused on tourism in Syria. “I was inspired by Oliver,” he says. “It was the chance to learn professional photographic techniques and to pick up valuable advice direct from a master.” George became aware of the capabilities of the Hasselblad having seen the quality of its output while working on a project for the University of Damascus to document the monuments and symbols used on the Syrian currency. “Shortly afterwards I heard through a friend of mine about a photographer who was upgrading his old H3D-39 Hasselblad camera, and was looking to sell. It was on offer for a good price and with easy payment terms thrown in and it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. It turned out to be a great turning point in my career.” Now working with a Hasselblad H4D-50, and lighting in the studio with a broncolor Move and the eye-catching giant Para 88, George remains smitten with the whole ethos of medium format digital, and it’s helped to elevate his work to a whole new level. While appreciating all of the benefits, such as True Focus, that modern Hasselblad models offer, it’s the quality of the final file that has really attracted him. In particular he’s smitten by the 16-bit colour depth that’s offered, which has been fundamental in helping him to build a side of his business that focuses on recording highly accurate copies of original paintings. With so much going on in his life George has much to look forward to in the future, and his association with Hasselblad is one that looks set to move him on to still greater things.