I don’t really consider myself to be a lucky person, but from time to time I would participate in competitions or draws (and right away I forget that I did). One day my husband sent me a picture from a magazine which encouraged photographers to participate in a competition described as follows:
Share a photo on Instagram of Dubai “illuminated” using a hashtag #shinedxb to win a trip with Dream Photo Tours in December 2015.
I looked through a gallery of my Dubai images, picked one, and posted on Instagram without any second thoughts. Didn’t even bother putting many hashtags to attract attention to it, so it had only around 45 likes at the time when I received a DM from the MENA region marketing manager of Facebook asking if this photo really belongs to me, and if I can send a high-res version of it to his e-mail address. In about 30 minutes he told me that I won this competition, and all the three judges voted for my photo. This all happened in an event where Instagram was celebrating its’ 5th anniversary in Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, and they had a photo exhibition and a voting session.
I couldn’t really believe it at the time, because I never dreamt about going on a photography trip that I don’t have to pay for! This is when I thought to myself, well, seems like I must have at least one good photo in my arsenal then, since this thing happened to me.
The guy who stands behind this “luck” of mine is an amazing location-independent travel photographer Elia Locardi. He was the one who picked my photo in the first place, and shortly after I realised why. At the time of the events, it happened so that he had visited Dubai so many times, but was never able to capture Dubai covered with fog. I believe this to be the most amazing time to shoot the city and certainly gives the most magical-looking and breath-taking view. Well, I was lucky to wake up early that day to capture this beauty unveiling in front of my eyes (truth to be told, I haven’t gone to bed yet when it was happening). Capturing this image opened me a door to more amazing opportunities. Maybe this will forever stay the most famous photo I took, but if I don’t try to take the next one, we will never know.
I was allowed to choose any trip from Dream Photo Tours upcoming schedule among which were Vietnam, Japan, Italy… Until that moment I never thought about going to Iceland. I live in Dubai and I don’t own a coat, neither a decent pair of boots, nor warm clothes really. I don’t think about weather-sealed lenses or cameras because I don’t face any of those harsh conditions here. I could have gone to Myanmar, I could have gone Vietnam, but I decided that it’s perhaps something I would never otherwise do and I put myself on the list to go to Iceland.
This is where it all began, my magical journey to the land of ice and fire, which happened in March 2016, and changed my life completely.
Many people tell me how lucky I am in my life. It is my luck to have moved to Dubai and my luck to have followed my heart to be a photographer, but I honestly don’t think that anyone is preventing you from doing the same. I am lucky because I opened my heart and let amazing things happen to me, that is perhaps true, but so can you.
“Luck is believing you’re lucky.” – Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire