Interview with David Abdallah

David Abdallah is a sought-after fashion photographer from Lebanon. His unique style and eye for color, motion and ambience makes his work so distinct. He has been a professional photographer for over 14 years.

David’s studios are fully-equipped, ready for fixing any type of lighting. They are equipped with more than 15 EIZO Coloredge monitors for over 10 years now. His studio in Al Quoz is one of the biggest photography studios in Dubai.

When did you decide that photography was for you?

Photography is in my blood. While I was a student of law at university, my talent for the art of photography and passion for taking good pictures led me away from studies. But it was meant to be.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from all things around me. From the everyday things to the art and photography works of other artists. It’s a lot about looking at the world from a different perspective.

How subjective is the selection of equipment for a photographer?

There is no single set of equipment that’s perfect for every photographer. A photographer chooses his equipment based on his preferred subject matter and budget.

Do you prefer digital to film photography?

Both film and digital cameras have their place in the world of photography. Luckily, I’ve had the pleasure of working with both. Being a technology-addict, I shifted to digital a long time ago. Digital is the future. The world has moved to DSLRs today. You can check your imagery instantaneously. It’s the best way to spot your mistakes and fix them right away.

Do you prefer studio or outdoor photography?

It’s not important to me whether I shoot in a studio or outdoors. What’s essential is to find the right background color and texture for every project.

Does fashion photography require professional equipment?

What you need more than anything else is the knowledge and skill to use your equipment. Once you master your gear, you can excel in any project you are offered. As a rule of thumb in fashion photography, one must make sure that the lighting accentuates the texture and beauty of the materials. Details such as these heighten the beauty and quality of an image.

Could you tell us about your photography and studio equipment?

In cameras, I use either my Leica M240 or the Hasselblad H4X and the IQ180 digital back or Canon bodies. For lighting equipment, I currently use all Broncolor lighting equipment. For processing and color management, I prefer EIZO products. All of these offer – precision, quality and reliability – the essential keys to success.

How important is color management part of your workflow?

Color management is an essential and fundamental part of my workflow. For me, it is a must-do process in order to get the desired results.

Any specific techniques that you always involve your workflow?

I will summarize the most important steps I have incorporated in my workflow to achieve the best results. After the screen calibration process, I use Capture One to adjust the white balance, the exposure, the contrast, the framing and the overall color adjustments for each photo. Next I move to Photoshop to render selective adjustments according to the specific needs of each picture.

What made you switch to using EIZO monitors?

If you want color accuracy, EIZO is what you need. Which is why, I have EIZO monitors in my studios. I haven’t found an alternative to these high-end monitors at any level. From its sleek design, simplicity of installation and operation to the screen sharpness and just how stunning the colors appear on it. Lastly for its easy calibration process, I’d recommend EIZO to every photographer, advertising house and anyone else working with graphics.

The best thing about EIZO is that I am always confident and worry-free with their products. In fact, I keep a regular check on EIZO’s latest technologies so I can be the first to get my hands on their product releases.

What effect has EIZO monitors had on your working process?

The monitor is a very important piece of equipment for any photographer who needs to develop, manage, and process photos. EIZO monitors provide adequate visualization and precision to my working process, ensuring that my creative ideas aren’t lost on their journey from click-to-print.

How do you balance manipulation with authenticity in the post-production of your images?

When I manipulate my images, I don’t think about only retouching them but rather by enhancing the shot and strengthening its qualities in order to maintain the reality of the captured moment.

Are there any noteworthy highlights/challenges you have experienced in your career history?

Through my career history, I have gained the opportunity to meet and interact with interesting people and several personalities. I’ve had the chance to maintain long standing relationships with almost all of them. And this has allowed me to move further in my career and build up a reputation that expands my creative boundaries.

What advice would you give to a newcomer who is just beginning his career?

The biggest piece of advice is to never give up. You must be happy and excited about your own work. So if you yourself are happy, you will surely make your client happy too. Follow your heart. Don’t ever consider any dream too big for you. Practice more. Practice whenever you can and believe in yourself.

To see more of David Abdallah’s work, visit DavidAbdallah.com