Ambition, Visualized

It’s always exciting to be involved with high-caliber commercial work, but never more so than when the creative team are old friends, like Hans Hanson and Eric Sorensen of SOLVE. We go way back to our early days in Minneapolis, so when they asked if I’d like to shoot their latest campaign for the second-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, it was an easy decision to make.

They wanted to show people from all walks of life visualizing their ambition. (80% of the UAE’s populace is made up of expat workers.) It was an unexpectedly emotional experience for many as they talked about family and future, hope and belief.

Not too far from where we were shooting in Abu Dhabi was the Dubai Creek Port, where things looked a little more gritty and improvised than the well-scrubbed streets of the city. I snuck over there with my camera and convinced some of the locals to let me shoot them. Their dhows were piled precariously high with new TVs and refrigerators and computers bound mostly for Iran. It looked like a tough existence but they were proud and friendly and glad to show me another side of the capital city.

Shahab, Haneen


Hans, Eric

Hans Hansen, Eric Sorensen, Shawn Michienzi, Jassim, Chris Rouchard, Michael Marantz