Article Published in BEST OF UAE MAGAZINE - 2010

A Graphic Past Zooms into a Colourful Future

By Suman Addepalli

Anyone from the field of design would agree that it is often frustrating for a talented design professional, to find images from old limited archives to match his unlimited creativity. Sooner or later, a design artist will move towards experiments with photography, to give his imagination a desired physical form.

That, in short is the story of Murtuza Umrethwala. His, is an impressive inspiring story, of how a Graphic Designer switched fields, to successful conquer the realm of Photography. A senior Graphic designer, Murtuza had always impressed every possible client in his decade of (full time and freelance) work experience. Ten years as a designer helped him hone his mind’s eye, which is the backbone of design assignments. A veteran in print design, he worked on projects for EMSF Semi Government, iW (International watch) Magazine, Tata Infomedia LTD, Indian Express, clients who anyone would agree, settle for nothing but the best. And he would have continued doing this all his life, if he hadn’t fallen in love….with photography.

This romance came to life when he saw famous Indian photographer Shiresh R Karrale at work for an Indian magazine called Av MAX. Murtuza had opportunity to assist him for some celebrity shoots with the likes of well known Indian music artists such as Hariharan Kumar Sanu, and Vj Nina Manual. He then began reading about and learning from famous photographers such as Ken Rockwell (USA), Abet Bagay – Philipines, Crispin Dominic (Dubai), Andy Garner(Dubai), Heisler, Andy Goodwin, George Lange, Dave Black, Orkan (trukish) and of course, his inspiration Shiresh Karrale from Mumbai. Having done workshops such as small strobes big result - photography with David Tejada, Murtuza started living and breathing the technology behind frames, which capture the world around us. Then, as he worked on his full time design assignments by day, he also managed to experience working with ANDY GARNER a UK based Photographer in the evenings – as an assistant photographer for a shoot done for the Al Rostomani Group, in Dubai.Also Assited David Nightingale during Gulf Photo Plus event for Lanscape Photography.

Murtuza easily met the demands of photography assignments as he always did well with extremely tight deadlines, and some impossible to please clients- part and parcel of his erstwhile field. His experience at major agencies over the last decade, where developed and executed creative briefs with a focus on the target audience, worked to his favour. Today, he has an impressive portfolio of challenging professional assignments. His clients openly appreciate his strength of visualizing, conceptualizing their needs and executing the same. And he never complains about his multiple assignments and tight schedule since his high in life comes from appreciative eyes looking at his good work.

His assignments validate this, Murtuza is now dabbling with assignments for iW magazine – USA (Designing the middle east Version) Ladies by iW – USA (Designing the middle east Version), The Security Magazine – for Eminent Publishing and Photography for Global Village publishing- Dubai. Some of his already pleased clients include: Majid Bukatara Building Materials Trading, Designs Unlimited Interiors, Space Design Décor, Prism Advertising and Pencils Adverting.

In the sparkling city of Dubai, you could catch him deftly moving around with his DSLR Camera – Nikon D800 Nikon D90 - with 5 lense – 105mm nikm macro, 18-200 nikon VR, and 17–35 Tokina wide, 50mm Nikon & 24-85mm Kinok at any time of the day!

Astonishingly, Murtuza’s biggest assignment was offered to him when he was on a holiday. The client, impressed by watching Murtuza photograph a resort where he was staying, gave him the assignment within moments of seeing the Pictures!

Article Published in - Best of Abu Dhabi and UAE 2010. Such is destiny!