Meet Gabriel Radulescu, The Dubai Photographer Whose Photos have Graced the Covers of Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and Playboy
Romanian-born photographer Gabriel Radulescu had walked many paths before stumbling upon photogrpahy in 2012. Surprisingly, his original background had nothing to do with snapping photos and everything to do with fitness, beauty, and physical therapy. Radulescu holds a Sport’s Science degree with a specialization in martial arts and a master’s in Kinesiology. He continued in this field of work from 2004 to 2013 , working on cruise ships as a massage therapist and later working as a spa director. But in 2012 Radulescu was living in beautiful Hawaii, after having travelled the world. It was there that he decided to take his photography hobby to a more professional level, and upgraded from a point and shoot Sony camera to a Canon DSLR. Being in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, and having a new semi-professional camera, motivated him to study and dive deeper into the fundamentals of photography, composition, manual settings, colours and post-production. While currently residing in Dubai, Radulescu has said that a passion for art, and a passion for what he does, as well as never compromising quality over quantity, are the main ingredients that have made his craft, his business, grow so quickly.
HARPER’S BAZAAR VIETNAM
“I never realized I would one day be shooting fashion. When I started photographing other people, I mainly got jobs for swimsuit catalogues, this is why it was a big challenge for me, switching genres, but it was a challenge I didn’t hesitate to accept, since Harper’s Bazaar is one of the most world-renown fashion magazines out there,” explained Radulescu.
Radulescu explained that the shoot took place in the Al Qudra desert in Dubai, shortly after the strict 24-hour curfew was lifted in the UAE. “It was a long shoot, and although it was very hot out, it was windy, which made the setting all the more complicated with sand blowing in our faces, and the wind trying to blow my light reflector away, which I held in one hand, and in the other, I held my camera. I felt bad for the model, Dora Rodriguez, a Miss Universe finalist, who had to stay graceful while she had sand in her mouth and in her contact lenses, and dragged around a very heavy Erina Kuznetsova couture gown, up and down the steep sand dunes,” recalled the photographer.
“Maxim is currently considered the world’s number one men’s magazine, still being printed and distributed around the world, so when I was approached to be the one to photograph Jessica Rast, the model who would grace the cover of the September 2020 issue of Maxim Australia, I was speechless. It was truly a dream come true for me, so I wanted to make sure I went above and beyond to get the cover shot. We shot for two days straight, one location was in the beautiful resort of Ras Al Khaimah at the end of July, when it’s almost 50 degrees celsius in the UAE, and if you add very intense humidity to the equation well, you can imagine how challenging it was was to get the perfect photos for this spread. The second shoot happened the next day at a different beach, very early in the morning, in order to skip the intense heat. We were able to get different lighting and a different look all-together. Despite the rough conditions, if the passion and creativity for what you do is there, you will find a way to make it happen. For me, the final outcome, getting the right shots for the magazine, and seeing the smiles on the models’ faces when they look through a set of photos, after all their hard work, is all that matters,” said Radulescu.
Radulescu is one of the photogrpahers who will be joining the famed event called Destination Maxim ‘21, next year, in Thailand. The event has been described by some, as being a paradise on earth for fourteen days, hanging around a dozen beautiful models, and learning from some of the best photographers in the industry.
PLAYBOY SOUTH AFRICA
“This shoot was easily the most fun of the three, because it was in a private villa of a luxury hotel, and I didn’t feel so stressed about the difficult outdoor conditions being in the way. We had music playing and the atmosphere was more relaxed. I did feel pressure, however, because this was Playboy, after all. It was a surreal experience shooting for Playboy because it had always been such a famous magazine growing up, and I’m sure every boy and man’s dream was to take part in this. It was exciting for both myself and the model, Sofi Pototska, as it was our first Playboy shoot ever. Sofi Pototska is the youngest Playboy cover model of all time, at only 21 years old, but despite being so young, she was very professional,” said Radulescu.
Gabrielr Photography has limited availability for the rest of 2020. He is also currently busy with organizing his next masterclass which will take place on October 16th and 17th in Dubai, and still has a few spots available.
To book a shoot with Gabriel Radulescu in Dubai or abroad, or to sign up for his next masterclass, please visit his website grphotoshoot.com or message him on Instagram @gabrielrphotography.