Amel Derragui, the founder and host of Tamdem Nomads, contacted me through a mutual friend.  While we’d never met before, Amel asked me to shoot her portrait for her story about Tandem Nomads for Global Living Magazine. To our surprise, it became the cover story. Access to the full article is available here.

I envisioned doing the shoot outside. When Amel and I met prior to the shoot, I learned more about the significance of this portrait session, and got a clear sense of her personality and her ideas for the magazine.  Amel wanted to give an insider’s perspective about living abroad.  My photographic vision for Amel, a busy multi-tasking global nomad, was a clean natural outdoor look.  I did a beta test with make-up before the shoot so Amel could envision herself the day of the shoot. She immediately said, “Let’s book the date!”.

Amel hosts a podcast dedicated to providing inspiration and tips to expats launching and pursuing their own careers, when they relocate to support the careers of their partners.  On occasion, these moves may take couples to the other side of the globe.  

Amel describes herself as a serial migrant. She has lived in eight countries and met her husband, Michael, in Iran.  When she made the decision to follow Michael wherever his job took him, her entrepreneurial adventure began.

The day of the photo shoot was gorgeous, so we took advantage of the historically rich Brooklyn Heights’ Promenade. This amazing waterfront location exudes the feel of travel.  The greenery surrounded us and the natural light was perfect. Like many who have sat with me to have their portraits done, Amel expressed her nervousness about the idea of being photographed.

Preparation is everything-from planning the scene, to the details of her look, makeup, wardrobe, and the mood I wanted to capture.  Immersed in her surroundings, Amel freely moved around the Promenade, relaxed and natural.  Since there was very little foot traffic, I got great shots of Amel early into our session.

Amel said she felt very comfortable as the hours flew by, and by the end of our session said, “I had an amazing unexpected extraordinary day!”. 

The image where Amel raised her hand to show off her distinct red watch, I knew it was the shot !~ 

The Fredi Brodmann design was inspired by the Vienna NORMALZEIT Cube Clock.  Once a staple of Viennese street design, the clocks are now virtually extinct.  The limited edition watches (only 1,907 were made) honor the clock’s unique history.

I immediately knew the uniqueness of this red Normalzeit watch would pull the story together editorially.  The imagery evoked the spirit of travel, Amel’s expatriate lifestyle, and the significance of time. 

When I shot the image, I pictured red lettering above Amel’s head.  I was tickled that the magazine’s editor and I had the same idea—the title was set in bold red letters above her head. !~ Just amazing.!~

Amel has recently been featured in Forbes Magazine. Congratulations Amel on your continued successes. !~



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