JEDDAH: Salman Khan is at the Saudi Film Festival, held in the King Abdulaziz Culture Center, Ithra, as part of the Sharqiah Season.
Often described as the face of Bollywood, the warm-hearted 53-year-old actor is giving a talk at the Center. He has made at least 80 Bollywood films and produced 30 films via his production company Salman Khan Films.
Khan worked as an assistant director after dropping out of college. His humble start as an actor was in a supporting role in a movie called “Biwi Ho to Aisi” in 1988.
His breakthrough movie was “Maine Pyaar Kiya” (I Loved) in 1989. Since then, he has been landing blockbuster after blockbuster. He is the most popular action hero in Bollywood and his action-packed movies are famed for keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. He has become the star of the biggest fan-base in Bollywood, and an inspiration to the present generation of actors. Even at the age of 53 he still puts up competition as an action hero.
According to the Forbes list of the 100 highest-paid entertainers in the world, Khan ranked 82nd, with earnings of $37.7 million.
Salman Khan also founded the Mumbai-based charity ‘Being Human in 2007, which provides education and health care services for the underprivileged in India.
His fans in Saudi Arabia are beyond excited about his arrival, and tickets sold out almost immediately for his appearance in “An Evening with the Stars.” On the stage he will be talking about his vast career, covering as many details as possible about acting and producing movies.
On Monday the Oscar winning Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. will also take the stage.
This is a huge step in the pro-active persuasion of the Vision 2030, in which Saudi Arabia has been opening doors to different international artists to promote different cultures and forms of art in the Kingdom.
Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer
“There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” says Abdullah Al-Joghiman
Updated 20 February 2020
DHAHRAN: Saudi portrait photographer Abdullah Al-Joghiman has a message for everybody: You are beautiful just the way you are.
If you don’t believe him, let him take your picture.
“Even if you’re not photogenic, or think you look bad in pictures, I can always turn your frown upside down,” he said.
Al-Joghiman is a full-time financial analyst for the Saudi Electricity Co., but allows plenty of time for his work as a freelance portrait and event photographer on the side.
“I started off doing landscape photography, but I love portrait photography more. Landscape photographers have to travel a lot, and I wasn’t able to commit to that lifestyle for many reasons. But since I was a child I’ve always loved taking pictures of people. There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” he told Arab News.
The 34-year-old was born in Al-Hofuf and now lives in Dammam, but his passion for photography has taken him all over the Kingdom and to other areas of the world.
Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.
“It was amazing, I met people from around 20 countries who came to take part,” he said. “It was a great experience.”
Completely self-taught, Al-Joghiman caught the photography bug at college and has been training himself ever since. “I’ve been dabbling in photography since high school, but I started taking it more seriously in college. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012 or 2013,” he said.
Al-Joghiman started off humbly, with a camera-centric smartphone, but has since expanded his collection significantly, and now shoots with a variety of high-tech cameras from Sony. Now he is attracting interest from both local and international sponsors, especially in the gaming and cosplay areas.
“Cosplayers are kind of difficult to shoot because they can be perfectionists, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they see the final pictures. That makes it worthwhile,” he said.
Al-Joghiman is happy that social restrictions on photography in Saudi Arabia are easing, allowing him to find more opportunities to do the work he loves.
“It’s difficult to take pictures of people here, especially strangers, but I can’t really blame them, considering that they are not really used to that in our culture. But things are changing and it’s much easier to be a photographer in Saudi Arabia now,” he said.
Abdullah Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.
He is grateful for the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to revive the Kingdom’s art scene, and has long hoped that photography will become more regulated in the country.
“The market for photography and videography really needs to be regulated. It’s hard enough putting a price on one’s work without scoping out the competition and finding that someone else is charging thousands for just a headshot when I’m doing shoots for two or three hundred,” he said.
“I love my work, and I’d love to be able to do it for free, but at the end of the day I still need to eat,” he said.
Al-Joghiman doesn’t want to limit anyone else’s opportunities but simply wants the playing field evened out a little.
“As a photographer, I just want a fair chance for everyone. More importantly, a client should know exactly what they are paying for,” he said.
His advice to young Saudis looking to become photographers is this: “If you pursue photography, don’t worry. Just do what you love, and if people tell you that they don’t look good in pictures, convince them by taking a picture of them.”