“We were talking with Merlin about her pre-wedding shoot, going through the roster of possible locations in and around Mumbai,” Saketesh of Fotografia9 begins. Merlin remembers “when midway the conversation, Oman came up! And within a few minutes, we were in deep discussion about locations and organizing a schedule there.”
Saketesh had discovered enchanting Oman! “We conceptualized the telling of their love story, using the diverse geological locations Oman provided as backdrop. And what diversity… we were expecting exotic sand dunes and beautiful beaches but had no idea Oman also has some of the highest mountain ranges in the Arabic peninsula. Not surprisingly, we tried to pack in as much as possible in a two day shoot, moving from one unique location to another each day.”
“We embarked on our epic two day road trip, starting out in the Dakhliya region,” the couple says. Team Fotografia9 travelled with the couple between Nizwa Fort, Bahla ruins, the Hatt Canyons and the palm trees of Misfat al Abrynn. “It was a photographer’s delight, those abandoned ruins and spectacular vantage points!” Saketesh enthuses, “One of the highlights that day was a very precarious off-road experience our tour guide gave us, driving through very narrow, single lane mountain roads in order to reach a particular point that he promised “would be worth all this”. And it was! We found this lone massive boulder inexplicably balanced on a cliff with a seemingly endless drop!” The team finished the adventurous day with a spur-of-the-moment sunset shoot on the highway enroute back to the city of Muscat. The photographer beams, “The massive power lines, the colourful skies… they were just a hint of the potential of the scene and we were glad we stopped to shoot.”
There were three diametrically different locations in store the next day. “We landed at Wahiba Sahiba dunes. They’re endless! And the way they suddenly seem to loom up left us completely awestruck,” Saketesh says. But there was one thing they couldn’t have anticipated. The couple recalls how difficult it was to walk even 10 feet up the sandy inclines, “never mind the 100 feet we needed to access for the shot we wanted. What looked like child’s play initially felt like Mt Everest! We somehow managed to heave ourselves and shot there for an hour, utilizing the surreal landscapes to the fullest.”
Post the dunes session, the pre-wedding photographers and the couple headed to Wadi Bani Khalid, perhaps one of the most beautiful oases in the world. “Nothing had prepared us,” Saketesh sighs, “we couldn’t get enough of the crystal clear, green-blue water that seemed to emanate out of nowhere or the ‘pedicure’ fish. The rock formations were a sight to behold! And what a spectacular background. We’d decided on a certain timeline but we couldn’t tear ourselves away… we ended up staying much longer than planned.”
The final pit stop of the day was Oman’s Sur bridge. “We’d been told to expect sunsets with magical palettes and our guides were true to their word – the evening sky was a visual treat that we managed to capture in our photographs of the final part of our trip,” Saketesh says.
So engrossed were they, in the magic of Oman that the crew had to scamper back to just make their flight out! “This trip will remain forever etched in our minds,” the entire team agrees, “and we couldn’t be happier than to share these incredible sights, here.”