The Youngest Photographer in the Middle East: Youth, Art and Culture in Saudi Arabia

At this year’s Arab Media Forum I met Muteib Alhadeif, the photographer. At the age of 6, he got the title “Youngest Photographer in the Middle East”.

He famously started after he met with Prince Muteib bin Abdullah at a horse riding event who admired this talent and gave him camera equipment as a gift. Today, he is 10 years old and dreams to pursue a career as a cameraman and a photographer.

DR: How did you get the title of “Youngest Photographer in the Middle East”?

ALH: I got it at the age of 6 by attending events in Saudi Arabia. I started to take pictures at the age of 5, as I used to take pictures of everything around me. My breakthrough came when I took a picture of King Salman at a horse riding event in 2015, after he heard of me wanting to become the youngest photographer and enter Guinness Book of Records. After this picture, I was named, “Photographer of Kings.”

DR: How do you train to become a photographer?

ALH: My parents are my biggest supporters. My mother helps me to choose my training courses, events and conferences that I can attend to learn, develop my talent, and at the same time work as a photographer. I try to get in touch with famous photographers whom I admire. I send them my pictures to learn from my mistakes, what I need to do to develop my talent, and what changes I can make to my pictures.

DR: Photography requires intensive work. How do you combine school and photography?

ALH: Thank God, my day is the day of any child. I go to school, play football with my friends, I love riding horses and play on my PlayStation. Photography is my passion and my hobby. When I receive an invitation to attend an event, I can integrate this into my daily routine.

DR: What is your dream?

ADH: My dream is to challenge my position as the youngest Photographer in the ME and make more pictures of more famous places and prominent personalities.

The Youngest Photographer in the Middle East: Youth, Art and Culture in Saudi Arabia DR: What work have you done so far?

ALH: Thank God, I participated in taking pictures for the Handicapped Organization in Riyadh and took pictures of their spouses. I also visited cancer patients in the hospitals and learned the deaf language to communicate with deaf people to tell them about photography. Also, I give courses to children on photography. And as a result, many children are wearing the yellow vest like me. So far, I have got 50 awards and prizes for my work and competitions I attended.

DR: For the near future, what do you aim at?

ALH: I would like to be a member of the Dubai Media Club so I can attend the Arab Media Forum. This is the second year I attend this forum at my expense, and I would like to attend this event.