13 Nov, 2023

Frans Lanting and Fatima AlMosa HIPA’s Special Awards Recipients

Margaret Steber grabs the Content Creator Award

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the Special Award recipients for its twelve season of competition ‘Diversity’. This season again features three Special Awards including the ‘Photography Appreciation Award’, ‘Photography Content Creator Award’, the ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award.’ The Special Awards are presented by HIPA to photographers and institutions that have contributed positively to photography as an art-form and industry.

The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ was awarded to Dutch photographer Frans Lanting, recognizing his career as a professor and expert in it. He won dozens of prestigious awards, titles and honors, and some of his books were considered among the most influential in the twentieth century, and he was credited with attracting global attention to important environmental issues.

The ‘Photography Content Creator Award’ was awarded to American photographer Margaret Steber, as she was described by National Geographic magazine in 2013 as a ‘visionary’. She is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, in addition to her work for Newsweek and the Associated Press. Her photographs are displayed in several prestigious places in the world, including the US Library of Congress. Maggie has won dozens of prestigious awards and traveled through more than 70 countries and cultures, experiencing thousands of stories and translating them into the language of images with a visual mastery that is difficult for any photographer to match, for more than three decades.

The ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ was awarded to Emarati photographer Fatima AlMosa. In appreciation of her radiant artistic presence through a visual methodology that relies on black and white, away from the distraction of colours, and her creativity in evoking the past, commemorating history, and embodying the heritage of previous generations, their culture, and their way of life. Fatima also aspires to share her heritage and culture through her work, and to shed light on the values of harmony and coexistence that she is proud of. She believes that photography is a universal language, and intends to play an essential role in supporting mutual understanding and respect between different cultures of the world.

In response to being awarded, Dutch photographer Frans Lanting said, “Receiving HIPA’s Appreciation Award is an honor I accept with gratitude. I use my work to express wonder about the natural world and concern about the perils it faces. This award validates my belief that photography is a global language which can connect people everywhere.

In response to being awarded, the well-known photographer Margaret Steber, from USA said, “I have made it part of my photographic life, as I moved forward to move others forward in this highly competitive business of photography. I always work behind the scenes because it’s a joyful act for me.  We can’t help everyone but we can change many photographers’ lives for the better.  I am very grateful to HIPA for this generous award. It is a very generous recognition of those of us who work quietly for the next generation of visual creators”.

In response to being awarded, Emarati photographer Fatima AlMosa said, “I extend my sincere gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, Patron of HIPA. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the Board of Trustees and the wonderful team for the great value and support that ‘HIPA’ provides to the photography community at the global level. Thank you for encouraging and supporting art, culture and innovation. HIPA holds a very special place in our hearts. Words cannot express the pride and honor I feel. Winning means for me to be praised, appreciated, and honored for my hard work over the years in which I was motivated by passion”.

She added “Photography is a fine art and a language that all people understand. It comes from within the soul, and has internal feelings and expressions. The world is full of stories to tell and inspiration is all around us. I look forward to conveying a positive image and being an ambassador for purposeful actions based on the values of goodness, tolerance and mutual respect with the cultures of different countries in the world”.

The Secretary General of HIPA, His Excellency Ali bin Thalith said, "We are pleased to announce special award winners for this season, who succeeded in presenting influential and contemporary photographic contributions that touch on issues of priority for the people and the nation. By honoring these notable individuals, we aim to provide commendable examples of the extent of their contributions to the global photography industry and their support for all interested photographers from all over the world”.

Bin Thalith added “Honoring these creators in three special award categories is at the heart of HIPA’s message, which is inspired by the thought of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and patron of the award, in supporting the arts, encouraging cultural and cognitive creativity, and advancing the wheel of work, acquisition and achievement. We are proud to have an Emirati Arab personality with a promising artistic streak on the list of winners. This is a shining example of the creativity and art that is flourishing in the region. We both commend and support our emerging talent to achieve their ambitions within the international photography industry.”



Frans Lanting | Holland

Frans Lanting is a master of his craft, and his work has inspired and amazed people all over the globe.

His photography is known for its stunning beauty, technical brilliance, and deep respect for the natural world. Frans possesses the unique ability of capturing the very essence of his subjects, whether they are animals, landscapes, or people.  According to The New York Times, “Mr. Lanting’s photographs take creatures that have become ordinary and transform them into haunting new visions.”

Frans’s remarkable career is marked by an impressive list of achievements, including top honours from World Press Photo, the title of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award.  He has been honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London and is the recipient of Sweden's Lennart Nilsson Award. In 2001, H.R.H. Prince Bernhard inducted Frans as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the Netherlands' highest conservation honour, to celebrate his contributions to nature conservation.

Frans’s books have received awards and acclaim. His book ‘Eye to Eye: Intimate Encounter With the Animal World’ was named as one of the 50 most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.

Frans's contributions to photography are truly global.  He has helped create a leverage for conservation efforts. He did pioneering work in Madagascar where he documented wildlife and tribal traditions never photographed before.  His celebrated coverage of the Okavango Delta in National Geographic has been credited with inspiring a surge of international interest in wildlife and conservation in Botswana. Frans’s works also includes profiles of ecological hot spots from India to New Zealand, the nearly extinct Asiatic cheetahs in Iran and a remarkable study of chimpanzees in Senegal that shed new light on human evolution.

Frans Lanting's photographs and legacy continue to inspire photographers worldwide, thanks to his deep dedication to our planet's beauty and diversity.



Margaret Steber | United States of America

Margaret Steber, popularly and affectionately known by her peers as Maggie Steber, is an acclaimed and internationally recognized documentary photographer. Her photographic journey includes working in over 70 countries; delving into and photographing the depths of human condition and experiences.

A Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a one of National Geographic Magazine’s 'Woman of Vision', Maggie’s work is a testament to her unwavering commitment to storytelling, capturing narratives of resilience, cultural vibrancy and the determined spirit that binds us all.

Maggie’s was named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist (2019) for a three-year project on face transplants. She received the National Geographic Photographer’s Photographer Award (2018) and the Lucie Award for Photojournalism (2019). Her accolades also include the Leica Medal of Excellence, World Press Photo Foundation Awards, POA Pictures of the Year Awards, Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri, the Alicia Patterson Grant, the Ernst Haas Grant and a Knight Foundation Grant.
Furthermore, Maggie’s captivating photographs and book inspired the creation of the Webbie Award-winning film ‘Madje Has Dementia’. This film chronicles her mother's nine-year journey through memory loss, capturing the essence of their melancholic voyage.

For over three decades, Maggie has worked in Haiti. Aperture Foundation published her monograph ‘Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti’; a collection of photographs made from 1986 at the fall of the 30-year regime of the Duvalier family in Haiti.

Maggie’s photographs have been exhibited in more than 95 exhibitions around the world and in the United States to this day. Her works are included in the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim Foundation Collection and the Richter Library Collections at the University of Miami.

Maggie’s most recent work was an online story on ‘Florida’s Largest Ever Python: The Untold Story of its Discovery’ in June 2022.


Fatima AlMosa  | United Arab Emirates

Fatima AlMosa, an Emirati photographer from Abu Dhabi, has firmly established herself as a prominent figure in the world of artistic photography, particularly in the realm of street photography where her true talent shines. Her rise can be attributed to her exceptional artistic vision, unwavering passion for photography and exceptional skills.

Fatima’s journey began in her childhood, where she found herself captivated by the power of photography; deciphering the meaning and the emotional connection behind these images. In 2015, she launched her artistic career by acquiring her first professional camera, a Leica Q camera. With dedication and diligence, she learned to use this distinct camera and explored the vast realm of photography.

Fatima soon discovered that she had a special affinity for black and white photography which allowed her to clearly express her vision of the world. By removing distracting colours, other elements become apparent, including the subject of the image, textures, shapes, patterns, and compositions. To her, monochrome photography produces timeless works that appeal to the senses.

Fatima's work reflects her desire to conjure the past and immortalize history; offering glimpses into the heritage, culture, and lifestyles of earlier generations. By sharing and documenting diverse cultures and heritage from around the world, she hopes her photography fosters respect and tolerance.

With her camera in hand, Fatima travels the world with an openness and positivity. She believes that the world is brimming with untold stories, and draws inspiration from her love of black and white photography. Her ultimate goal is to publish a book that showcases her remarkable collection of black and white photographs, that radiates a positive message.


Fatima’s work has been exhibited at prestigious venues such as Leica at the Address Hotel and Dubai Mall under the name ‘Delight for the Soul’ (2016). She has also participated in the Sikka Art exhibition in Dubai’s Al Bastakiya (2018) as well as in the first exhibition of women photographers organised by the Emirates Photography Society (2019).