Marrakech Street Photography

The Gentle Approach

These are a few selected images from a recent Frui Photography Trip to Marrakech, the Red City of Morocco, where I led a group of photographers around the city. The winding alley ways in the souks, the bustle of the people and the traffic, and the splashes of colour everywhere you look, make this an incredible Travel Photography destination.

Beggar woman in the souk

Once you get used to avoiding motorbikes zooming down dark, narrow streets, the challenge of photographing the locals, and the "Just later" from every shop, you can start to concentrate on achieving some amazing shots. It takes a considered approach, either parting with some change, buying a gift, or just spending some time with someone tends to make them happier for you to take their photos. Maybe spend the first day wondering about, speaking to the locals and buying a few small items without a camera, show them you are not just there for a quick photo and make that initial connection.

I see this man every time I visit Marrakech, this is from first photo shoot.

My experience of Marrakech has been that generally Arabs and Moroccans don't like their photo being taken. As a photographer, this is a major obstacle you have to overcome. For beggars, street performers and sellers, a small tip is usually fine. What's a few £'s to you if you manage to engage with an interesting character and get some great shots out of it? Be sensible, don't flash too much money, but be respectful too..why should they let you take their photo if they don't gain from it? Shop owners are much happier if you make a purchase from them first become more amenable to the idea of photography. This can be a challenge, but the more time, effort and respect you put into your approach, the stronger your photography will be and the less you will appear to be just another tourist with a camera. You will find you can get past the tough facade and closer to the heart of Marrakech.

A local lady with traditional Berber tattoos 

Sweet stall, sweet guy.

A boy runs through the narrow streets

Women walk in the Badia Palace

The homeless sleeping on the cold, dark streets.
One way to explore a different side of the city is to see it at a different/strange time of day. Getting up before dawn, wondering the empty streets, and seeing the city wake up and come to life is a magical experience and can make for some great photo opportunities.
Deserted alleys at 5am.

A city asleep
On the way to the Mosque

Dawn break over Jamaa el Fna square

This city, it's people and the stunning locations never cease to inspire me, to push me to further my photographic styles and techniques, to challenge myself, step outside of my comfort zone and still deliver images that I am proud of and stand up by themselves.

The grand Koutoubia Mosque
Stalks at the el Badia Palace
Rooftop Palm, Derb Halfoui
Be brave, be respectful and be friendly - 3 approaches that will let you get out there and take some great shots, so good luck.
For more information on the inspiring photography holidays I host with Frui please contact 0207 241 5006 or email  or
 All photography © Filip Gierlinski

No comments:

Post a Comment