Minneapolis Lakes Lifestyle



While a young boy in Beirut, Lebanon, Omar Ghrayeb was given a camera, and it changed the trajectory of his whole life. “I’ve always had a camera in a way or another. For a few years, I documented birthday parties, picnics and other happy events,” he says. “As I matured – I’m now 34 – I love going back to those timeline of memories.” 

When he moved to Saudi Arabia, he began taking photos underwater. “I lived there for seven years, and while it's a desert on land, it's heaven underwater,” says Omar. “The Red Sea is there, which is rich in corals and reefs, and it’s where I got my scuba diving license. I then got an underwater casing for my Canon camera back then to document those dives.”

Later, he took his talent from the sea to the air. “I've always been an aviation enthusiast,” he says. “Before drones, I flew radio-controlled airplanes when I was in high school. I also started building airplanes and flying them.”

In 2018, Omar and his wife, Dr. Huda Sheheitli, moved to Miami, Florida, where his wife was doing her medical training. It was only supposed to be for a year, but they decided to stay in the U.S. and make it their home. 

While living in Florida, he received a drone as a birthday gift and decided to combine his two loves – photography and flying – to capture amazing images from above. He went on to get his Part 107 license from the FAA in order to become a licensed drone pilot.

“When I first started flying these drones, I was inspired by the 365 days of summer down in south Florida and my aerial photography was focused on the beach scenes,” he says.

It was during this time that he founded his online business, Ogee Visuals’ Art Gallery, to offer his works to others. 

When he, his wife and son Dani moved to Minnesota in 2020, he was very taken with the changing of the seasons, and when it snowed, he was thrilled. “I was more excited than a three-year-old,” says Omar. “I hadn't lived in a winter city in my entire life before then. I couldn’t wait for the beauty of each season, and I took out my drone many, many times.”

His portfolio grew tremendously, and his photographs began winning national and international awards. His aerial scenery has been exhibited at several galleries in the U.S. and Europe.

“One of my most popular ones is called The Junkyard,” he says. “It's a junkyard of cars here in Minneapolis that are covered in snow along with a yellow forklift. It ended up winning multiple awards and won second place at the Minnesota State Fair in 2022. It's very rewarding for my photos to be recognized by pioneers in photography.”

In addition to displaying his photographs for purchase through Ogee Visuals’ Art Gallery, Omar also showcases his works in many local art shows. “When I was in Florida, I used to participate in smaller scale art shows that were mostly tailored towards tourists on the beach,” says Omar. “It was fun to meet so many people from all over the world. When we moved to Minnesota, I found that the art shows here were of an entirely different scale than what I was used to.”

He applied to several shows last year and was accepted into all of them. “I ended up doing five art fairs, which was really nice. I printed the best of my Florida pictures, the best of my Minnesota aerial shots, and a few abstracts from Lebanon.”

What Omar loves the most about these shows is being able to talk about his photographs with attendees. “While in my booth, I’ve had endless conversations with people about photography and have heard so many nice words.”

When it comes to his intriguing top-down abstracts, he has a description next to each one so people know what they’re viewing. “Each picture has a short story next to it, which kind of opens up a discussion,” he says. 

Omar is scheduled to be at the Edina Art Fair at the end of May and beginning of June, and will be at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival on the Minneapolis Riverfront on June 15 and 16. He will also be at the Minnehaha Falls Art Fair from July 19 to the 21.

Today, he and his wife, and now their two children (4-year-old Dani and 2 ½-year-old Reya), are enjoying their lives in Minneapolis. “We go out to the lakes and parks all the time and to the zoo a couple of times a year,” he says.

Omar loves being a full-time photographer and looks forward to continuing to capture unique and interesting subjects. To see and purchase his incredible photographs, visit with him at one of the local art shows, or go to his website. Sharing his creativity with others brings him a lot of joy and fulfillment. 



Blue Angels







North Shore Rock






Welcome to Lebanon


Lake Harriet


Lake Minnetonka


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