Onyinye Ubah

I am a pharmacist but on the other hand, photography is an escape. It is one of those subtle ways to keep my sanity. It all started when in I was in college. I belonged to a group that required me to take photos. From there, I saw myself taking pictures of anything I considered interesting and fascinating including my car. I would go ahead and blog about it.

It was very satisfying. In time, I took pleasure in capturing black people in a flattering way because there is something unique about the black skin when it’s in front of a camera.

If you pay a close attention, you will understand that photography is subjective and people look at photos in different way. With that in mind as well as the rapidly changing world, it is important for me to be current with the trends and remain relevant. I look for dynamic ways to be consistent in my work so as to create things out of the mundane. One of the dynamic ways for me is in the minor or minimum edits of my works and allowing people to be themselves.

So far in my photography, African culture has been put in the forefront. I think part of the reason is because I grew up in Ghana and somehow, the strong tenets of the culture are still in me. Every time I hold the camera, my focus is in the positive representation of my culture.

It is basically about making black skin and making people to look good. The joy I derive from portraits goes beyond the aesthetics because I capture their emotions in whatever state that people may be. Apart from portraits, I also derive joy in doing Product and aesthetics photography.

When I first embarked on the journey of photography, there was no form of discouragement from any quarters. I have built strong relationships and done some collaboration with other creative people in my industry. I guess most people have accepted it. Even up till now, a lot of people still think that I am a full time photographer.

I love the idea of doing what I want and giving it all the attention and energy it requires though I still practice Pharmacy. The only thing is to plan effectively in such a way that one does not override the other. To an extent, I still do not shoot as often as I want to.

For the couple of years I have done photography, there has never been any time I felt like giving up. Yes, I may leave social media but I cannot leave photography. I carry an underlying message conveyed through my images that black is beautiful. It is a powerful message that has been swept under the rug for many years. This led me to join the fight against social injustice in America few months ago. It is about changing the narrative and interrupting the stereotype associated with the black skin.

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