In the beginning, I started with painting before going into photography. I joined an art school in 2006. Later I was introduced into photography and I guess that was where the passion started. Professionally, I started photography in 2008. For me, I wouldn’t say I chose photography above other forms of arts because my photography style is a mixture of both photographic elements and painting as well. Even the photo sandwiching the dramatic lightening are all elements you find in other art styles from the early centuries.
My work is a combination of surreal, renaissance and rococo styles. I see a camera as just another style of paint brush. This goes a long way in reverberating that once a painter, always a painter with just difference in tools and materials. In the case of photography, one can say that I am drawing with light.
In my early days in photography, it didn’t go down well with some of my family members. The idea of going to art school alone was opposed because art school was expensive and they did not see how possible it was for a person to make a living from doing arts.
Right now, I am glad that photography proved them all wrong and grateful I was able to follow my heart and passion. Notwithstanding, I experienced a bump in the road that almost made me give up. It was a financial downtime for me.
How did I come back to the game?
There was a client of mine named Christine who was totally obsessed with my photography. She called me for a pregnancy shoot. Though I felt I was no longer doing photograph, somehow, I borrowed a camera from a friend to do her job. I did her pictures and bounced back to the game in 2012. After my come back, I got booked by a couple. I did their wedding pictures using a theatrical style of approach. The pictures went viral on social media. That was the point I realized I had the power within me to influence the art of photography.
Every day, I am still thirsty for more photography knowledge. Each time I go for a photo shoot, I am as nervous as I was when I was doing my first shoot because people are different in terms of character and taste. A person’s performance in the very first shoot determines the next images.
Anytime I stand behind the camera, all I look forward to are images that have the ability to evoke emotions. A great lightening and nice pose are nothing without emotions. So, emotion is key in my opinion. Humanity would bear to see a phone image of a crying baby than an austere portrait of a president.
Recently, I started a foundation called Clicks of Hope. It is a movement that brings photographers, makeup artists and fashion designers to use their skills and expertise to give back to the community in need. We go to orphanages, refugee camps and ghettos to take pictures of them for free. For example, we find single mothers in the ghetto, do a face beat for them, take their pictures and give it to them for free.