Location: London, United Kingdom.
Education: Joint honors degree in media, culture and communication, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
Career path: When I was between six and twelve, I would always be the first to volunteer to take pictures of people having a good time at family gatherings. The more I would be complimented on for my “eye,” the more it fueled my confidence to study photography academically. However, with creative endeavors, I kept reading that you should actively invest in them as well, so I would create my own little shoots and projects on the weekends and post them to social media. I began talking to new people at galleries and via social media, establishing connections with other like-minded people. This developed into working with other people to create a project, which then had a snowball effect of people asking me to shoot for brands, companies and individuals.
My joint honors degree looked at various aspects of the media industry from photography to filmmaking to website building to blogging. We studied the complexities of how social and cultural demands impact digital media forms by examining the technological advances we have seen in recent years, as well as policies and practices that drive contemporary media communications. This degree really taught me how to analyze media and how to encourage change in areas I didn’t agree with. My mum is a lawyer and always taught me to speak out on what I thought was wrong or could be redefined as something better. Even if it is just my voice or my skill being used as a tool, someone will see or hear it.
Artistic influences: I’ve always been a very visual person. Growing up, I would seek different art forms—like paintings, sculptures, photography and installation art—that illustrated history, people and cultures. Photography connected with me the most and has been a strong avenue to both teach and inspire me as a person. In particular, portrait photography captivates me as it evokes so much expression and feeling through the sole presence of that chosen individual. Artists such as Nadine Ijewere, Bernice Mulenga and Ronan Mckenzie have had a strong influence on me.
Work environment: I work from my home studio when developing my creative ideas. However, to inspire creativity, I definitely need to go outside my home and interact with new feelings. This acts as a catalyst for my growth as a photographer. I love finding new ways to say or show something that has been done 1,000 times previously.
Approach: I think for me, which has identified my approach as a photographer, I’m drawn to focus on the social politics surrounding the people I shoot and how their individual backgrounds have inspired a path to something new, different and changing for them or can change others, whether the person I’m taking images of is widely known or in my circle of friends and family or just an acquaintance. I want to create a safe space for a story to be told in a way that is beautifully captured.
Aspirations: To work with people internationally and invest time in creating bigger projects to be appreciated on a larger scope, and create wider conversations through visual appreciation of photography.
Philosophy: Be honest and be hopeful. Without those two elements as my foundation, I would create something that is distorted and unidentifiable to my audience.