Photography is recently becoming quite popular amongst millennials. Today, many young Ghanaians proudly call themselves photographers as compared to a few years back when many deemed it unattractive and a job for the older generation
But is being a photographer all about owning expensive cameras and taking beautiful pictures?
Sadly, many young photographers fail to be innovative in what is already a concentrated market. Every young photographer today either wants to be a glamourous wedding or fashion photographer. Whiles they anxiously wait to score a wedding or fashion shoot, many spend hours offering the usual studio portrait sessions.
However, there are several unique and untapped opportunities in photography that are just as lucrative and fulfilling. I am not much of a photographer myself but you would agree with me, that photography is just as much about bringing emotions out of people as capturing beautiful images.
That is the primary focus of every top-notch photographer; to create images that spark emotions in people and this can be achieved in several forms. One great way is to start a photography blog. People usually want to know the stories behind certain pictures as it makes them identify with your work more.
Though Instagram is a great place to show your work, a lot more could be achieved if you had a dedicated blog for your pictures. With a photography blog, you can easily make some of your most valuable works available for sale, get bookings from prospective clients and share some of your expertise with others.
Here are top 5 ideas to inspire your photography journey:
Well this is the most difficult and somewhat most expensive of the bunch, but before you head off to buying a ticket to Rome or Dubai, you can start taking small trips to amazing tourist attractions and sites in the country. Find out everything you can about the place you’ll be visiting preferably from a friend or relative who has already been there. Social media is also a great platform to reach out to others in the place you want to visit. See every trip as an adventure and explore all you can, capturing each person, moment, event or object you find fascinating.
Build relationships with the people you meet and connect with the people you are photographing. Often, successful images of people almost never happen from a distance. It might be quite difficult as well to remember everyone you meet so keep good notes on every trip. Take down names and short descriptions of the people, places and events to help you tell captivating stories.
Most importantly, trust your instincts. Rely on the kindness of strangers but remember to be on guard as unfortunately bad clouds can form and tensions can escalate. Do well to have fun as well on these trips and share your experiences on the blog.
Check out Tanzanian photographer, Sam Vox on Instagram. He is the kind of photographer that sees beauty in the ordinary. Sam’s Instagram account will make you want to pack up your stuff and wander through the world with nothing but a camera and a passport.
Landscapes obviously seem like the easiest of all photographic subjects as you need do little to get a beautiful shot. However, this can be challenging as you need to shoot under the right lighting and find visually compelling locations. This type of photography has become quite popular with the emergence of drone technology and aerial photography, but you need not own a drone to capture beautiful landscapes.
Like travel photography, finding the right kind of landscape to capture doesn’t come by chance. It is key to research on some of the beautiful landscapes in your country or across Africa and google Maps is a great tool to use. People usually fall in love with coastal areas, beaches, rivers, mountains, buildings and even rocks so do well to be well rounded in the locations you visit. It’s best to try different viewpoints as you’ll never know which will speak more to your audience. Also, be creative with the shots you take, that is where the story lies.
One great landscape photographer to look up is Nasrin Suleiman. She’s a Tanzanian photographer that captures the beauty of her hometown, Zanzibar
Often times, the photographs we feel the most connected to are simple. They freeze time, a moment as it is, instead of the contrived editorial work of fashion shoots and ads. Also, known as lifestyle photography, it is the most relatable and often most overlooked subject of photography. It involves capturing little moments in the lives of family and friends, like going out for lunch, kids playing outside, hobbyist in action amongst others.
The possibilities are endless, with everyday photography and it’s a great way to tell stories with the pictures as well. Look for genuine moments and shutter as they happen. It is often great to work with kids since they are more unpredictable and genuine in their expressions. Also, make sure your pictures are a blend between indoors and public shooting.
Don’t take anything for granted, as these little things are usually important traces of life that should be documented. Everyday photography serves the purpose of documenting life honestly and artistically by capturing authentic, usually candid moments as they happen so keep it real.
A young talented lifestyle photographer to follow is Uganda’s Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar. His work has a native influence from the youth and hip-hop culture, people, social motivational causes and diverse forms of expression.
This type of photography requires a lot of skill as most of the time, you’ll be capturing images of moving people and objects. It also requires, anticipating action, so know the sport. A great shooter knows what’s on the line in any given game, he knows the players and also pays attention to what is going on around the field of play. So, do well to capture every expression even with fans of the sport.
Sports photography is a great way to capture raw emotions and tell the story of a game. You can start small with college sports like football and basketball or even at the SHS level. Build up from there and who knows you might be in the big leagues soon. Don’t stick to one kind of sport as different sports carry different expressions and flare.
One amazing sports photographer you can follow is Ghana’s Senyuiedzorm Awusi Adadevoh. She’s doing immensely well as a photojournalist working with Ghana’s Black Stars.
Digital Art Photography
Break free of traditional wedding and portrait photography and delve into Digital Art Photography. This is an artistic work of using digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process of capturing photographs. Simply put, it’s a way of bringing photographs to life by adding a few graphic effects. A fair knowledge of photoshop or other photo editing apps is essential in being a digital art photographer. It is a way of transitioning raw images into beautiful pieces of art.
One example of a great African digital art photographer is Kenya’s Osborne Macharia. Osborne believes his work is governed by 3 key principles; Identity, Culture and Fiction.