Photography in the Northern Region is taking a different trend as people in the region are beginning to accept the beauty and exclusive quality a digital camera gives compared to a mobile phone as they understand that a memory is best saved in a picture. Photography is gaining popularity across the region mostly in the field of marriage ceremonies.
In the last few years, we have had photographers rising up and demonstrating their talent through the images they capture. Every photographer in the region is driven by a common force, ‘passion’. Though there are various reasons why they started photography, they still have a common goal to satisfy customers, tell stories through images and be the best versions of themselves in their careers.
Mandeiya is the founder of Kasi Studios. He has been in the photography business for three (3) years now.
It took him almost 2 years to learn this art as he mostly learnt from
YouTube. The self-taught photographer’s first love was filmmaking.
During the process of learning filmmaking, he stumbled on photography
and decided to give it a go. Kasi Studios focuses on portrait
photography. Mandeiya is currently working on multiple photo projects.
Mandeiya’s work is appreciated across the continent. The CEO of Kasi has
worked with Jeffrey Peters from the USA. He describes his experience
with Peters as a “complete new experience”. Mandeiya is hoping that
through his photography he will become a household name.
Geoffrey Buta, a photo
journalist is the founder of Buta Photography. His
passion for photography grew after he handled a friend’s camera after
senior high school. Though his father was a photographer, he didn’t
inherit his photography skills from him. He is self-taught and still
learns in the course of his work. Buta likes to think of himself as a
jack of all trades in photography. His studio is located at Kalpohini
Estates, Tamale. Buta Photography has eight (8) awards to its credit and
counting. Buta recently held an exhibition to raise funds to help the
Zagyuri Primary School in the Northern Region. Buta has not only made a
name for himself in the northern region, he is known nationally and
beyond the borders of Ghana. Buta Photography has demonstrated that the
arts specifically photography can be used to propel change and drive
development towards marginalized communities.
The final year nursing student of the University for Development
Studies, Osman Alem Razak, started Winpersia Photography a
year ago. Winpersia is a widely known name on campus and is gradually
being recognized in the region and beyond. Growing up, Osman had great
passion for photography and as a social media person, he followed top
photographers to learn from them. After a few encounters with some of
the top photographers, Osman says he has learnt remarkable things from
them and is still learning as “every day is a learning process”.“I see
photography as a way of communicating ourselves and the environment to
the outside world and that is my primary inspiration,” Osman gushed.
Winpersia hopes to be a household name in the next a few years.
Nana Kyei , the CEO of Wear Nation founded Captured
to cut down the costs of running his clothing line. One of the ways to
promote his first love “Wear Nation” is by projecting his designs
through pictures. As time went on, people contacted him for photo
shoots. According to Nana Kyei, even though he is not into photography
for commercial purposes, he sees a future in photography as he has grown
to love the art. Apart from shooting for his clothing line, Nana Kyei
specializes in wedding photography. He uses his /Wear House/ as his
studio most of the time. He is also an outdoor photographer.
Nana Kwesi , an MPhil candidate of
the University for Development Studies and graphic designer, is the
brain behind KwesiHassan Photography. The upcoming black and white
street artist who has recently started experimenting in portrait and
retouching is self-taught. Photography for Nana Kwesi began as he
transitioned from graphic designing to the image manipulating of craft
shot by other professional photographers. His curiosity about how
photographers made pictures look how they appear birthed KwesiHassan
Photography. Nana Kwesi owns a home studio and hopes to hold a photo
exhibition in the near future.
Nzemahene Photography is owned by Prince Ackah Blay. Photography for him started as a hobby and eventually turned into a
career. A former teacher but now a full time photographer and video man,
his passion for photography transitioned into a job when he helped a
camera man work on pictures and videos. After being praised for the
pictures taken, he decided to go into full time photography. Though he
chose the name /Nzemahene Photography/ to give people from an Nzema
background the spirit to go into photography, his work is based in
Tamale. He has a studio at Lameshegu. Ackah Blay has been receiving
messages across the continent showing appreciation for his work.
According to Blay, it takes passion and talent to get into photography
and the fulfillment he gets in his art comes directly from the feeling
of content on the faces of his clients. He believes that the power of
his art manifests when a client takes a memory (picture) from work he
did ten years ago and feels the same joy as when it was taken.
Kwame Akuoku Acheampong the son of veteran photographer and founder of I.K. Photos, has clearly
been in the field of photography for quite some time. After taking
pictures for a friend’s wedding, he decided to engage in professional
photography, hence AbdulHameed Photography. Though he used to work for
his father, he honed his editing skills with the help of the internet.
Acheampong whose photo studio comes from his Muslim name, Abdul Hameed,
sees photography as a call from above as his initial objective was to go
into filmmaking. AbdulHameed photography does event photographs. Even
though he has not worked on projects outside Ghana, he receives
contracts from outside the country which clearly shows how good and how
widely known his work is. The appreciation of a client’s photo makes
Abdul Hameed push harder and do better. According to Abdul, the reason
why AbdulHameed has become a household name is because he does more
work in Muslim marriage ceremonies, while other photographers focus more
on Christian weddings and modern photos. Though he is often connected to
his father, he has carved a niche for himself by taking advantage of
modern photo technology, social media and new media to stand out and
make a name for himself beyond his father’s shadow.
Many of these photographers have a lot in common as they are self-taught
and also learn from each other through the network they have built in
the region. To each photographer, every day is a learning process and
they are not happy until their clients put smiles on their faces when
they receive their photos. These artists have collaborated on a number
of projects. They have also taken advantage of social media to promote
their art. Missing from this profile are female photographers and we
hope that more female artists are mentored and groomed to add diversity
to the industry. Hopefully, the next time we take a look at photography
in the region we will have female photographers to boast of.
Nonetheless, let’s celebrate the work of these artists by supporting
their projects and patronizing their services.
About the Writer
Precious Yinmbey Awuni is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She’s interested in
photography, music and broadcasting.