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 Michael Musah, is the founder of Kasi Studios. Mandeiya 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.