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Behind the lens with Oluwaseye Olusa

Creative Feel’s vibrant, yellow May cover featuring Nomzamo Mbatha, has been one of our most talked about, with many asking us who took the photograph. Creative Feel sat down with the photographer, Oluwaseye Olusa, to find out a bit more about him. 

Oluwaseye Olusa photographer photography Africa
Oluwaseye Olusa

Creative Feel: Tell us a bit more about how you got your start in photography. Was it something you have always been passionate about? What was your first photography job?
Oluwaseye Olusa: I used to work in film and while working on music videos back in the 1990s, I would always have my camera on me and I used to take a lot of pictures. That was how I developed my love for photography. I didn’t go to school for photography. I was actually preparing to go to medical school when I switched to film production. Pretty much everything I know about photography was self-taught (a lot of money was invested in art and photography books). I would just go out and shoot, shoot, shoot. The books taught me about techniques, light, composition, etc. My first job was actually with Def Jam records, shooting set photography on their videos.

CF: You are originally from Nigeria but are now based in New York. Was the move a big adjustment or did it feel like home straight away? Do you miss Africa?
OO: The move to NY was actually not that big of an adjustment for me as I’ve always travelled back and forth from Nigeria (I spent some of my younger years at boarding school in England). Do I miss Africa? Absolutely, and I plan to do more projects on the continent this year.

CF: How would you describe your style of photography?
OO: Colours, Colours, Colours. I love colours and I think it shows in my work.

Oluwaseye Olusa photographer photography Africa Nomzamo Mbatha
Ousmane Mbaye, Nomzamo Mbatha and Oluwaseye Olusa

CF: For the photograph you took of Nomzamo Mbatha that was on our May cover, you collaborated with Senegalese furniture designer Ousmane Mbaye and Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk. Do you regularly collaborate with other African creators?
OO: I do collaborate with a lot of African creators as I have been doing for about 20 years now and I have a lot of collaborations planned for the immediate future.

CF: Is there someone on your ‘wishlist’ whom you hope to work with or collaborate with in the future?
OO: I would still love to photograph Barack and Michelle Obama and I know that will happen very soon. 

CF: What is your favourite part of your job as a photographer?
OO: One of my most favourite parts of my job as a photographer is the fact that I’m never bored. I can choose the projects that I work on and, from time to time, I can also switch up what I photograph or what style I photograph in.

CF: And what are your plans for the next few months?
OO: I have a few shoots booked for the next couple of months and I’m hoping to still have enough time to do some of my personal projects that I have been planning and hoping to get done.

CF: Where can our readers find you online?
OO: I just finally put my website back up and am constantly updating it and still adding new things: www.TheOluwaseye.com 

To keep up-to-date with the latest arts and culture news in South Africa, purchase the July 2019 issue of Creative Feel or subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 to R365.00 per year! SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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