Technology may have made taking images intuitive and fun but it takes a talented eye to capture a moment; not just any moment but one charged with emotion. Hakeem Adewumi may just be at the start of his journey but his eye for encapsulating the human experience in one shot is a gift that most photographers learn over a lifetime. Hakeem's portfolio expresses his versatility as a photographer. It is encouraging to see such fresh talent, one that is dedicated to the honoring and preservation of the beauty and complexity of the African diaspora. We let Hakeem do the talking...
For those who are not aware of you, please provide a brief introduction to yourself and your work?
Hello! My name is Hakeem Adewumi and I am a digital photographer from Dallas, TX. I am currently working towards a Bachelors degree in African & African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas to use as a foundation in my work. I want my work to articulate the essence of humanity, arresting the viewers mind to re-‘imagine’ and re-‘member’.
How did you get into photography and where would you like it to go?
I first got into photography after my cousin gave me his old Nikon d40 in 2009. It was my first DSLR and I fell in love with the camera’s capabilities; although now they are subpar in this changing market! Ever since, Ive been producing images from weddings to televised broadcasts.
I would like my work to take me to National Geographic; I love meeting people and engaging with different cultures. I also find it liberating to create my own images, allowing me to tell stories that may otherwise be unwritten.
What portfolio pieces are you most proud of and that you feel really embodies your creative spirit?
I am proud of all of my work. It may take me some time to appreciate it but I’m proud of the process and my growth as a photographer. I am MOST proud of a piece titled, ‘Boys in the Rain’ taken on a study abroad trip to Nicaragua, Central America.
How would you describe your approach to capturing a moment? What are you trying to capture?
Capturing a moment requires speed and intuition. You have to predict whats going to happen next and be ready. Always ready.
In a short phrase, how would you describe your work?
Afro-centric: A style of photography that is not always in touch with the ‘Black’ body but a style that is written as a new narrative; a narrative that for centuries has been left out of consideration.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in using photography as a medium and how have you overcome it?
I have a few BIG projects coming up and sometimes I lose confidence in myself. Every now and then I have to look back over years of work to see my progress and realize that I’m only getting better. There is no need to deny myself the right to do and be better.
Where would you ultimately want to do with your skills as a photographer? Where do you want your work seen?
I ultimately want to create a visual history book and have my work featured in art galleries! Oh, and I want people to walk into Oprah’s house and say, “Ooooh, is that an H. Adewumi piece?” And her response would be “Yeah, I had to buy another one!” LOL