This week we are elated to feature the work of Damola Akintunde, a photographer and member of our Beautiful Community. Damola often photographs herself in beautiful self portraits so we asked her a few questions about her process, inspiration and tips for creating a self portrait.
What does the self portrait process look like for you during this time?
My process is pretty similar to what I did pre self-isolation but I’m definitely more intentional about what I want to convey in my photos. It includes a lot of self exploration as a form of creativity and a very useful way to stay grounded.
What was your inspiration?
I wanted to tap into the more whimsical side of myself through my hair and clothing. Basically finding new ways to physically present myself.
Why create self portraits right now?
I am the easiest subject to connect to right now and it forces me to find new ways to visually represent the emotions I want to tap into during this time.
As a photographer, why did you choose to step in front of the camera?
I chose to step in front of the camera initially out of fear. I was not comfortable enough to document other people when I started to do photography and was more willing to do trial and error with myself first.
Why are self portraits important to you?
Self portraits are important to me because I can use them to explore narratives that are important to me. I have full ownership over the stories I want to portray and it reinforces the authority I have over my lived experiences.
3 Basic tips for creating a great self portrait:
- Great lighting! Lighting is a great way to change the mood or focus in an image.
- Imagine the emotions you want to convey as you are shooting to make it easier.
- Create a mood board with poses for inspiration!
Based in North Carolina, Damola Akintunde is a photographer that utilizes visuals as a form of expression of the self. She uses self-portraiture to capture her own personal story as a Nigerian-American woman, in addition to lending herself as a tool for others to align their self perception with their physical presentation, turning them into art. You can see her work via her instagram.