I am naturally interested in people who are artistic; I spent three years in the media building surrounded by all the artists and art I could hope for. Romeo stands out because he loves what he does and you can always see the emotions in his work. He’s really kind, thoughtful and down to earth.
It was easy for me to identify with his work because I understand intense emotion and even more personal ideas I see in his work.
I prefer not to say too much because the pictures speak for themselves. Let me introduce you to Romeo Shagba…
RS: First of all, thanks for having me… My name is Romeo Shagba and I’m an abstract fashion and fine art photographer. It’s a mouthful but I can’t describe what I do in one word.
ML: What are you doing at the moment, in terms of work?
RS: Right now I’m working on a personal project here and I’m renewing my contract with Discovery
ML: What do you do for Discovery channel?
RS: I mostly do photography. I follow them and I do behind the scenes or I get behind and do video for the video team
ML: What kind of pictures do you take for discovery?
RS: Sometimes we go on location and we have to shoot for the shows going on or sometimes I’m behind the scenes and I just follow them around and document what is going on
ML: Tell me about Malaysia.. You had to do something in Malaysia right?
RS: I can’t say much so that I don’t spoil it but we spent two weeks in the forest! Being behind the scenes, you just see so many things that you aren’t supposed to and it just ruins it for you but it’s a great experience just following these guys around
ML: How long have you been working with discovery?
RS: Not very long. Not up to a year
ML: How long have you been a photographer and how old are you?
RS: It’s going to be four years in January and 25 years old. Just turned 25
ML: Why abstract portraits?
RS: It goes down a lot to the kind of person I am so I’m very emotionally driven. The decisions I make and a lot of the things I do are based on how I feel so most times I do things and people just look at me like – logically it doesn’t make any sense but to me I feel like I did that thing because I felt like doing it so having all that emotion running through me, I obviously do things in a different way. And that just fills the pictures that I take just because of the way I see stuff
ML: I see a lot of dark pictures
RS: that’s just something that developed on its own and it just happened that way. When I started, I never saw myself turning to… the dark side but I think it’s all the emotion. All the things I was going through when I was learning photography so everything just jumbled together created that style
ML: who are your favorite photographers?
RS: There’s one person I will always mention anytime and this person is called Annie Liebovitz. She did a series called Disney. She has shot everyone from the Queen of England to Beckham to Obama to Nixon. She’s just amazing and when I started out, I was picking up from her style. She has this tendency to create a story. It always feel very grand and even if it’s a small portrait of a person, you always feel like there’s something going on without seeing a description or anything. That whole talent that she has of bringing out stuff that people don’t even know they have in them is something I really, really WISH I could do! I’ll get there one day
ML: What are your tips for taking captivating pictures?
RS: context! Taking a portrait has a lot to do with context and the story behind it so in my case, because of the way I see things, I would probably take a portrait of you on the more emotional side. I might not want you to smile but I would want to have that mood feeling very calm – a happy, calm but not a jovial calm. So that’s my perspective and that’s the context I would put it in and I will mix that context with what I see. So I’ve had conversations with you, I would try to incorporate whatever I just got into that photo but it just has to be you. It just has to feel WARM with the context and the story. There are no exact tips, all the lighting and other technical things is just to add more to the picture. If the person you’re shooting doesn’t come out properly, then all the other stuff doesn’t count.
ML: How do people reach Romeo Shagba to take pictures?
RS: people can reach me through my website, Romeoshagba.com
What do you think about Romoeo and his work?
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