January 4, 2011

A Look Through My Lens, Part 1

I am someone who is greatly inspired by photography. The power that a single photo possesses cannot always be put into 1,000 words, although the infamous saying states otherwise. There are some photos that you see that are just so striking, you can’t even find any words to describe the way that they make you feel. Unfortunately, I was not born with the amazing photographic skill that so many individuals out there are born with. However, I do have this lovely blog here where I have the opportunity and the privilege to display all kinds of amazing people who are so skilled at their craft, including photographers. I feel that photography is such an important art form and that there are so many amazing photographers whose work does not get the attention that it deserves (which makes me sad).

Since it is a brand new year and since I am continually trying to switch things up and incorporate a wide variety of posts, I have decided to start a new set of features entitled A Look Through My Lens. The goals of this initiative are simple: to provide a platform for photographers, both professional and amateur, to showcase their work & to inspire. I am so pleased with the first 2 photographers I have to present to you all, their work is truly incredible. I asked them both about 6 questions and their responses to those questions will accompany their photos. 
So without further ado, here is A Look Through My Lens, Part 1: Nakeya Brown from New Jersey & Shako Oteka from the DR Congo.



I have been doing photography for about four years. I took an Intro. to Photography class my senior year. I wanted something that was fun and didn't require any drawing. After the class ended I still continued taking photos. I would post them on my Facebook, Blogspot, and Flickr pages. Before I knew it people started to recognize me as a photographer. It wasn't until I was in undergrad did I start to recognize myself as a photographer. 
The bulk of my work is portraiture with fashion undertones. I shoot a lot of women. Most of them are my friends who are gracious enough to be my muse. I also shoot documentary photography.  I like to go out and shoot my environment, the people I encounter, the places I see.


It’s difficult to select three words to classify my style. I do think my photos have certain elements that help identify them as a photo created by Nakeya B. One would be my use of natural light. I rarely use strobes, flashes, or any other sort of artificial lighting. Two would be my subjects. Most of them are women of color. Three would be the absence of a studio setting. I shoot primarily on location.
I really enjoy photographing people. Landscapes and architecture are beautiful but working with people is far more interactive and exciting. Ideas are constantly being bounced between myself and my subject.


I admire Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson and Renee Cox. Although they don't shoot fashion, their work brings the hardships they encountered as black women to the forefront. Their work stands for something and for that reason I have an immense amount of respect for them.
I shoot with a Nikon d80. I work with one lens a fixed 50mm. I'm comfortable with the hardware and it gets the job done. I also have a Minolta Maxxim which is my 35mm film camera.




I have been a photographer for 5 years. Actually, I think Photography chose me. To be honest, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I started a T-shirt line about 5 years ago and needed photos for them. I bought a camera to photograph the shirts. Everyone loved it and Oteka Photography was born.
I like fashion editorial photography. But what I love the most is to do conceptual shoots that engage social issues, challenge stereotypes, and push me creatively.


My work is minimalist, conceptual and artistic. 
I love contrast because it shows how unpredictable beauty is, and I strive to capture the capricious nature of beauty found in the subject at hand.


Hands down my favorite photographer is Gordon Parks. I think this quote illustrates why. “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs” Gordon Parks' photos reflect how I feel about empowering those with no voices and challenge common ideologies. I also love Lope Navo. His creativity pushes the envelope and provides new and interesting interpretations to common themes.
The main camera I use is Nikon D300, but I also use a medium format camera Mamiya 645. I like Nikon the most because of the sharpness of the image and the speed, plus the D300 was my first camera. I try to stay faithful to my first love. Since I’m somewhat of a purist, I use the medium format film camera to give me a more raw and organic image.


If you are a photographer who would like to be a part of the 'A Look Through My Lens' series, please contact me at thatgoodtimes2@gmail.com and we will go from there.


69 comments:

  1. Dee, I think it is absolutely amazing what you are doing exposing so many talented people to your readers. I have never seen such fantastic photography in my life! This is so inspiring and I hope a lot of photographers take advantage of this opportunity! I know I would!!

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  2. What a great post. I think its great doing posts on great talents.




    Fashion Rehab

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  3. Wow, those pictures are STUNNING. I hope you have an amazing 2011.

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  4. What an amazing idea! I've always admired those who do photography because not many people have a good eye for it. Anyone can take a picture, but a photo is something not many people can do well. I have a Nikon D3000 that I have to use with a self timer. Shoot, I wish I could get a nice photo like these. Great photography, and what inspiring and intelligent responses.

    Sarah Jane R.

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  5. I think what you decided to do with this posts is really admirable and I really respect and applause you for that...keep up the good work and I would be definetely checking out everyone of the posts you make!

    xx
    Andy

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  6. Love the pics. Those are awesome.

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  7. Yemi U.1/04/2011

    What a thoughtful initiative and an inspiring one at that! I absolutely love this!! These photos are stunning :) Great work!

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  8. Love the inspirational work... totally awesome!!!

    Cheers,
    kDrs

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  9. This is an awesome post. When I saw the title from my dashboard I def. got a feeling it would be something that would spark my interest. Both of these people are beyond dope.

    Hopefully I could be a part of this section one day.

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  10. I love the post!, great photography!

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  11. That third picture? SO FIERCE!

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  12. Hey Dee, thanks for featuring my work! Oh yeah, cool blog!

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  13. WOW. This is so inspirational! I don't even know what else to say..I'm actually speechless! Who would come up with such a great idea like this besides Miss GOOD GOOD lol! Both of these photographers are excellent. I actually got the Nikon D300 for Christmas so now I feel inspired to take some great photos (they most likely won't turn out this stunning though lol). Thank you once again for exposing us to great talents!

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  14. I just LOVE reading your posts and I think I tell you this every time lol. You manage to find the most amazing talents! :)

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  15. great pictures... love this post!

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  16. Thank you guys so much for your kind words, I am so touched that this post is inspiring some people :) Like I said, this is only Part 1 so I can't wait to see what kind of talent the future will bring. Again, if you are interested, just shoot an e-mail to thatgoodtimes2@gmail.com and I'll see what I can do!

    And you are so welcome Shako!

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  17. Anonymous1/05/2011

    equally amazing :)

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  18. Love those pics!

    Thank you for commenting on my blog!
    Beyondfashion-emily.blogspot.com
    Love Emily,xx

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  19. This blog is amazing! Thank you for stopping by me, now i'm following you ;)

    Marc.

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  20. Glad to find your blog.. Your photos are very pretty.. and surely you are very talented.
    LOx

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  21. Absolutely gorgeous work!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  22. ur blog is awesome !! love the types of photos !! XOXO from spain

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  23. amazin post and blog here dear!

    lovely pics and stylin:)

    pls come visit and join

    kiss

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  24. Love the photos!
    Happy New Year!
    x

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  25. This is so inspiring i can't wait to see more!!!!

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  26. Such a different and creative blog! Love the work from this post! The shots are stunning! :)
    Great stuff!
    XX

    Follow my blog if you like?
    http://fortheloveoffashionandotherthings.blogspot.com
    Enter my gossip girl giveaway!

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  27. Great new feature, can't wait to see more!
    Both of these photographers are so amazing and inspiring.
    I love the Gordon Parks quote that Shako Oteka mentioned : )

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  28. What a magnificent post! I love the idea of featuring photographers, I think this is so original!!

    My cousin is actually a photographer, I will let him know about this asap. :)

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  29. Happy New Year Dee! I can't believe it's the end of a decade, beginning of a new one! I'm so excited for 2011, and I'll be tuned into that good good as usual!

    I'm excited for this series!! Those women are talented and intelligent! So inspiring!

    I wish you all the best in 2011, stay positive!

    -Kris

    http://thekrisbliss.blogspot.com
    :)

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  30. thanks! nice pics :) have a great week!

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  31. Awesome post!! I love Nakeya!!!!

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  32. Such a great idea, I am in love with the first shot. It caught my breath the second I saw it, just stunning. Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it!

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  33. loves all the pictures, in LOVE with all the pictures!Both photograpers have that GOODGOOD Factor :-)

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  34. What a great feature! I love their photography and both of them are so talented! I respect them for using their photography to challenge the ideas of beauty! xoxoxoxo

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  35. I love her photography!!!
    xx

    Rosa

    My Stylish Little Secret
    http://mystylishlittlesecret.blogspot.com

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  36. these pictures are fabulous x

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  37. They are both amazing photographers! Some people are just born with an artistic eye eh?

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  38. Thank you all so much for your comments, they really means a lot to me! :)

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  39. these are such aMAZING photos. thanks so much for sharing. fantastic blog!
    hope you're having a good week dear
    xx

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  40. I'm so in love with this initiative!
    I'm not a photographer but I will come and check for more awesome shots
    xxx

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  41. I love your idea for a photography feature. And the pics featured in this post were great. I think my fave here was the one of the girl posing in the striped leotard. So glamorous and yet cute. Keep up the good work.

    http://mystylecanvas.blogspot.com

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  42. i like it, keep up the good work Dee O

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  43. wow! these are truly amazing! I am just beginning photography, and I can't wait to explore this new world :)

    www.passportsandprada.com

    xoxo Summer

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  44. Good photography a definitely an art. I know so many local photographers that are really good at their art. Maybe one day I will feature them. Since my blog highlights creativity. Anyway, I LOVE all of the pictures. They are really good at what they do. I'm glad you are featuring good talent like this.

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  45. thanks for stopping by :)
    love the photos!

    http://www.aliavenue.blogspot.com/

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  46. I love this post! Looking forward to seeing more :) Following

    Love, Vanilla

    http://vanillaheartsstyle.blogspot.com/

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  47. Lovely images, I really want to learn more about photography and get myself a decent camera. Great to see so many black models too!

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  48. You chose 2 wonderful photographers. I think both have a specific signature - and I'm happy they use Nikons (like me :).

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  49. Dee, Everytime I come visit your blog I get blown away by all the wonderful and unknown to me talents you feature. All I can say is that I was very lucky to have come across your blog in 2010 and look forward to many more wonderful posts from you this year.

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Love

    Tashrin from Toronto, Canada

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  50. wow!!! these photos are absolutely amazing!!

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  51. wow! i was gonna start by listing how much i loved the 1st, 3rd ...pics but then I realised i lost count. They are all so fabulous and talented!

    Love your blog too for providing this avenue for great artists like them and true appreciators of beauty, like myself xx


    http://say-bleurgh.blogspot.com

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  52. Good stuff! I love great photogs
    The side profile pics are dope...

    ~Sherine
    Check out my blog!
    Confessions Of A City Girl

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  53. omg!!
    this photography is soooooo amazing and inspiring I hope you dont mind us usine some for out tumblrs..

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  54. Wow!! Seriously Wow!!! I love all of these! I just want to stare at them over and over!! I am excited about this new feature!
    AND Happy New YEar girl!!!!

    XX

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  55. Thank you all so much for these comments! I really enjoy reading them!

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  56. Amazing pics, psot and blog too. I follwo you (I love your blog) and I'd like to thank you for your lovely comemnt ohn my blog...

    Bye,
    Edoardo.

    http://fashiondoesntexist.blogspot.com/

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  57. that picture of the girl in the glitter dress, surounded by businessmen is awsome !

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  58. Ooh woow gorgeous pictures and amazing blog!!! I will come back for sure!!

    Thanks for you comment!

    xx

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  59. wow these are stunning!

    Missy
    Enter my £50 giveaway!
    http://thefashionfusion.blogspot.com

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  60. Absolutely stunning selection oh photos! x

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  61. amazing pics! you are an artist!

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  62. those shots are really amazing! you're so talented. definitely waiting for another great shots from your blog :)
    new follower here.

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  63. All of these photos are absolutely stunning!

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  64. She is very talented. How you doin darling?
    http://mypretaporterblog.blogspot.com/

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  65. owh my days ...alll your posts are ridiculously amaaazing.. i dont knw which is my fave but this is defiantly one of them..good job
    visit and follow me at
    cocochocolate1st.blogspot.com

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