I’ve always loved photography, and weirdly, it’s kind of always come back to me in random ways after long breaks. I think that my visual style and interests today have a lot to do with these past experiences.
My first memory of my being interested in photography dates back to years ago. I think I was 6 or 7 using a Hello Kitty film camera taking photos of friends, family, and scenery throughout Dakar. Then, my brother broke it!!!!! (Can you tell I’m still upset??) And I never bought a new one. Oh, what I would do to see those scans again, but with all the moves my family and I have done since, I think they’re unfortunately lost forever.
After that dramatic incident, It took a few years for me to get back into photography. Weirdly but not so coincidentally, it took moving back to Senegal at the beginning of middle school for me to start taking photos again. I started a photography page with a friend, and then ended up creating my own when I left Dakar (Both are still up if you can somehow find them but they’re way too embarrassing for me to deliberately give them away).
I was using digital cameras while running these pages, but eventually stopped using them and just took photos of my friends for fun once in a while. Full circle moment when I moved to Reims: I fell back in love with photography, and specifically FILM!!! At first, I was using disposable cameras then a point and shoot to capture memories with friends, but I started taking it more seriously when I bought a SLR camera and created a page, @viewsin47, to stop spamming my personal account, in the Summer of 2020. Then, I moved to New York, and started calling myself a photographer.
Looking back at these formative years, I think that Dakar, Reims/Paris, and NYC each played a key role in how I take and view my photography today. Dakar definitely had the most influence, which is why I don’t think it was a coincidence that I started (twice) from there.
Visually, I’m very drawn to vivid colors and lighting, and reflections (usually through water and light). Shooting black and white film would be the biggest challenge for me, but it’s something that I’d like to try out soon! As a presque isle filled with colorful fashion, transportation, and architecture, in which the sun shines all year round, Dakar overflows with these. This is why it’s my all-time favorite place to shoot.
Every single time I leave the house without my camera, I regret it. I genuinely get sensory overload when I’m here, but in the best way possible. I’m always feeling inspired to deliver better, more creative photos after a trip home.
Reims (and Paris) made me realize how much I love capturing daily moments with the people that I love.
For those two years studying in Reims, all we had was each other and the memories we were constantly making. If you take a look at my page, you’ll see that my friends and family have always been the main attraction. Looking back at the hundreds of disposables and scans that I have, I’m so happy that I got to immortalize those moments.
It’s also such a great feeling to see how happy people get when they relive those memories through my photos.
Finally, New York City had a huge impact in my photography and the state of my page today. Firstly, I don’t think I need to tell you how much of an artistic hub it is. Constant inspiration, constant motivation and endless stimuli. I don’t think you can walk a block in NYC without running into an artist or their work. It’s absolutely incredible, and constantly inspires you without you even realizing it.
So, I think that moving to NYC pushed me to start taking myself seriously and stop dismissing my work as just a playful hobby. I was also dealing with a lot of things personally while living there, and photography served as a medium of expression. Through NYC, I learned how to tell stories and transmit real emotions through photos, which is definitely something I’d like to focus on more and exploit in the future.
Here are a few photos that I chose from these 3 cities: 3 in Reims, 3 in Dakar, and 3 in NYC (+1 bonus one in Paris, a city which has served as my HQ of sorts amidst the back and forth).
This not-so-condensed blurb should help give some context to them!
New York City
About the Article
Pointing, shooting and capturing life on three continents.