Making Selections - Otis Lumumba
Shacklewell Studios. 2022
I had the pleasure of making some work for Otis Lumumba last week in my studio on Shacklewell Lane, Dalston. He has been teaching me guitar for about a year now, Soukous from the DRC. A beautiful soul, ever encouraging, patient and full of an unrivalled positivity that is immediately engaging.
We took a few basic portraits, Otis settling in to the experience, and started talking about his love of guitar; the mental freedom it produces, dampening the chaotic voice that accompanies us all. How his playing reflects his mood, and teaches him about himself. The shoot moved to props and mirrors and close ups and started to become visually interesting. It made the final selection simple in the end. Of course I produced some head shot style work that Otis needed but also explored the more intriguing visual narrative rooted in the conversation we were having that afternoon.
Selection can often be the most difficult part of the job for me. Trying to gauge what it is the person wants from the images whist keeping the integrity of my personal visual aesthetic. With this work the two seamlessly flowed, representing both Otis and I to the fullest. May these times continue...