His colourful images evoke his personality and joy of life. Our day's contributor is an optimist who believes in his objectives. Maybe a sign from destiny ... let's discover.
Can you please do a brief introduction of yourself?
I'm Roger Gaisie. A 24-year-old from Saltpond in the Central Region of Ghana reading Advertising Technology at Takoradi Technical University. I happen to be the founder of Fofo Studios. I come from a business and medical background, my dad was a medical doctor (passed on a few years ago), my mother, an entrepreneur and most of my siblings in the medical field.
How did you become a photographer?
When growing up, I never thought of becoming a photographer. I was more into helping my father run his small clinic during the week after school and distribute drugs supplies in the mountainous rural areas in the Eastern Region of the country over the weekend. I was so close to my dad almost every patient that became a friend to my father called me "Junior Doctor". After junior high school, I felt the need for a new environment. The need to try something new.
So, it is the desire to do something new that let you into photography? How did your parents react to this?
I got into secondary school and decided to offer visual art as a course. It didn't go down too well with my parents but they respected my decision. The passion was there but then things got worse after I lost my father. I was learning the basics of life during art school. I found peace at a point. I found the need to express myself in a form of creating something new or bringing an existing idea into a new form. I had one teacher that helped me carry through it all.
When did it all begin?
Photography started the second year in the tertiary level. I loved the idea of capturing people. I felt the connection with moods in its purest form. Sometimes, in a documented way. I developed the habit of reading more in order to carve a niche for myself. But then I had this thing for colours. The colours of Africa that can never be written off. I thought it would be beautiful to make colourful photographs of the people I interact with, the people I can connect with.
How was the begins like?
I started shooting with a friend's DSLR. First, I had to take my photography lectures serious. Then, I got some knowledge of how the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO worked. I tried playing with it, every single time I had the opportunity. I had to start somewhere, so I started shooting flowers, as I wanted to have something to show before requesting for a subject's portrait to be taken.
We noticed the dominance of colours in your works. What is the mystery behind your love for colours?
I love colours, and flowers are beautiful, regardless of their nature. I saw lots of photographs that I felt the need to recreate. I got better with time and constant practice. Then, I started taking portraits of course mates who loved my works with flowers. Doing portraits was different, It was challenging. Flowers and people are two (2) different things. The learning process was a bit difficult because I couldn't reach professional photographers, that I needed critique from. I just wanted to know if I was doing it right. The passion for producing images won't let me rest.
What place does model photography occupy in your art?
I love portraiture fused with a sense of African fashion. It has to have that colourful African-style. That is the reason why I love shooting people. The expression on their face when they look their best on a particular day. That is what I want to photograph in a portrait. Also, one thing I enjoy most is the ability to paint the idea on my mind's screen and produce it on set is what I love about photography.
People inspire me. It is usually nature but then I can admire someone's look from afar.. being it hairdo, garment, style, accessory and wish I could photograph the individual. Sometimes I wish I can photograph every single person in this world. It comes with great joy! I admire Emmanuel Bobbie's documentary photographs and Ben Bond's colourful portraits.
What does your future look like? Any projects?
I want to produce photographs that are colourful but timeless. There's bliss in making art. I want to teach people how to feel good just the way they are. Anything extra is just a plus. Art is indeed life!
Interview with AfroXel