Who is Photography by Akili

May 12, 2013 § 3 Comments

Showcase of various designers during Ms. B Unveiled in Hyattsville, MD

Showcase of various designers during Ms. B Unveiled in Hyattsville, MD

My name is Latashia, also known as Akili Selam. I am a photographer and owner of Photography by Akili based in Washington, DC. Having been photographing for 7 years I have come to learn a lot over the years. For me it has always been about the ability to tell a visual story. Photography allows you to capture all of life’s special moments in one still photograph that will be cherished and reflected upon for as long as virtually possible. I first fell in love with photography when I discovered the famous Ansel Adams. For the longest time I was resilient to photographing in color. I loved black and white images. With color you had to focus on color composition, lighting, shadows, and anything else that would cause an imperfection. Whereas, with black and white, the only thing I had to focus on was capturing my subject in the most inviting way possible. My focus was simple and was able to focus solely on perfecting my technique. Nonetheless, I gradually began to understand and realize the endless possibilities with color. I was able to add definition and draw the eye to a particular part of an image that may not have been possible with simple shading used with black and white. Today, I shoot in both black and white as well as color. I see no need to limit my possibilities or techniques. Every client may not be drawn to black and white as I am, just as well as every client may not be drawn to color. There are specific client preferences out there and in order to be successful in the business you have to be able to meet the needs and demands of more than just one type of client.

Music artist Jaytazah during recording of "Selfish" in Washington, DC

Music artist Jaytazah during recording of “Selfish” in Washington, DC

As far as fashion, that was just a bonus. I have always been unique and often referred to as being in a class all by myself. Over the years I have grown to view fashion as a way to be individual. A way to express oneself by the way they perceive the things around them; their culture, lifestyle, and possibilities. When I photograph fashion. I look to highlight the garments being worn, how they make the model look, feel, and the expression on their faces. When you have a model that can present a designers line with pride and confidence it really reflects well in the camera and provides for a highly desirable image.  I have found that when many hear of fashion they automatically think about runway and fashion shows. As a fashion photographer the possibilities are wider than one may think. Assignments can range from make-up shoots, clothing shoots, magazine opportunities, and beauty session. Sometimes all a client may want to highlight in a photograph is a sneaker whereas another may want to highlight a particular hat and that may be all your image encompasses. The commercial arena is a wide market for a fashion photographer so I have not felt limited in any way to photographing only fashion shows.

The downfall is the highlights of the fashion world are seasonal, taking place primarily in the spring and fall. Therefore, I do tend to venture out of my niche in the off months and work on portraits, sports, and the occasional wedding. It’s a nice mix to offset my mind and bring me greater inspiration and growth for when the fashion scene picks back up. I don’t want to delve in too much because I want to touch on a lot of the things i’ve brought up here in more depth later on. But we are here and I want to welcome you as you join this journey with me and we learn from each other’s experiences and trainings.




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