An Interview With Portrait & Lifestyle Photographer Obidi Nzeribe
Where did your passion and adoption of photography begin?
I think my love for photography was made possible because of my two beautiful sisters, especially my younger sister. I still remember when my older sister would do my little sister’s makeup and put on a dress and we would take pictures on a blackberry and I would post them on my Facebook page. I have been taking pictures ever since with whatever I had and it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I saved up money to buy my Canon Rebel t3i, it was the beginning of a new era for me.
Are there any concepts that inspire your work or that you draw inspiration from?
My style and taste in photography has actually changed a lot, and so has my inspiration. I enjoy Petra Collins’ work and I feel like some of my new work has a tiny bit of Petra in it( like 1% haha), I also draw inspiration from Bobby Vu aka KingVuddha a lot. Ben Sasso and Deana Stacia are also huge inspirations for me at the moment, so is my really good friend Kevin Fides. Their avant garde styles inspire me to be better.
How has your life changed since being involved with photography?
Photography has actually changed me a lot, I used to stay home all day but now I go out and hang with friends and shoot or edit. Sharing my photography has also given me a platform to continue writing, I used to write stories when I was younger. But in general, photography has helped me a lot with my mental and emotional well being and has also given me an outlet to express and be myself.
Anything that you wish people understood better about you and your work?
I want people to understand that my work is my work, and that most times when I share it’s because I want the world to partake in my source of happiness. I try to make sure that I don’t create based on what others will like or what will go viral, I do it cause I’m feeling it.
What kinds of concepts and themes do you celebrate with your work the most?
When it comes to concepts and themes I like to go high fashion but still whimsical and colorful. But the ultimate theme in my photography is bright colors, there’s something so appealing about seeing a colorful image with nice and clean saturation/vibrance, it transports me to another world.
What changes would you like to see in the photography community and why?
Well the biggest change I would like to see is for photographers to stop talking down on others because they have a different style. Another change I would like to see is for photographers to stop caring about a picture doing numbers and getting on feature pages, likes and features are nice but I think as artists we should all be true to ourselves and create truthfully. I also feel like the community lacks diversity and it doesn’t look too good on us, and we should all try something different once in a while- complacency breeds mediocrity.
What do you do to kick a creative block to the curb?
Whenever I see that I’m in a rut I put my computer and camera away and just relax, maybe watch a show or just listen to music. I sometimes go on pinterest and look up concepts, sometimes the concepts just come to me, like my last shoot that was supposed to be a basketball shoot but with a disco ball instead of a basketball. And other times I force it by trying new editing styles, I do think mainly cause I’ve taken a 6 months “break” before and it wasn’t healthy.
Is there anything we didn’t ask you about that you’d like to share?
Only thing I would add is more of an advice to people who are still trying to find their way/style- Just keep experimenting and practicing, no one figured this out in a day and I think the failures are what makes this process beautiful. Also understand that although expensive gear is nice, you can still create wonderful art with what you have, develop your talent first and then if you have the money(I don’t) get that $7000 camera.