As the popularity of Ghana increases, so does the demand for more unique images of a changing and diverse country. These photographers are leading the way in directing the gaze to a modern and multifaceted African nation.
Single-handedly elevating Ghana’s tourism scene, Yaw Pare was inspired by the lack of positive images that came out of his country and so produces gorgeous depictions of Ghana’s must travel to destinations. He uses his rare eye to show the beauty of what we see in the country every day but sometimes take for granted, going off the beaten track and reminding us why we travel in the first place: to see the beauty that is hidden in the quiet moments. Filled with humor and grace, photographs like his are necessary to Ghana and Africa in general as they help direct the gaze to all that is positive and unique in Ghana, from the particulars of food to a young man in full tribal dress in rapture at a cultural festival to the lonely bright beauty of empty fishing boats lolling by the sea as the sun sets.
Not only a photographer, Steve Ababio is helping to train the next generation of children hoping to focus their eyes to capture rare moments. His photography is helping turn a sharp eye on the country, with his slick portraiture and ease in handling projects of all scales; from the minute to the grand, landscape to portrait, as well as the calm of everyday life. Whether photographing a windsurf from the sky with the background of the silky green sea, a colorful bird of paradise hitching a ride from a languidly grazing cow, the sharp lines and modernity of a hyper modern building, or capturing the moment of musical joy onstage at a concert, his eye is always diverse and always wonderful.
This towering pioneer of Ghanaian photography has a career that spans six decades, beginning in pre-colonial Gold Coast and documenting incredible eras of social change. He worked in studio settings and as a street photographer and is credited with being the first to introduce color processing to Ghana in the 1970s, which introduced the world to a new Africa, brimming with vibrancy and at a crossroads between traditional life and an international future. His oeuvre includes both street and portrait photography as well as journalism and black lifestyle photography, especially in Drum, the biggest black magazine of the time. Some of the subjects he photographed include Richard Nixon and the Duchess of Kent. A true living legend, his work gains popularity as time goes on.
Nana Kofi Acquah
The only Ghanaian photographer to be listed by Shutterstock on their “100 photographers to follow on Instagram“, Acquah is leading the way internationally for native photographers with his stunning images of African women, of which he hopes to change the narrative surrounding them by displaying the photographs alongside stories designed to portray them as much more than victims of circumstance, aiming to show the commonality between us all. Warm, inviting, and beautiful, Acquah’s shots are beautifully rendered, sharp, and filled with life. The poetry that he is also known for comes through aesthetically with his choice of subject matter.
Sometime after leaving school, Bobbie found himself working in an English supermarket and being drawn to the photography magazines, which he would devour on his breaks. Back in Ghana and studying in KNUST, what he had learned in those magazines never left him and, a passion ignited, he began pursuing it with vigor. Also known as Bob Pixel, his gorgeous portraiture is filled with motion, life, humor, and beauty. Bobbie captures the minutiae of Ghana life, giving serious dignity to the faces he chooses to shoot with a soft and delicate focus: the mud splattered, the aged woman with deep set lines, the arresting colors of a fugu tunic in mid-swing during a dance. All draw you in effortlessly, and it is difficult to look away. Ghana through his eyes is simply beautiful.
There is a certain cinema to Quarshie’s shots, this young man with an epic eye that is making waves in fashion photography as well as landscape. A thoroughly 21st century photographer, his portraits capture some of Ghana’s on-the-rise personalities. His fashion work is diverse and effortless, making him in demand in this growing artistic sector, and his eye is appreciative of the color and cut of African-made clothing as well as the lines and shapes of the figures of the models, both male and female. His shots of street life and the artistic movers and shakers of Ghana are sharp and playful.
Firmly rooted in the world of advertising and providing a slick perspective, Asante’s shots could fit in effortlessly in the pages of international magazines and he is a go-to choice for such publications as New African Woman and Glitz, depicting the diversity of the African woman in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, and celebrating the power and individuality of important Ghanaian personalities. Dapper men, glamorous women, and bold coloring hail him as a powerful creative force in advertising and studio photography.
The young man behind OAB photography makes his mark with highly distinctive, stylized fashion shots that are inventive and sharp and infused with beautiful color schemes that seem directly out of a film set. Versatile too, his portraiture is dignified and he touches the medium of black and white photography with just as much panache. His penchant for bold portraiture featuring striking African women truly stand out and sit nicely alongside his more candid shots. A young photographer with an eye firmly on the future.
A young photographer that has his sights set on filmmaking in the future, there is no doubt that Mel Arthur will get there with his quirky, one of a kind shots that display a keen eye and an individual perspective. His vision is lent to many kinds of shots, from nature to landscapes, still life and candids. He plays with light and color in a beautiful way as well as style and medium. It will be amazing to see where this super talented young man goes next.
Amfo Connolly is bringing serious beauty to high fashion and beauty photography. Impeccably lit and making the most of every part of the frame, including diverse and stunning backgrounds, his work would not be out of place in fashion magazines all over the world or beauty campaigns. A great feel for form, texture, and shape he also has a midas touch with photographing jewelry. A giant in Ghana for his multitude of advertising campaigns for the likes of Ogilvy & Mather, Vogue UK and Adidas, his own personal work includes several fine art and portrait series that explore sensuality, beauty, and style.