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Breaking Boundaries: Interview With Photographer Gabriel Mokake
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Breaking Boundaries: Interview With Photographer Gabriel Mokake

Picture of Ellie Griffiths
Updated: 10 December 2015
London’s upcoming fashion photographer, Gabriel Mokake, is capturing the true essence behind photography with his stunning photographs. Having been featured in top-end publications and having worked for high-end clients, Mokake is flying head high into his career. We catch a glimpse of his favorite photographs thus far.
© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography

When did you pick up your first camera? And did it quickly become a serious vocation for you?

I believe my first time would have been in my high school years, so age 14 perhaps. I have fond memories of my first-ever official shoot with my girlfriends at The Norwich Cathedral; since then, my obsession with fashion photography grew and grew! Photography played a huge role in my teenage years and this discipline was self-taught; during my studies I slowly became more passionate about the craft and desired to pursue a career in photography.

© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography

We at TCT are in love with your photographs, especially your latest photographs of the dancer (“Ballet Soloist”). What inspired you to enter into this field, working with clients and artists in both fashion and theater?

Actually, I know these two fields very well… I’m a trained and working actor in London so I felt it was time these two worlds collided. I was drawn to a fantastic menswear designer, Jamie Elwood, whose designs simply spoke volumes to me. The idea was sparked, and while figuring out who should model the designs, I stumbled across a ballet soloist from the Vienna State Ballet – Greig Matthews on Instagram – and it was inevitable that he should be the featured artist for this shoot.

© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography

On your website you say “There are no illusions as to how dedicated and committed a photographer must be, one must stay self-motivated, innovative and ambitious.” What helps you to stay motivated, innovative and ambitious in your work?

There are a number of things that come to mind. For example, culture – how it’s always evolving and how we all have to play catch up – this gives me motivation and ambition to express that in my work, so I can hopefully capture images that speak a universal message. And lastly, breaking boundaries, changing the norm, and adding drama pushes me to be innovative when creating my work.

© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography

What has been the best photo shoot you have done to this day?

That’s a very hard question, but I think it would be a test shoot I did years ago. When I was 16 at Regent’s Park in London with a few agency models – when I was still living with my parents, in Norfolk; I remember it very well. A cold Saturday October morning – I’d traveled all the way to London with a massive suitcase of clothes for the models that I’d begged and borrowed from my friends in Norfolk. This was my first time working with real professionals; it was simply magical for me at the time and still resonates with me till this very day.

© Gabriel Mokake Photography
© Gabriel Mokake Photography

Be sure to watch out for Mokake as he makes his mark in the photography scene.