Djeneba Aduayom's Evocative Photography

By Alixandra Rutnik on Nov 17, 2021

Taking a closer look at a One Club Member's stunning photography


It’s all about photography here at The One Club for our Members this month, and it’s time to highlight another one of our impressive crew who seriously knows how to work a camera.

Cali-based One Club Member Djeneba Aduayom is a professional dancer turned photographer. Her images and photo direction are unique and enthralling and this series of hers is no exception.

Djeneba designed the the props and the concepts for this photo shoot, with the help of her muse, Daniel Ralph; prop stylist, Sohani Designs; and hair artist, Erinn Courtney to create and capture her original vision.

We caught up with Djeneba to learn more about her beautiful and evocative photos.


These photographs are stunning! What was your inspiration for this series?

This series was inspired by Daniel, who is a backup dancer for celebrities. He has danced with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, and a lot of others too. I asked him to write a paragraph about his perception of himself and his answer was very genuine.

From what I read, a few impressions were instantly triggered: energy and resilience, with a subtle shyness. While his statuesque physique shows Daniel's strength of body and mind, he has a gentle side and quiet power that is both alluring and mesmerizing. I wanted to reach beyond the simple physicalness of Daniel and capture this essence.

Daniel also referred to himself as an "Alice in Wonderland," which influenced my incorporation of the fantastical wardrobe elements and the freedom of his natural hair.

Some of the images are black and white to represent the paradoxical nature of how we appear and who we are. I love working in both black and white and color, and use their differences to accentuate different things.

"Some of the images are black and white to represent the paradoxical nature of how we appear and who we are."

I would describe my photography as “evocative.”

Do you find yourself gravitating toward a feature that you think defines your work?

I often use the term “Visual Poetry” for my photography, but never really think in terms of defining my photography. I believe labeling is too restrictive and therefore limiting. Creating should be expansive and limitless, versatile and endless, all at once.

"Creating should be expansive and limitless, versatile and endless, all at once."

When you are doing a shoot, what do you try to capture?

I never try to capture a specific thing, but rather a feeling is what I go for. I don't believe the tools matter so much, so I use a variety of cameras – both professional and non-professional—or even sometimes phone cameras.

Since you’re an artist, what does being a visual poet mean to you?

To me, being an artist means that I live my life to find beauty and poetry in anything, and all the time. I don't turn my creativity on or off– it either is there or it isn't. Long ago I made a pledge to create regardless of what people think, regardless of challenges along the way, regardless of chances given or not. An artist is just who I am.

" Long ago I made a pledge to create regardless of what people think, regardless of challenges along the way, regardless of chances given or not."

Where do your photography project ideas come from?

They come from anywhere and everywhere– from the people I meet, the music I listen to, the natural world that surrounds me, the emotions I discover within myself, and from living my life with my eyes open at all times.

DJENEBA-ADUAYOM.COM

IG: @DJENEBA.ADUAYOM


One Club for Creativity Members get featured here on the One Club website and across our social media channels. Have a new project you'd love to share? An upcoming exhibition and you'd like us to help spread the word? Drop us a line at membernews@oneclub.org. We always love to know what our One Club Members have been up to, so don’t forget to send us your cool work!

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